Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Moin! Moin!

So I went to Hamburg a couple of weeks ago!

And I was very kindly invited by Hamburg Marketing, to join them on a press trip.

But OMG!

I so need to go again!

Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

To be clear, Berlin will always be my first (1st) love so nothing is going to take that away.

Not anywhere in Germany.

But it’s nice to see the competition!

Now the thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

It could be that Hamburg is so close by, that one always thinks, “I’ll go there later!”

It could be that Hamburg is an inter-city hub, so I’m always changing trains, and passing through Hamburg!

It could be that most of the time, I’m on a business trip. And short of having a quick drink, one doesn’t really have time to dally, as time is money people!

I wanted to change this.

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The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

Now the funny thing is.

I don’t like to travel in December.

It’s my birthday month, and my “rest” time.

It’s also the festive season.

And when I say festive. I mean the German Christmas Market daaarling!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

However, I had a tiny wndow where I could travel so I reached out to my Hamburg contact, thinking I’ll probably be there in about 6 weeks, and she told me that they could add me in at very short notice.

Very short notice indeed.

I was escstatic.

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

My first official press card ‘back in 2014. Yeah!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

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Right! We’re in Hamburg. Where to start?!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Right!

Where to start?

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

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History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

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The Hamburgers in Hamburg. Rich, wealthy, and confident – Prof. Peter Tamm.
© Christian O. Bruch

Hamburg, like Liverpool leads to the sea, and it’s waterside – the river Elbe – is so placed that Hamburg has the second largest port in Europe, the oldest Stock Exchange in Germany, and is the seat of Berenberg Bank – Germany’s oldest private bank, and the second oldest bank in the world!

It’s famous for being one of Europe’s most well-known entertainment districts, otherwise known as the St. Pauli Reeperbahn Quarter, and is also proud of the fact that Hamburg introduced The Beatles to the world!

In fact, Hamburg boasts the city with the wealthiest Germans, and the most millionaires in the country!

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FACTS AND FIGURES

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity!

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity.

Hafen means harbour.

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PORT OF HAMBURG IS…

  • The largest seaport in Germany
  • The second-busiest port in Europe. After Rotterdam!
  • A hub for the entire Baltic State region!
  • The third (3rd) largest sector in the German economy
  • As old as the hills, having been founded by the Holy Roman Emperor – Frederick I,  in 1189!
  • Home to 8,700 ships per year
  • Home to 7,300 logistics companies
  • Home to 280 berths
  • Home to four (4) state-of-the-art container terminals
  • Home to three (3) cruise terminals
  • A hub for more than 2,300 freight train services
  • Able to handle cargo weighing 138.2 million tons!
  • Able to handle 50 speacialised facilities handling freight of all types and sizes
  • Able to handle 43 kilometers of quay, for seagoing vessels and ships
  • The top 18 largest container port in the world!
  • The Leading hub for the Baltic trade route
  • Responsible for more than 1,300 freight trains per week
  • A leading employer of over 3 million people, not only in Hamburg, but Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, and even Berlin, as corporate professionals have been to take the 90 minute-non-stop-intercity express train to commute to Hamburg, ‘cos the money is fabulous, and it’s really not that far away!
  • Making a turnover of €258 billion+

I don’t know about you, but I find this type of stuff enormously impressive!

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TAKE ME THERE?

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

You know how much I love trains.

They’re just so comfortable and full of ease. And if you’re on the European Continent, it’s the easiest and sometimes, cheapest way to travel.

If you’re coming from North Europe, South Europe, Britain or anywhere over the water, I recommend flying!

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

I went to Hamburg from Berlin. And since this was a press trip, a train was booked on my behalf.

If you’re anywhere in Germany, it’s quite easy to use the Deutsche Bahn – German Trains by either booking from 6 months ahead on the long-distance train Sparpreis Aktion Saver Fare ticket from €19.90. Or by using the ICE – InterCity Express trains Sparpreis Saver Fare ticket across Germany, costing as little as €29.90!

And the wonderful part?

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

Children and grandchildren aged 15 and under, travel for free, as long as you include them when booking your ticket.

Yep!

For free!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

But don’t forget, if you’re in Germany already, or planning to travel to Eastern Europe by train, DO NOT buy the Eurail train pass. There is simply no need, as the tickets are far cheaper if you book them on the Deutsche Bahn website. And as for Eastern Europe, tickets go for peanuts, if you book them on their own train websites too!

If you need any help with booking trains, contact me for a European travel consultancy, and I’ll book them for you. Do that here!

You really couldn’t get any better than that!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

I didn’t think so.

I suppose, it depends when you go!

Hamburg is a really nice city, but I don’t see it as an OMG-we-have-just-got-to-go-visit-Hamburg type of place!

Not yet anyway.

It’s too far North for a start!

WHAT IS HAMBURG REALLY LIKE?

Nikolaus Storzenbecher / Klaus Störtebeker in Hamburg – Germany’s most famous piratate!

I was in Hamburg for 2.5 days and it’s definitely a city that I would like to visit again.

I found Hamburg to be very pleasant.

Some people think that they can compare it to Berlin.

I don’t think so!

It’s very different.

Certainly, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town is most beautiful, and the Schanzenviertel Quarter has “edge,” but Hamburg is a place that you can take your parents to, and they won’t be shocked.

Shock your parents by taking them to the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. – Hamburg’s Red Light District!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Unless they go to the Reeperbahn.

Ahem!

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I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not.

A.

Problem.

You’ll find that a lot of of young people speak English.

‘Better than yourself sometimes!

And French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic. Most of the major languages really.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

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

Hardly.

It’s Germany!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Don’t be frightened. It’s Germany. The standard of hostels will always be high!

There are plenty of hostels to be had.

And since it’s Germany, the standard will always be high, and you’ll have a good time.

Since I was on a press trip, I didn’t need to worry about this.

Book the best hostels in Hamburg here!

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

Sometimes, it’s alright to admit that hotels are better than hostels!

Delightfully so!

As I told you previously, I arrived earlier than the other press hacks.

And let me tell you, even though this wouldn’t be my first (1st) press trip, but effectively, my fourth (4th), I always feel a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

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My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

The wonderful thing about this hotel was not only the location being right next door to the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – the home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg, a five (5) minute walk from the famous Gänsemarkt Square, but also the view from my huge wall-to-wall window, was pretty fantastic.

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Don’t you think the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – Home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg – is pretty fantastic?
©Thies Raetzke

It suited me just fine.

More details next week!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Using the train in Hamburg
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Hamburg has plenty of variety in trains, trams, buses, and bikes.

I used the overground and underground trains, as well as the tram. Hamburg isn’t as big as Berlin, so public transport was very easy to use.

I was given the Hamburg Card which made unlimited travel on public transport around the city so much easier, included discounts at more than 150 tourist attractions, which proved very useful in my spare time! You can get your Hamburg Card here.

As well as the Hamburg Official Digital travel guide App. Free of charge!

You won’t get lost…!

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ANYTHING ELSE?

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Try a Hamburger Labskaus!

What’s a labskaus? I’ll tell you next week!

Yay!

MY VERDICT:

On the river Elbe in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I like Hamburg.

It’s a wealthy waterside city.

Sold!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

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HAMBURG: AN INTRODUCTION TO A PORT CITY!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the good times that I had in Hamburg, are my very own!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for more details next week!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the Press Conference of the exhibition: Eduardo Paolozzi. Lots of Pictures – Lots of Fun, organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in collaboration with one of my favourite art galleries – the Berlinische Galerie, otherwise known as the Museum of Modern Art! Taking place in Berlin, on the 8th of February, 2018.  Admission is free of charge to the public from 18:00 on the day!

I’ll be at the Medientournee of Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency, taking place on the 8th of February, 2018. I’m going to be quite busy that day!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then where the hell are you?

February is going to be great!

See you next week!

Ships and boats are everything in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

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!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Have you ever been to Hamburg? Do you like ports and harbours?  Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

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

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How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

So I know you’re thinking.

Oy!

Who do you think you are?

Ah!

Wrong question my man!

I’m the girl who caused controversy with viral posts like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one!

I’m not afraid to write an article. With an interesting twist!

I like the attention.

Who knew?!

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Winnats Pass, Hope Valley – Derbyshire

But seriously, when I wrote to you a few weeks ago, I told you that I was going to visit Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! At no point did I say Liverpool!

But that’s the beauty of travel and the nature of the beast, you sometimes change direction!

The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” in beautiful Osnabrück, Germany.

Now when travelling with family, I keep those impulses down to a minimum, in order to give them a good time, rather than my travel madness spurts, but I have been known to “just” take a ferry to Finland ‘cos it’s two (2) hours away.

I’ve also taken a bus from Berlin – London – Berlin ‘cos I was home-sick, taken a 26 hour bus from Estonia to Berlin as a challenge, decided it was hell, and then did a far worst thing by taking a bus from Berlin to Sweden. And back again!

Ho! For the the luck of the lovely Irish!

I’ve thought about taking a ferry to Ireland ‘cos we were in Wales, and the ferry port was on the island of Anglesey where we happened to be spending a very nice three (3) days on the sea coast! Our B&B (bed and breakfast happened to be in Holyhead, and not far away was a ferry linking Wales to Ireland and sailing for Dublin and Dún Laoghaire!

I’ve also gate-crashed an Embassy party in Hong Kong ‘cos I saw the event in a society magazine and thought it might be fun!

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I gate-crashed an Embassy party in Hong Kong ‘cos I thought it might be fun!

It was!

Perhaps, I’ll write about it one of these days!

And why did I do this?

Just because!

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How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

But I digress, back to Liverpool.

Ah, Liverpool!

Liverpool doesn’t really need an introduction, so before I tell you what happened, let’s get the low-down on Liverpool for those not in the know!

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A SHORT HISTORY OF LIVERPOOL

Statues of The Beatles in Liverpool – Paul, George, Ringo & John

Liverpool is a city in North West England.

It has a population of about 478,580 people and is located on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, within the ancient hundred of West Derby, in the south-west of the county of Lancashire!

It became known as Liverpool as far back as 1207, but really came into prominence during the Industrial Revolution. During this time, the port of Liverpool was heavily involved in cargo, freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, and the dreadful Atlantic slave trade.

Ned Parfett – the Titanic paperboy – with a large newspaper banner advert about the ill-fated RMS Titanic in London – 1912

In the 19th century, Liverpool was also a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to the United States and was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ill-fated ocean liner RMS Titanic.

In modern times, Liverpool is known as the birth-place of The Beatles and is also the home of the annual Grand National horse race at Aintree, and two English Premier League football clubs – Liverpool and Everton. Indeed, Liverpool FC is the only British football club to win five European Cups!

Liverpool attracts a diverse population, and has done for hundreds of years!

Several parts of the city centre are now World Heritage Sites and Liverpool’s status as a port city has attracted a diverse population and is home to the oldest African community in the UK and the oldest Chinese community in Europe!

As I told you a few weeks ago, Britain has a lot of endearing names for locals who originate from a certain part of the country. So for example, I’m from Manchester, so I’m a Manc or a Mancunian. People from Newcastle upon Tyne, are called Geordies, people from the East End of London are called Cockneys, people from Blackpool are either called Blackpudlians or Seasiders, and the locals from Liverpool are called Scousers!

Just above is a British sketch called The Scousers. For the Brits among you, I’m guessing some of you might remember one of the BBC’s comedy shows of the 90’s – Harry Enfield and Chums, otherwise known as Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, based on the Channel 4 soap opera – Brookside – featuring a set of stereotyped Liverpudlian characters!

To call a local from Liverpool a Scouser is not rude. It’s a name of affection and means Scouse – a type of lamb or beef stew. It originally came from the word Lobscouse – a stew popular in seaports and commonly eaten by sailors throughout Northern Europe!

Scouse is also considered to represent a distinctive Northern English, local working class, Liverpool accent, thus Scouser!

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SO WHAT’S WITH THE CLICKBAIT TITLE?

There’s a beauty in click bait!
How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Ah!

Well, I’ve been to Liverpool only three times in my life.

Once as a child, on a river “cruise” to Sheffield with my mother, once just a few weeks ago, and once when I got robbed after I graduated from university!

Wait.

What?

You got robbed?

Yep!

No!?!

Yes!

So spill!

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I WAS ROBBED IN LIVERPOOL!

A silhouetted sculpture by Anthony Gormley’s – Another Place – one of 100 cast iron figures on Crosby Beach – Liverpool

I was a fresh graduate and a girl-friend of mine decided to visit a friend in Liverpool.

She didn’t want to go alone, so she asked me to go with her.

Liverpool isn’t known as being a “nice” county. In fact, some parts of the city can be considered quite “rough!”

This isn’t a rough part of town, it’s Penny Lane – the bus terminus in the Beatles song – Penny Lane!

We drove in from Cheshire.

And then we got lost.

We drove around and around, and in those days nobody had a mobile phone so we couldn’t just call this girlfriend.

We decided to stop on the High Street and ask for directions.

We went into a nice shop!

We saw a nice shop.

We parked the car on the kerb.

Jumped onto the pavement.

Walked towards the shop.

And then heard a smash!

Two local boys reached into the car and stole our stuff!

Two local boys reached into the car, took my girlfriends briefcase and our shopping bags.

And an apple.

And rode off on their bicycles!

We were so shocked.

We hadn’t even reached the nice shop.

Everybody came out.

They called the Merseyside Police!

They called the police.

They couldn’t really help.

Visibly shaken.

We called the girlfriend and told her that we weren’t going to visit her after all.

We left Liverpool.

And I never went back.

The Music Producer in Liverpool

Until now!

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SO WHAT NOW?

The Albert Dock in Liverpool.

As part of our Northern England trip, we stayed in Cheshire with the family and I was saying that I wanted to visit the canals in Manchester. My sister-in-law mentioned the docks.

In Liverpool.

She said that they were rather nice.

In fact, they were cleaned up and were now heritage sites.

The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site!

We ought to go.

And so we did.

Gulp!

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LIVERPOOL MARITIME MERCANTILE CITY

The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, otherwise known as the docks!

We went to the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, otherwise known as the docks!

It’s a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site and comprises six locations in the city centre and many famous landmarks!

Located at the tidal mouth of the river Mersey where it meets the Irish Sea, the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire reflecting Liverpool as the supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global influence!

Liverpool grew into a major commercial port in the 18th century, crucial for the organisation of the disgraceful trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Liverpool in the 19th century, was the world mercantile centre for cargo and mass European emigration to the New World & the British Empire!

In the 19th century, Liverpool became a world mercantile centre for general cargo and mass European emigration to the New World and had major significance on world trade as one of the principal ports of the British Commonwealth, and was instrumental in the development of industrial canals in the British Isles in the 18th century, and railway transport in the 19th century.

The six core areas that make up the historic world heritage site are:

Pier Head, otherwise known as the Three Graces – Liverpool!
  1.   Pier Head:  It’s the focal point of Liverpool’s waterfront and is dominated by three of its most recognisable landmarks: The Liver Building, The Port of Liverpool Building and the Cunard Building. Referred to as the Three Graces, they stand as a testament to the great wealth in the city during the late 19th and early 20th century, when Liverpool was one of the most important ports in the world!

It now houses the Museum of Liverpool and a memorial built to honour the engineers who remained at their post as the RMS Titanic sank.

The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock – Liverpool

2.   The Albert Dock: This dock is a complex of buildings and warehouses opened in 1846, and were the first warehouses in the world to be entirely fireproof!

It’s now home to the Tate Liverpool, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and The Beatles Story and is the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK!

As you can imagine, we spent an awful long time in this part of the Maritime Mercantile City!

The North Warehouse, overlooking Stanley Dock and the Tobacco Warehouse – Liverpool
  1.    The Stanley Dock: This dock includes huge swathes of Liverpool’s docking environ! Within the site are several other docks, parts of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and associated canal locks; and many smaller features such as bridges, bollards and capstans.

In fact, two of the Clarence Graving Docks are the oldest docks still in use today, and date back to 1830! Not only that, but the of the buildings – the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse –  is the largest brick warehouse in the world!

The Liverpool Town Hall

4.   The Commercial Quarter: This part of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, includes Castle Street, Old Hall Street, Victoria Street, Water Street and Dale Street. It is also considered to be enormously historical as parts of this are medieval and many buildings have grandeur architecture and fantastic monuments, spanning over 300 years!

A lovely wedding at Bluecoat Chambers
© 2017 Samuel Docker

5.   Duke Street / Ropewalks: This area consists of the Duke Street conservation area, as well as two warehouses.

One of the buildings – Bluecoat Chambers – used to be a charity boarding school, was built in 1716, and is the oldest surviving building in Liverpool! It’s now known as the Bluecoat and is a centre for contemporary arts and considered to be the oldest art centre in Britain!

The Old Dock was the first enclosed wet dock in the world, which encouraged a lively community of sea captains, merchants, traders and artisans to live there. Today the area is known as Ropewalks, a reference to the large number of roperies present in the area when Liverpool was one of the busiest ports in the world during the 18th and 19th centuries!

Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool

6.   The Cultural Quarter /William Brown Street:  This quarter is the central point for many of Liverpool’s civic buildings, otherwise known as the Cultural Quarter.

The Cultural Quarter includes monumental cultural and civic buildings such as St George’s Hall, Lime Street Station, the Walker Art Gallery, the World Museum Liverpool, the former Great North Western Hotel and the entrance the Queensway Tunnel.

Victoria looking very pleased with herself, in Liverpool!
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

You know how much I like history, art, architecture, and riverside cities.

We had a great time.

And I was pretty impressed.

I might even visit again!

Touche!

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HOW I WENT TO LIVERPOOL, AND I WASN’T ROBBED!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!
© Liverpool 360

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the robbery and docklands experience are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Derbyshire, Blackpool, Lancashire, and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

November is going to be splendid!

Book your hotel here!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Watch this space!

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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 I went to Liverpool, and I wasn't robbed!
How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Did you guess the secret location? Have you been to Liverpool? Have you ever been robbed? 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!

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

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

Yoo-Hoo!

I’m back from Sweden!

And what an adventure.

It was Wow!

This summer is going to be so awesome!

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

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

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

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

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

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

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

But first, Sweden.

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

HELLO SWEDEN!

Sweden, really needs no introduction!

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

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

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

The capital city is Stockholm.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO STOCKHOLM!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I annoyingly regret it now!

Book your hotel here!

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

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

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

Exciting stuff. Back to Stockholm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest – Kyiv2017

And why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because ABBA!
©APA – dpa

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

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

NOTE: NO cash accepted. Cards only.

2.  THE VASA MUSEUM:

We loved the VASA Museum in Stockholm – Sweden!

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

I know!

What a disaster!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.  THE SKANSEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.  THE ICEBAR:

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

OMG! This. Was. Awesome!

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

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

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

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

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

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

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

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

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

We were duly impressed!

Absolutely recommended. A Must Do!

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

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

5.  THE ARCHIPELAGO:

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

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

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

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

Make it a day trip to remember.

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

6.  OLD TOWN / GAMLA STAN:

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

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

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

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

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

More about that next week! A Must Do!

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

Book Hobo here or here!

7.  BOAT SIGHTSEEING:

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

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

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

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

8.  GO TO ANY OF THE PALACES:

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

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

A guard outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm – Sweden!

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

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

The Drottningham Palace in Stockholm – Sweden.

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

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

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

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

9.  GO ON A GHOST WALK:

The Stockholm Ghost Walk. Ooooo!

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

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

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

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

RATTLE!

A Must Try!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still, a Must Try!

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

ANYTHING ELSE?

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

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

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

Book your hotel here!

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

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

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

Thanks so much!

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

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

That’s it for now.

Watch this space!

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

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

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

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

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

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

See you in Berlin.

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

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