Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

 

Colpach Castle in Luxembourg - ©Johnny Chicago Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Colpach Castle in Luxembourg – ©Johnny Chicago
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

So last week I wrote a sombre post about the earthquake in Italy.

But you know what?

Just because Italy had an earthquake doesn’t mean that Italy is over!

Quite the opposite!

I'm the British Berliner - a British European. And I'm proud of it!
I’m the British Berliner – a British European.
And I’m proud of it!

We’re Europeans!

We don’t let little things like natural disasters or terrorist acts, keep us down.

We don’t give up on life.

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now 'cos I'm scared to travel abroad?
Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

We get up. Dust ourselves down, and carry on!

One way to do this, is to help each other, and to keep an open mind.

How?

By travel.

Keira Knightley on the passenger train in Poland!
Keira Knightley on the passenger train in Poland!

Don’t just read the papers, or listen to hearsay.

Go see for yourself.

Europe is wonderful!

Is it any wonder that I decided to organise  Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!

I mean, wouldn’t you?

Victoria's Summer European Challenge has begun! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun!

Oh, the summer!

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend, through the summer holidays.

Every weekend!

Every weekend, I’m going to be visiting a different European city! Yeeks!
Every weekend, I’m going to be visiting a different European city!
Yeeks!

For six (6) weeks!

And only to travel.

By train!

So let’s see how we’re doing.

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

I started off with Denmark and hopped off to Copenhagen.

Is Copenhagen a European city?

Yes. Tick!

Did I travel only by train?

Well, I booked my train with Deutsche Bahn – German Rail – and received a paid ticket for my seat on a German train, and was sent to….

I got this bus instead!
I got this bus instead!

Er….a coach – bus.

Organised by Deutsche Bahn.

Which took us through Northern Germany, on a ferry across the Baltic Sea!

So, sort of a tick!

Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Hans Christian Anderson. What's that now? Surely not! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Hans Christian Anderson. What’s that now? Surely not!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Copenhagen was great and you can read all about it below:

I then went to Switzerland, and bounced into Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so we made our own independent walking tour instead!
There is plenty to do in Lucerne so we made our own independent walking tour instead!

Is Lucerne a European city?

Yes. Tick!

Did I travel only by train?

Yep! Tick!

Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern was brilliant, and you can read all about it just below:

A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!
A few paces away, you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!

Tick!

So let’s go to the next destination.

The next country that I went to was Luxembourg.

Luxembourg was a new country for me, and I had heard lovely things about it, so I was pretty excited to visit!

LUXEMBOURG: A SMART GUIDE to the GRAND DUCHY of one of EUROPE’S SMALLEST COUNTRIES!

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a country in Western Europe.

It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.

Its capital – Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, and the seat of the European Court of Justice, which is the highest judicial seat in the EU!

The culture, people, and languages of Luxembourg’s are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of German and French!

A mixture of German and French bread! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
A mixture of German and French bread!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

With an area of just 2,586 square kilometres or 998 square miles, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, and about the same size as the state of Rhode Island in the US, or the county of Northamptonshire in England!

Luxembourg City has a population of just 110,49 people while Luxembourg – the country, has a population of 562,958, making it one of the tiniest countries in Europe.

If not the world!

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

It is a democracy with a constitutional monarch, headed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg – HRH Grand Duke Henri – and is the only remaining grand duchy in the world!

Not only that, but Luxembourg is considered to have the world’s highest GDP per capita!

Fantastic!

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Once again, my task?

To visit Luxembourg. Sleep in Luxembourg. Eat in Luxembourg. And survive the incredible prices. With young boy tween in tow.

Here we go.

Aaaargh!

TAKE ME THERE?

Taking the train to Luxembourg A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Taking the train to Luxembourg
A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Luxembourg is a really small country, near to everywhere!

We came in by train.

As you know, Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign is to travel through the summer by train. Being that I live in Berlin, makes it an extremely easy way to travel.

In fact, travelling by train through the European continent is one of the most comfortable ways to travel with ease, from one country to the other. And by far, one of the cheapest!

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.
The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly. On their own websites, or through the German Rail otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn. Most websites have an English version. Some can be admittedly slightly hidden, but persevere, or contact them directly by calling, or via Email!

The cheapest way to ease into buying train tickets through most European countries (not all), is to actually book through the Deutsche Bahn portal on the local German English version not the UK or USA version! Note that for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, if you’re going by train, I don’t recommend that you do so by InterRail or EuroRail passes, if you’re only travelling to one country, as the prices are ridiculously expensive and children have to be paid for!

Don't suddenly decide to jump into the first train that you see! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Don’t suddenly decide to jump into the first train that you see!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Last year, I bought a twelve-hour direct train ticket from Berlin to Budapest. In first class for €69.00. Second class was just €10.00 cheaper at €59.00! My child was free of charge!

I bought a seven (7) hour train journey (second class) train ticket via the Hungarian Railways or MAV at a cost of 11,780 Ft or €38.40 to travel from Budapest to Prague. Child included in the cost!

I bought a five (5) hour train journey ticket (second class) to travel from Prague to Berlin. In August for just €29.00! And don’t forget, on the German inter-city Deutsche Bahn trains, children under 15 years old, travelling with their relatives, are free and cost nothing at all!

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

Our return ticket from Berlin – Copenhagen – Berlin was just €58.00!

For Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train, and the eleven (11) hour return ticket journey from Berlin – Lucerne – Berlin, including reserved seating in July was just €98.00. My child was free!

For Luxembourg, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train, again, and the twelve (12) return ticket journey from Berlin – Luxembourg via Cologne and Koblenz – Berlin, including reserved seating in August was €116.00. My child was free!

In a future post, I’ll be giving you tips as to how to prepare yourself when travelling on a European train!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Me in front of the Palace of the Grand Dukes. In August! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Me in front of the Palace of the Grand Dukes. In August!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

We went to Luxembourg in August.

Luxembourg isn’t your typical holiday destination, so it was hardly crowded at all!

WHAT IS LUXEMBOURG LIKE?

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Due to the long train journey, we were there for merely 2 days, but I nevertheless, found Luxembourg intriguing!

Like Switzerland, Luxembourg is immensely clean, tidy, and orderly.

The Luxembourgers were friendly, relaxed, helpful, and full of smiles. We saw many people taking picnics in the park, or watching the various programmes and festivities in the public square, or around the palaces and historical buildings.

At one point, quite a few people were just snoozing or relaxing in deck chairs, outside an art gallery and museum. It was tempting to join them let me tell you!

Summer in the City! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Summer in the City!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Luxembourg has an annual summer programme called Summer in the City, which is organised by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO). This programme offers a series of summer events which turn pavements and public squares into open-air stages of cultural festivities.

The festivities are mainly free of charge and consist of open-air concerts, urban music festivals with international artists, street theatre, street art, outdoor cinema, exhibitions, markets, and feasts.

We really felt a part of the Luxembourg summer spirit!

Part of the Luxembourg summer spirit! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Part of the Luxembourg summer spirit!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

I DON’T SPEAK LUXEMBOURGISH!

Not a problem. Everyone pretty much speaks English, with many of the locals speaking German, French or Belgian!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Nope! Luxembourg is one of the richest and most advanced nations in the world, so  it won’t be necessary for you to live in a cave!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Luxembourg is expensive. And so is this beautiful Jaguar car!
Luxembourg is expensive. And so is this beautiful Jaguar car!

Not a lot I’m afraid.

Luxembourg is exorbitant.

I don’t know why I did this to myself. First Denmark, then Switzerland, and now Luxembourg.

All of these nations are awfully expensive, and regretfully, there’s no avoiding it!

However, have no fear, there are hostels that cater to the more budget conscious traveller such as the AJ Luxembourg Youth Hostel, with prices as low as €50.00 per day for a family room!

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

The Meliá Luxembourg Hotel. Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
The Meliá Luxembourg Hotel.
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Yes, there certainly is!

I was all geared up to settling into the above hostel, when the Visit Luxembourg Tourism Board very kindly offered to book us a complimentary stay at the luxury Meliá Luxembourg Hotel, and provide us with Visit Luxembourg tourist pass City Cards.

And boy were we grateful!

Taking only the night train / bus, and eating only sandwiches, salad and fruit juice, soon begins to take its toll, and so when the call came, both “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I, were bouncing up and down with joy!

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

Thank you so much!

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

In Copenhagen, I decided to book a family friendly budget hotel. In Lucerne, we went for the cheap and cheerful option of a hostel.

 I like comfort, and I’m not averse to a little splendour every now and then.

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I'm about to sing! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

This time around, we went for the indulgence of a newly built luxury Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!

The Meliá Luxembourg Hotel is a cutting-edge hotel with an innovative design, modern rooms, and beautiful views of Place de l’ Europe, which we were able to see from our very wide windows!

There was a bit of construction going on further down the road, but you should be able to get views of the Philharmonia, the Museum of Modern Art, the financial district, or Luxembourg itself!

Huge windows on the Level Room floor of the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel.
Huge windows on the Level Room floor of the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel.

The hotel is quite easy to get to from “town,” as it’s only a 15 minute walk from the historical centre near the park, and the Place d’Armes, or you could take a 10 minute bus ride.

We were upgraded into a Level Room on the 7th floor which was huge!

As was the King Size DREAMAX double bed!

My tween son was horrified!

My son was horrified when he saw the King Size DREAMAX double bed, at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!
My son was horrified when he saw the King Size DREAMAX double bed, at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!

Luckily, European double rooms usually have two single beds pushed together, so we were able to sleep together, without having to push each other off!

Every room on the Level Room floor are outward facing so that you always get a lovely visual view of something nice.

Our room was spacious, elegant and bright, had a large glass work space table with a cream leather chair located near the window, two rather nice relaxing comfy armchairs, a long wide side-board shelf that you could put stuff or books on, a very large flat screen TV, a few lamps dotted around, a very large wardrobe, and lots of plug holes.

Phew!

Put some tea in the pot. Not coffee! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Put some tea in the pot. Not coffee!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Our room also had an AC unit, a mini-bar, coffee and tea making facilities, and as many teabags as I wanted, being that I’m not a coffee person, so do ask….!

Our very nice en-suite bathroom was fitted out with very, very, nice Loewe beauty products which I liked very much indeed, along with plenty of fluffy towels and slippers, the bathtub, shower, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith sinks!

Yeeeees!

The Meliá Luxembourg Hotel included very fast free wi-fi, a fitness center, sauna and a hammam free of charge.

I didn’t get to try it out this time as the sauna room, unlike the sauna room in Estonia, or the sauna room in Hungary, was tiny, and filled with just guys!

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

I’m British.

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

Eeek!

For breakfast, we had baked beans, sausages, mushrooms, & made-to-order eggs at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!
For breakfast, we had baked beans, sausages, mushrooms, & made-to-order eggs at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!

For breakfast, we had a marvellous hot food section which consisted of bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms, and made-to-order scrambled eggs, as well as a variety of cold cuts, pate, vegetables, sauces, pickles, cream, cereal, fruit, bread, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee and juices.

There was also a bottle of champagne hidden away on the back table where the juices were. Just help yourself!

I don’t mind if I do!

Champagne & cake for breakfast at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!
Champagne & cake for breakfast at the Meliá Luxembourg Hotel!

We both really liked this hotel!

Luxembourg is one of the richest cities in Europe so it isn’t going to be cheap, but then if you were that stingy, you wouldn’t be in Luxembourg in the first place lol!

Standard room prices are from €400.00 per night, but if you book with the hotel directly and feel like a splurge, they could be as low as €100!

Thanks so much Visit Luxembourg! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Thanks so much Visit Luxembourg!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Tick!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO LUXEMBOURG?

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

We only went for two (2) days so this was a a bit of a whirlwind cultural family trip. We were kindly given complimentary Visit Luxembourg tourist pass City Cards for the weekend, which at €20.00 per person or €48.00 per family (up to 5 people!), greatly reduced the cost of having to pay individually.

Thanks so much!

There is plenty to do in Luxembourg. You can:

Luxembourg - ©Claude Meisch Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg – ©Claude Meisch
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!
  • Make your own independent walking tour. Go to the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, and pick up maps, and as many booklets as you need, then take off!
  • Explore the history and architecture of Luxembourg
  • Marvel at the ancient city and the many palaces
  • Book yourself a guided 45 minutes visit at the splendid Palace of the Grand Dukes. So worth it!
  • Imagine how it would have been to be a member of the European aristocracy
  • Take photographs of the splendid buildings in Luxembourg
  • Wander round the cobbled streets and markets of William Square, otherwise known as Place Guillaume II!
  • Visit the neo-classical 1830 Town Hall
  • Check out superb views of the Petrusse Valley from the Constitutional Square
  • Visit the beautiful Pétrusse Valley Park and tour the valley using the Petrusse Express toy train!
  • Take note of the Gëlle Fra which was dismantled and taken away during WWII, only to be found a few years ago, hidden in the city stadium!
  • Relax and take a break at the leafy Parlour of the City, otherwise known as the Place d’Armes!
 Walk on the grand 1903 Adolphe Bridge ©Claude Wians from Luxembourg
Walk on the grand 1903 Adolphe Bridge
©Claude Wians from Luxembourg
Wener Recontre 1883 - Villa Vauban Art Museum in Luxembourg Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Wener Recontre 1883 – Villa Vauban Art Museum in Luxembourg
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!
  • Discover the Fishmarket
  • Spend a day running through the restored remains of the 1732 Fort Thüngen hosted by the Musée Dräi Eechelen
  • Stroll freely through the cobbled side streets in the historic Old City
  • Peep into every corner, and walk onto every little path that you see. And why not?
  • Join in the summer celebrations
  • Go people-watching inside the flea market and the farmers market
  • Merely ramble along the historical streets
  • Check out the various cafes, bars and restaurants for a quick bite and a few rounds of very nice expensive French wine!
  • Go shopping
  • Or don’t do anything at all, but enjoy the moment!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

You can also go by horse! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
You can also go by horse!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Luxembourg is tiny. Everywhere is walkable, but local trains and buses are simple to use. And while we were there, free of charge!

I’m not entirely sure why, but something to do with it being a weekend lol!

You can also use your bicycle or rent a car, but whatever you do, we were warned, don’t take a taxi!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Everywhere in Luxembourg is utterly expensive, including my Luxembourg beer! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Everywhere in Luxembourg is utterly expensive, including my Luxembourg beer!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Now, let’s be realistic. Everywhere in Luxembourg is utterly expensive.

Prepare for really high prices, and either suck it up or go to Thailand!

There’s also free city wifi in Luxembourg. I wasn’t able to access it, but you might have better luck!

MY VERDICT:

Excited to go to Luxembourg! Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Excited to go to Luxembourg!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

I was excited to go to Luxembourg.

It’s small. It’s aristocratic. It’s got history, art and culture, and is fantastically green. It’s not your average budget destination or any other destination for that matter, but if you plan carefully, you can make it work!

If you’ve been trying to find a reason to visit Luxembourg, you’ve got it right there!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Totally!

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

Let’s do it!

LUXEMBOURG: A SMART GUIDE to the GRAND DUCHY of one of EUROPE’S SMALLEST COUNTRIES!

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

This article is part sponsored, and even though Visit Luxembourg Tourism Board very kindly offered to book us a complimentary stay at the luxury Meliá Luxembourg Hotel, and provide us with Visit Luxembourg tourist pass City Cards, all opinions and the wonderful arch of the Viaduct Bridge that we wove in and out of, are my very own!

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16, so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

The Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival, will also take place from 14.09.16 – 18.09.16, which is the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film!

STRICTLY STAND UP – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 21.09.16 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

Save the Date!

September is going to be crammed with art and film!

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe's smallest countries!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Have you ever been to Luxembourg? Which small country do you know? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

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

 

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How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! ©Nicolai Perjesi
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
©Nicolai Perjesi

So last week’s post was pretty grave.

We had a heap of terrorist attacks all over France and Germany, so it just had to be written! And as I indicated last week,

I can’t tell you what to do, or advice you as to who best to run your country. Or mine!

What I can tell you is how to cope, and how to keep on living, doing whatever it is you’re doing. Just read last week’s post.

But for now, time for a little sunshine!

Ha!

VICTORIA’S SUMMER EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN HAS BEGUN!

Victoria's Summer European Challenge has begun! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks and the first place that I went to was Denmark!

HELLO DENMARK!

Hello Denmark! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Hello Denmark!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Denmark is a Scandinavian / Nordic country.

It is south-west of Sweden, south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. In fact, you can either take the cruise ferry across the Baltic Sea, or drive across Northern Germany, via Flensburg!

The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises of Denmark itself, two autonomous constituent countries – the  Faroe Islands (not in the UK) and Greenland. It also consists of Jutland, and an archipelago of 406 named islands such as Zealand (not New Zealand), Funen, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, of which roughly only seventy (70) are inhabited, and a population of just 5.7 million people!

Denmark stretches along a coast of 7,314 km, which is longer than the Chinese Wall and the highest point in the country is only 170 metres above sea level!

Goodness!

Denmark is a very old country and dates back to the Vikings! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Denmark is a very old country and dates back to the Vikings!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Denmark is a very old country and in fact, the word Denmark dates back to the Viking age and is carved on the famous Jelling Stone from around 900 AD!

Even though today, Denmark is a tiny country, between the 13th and 17th centuries, Denmark was a superpower who was feared by all and an influence which was enormously powerful. Just check out the Irish-Canadian historical drama television series Vikings, and you’ll see what I mean!

It’s fantastic!

Denmark is known for world-class design, cinema, TV crime thrillers and new Nordic food. Denmark is also known for having the oldest flag in the world still in use by an independent nation, the highest taxes in the world, one of the top international standards of living, and is one of the most egalitarian countries in the world!

The Danes are also regularly ranked as the happiest people on the planet!

I’ve been to Denmark many times, but it’s been twelve (12) years, since I was last there!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO COPENHAGEN?

Demark's most famous icon. The Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson!
Denmark’s most famous icon.
The Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson!

Wow!

Copenhagen was burning hot! And I mean that literally!

There I was packing a windbreaker, a warm jacket, jeans, a couple of pairs of socks…when Denmark proved that Nordic countries have lovely summers after all!

I’m more a wintry wind and rain type of person who is not averse to a bit of sunshine, but you know, I like wind, and being that I was born in Manchester, I’m used to rain, fog and mist lol!

So let us begin with some history!

Denmark has a population of just under 600,000 people! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Denmark has a population of just under 600,000 people!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and has a population of just under 600,000 people!

Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand, partly located on Amager, and is separated from a town called Malmö which is actually in Sweden, by the strait of Øresund!

Originally a Viking fishing village founded in 1167, the name of the city reflects its origin as a harbour and a place of commerce. The original Danish name was Køpmannæhafn, meaning “merchants’ harbour,” or often simply Hafn or Havn meaning “harbour” and so from 1417, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark, and still is!

Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development facilitated by investment, in its institutions and infrastructure. It is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe and has become integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region!

Did you know that…

Beautiful Danish people! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! ©Niclas Jessen
Beautiful Danish people!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
©Niclas Jessen
  • The best restaurant in the world is called NOMA and is based in Copenhagen! I desperately wanted to try out some dishes there, but they were fully booked. They have a waiting list though, so if you’re in Copenhagen for a few days try to get a reservation, and take anything you can get. It’ll be worth it!
  • Copenhagen boasts a total of 20 Michelin Stars – more than any other city in Scandinavia!
  • Copenhagen is a bike city with more than 36,000 cyclists every day, and 55% of the local population commuting to work on two wheels! In fact, cycling is taken so seriously that the bike lane is wider than the pedestrian one!
Leaping into the harbour baths at the Islands Brygge! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Leaping into the harbour baths at the Islands Brygge!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • You can swim in the harbour as Copenhagen has a beachside, and centrally located pools where you can swim safely. The water was brilliantly and refreshingly clean, and loads of people were jumping in, and swimming all over. Watch out though as we spotted some jellyfish!
  • Copenhagen has the world’s oldest amusement park otherwise known as Bakken in Dyrehavsbakken, and entrance is free of charge so that you only have to pay for rides, with every Wednesday being a 50% discount if you pay by cash!
  • Copenhagen also has it’s own amusement park and pleasure garden right in the city center, opposite the main train station – Tivoli Gardens, and is fantastic in the winter. The park opened in 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world!

Go see!

Copenhagen is home to the world famous Freetown of Christiania. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Copenhagen is home to the world-famous Freetown of Christiania.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Copenhagen is home to the world-famous Freetown of Christiania. Christiania is a green and car-free neighbourhood best known for its autonomous inhabitants’ different way of life. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of rules, completely independent of the Danish government.

Freetown Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, organic eateries, and nature. Christiania is open to the public and guided tours are available.

I went there with “The Tall Young Gentleman” and even though there were loads of children dashing about, he didn’t like it.

Visitors are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania proper, so I don't have any lol! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Visitors are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania proper, so I don’t have any lol!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

It was a very hot day, there was a free concert going on, and so the “restaurant” areas were pretty packed. Members of the public are welcome and you can buy local produce and hand-made woven goods and clothes however, there are signs everywhere making it very clear that visitors are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania, and also not to use any type of media in the area in and around Pusher Street, where you had people covered in masks, and heavier security due to the selling of marijuana, which is illegal in Denmark.

Oh, and no running!

It was educational, but after looking through the galleries, photographic studios, and generally walking around, we left.

HOW TO VISIT COPENHAGEN ON A BUDGET!

Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Hans Christian Anderson. What's that now? Surely not! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Anderson. What’s that now? Surely not!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Get the cheapest form of transport possible to actually get you to Copenhagen. We chose the train!

But actually, it was a Europa Inter-City coach-bus!

Issued by the train company!

If you're really broke, take to the waters, and make your own way to Denmark! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
If you’re really broke, take to the waters, and make your own way to Denmark!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

It wasn’t a big deal as a return ticket from Berlin – Copenhagen – Berlin was just €58.00 and my son – “The Tall Young Gentleman” was completely and utterly free. Note that if you book Spar Preis Europa trains with German Rail otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn on this version, children who travel with their parents or grandparents, and are under 15, are free of charge!

Yep! Free of charge. They cost nothing. Nada!

  • Stay at a cheap hotel. Not a hostel!
This is how we felt when we discovered the outrageous prices. I really couldn't justify the cost! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
This is how we felt when we discovered the outrageous prices. I really couldn’t justify the cost!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

You heard that right!

I love going to boutique hotels and hostels and since I knew that Nordic nations are expensive, I had a peek!

My goodness. Private rooms in hostels were going for €180.00 per night, and at the weekend, hostels insisted on two nights!

Er No!

Lovely boutique hotels even with all my charm and begging, were going for €220.00 and that was with a discount!

My husband wasn’t travelling with me. I just couldn’t justify the cost!

The Cabinn Metro Hotel had a more "realistic" price! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
The Cabinn Metro Hotel had a more “realistic” price!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Sooooooo, cue to a deeper more intense look as to what was available. And I can’t remember how I found it, but I found a hotel, at a more “realistic” price! The hotel was called Cabinn Metro Hotel.

It was a family friendly budget hotel based a few stops away from the centre of the city. We ended up with an en-suite bunk-bed room with it’s own table and chair, a kettle, a flat-screen TV, towels, an open wardrobe, a few sachets of tea and coffee in the room, and free WiFi.

Breakfast could be had for DKK 75 per person (no child discounts), but we didn’t try it.

The rooms are small, but for just a night, perfectly adequate.

And the price? A marvellous DKK 625 per night!

Arm yourself with a good map. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Arm yourself with a good map.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Arm yourself with a good map.

Free maps of the “official City map of Copenhagen” are available at the Copenhagen train station, hotels, public buildings, and pretty much everywhere! It was invaluable in finding our way around in the various districts, as well as having an included map of the train system and their stations.

Use public transport. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Use public transport.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Use public transport.

We found that as far as transport was concerned, figuring out the right ticket to buy, can be confusing. If you’re planning to visit the suburbs and outer regions of Copenhagen, then buy a 24 hour ticket which will allow you unlimited travel by bus, train, metro and harbour bus in all the zones of the Copenhagen region, including trips to Roskilde, Elsinore or other parts of North Zealand, for 24 hours. Adult tickets cost DKK 130 (and you take two (2) children under the age of 12 for free).  Children under 16 otherwise, cost DKK 65.

If on the other hand, you plan to visit Copenhagen only, don’t buy the 24 hour ticket, opt for the City Pass instead, as we did! You can buy a 24 hour Adult City Pass for DKK 80 or a 72 hour City Pass for DKK 200.  Children under 16 cost DKK 40 (24 hours) or DKK 100 (72 hours). The City Pass gives you unlimited access to buses, trains, metro and harbour buses in zones 1 – 4, and includes the centre of Copenhagen and to and from the airport!

I love walking tours, but walking is thirsty work! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
I love walking tours, but walking is thirsty work!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Go for a free walking tour.

You all know how much I enjoy a good ramble in a foreign city, or even in my own!

There are many outfits to choose from and I have my favourites, but I like to mix things around, so I chose the Copenhagen Free Walking Tours instead, and booked both the Grand Tour of Copenhagen and a Tour of Christianshavn. We loved the Grand Tour (which is a free tour supported by tips), but didn’t quite make it to join the official tour of Christianshavn, so we ended up doing that bit by ourselves…!

  • Go to museums or places of historical interest, for free.

Generally, all national museums in Denmark are free to enter for children under 18!

For adults, you can see Denmark’s most famous icon – A statute of The Little Mermaid, visit the Christiansborg Palace Tower which offers a magnificent view of the city’s rooftops, and go to the following museums which are free on selected days – the Museum of Copenhagen, (Fridays – but is closed until 2018!), the Thorvaldsen Museum (Wednesdays), the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Sundays), the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum, (Wednesdays), the Hirschsprung Collection (Wednesdays), and the Danish Architecture Centre, (Wednesdays, 5pm to 9pm).

Take a boat cruise in the Nyhaven District 'cos you can't be in Copenhagen without taking to the waters! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Take a boat cruise in Nyhaven District ‘cos you can’t be in Copenhagen without taking to the waters!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Take a boat cruise.

You can’t be in Copenhagen without taking to the waters.

There are many ships and cruises to choose from with all of them being quite similar in price and tour. However, whilst on our free walking tour, I saw the sign of a boat cruise with a price-tag that I thought was extremely reasonable. It was a guided cruise in Danish, English & German and cost only 40 DKK for adults and 15 DKK for children under 15!

Wow!

You can find it by the huge banner overhead and the side kiosk that is pretty basic. You need to go to the side of the pier and not to the front, where the other companies are! The cruise takes one hour, and leaves every 20 minutes.

Opt for brunch instead of breakfast or lunch as Danish food is enormously delicious, but the prices are simply out of this world! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Danish food is enormously delicious, but the prices are simply out of this world!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • If you’re in Copenhagen at the weekend, opt for brunch instead of breakfast or lunch.

Danish food is enormously delicious, but the prices are simply out of this world! I mean, a Danish pastry on the Scandlines ferry cost DKK 21.95, and a small cup of tea cost nearly the same! Even a simple sandwich on a cracker was costing a handsome ransom at DKK 58!

What to do?

Well, we discovered an area called Nørreport which is full of restaurants and side cafe’s to choose from. Through rambling and strolling around, I discovered a restaurant called Cafe Palermo. This restaurant serves à la carte of course, but it’s biggest attraction was the buffet brunch that they served for DKK 69 and for students / children DKK 59!

We discovered an area called Nørreport jampacked with restaurants and cafes. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
We discovered an area called Nørreport jam-packed with restaurants and cafes.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

We arrived there a little after 11:00 on Sunday morning, and it was quiet, but by 12:00 loads of young, hip, trendy people started to roll in. We sat by the window, surrounded by cushions, and the buffet was on the upper floor! The buffet consisted of pancakes, sausages, bacon, scrambled egg, a variety of bread, croissants, cake and fruit, as well as cheese, cold cuts, chicken, meat balls, sauces, soups, rice, potato, salads, and a very nice creamy tuna salad.

It was quite delicious!

They’re also known for cocktails!

Eat Danish street food or visit Danish farmers' markets. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! ©Ditte Isager
Eat Danish street food or visit Danish farmers’ markets.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
©Ditte Isager
  • Eat at street food or visit farmers’ markets.

In my travels over the years, I’ve realised that the best way to get a feel of the people, the culture, and the food that they eat, is to either go to a street market where the locals go, or to find the nearest farmer’s market, and get the freshest food possible.

We did both!

We went to the farmer’s market at the Torvehallerne across the road from Nørreport Station. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the luxury feel of a food marketplace filled with stalls selling Danish delicacies, local vegetables, fresh fish, delis, wine, and other tasty organic Danish delights!

We absolutely loved it!

Copenhagen Street Food How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Copenhagen Street Food
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

On our last day, we decided to go to the very famous Copenhagen Street Food Market which was brilliant.

It’s on the Papirøen otherwise known as the Paper Island, and is Copenhagen’s first and only genuine street food market on the waterfront cross the harbour. Crammed with the young and the beautiful noshing on grand organic fare, sustainable street food, locally produced bottles of organic beer, and the chill-out vibe of a live DJ on a top deck, leather cushions, deck chairs in the sunshine, people leaping into the harbour, and you’ve got yourself a very warm food truck and party atmosphere, while the sun goes down!

Fabulous!

Danish food is rather more seafood, smoked meat, cheese, smørrebrød, and seasonal berries and herbs! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Danish food is rather more seafood, smoked meat, cheese, smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Go local and just eat fresh raw stuff: Denmark isn’t known for a hearty warm meal filled with the coziness of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and a pie! Danish food is rather more barren, making way for seafood, smoked meat, cheese, smørrebrød, and seasonal berries and herbs! As a result, we had rather a lot of sandwiches, salad, and cake!
  • If you’re really broke, take a blanket, take a basket, and enjoy the rest of your holiday on a Danish beach!
  • Buy everything you need at the 7-eleven supermarket, which like in Thailand, are everywhere, and the prices are very, very budget-friendly!
Chill out and have fun on the harbour. How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Chill out and have fun on the harbour.
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
  • Chill out and have fun on the harbour.
  • Visit Christiania, but make sure that you follow their rules.
Rent a bicycle as the bike is king! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! ©Nicolai Perjesi
Rent a bicycle as the bike is king!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
©Nicolai Perjesi
  • Rent a bicycle as the bike is king, but remember, you must always give way to bicycles, and there are thousands of bike riders, so look both directions before you put a step out, as they’re extremely fast!
  • Walk absolutely everywhere.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Don't suddenly decide to jump into the first train that you see! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Don’t suddenly decide to jump into the first train that you see!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t suddenly decide to jump into the first train that you see, even though you have two (2) hours before you have to get back to the coach-bus station.

Because it won’t end well.

And it didn’t!

Before we realised what had happened, we were somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

And it took almost an hour to get back into town.

And an hour to get back to the hotel to pick up our stuff.

And well!

Even though I took a cab, and the taxi driver stepped on it, I paid a DKK 200 fare.

And we still missed the coach-bus! And our connection. Again! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

And we still missed the coach-bus!

And our connection. Again!

Luckily, there was another bus company that hadn’t left – Eurolines – and so a quick dash of shifting our stuff from the taxi to the coach-bus, a bit of a sob story ‘cos there were a queue of people who wanted to buy a ticket, and a last-minute fee of €100 in cash, secured two seats for “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I safely back to Berlin.

Phew!

So there you have it.

HOW TO VISIT COPENHAGEN ON A BUDGET. EVEN THOUGH I MISSED MY LAST CONNECTION. AGAIN!

How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! ©Mette Johnsen
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
©Mette Johnsen

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about hanging out with hipsters and yuppies, on a Danish harbour, are my very own!

Throughout the summer months of July & August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

I’ll be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th organised by the Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

Save the Date!

August is going to be scorching!

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again! Photo ©Michael Colville-Andersen
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Photo ©Michael Colville-Andersen

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? Do you think Denmark is expensive? Have you ever missed your flight, train, boat, coach or bus? Spill the beans!

See you in Berlin.

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

Astonishing news! I’m going to the Philippines and I’m organising a Summer European Challenge Campaign. By train!

Astonishing news! I'm going to the Philippines!
Astonishing news! I’m going to the Philippines!

My!

What a year!

As far as travel is concerned, it’s been fantastic!

And as far as my personal profile is concerned, it’s been on a continuous rise!

So let’s see how we’re doing…!

OMG! Don't I just look like a city babe! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I became the media darling of the German press last year and made a documentary for the largest TV station in the region of Berlin & Brandenburg, which was also picked up by other national German TV stations! I also went on LIVE TV and had to speak in German. Gulp!

I was interviewed in a radio production broadcast about British expats living in Berlin called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin, I did a [VIDEO] interview as a rep. of the Berlin Travel Massive Blogger Community at the ITB Berlin and, I was asked to participate in a short silent independent movie made for a film school application called: “Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.” Very, very short!

I was interviewed by one of Europe’s largest online newspapers – The Local in Germany – and for the British press via The Independent Newspaper, as well as in the Huffington Post, Travel Massive and by other well-established bloggers.

I also did TV “expert” interviews about William & Kate, and many magazine, newspaper and radio interviews about Brexit, and the implication on British expats abroad!

There’s way too much for me to put on this post, but you can read more about it here.

And on my Facebook feed!

And before we go on, A BRIEF REMINDER!

Brexit - Don't forget to vote!
Brexit – Don’t forget to vote!

If you’re a British expat living abroad within the last 15 years, you should have registered as an overseas elector. This entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June has passed.

For more information on overseas voting, please go here.

TRAVEL IN 2016 SO FAR.

One day, I'll travel the whole world.
One day, I’ll travel the whole world.

At the beginning of 2016, I told you that travel plans this year would be:

Belgium:

Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!
Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!

England:

Cricket and a spot of lunch!
Cricket and a spot of lunch!

Portugal:

Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!
Sailing on the Douro River in Porto!

Spain:

Oranges in Spain!
Oranges in Spain!

FANTASTIC NEWS!

I’M TRAVELLING TO THE PHILIPPINES!

Turtles in the Philippines!
Turtles in the Philippines!

As you know, I’m a lifestyle expat travel blogger. And part of this lifestyle is spending an awful amount of time writing and spreading the love on social media.

If you don’t get yourself out there, it can be quite lonely.

Thankfully, I’m a bit of a social butterfly and a little bit of a show-off, so meeting other bloggers is always going to be a good thing. One of those ways to get-together is to attend a TBEX conference.

TBEX @travellingcolognian.com
TBEX
@travellingcolognian.com

TBEX is the holy grail of the travel blogging world and stands for Travel Blog Exchange.

According to the TBEX website, it’s the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, digital publishing and social-media-savvy travel industry professionals. It’s also a medium for the creative minds of the travel industry to come together, to network, to learn, to negotiate with the travel industry, and for those who are so inclined, to take the business of blogging to the next level.

Whew!

Last year, I went to the TBEX conference for the very first time.

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

TBEX EUROPE promised us an exciting night life, delicious food, outdoor locations and enlightening cultural excursions. And they delivered on their promise?

However, due to the budget airlines that I flew with, I had an absolutely awful time!

Sooooo.

Drum roll please….

Astonishing news! I'm going to the TBEX ASIA Conference in the Philippines!
Astonishing news! I’m going to the TBEX ASIA Conference in the Philippines!

I’ve decided to go to TBEX again!

And this time, I’m attending the TBEX ’16 Asia Pacific in Manila!

In the Philippines!

Isn’t it amazing?!!

I’ve been to Asia many, many times but I’ve never been to the Philippines!

The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean!

It consists of about 7,641 islands, and the capital city is called Manila.

I aim to visit a few other countries in the Asia vicinity. Perhaps China!
I aim to visit a few other countries in the Asia vicinity.
Perhaps China!

While I’m in that part of Asia, I aim to visit a few other countries in the vicinity too.

China anyone?!

Now because I’m going to the Philippines, my summer plans changed somewhat and thus, I’ve come up with the campaign below.

Get ready for…..

VICTORIA’S SUMMER EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN!

Sit back & relax while I go on Victoria's Summer European Challenge Campaign!
Sit back & relax while I go on Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!

European Challenge what?!

Oh. Cooooome. On!

Yep!

Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" having fun in Bangkok.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” having fun in Bangkok.

So, since I’m a happily married woman, a responsible mother, and it’s going to be the summer holidays (being smart here), I’m going to be taking the “Tall Young Gentleman” with me!

And.

Get this.

We’re going to be travelling only by train!

Yay!

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

We’re going to:

Denmark:

Demark's most famous icon. The Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson!
Demark’s most famous icon.
The Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson!

Denmark is a Scandinavian country, and the southernmost nation of the Nordic countries.

It is south-west of Sweden, south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. In fact, you can either take the cruise ferry across the Baltic Sea, or drive across Northern Germany, via Flensburg!

The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises of Denmark itself, two autonomous constituent countries – the  Faroe Islands and Greenland. Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, of which roughly only seventy (70) are inhabited, and a population of 5.7 million people!

I’ve been to Denmark many times, but it’s been twelve (12) years, since I was last there!

Switzerland:

The locals of Switzerland. And their goats!
The locals of Switzerland.
And their goats!

Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal city or Bundesstadt!

It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!

Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.

Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.

I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…

Shock & Horror! I've never actually been!
Shock & Horror!
I’ve never actually been!

Shock & Horror!

I’ve never actually been!

Mainly ‘cos it’s frightfully expensive!!

This time I’m going to cough up, and just go for it. And with a demanding growing lad too.

Gulp!

Luxembourg:

Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg!
Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg!

Luxembourg, otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a country in western Europe.

It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south.

Its capital Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, and the seat of the European Court of Justice, which is the highest judicial seat in the EU!

The culture, people, and languages of Luxembourg’s are highly intertwined with its neighbors, making it essentially a mixture of German and French!

With an area of just 2,586 square kilometres or 998 square miles, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, and about the same size as the state of Rhode Island in the US, or the county of Northamptonshire in England!

Luxembourg has a population of just 524,853 and is one of the least-populous countries in Europe!

It is a democracy with a constitutional monarch, headed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and is the only remaining grand duchy in the world! Not only that, but Luxembourg is considered to have the world’s highest GDP per capita!

Wow!

Luxembourg will be a new country for me, and I’ve heard lovely things about it, so I’m pretty excited to visit!

Slovakia:

Bonjnice Castle in Slovakia, otherwise known as the Slovak Republic!
Bonjnice Castle in Slovakia, otherwise known as the Slovak Republic!

Slovakia, otherwise known as the Slovak Republic, is a country in Central Europe.

It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, and Hungary to the south. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres or 19,000 sq miles, and is mostly mountainous. The population is a little over 5 million!

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which later became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia, and on 1st January 1993, Slovakia became an independent state,  after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

A prime example of how two nations, even after separation, still live together and or are, connected to each other, without hate and strive!

As lovely as Prague!
As lovely as Prague!

As you know, I used to live in the Czech Republic and whilst there, I lived briefly in Slovakia too!

In those days, there was hardly any difference at all, so I’m going to have to find out if it’s still true!

Germany:

And because this is my blog and I can do whatever I like, I’m going to add two German destinations!

Bremen:

The Musicians of Bremen, in Bremen!
The Musicians of Bremen, in Bremen!

Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!

Bremen is a commercial – industrial city, with a major port on the River Weser.

It’s part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region and is with 2.4 million people, he second most populous city in Northern Germany!

Bremen is a major cultural hub and home to historical galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums.

I’ve been to Bremen a few times, but I remember the very first time that I visited. Over twenty (20) years ago…!

Gulp!

I couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!

You can imagine how I felt when I found out that Hamelin from the The Pied Piper of Hamelin fame, actually existed and is based on a true real event….!

Usedom:

These beautiful thatch roofs remind me of England even though, they're actually from Usedom, a Baltic Sea island in Germany!
These beautiful thatch roofs remind me of England even though, they’re actually from Usedom, a Baltic Sea island in Germany!

Usedom is a Baltic Sea island in Pomerania which originally used to be one single island region but since 1945, was divided between Germany and Poland!

About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The other side and the largest city on the island, are part of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship!

The island’s total area is 445 square kilometres (172 square miles). The German part is 373 square kilometres or 144 square miles, and the Polish part is 72 square kilometres or 28 square miles.

With a population of just 76,500 people – 31,500 on the German side and 45,000 on the Polish side, Usedom is the sunniest region of both Germany and Poland, and it is also the sunniest island in the Baltic Sea Region!

I just can’t wait to get a bit of the sea, and a sunny old beach!

ANYTHING ELSE?

We're going to be travelling by train!
We’re going to be travelling by train!

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

And Germany is right in the center of Europe.

It has airports, train stations, bus stations, bicycle stations, cars and every possible means of transport.

I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure so we’re going to be travelling by one of my favourite forms of transport.

We’re going to be travelling by train!

See you next week!

I'm not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them!
Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions, and the great adventures that I’m sure to have, are my very own!

On June 13th, there will be the first Book Launch of Sophie Kinsella, at the British Embassy, in Berlin!

From June 28th – July 2nd, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

Save the Date!

June is going to be dazzling!

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in June, you must be potty!

Watch this space!

Astonishing news! I'm going to the Philippines and I'm organising a Summer European Challenge Campaign. By train!
Astonishing news!
I’m going to the Philippines and I’m organising a Summer European Challenge Campaign.
By train!

Which country have you been to? Which country would you like to visit? What do you think of my Summer European Challenge Campaign!

See you in Berlin.

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