Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

Croatia has such a Mediterranean vibe, that you could be in Italy or Austria!

So last week, I continued my writings about Croatia.

C-R-O-A-T-I-A!

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

The Music Producer in Zagreb. Geographically, Croatia is one of the previous communist states!

At the beginning of our journey, I told you that this trip was a family holiday along the coast of Croatia.

We had planned just ten (10) days – three (3) days in Zagreb, three (3) days in Split, and four (4) days in Dubrovnik.

Isn’t it thrilling?

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

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

It was better than I ever hoped.

Yay!

I would love to be able to write loads more about Zagreb, but that would take me months!

So sadly, we have to move on to:

SPLIT

Daenerys Targaryen and her biggest dragon in Game of Thrones!

I absolutely loved Split!

And it seems that I just can’t resist putting in some sort of reference in connection to Game of Thrones.

I’m a freak!

LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia!

It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.

Split is one of the oldest cities in the region and considered to be slightly over 1,700 years old, founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos  in 295 A.D!

It later became the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, otherwise known as Salona, and thereafter, a Byzantine city.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, Split came under the rule of the Croatian kings.

Red Srebrnog Zmaja – The Order of the Silver Dragon
@Maja Homen

In the 12th century, it became a free commune under the Hungarian-Croatian king, and by the 15th century, the medieval free commune was replaced by the Venetian administration until the 18th century!

In the 19th century, Split was entangled with Napoleon and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Italy, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the ex – Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and finally, as an important part of an independent Croatia!

WHY GO TO SPLIT?

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

Split is a great little place.

It’s also the imperial city with a huge palace that was built by the Roman Emperor – Gaius Valerius Aurelius Diocletian – in 295-350 A.D. In fact, the palace is the city of Split!

The transformation of the palace into the town began in the 7th century, and is very Mediterranean in feel and pace.

There are little town squares, al fresco restaurants, palm trees, open-air markets, and classical seating under the arms and guises of historical buildings.

Split in Croatia, isn’t just a town full of old bones and ruins!

Everywhere you move is connected to the historic core, such that the historic town of Split and the Palace, is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site!

Not only that, but I was hugely impressed that Split was not just a town full of old bones and ruins, but that the city is actually growing out of the palace!

Split in Croatia, isn’t just a town full of old bones and ruins!

The market stalls are made from the bricks, the flea-markets are on the promenade, the restaurants are under the huge Roman columns, and the city gates are romantic meeting points, and places where everybody “hangs out!”

There’s a reason that I spend a lot of time travelling to old parts of Europe.

I like traditions.

And I like history.

And I really like the town of Split.

I was in awe!

Gasp!

Myself & Roman soldiers in Split – Croatia!

I even managed to get myself a couple of Roman soldiers!

Book your hotel here!

TAKE ME THERE?

The huge bronze foot of Gregory, Bishop of Nin, in Split – Croatia!

It’s not possible to fly non-stop from Berlin, so we flew with Lufthansa, via Munich on the way in, and Austrian Airlines, via Vienna, on the return leg.

Our outward journey from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Zagreb (ZAG) with a stop-over, took 6 hours and 20 minutes. Our return journey from Dubrovnik with a stop-over, took just 4 hours.

However, you don’t even need to fly, as you can either take a cruise ship in from the Mediterranean States, a ferry from Italy, take a bus-coach from anywhere you like, or simply rent a car and drive from Austria or Slovenia!

Note: There’s a tiny little train station in Split, but it isn’t very regular so you’re better off by road!

Trains aren’t very regular in Split, so you’re better off by road!

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

My husband – The Music Producer – doesn’t like driving on holiday, so we decided to use the coach-bus between Zagreb – Split.

Zagreb – Split was a straight-forward ride, and took 6 hours and 20 mins. Cost: €24.00 per person.

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

It can be a little tight as Split – Croatia is tiny!

Nope!

But it can be a little tight as Split is tiny.

In fact, there were very few tourists around as it wasn’t yet “the season,” and many a restaurant were luring customers in with 10% discounts.

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

Plan well.

Book your hotel here!

Split – Croatia is v. small & receives up to 3,000 guests per cruise ship, in the summer!
I can’t imagine where they would put them, but it won’t be pretty!

Zagreb is the capital city in Croatia, and it’s very small!

Split is even smaller, and receives up to 3,000 guests per cruise ship, in the summer!

I can’t imagine where they would put them, but it won’t be pretty!

Having said that, if that’s the only time that you can travel, don’t let anything get in your way, as most cruise visitors are only in town for half a day, so the evenings will all be yours!

Book your hotel here!

WHAT IS SPLIT LIKE?

Myself at one of the beautiful lakes in Split – Croatia!

It’s lovely!

We were only there for 3 days, but we could have stayed for an extra day, making it four (4).

It’s of historical and architectural interest, the seafood and wine is impressive, and the waters are clean, green-blue, and crystal clear.

You simply can’t go wrong!

I DON’T SPEAK CROATIAN.

There’s no need to talk in Split – Croatia. The pictures can speak for themselves!

Neither do I!

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

Most speak a minimum of three (3)!

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

Besides, everyone pretty much speaks English too!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You don’t have to stay here in Croatia, if you don’t want to!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you really want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Split – Croatia isn’t as cheap as chips, but the seafood is bloody marvellous!

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

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

And the seafood is marvellous!

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

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

Book your apartment here!

Prices are low, but the quality & standard of apartments available in Croatia, is exceedingly high!

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

Prices are low, and the quality and standard of apartments available, is exceedingly high. I’ll write more about it in the next few weeks!

Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your apartment or hotel here!

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

I’ve got plenty. More next week!

You betcha!

Too many to write at the moment.

More next week!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

The best way to see Split – Croatia is to simply walk!

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

Cars are not allowed into the Old Town!

For the day-to-day, the locals used some sort of cart!

The best way to see Split is to simply walk.

We were lucky to get a private customised city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board who paired us with an expert guide called Dino Ivančić.

Our Split-Croatia guide – Dino Ivančić – was lovely & so, so funny!
Image ©london-unattached.com

Dino was lovely & so, very funny!

In fact, Dino is a bit of a local star himself. Not only is he a qualified expert historian, but his Split – Croatia roots (not his hair. Ho! Ho!) go back more than 1,000 years! And he’s a hit with journalists & bloggers from all over the world!

Game of Thrones in Meereen, but really in Split - Croatia!
Game of Thrones in Meereen, but really in Split – Croatia!

I was interested in getting the low-down on Game of Thrones.

I know. I know!

This is where Ser Barristan Selmy was murdered by the Sons of the Harpy, in the streets of Meereen, but really in Split – Croatia!

And he very kindly obliged, showing us not only the Roman remains, but also where bits of the series was filmed.

I was so excited, running around and pointing out where the former Slave-Masters got stabbed to pieces, Grey Worm and the Unsullied got attacked, and Ser Barristan Selmy was murdered by the Sons of the Harpy, in the streets of Meereen!

This is where Daenerys Targaryen locked up her dragons when they became too large to control in Meereen, but really in Split – Croatia!

The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman looked on in gentle despair, but to their credit, listened with enthusiasm as I babbled on, throwing Dino question after question.

About historical culture of course!

We really got a wonderful insight into the people and history of Split, and fantastic guidance around the world heritage that is the Diocletian Palace.

Thank you so much!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Split has nothing at all to do with bananas or a banana split. Yuck!

Split has nothing at all to do with a banana!

MY VERDICT:

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

Split is superb!

It has astonishing culture, and the sea is gorgeous.

Because, Game of Thrones!

And there be Dragons!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Myself at one of the beautiful lakes in Split – Croatia!

All the way!

The city of Split is a living monument, alive and brimming with history.

I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

Where we stayed: Luxury Guest House Roman Horizon – We paid just €45.00 per night however, there was a mix-up in the apartment that we booked, and the apartment that we received. I booked a huge apartment with a communal roof-top terrace, and got a studio instead!

It was border-line uncomfortable for 3 people. I’m still trying to settle our differences on whether the description quoted was wrong, or whether I misunderstood the description!

UPDATE! I’ve sent in my thoughts to booking.com who were great. It seems that some other guests had the same complaint! However, to be fair, the apartment would have been fantastic for TWO (2) people rather than for three (3)!

My recommendation: A great apartment for two (2) people (and a small child) only.

Book your hotel or apartment here!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SPLIT IN CROATIA – BRING OUT THE DRAGONS!

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

This article is not sponsored and even though we received a complimentary city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board, all opinions and the delightful ruins and lakes that we strolled through, are my very own!

In May, I’ll be writing more about Croatia, and visiting Sweden!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in May, you’ll miss all the fun!

May is going to be exhilarating!

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

Watch this space!

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

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

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

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

Have you ever been to Split? Do you like bananas! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

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

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

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How 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

Oranges & Lemons say the Bells of St. Clement’s. Say the ancient bells of Seville actually! Awesome!!

Oranges in Spain!
Oranges in Spain!

So the last few weeks, I told you about our trip to Madrid, but did I tell you that we went to Seville too?!

Seville!

Ah Seville!

Let me just say that our visit to Seville was the first of its kind!

I know!

We were lucky then that one of our blogger friends KemKem and her Italian husband from – Next Bite of Life – very kindly offered to host us while we there.

Thank you so much guys!

The "Tall Young Gentleman" on his birthday, in Spain. Gosh! He's 14 now. Yikes!
The “Tall Young Gentleman” on his birthday, in Spain.
Gosh! He’s 14 now. Yikes!

When travelling to destinations, I don’t make it a part of my trip to particularly follow a festival, on the other hand, I have followed a piece of Art around the world, but that’s another story..!

In this case, not only was it during the birthday of “The Tall Young Gentleman” who happened to be 14 years old (proud mum here!), but it also happened to be the Easter holidays too.

Now I’m not particularly religious, but the people of Spain are, and we happened to be in Seville right slap in the middle of a most important festival.

That festival called Semana Santa, otherwise known as Holy Week or Easter!

But firstly, let’s talk a little about Seville!

SEVILLE IN GLORIOUS ANDALUSIA!

In the middle of the Old Town in Seville.
In the middle of the Old Town in Seville.

Seville is the capital city of Andalusia and was previously known as the Roman city of Hispalis although, according to legend, Seville was founded by Hercules!

Seville has a population of about 703,000 people and is the fourth (4th) largest city in Spain! It’s Old Town is marvellous and is an area of only 4 square kilometres but has three (3) UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.

On the bridge at the Plaza de España in Seville!
On the bridge at the Plaza de España in Seville!

Seville is a river destination leading to the Atlantic Ocean and in fact, is the only river port in Spain! It’s a beautiful city deriving its exotic nature from its Moorish roots and the trans-atlantic trade after the discovery of the Americas, art, literature, and architecture, and the Spanish Golden Age.

I’d always known that Seville was a place of history, but I had no idea how much interest and importance Seville had, and this was revealed by our friends.

They took us on a private tour of a hidden place called the Italica Archaeological Complex.

THE ITALICA ARCHAELOGICAL COMPLEX

Jumping high at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!
Jumping high at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!

Wow!

I had no idea!

I had absolutely no idea that hidden in Seville was the first permanent Roman settlement in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, and the cradle of the emperor Trajan, who was born there in the year 53 AD, and his successor, Hadrian!

If I’d known that a Roman settlement was in Spain, I’d had gone to Seville much sooner!

Mosaics at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!
Mosaics at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!

I mean, my interest was piqued as I’m from Manchester – a Roman civilian settlement called Mancunium in 79 AD. I went to the University of Chester – a Roman fort called Deva Victrix in AD 79. And even my husband from Osnabrück, was born in a city which successfully won the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest against the mighty Roman army, in 9 AD!

It was surely meant to be!

In the gallery of the Amphitheatre at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!
In the gallery of the Amphitheatre at the Italica Archaelogical Complex in Seville!

The Roman city of Italica was established in 206 BC for the soldiers injured in the Battle of Ilipa, and soon became a city of capital importance between 206 BC and 138 AD, after the reign of that most significant Roman emperor – Hadrian – of Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England!

The Italica represented the majesty of the Roman city, clearly visible in the layout of its’ streets, and its’ public and private buildings, which were integrated into an exceptional landscape that was Roman town planning.

All roads eventually, lead to Rome!
All roads eventually, lead to Rome!

Even as a little girl, I had always been impressed by the ingenious of the Romans, and the Italica was no exception!

I mean, there was a Roman amphitheatre, the fully existing tiles of quite a few Roman baths, Roman streets, Roman courtyards, even a House of Birds and a Planetarium.

Astounding!

WHAT SHALL I DO IN THE “OLD TOWN” OF SEVILLE?

 

At the Cathedral in Seville.
At the Cathedral in Seville.

Sadly, we only had three (3) days in Seville and so on our last day, we spent all day and pretty much most of the evening, in the Old Town of Seville. And this is what we did:

  • Use public transport: Our friends lived in the suburbs of Seville, so we took the underground metro into “town.” It was pretty easy to use so we bought one way tickets costing just €1.60 each.
Rafael from Pancho Tours in Seville.
Rafael from Pancho Tours in Seville.
  • Join a free walking tour: I’m a sucker for free walking tours as well as paid tours…! so we contacted a company in Seville called Pancho Tours. Our guide was called Rafael and he was great and rather funny! When it comes to free walking tours, I have my favourites, but it’s always good to mix and match so that everyone gets a free chance, and as many local people as possible, get our custom!
  • Learn about the history of Spain.
  • Go gaga at the fact that Seville has not one (1) but three (3), UNESCO World Heritage buildings!
  • Visit the official tomb of Christopher Columbus, or so they say….!
Drink up. You don't want to be dehydrated!
Drink up. You don’t want to be dehydrated!
  • Drink! Seville is a hot place!
  • For goodness sake, wear a hat and cover yourself with suncream! I’m dark-skinned, but even I wouldn’t mess about with the sunshine!
  • Go all romantic and hire a horse and carriage. Oh go on! You know you want to!
  • Visit the Cathedral.
Hire a horse and carriage in Seville. Go on! You know you want to!
Hire a horse and carriage in Seville.
Go on! You know you want to!
One of the many gorgeous churches and chapels in Seville!
One of the many gorgeous churches and chapels in Seville!
  • Admire the many churches and chapels in the city.
  • Take lots and lots of photographs!
  • Go swimming in the Guadalquivir River.
Hire a rowing boat.
Hire a rowing boat.

 HOLY WEEK IN SEVILLE!

Jesus at Easter. In Seville.
Jesus at Easter.
In Seville.

If you’ve never seen a group of people, in hoods, and walking all over town, you’re in for a shock!

I observed this personally, when I first visited Spain, many, many years ago.

I’m not American. I’m British, but I’ve seen the films and read the history of the atrocities of slavery. And believe me, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all those hooded parades, and people were smiling and playing instruments!

I was shocked!

The Catholic Brotherhood at Easter. In Seville. I was shocked!
The Catholic Brotherhood at Easter. In Seville.
I was shocked!

So this time around, I wasn’t in the least surprised, still slightly uncomfortable mind, when I observed a whole array of hooded people in Seville. In a variety of colours. Some of them children. And many of them members of the Spanish priesthood! I even saw a few of them queuing up to take a bus!

All of this, was a result of Holy Week.

GOLLY! WHAT’S HOLY WEEK ALL ABOUT THEN?

Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla!
Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla!

Well, Holy Week or Semana Santa in Spain, is the annual commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ, celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town, during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.

Phew!

The celebration of Holy Week regarding popular piety, relies almost exclusively on the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities, stemming from the late Middle Ages (1350), to date. Think the Illuminati, Free Masons, etc. Membership is open to any Catholic person, and family tradition is an important element to become a member or “brother.”

Holy Week in Seville is known as Semana Santa de Sevilla and is one of the city’s two biggest annual festivals, the other being the Feria de Abril (April Fair), which follows two weeks later.

Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla!
Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla!

Semana Santa de Sevilla features the procession of pasos, floats of life-like wooden sculptures, scenes of the events of the Passion, and images of the grieving Virgin Mary. Some of the sculptures are of great antiquity and are considered artistic masterpieces, as well as being culturally and spiritually important to the local Catholic population.

Members of the brotherhood can be recognised by the distinctive cloaks and hoods of each procession. The ones we saw had tunics and hoods with conical tips, that were used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. Most of the robes tended to be purple, black and alarmingly, white!

Historically, the robes were widely used in the medieval period for penitents, who could demonstrate their penance while still masking their identity.

Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla! © Peter Turnley/Corbis.
Holy Week, otherwise known as Semana Santa de Sevilla!
© Peter Turnley/Corbis.

After exploring Seville, we noticed a high number of Spanish people smartly dressed and full of excitement.

The women were wearing black dresses with a mantilla which is a black lace, silk veil or shawl, that is worn over the head and shoulders, in a high comb called a peineta, and black shoes. All the men wore suits and even the children were smartly dressed, with practically every girl wearing a Sunday Best dress, tights and shiny patent shoes, and almost every boy wearing a suit, a tie and suede shoes. Honestly, it reminded me of my old independent private school uniform!

We decided to follow them.

They led us back into the centre of Seville where practically every road and side-street was closed to traffic. Chairs were lined across the roads, screens were put up, and TV cameras and stages were set.

Why not climb up the Cathdral Tower, in Seville?
Why not climb up the Cathedral Tower, in Seville?

We wanted to climb to the top of the Tower for the sunset view, but due to security, everything had been closed down, police officers were everywhere, and if you hadn’t got a ticket, you wouldn’t be allowed into the cathedral.

However, I managed to sneak in with the flow of the congregation, and observe a little bit of the ceremony and service, before it got too crowded!

The atmosphere was electric, and the streets were buzzing.

Candles for the procession, at the church in Seville.
Candles for the procession, at the church in Seville.

At one point, we were on the front row of the procession and watched the brotherhood as they held candles and went barefooted, on the warm streets of Seville!

In centuries past, these people would also carry shackles and chains on their feet as self-punishment and penance!

It was all rather interesting but as it began to get dark, we decided to leave the locals to it.

Ah well!

 IS IT WORTH GOING TO SEVILLE?

The bells of Seville.
The bells of Seville.

The city of Seville has beauty, Arabic architecture and both Jewish and Moorish influences. It has brilliant weather and fabulous food. It also has a river to recommend it. And bells!

Seville is pretty awesome.

And you heard it here first!

Spanish monuments of yore!
Spanish monuments of yore!

This article isn’t sponsored and the fruity time that I had in Seville, is my very own!

In the summer I’ll be going to Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and possibly Russia!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on Britain!

Sometime between now and May 1st, I’ll be visiting the interactive exhibition Discover Mexico or Entdecke Mexiko taking place on Washingtonplatz. It’s free to the public. Go see!

On April 18th, I’m going to be interviewed by a German TV station, about the 5th wedding anniversary of our very own William & Kate!

On April 21st, Queen Elizabeth II will be 90 years old. Hurrah! Ra! Ra!

To celebrate this most prestigious event, I’ll be attending a Gala Show Celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday. A Dinner for the Queen performance at the Wintergarten Varieté in Berlin with the talented Jack Woodhead and “a hint of gin and tonic!”

It’s going to be ridiculously exciting, so you’d better hurry up and get your own ticket!

April 23rd will mark William Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death with a very special event – Shakespeare Live! From the RSC in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, hosted by David Tennant! There will be live broadcasting all over the world and Berlin is going to be one of the lucky cities. Yay!

On April 27th, I’ll be attending STRICTLY STAND-UP – The English Comedy Night Show!

I can hardly stand it!

Berlin is going to be so much fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you must be bonkers!

Watch this space!

Oranges & Lemons say the ancient bells of Seville actually! Awesome!!
Oranges & Lemons say the ancient bells of Seville actually! Awesome!!

Have you ever been to Seville? Would you choose an orange or a lemon?

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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