10 (9) CITIES IN EUROPE TO VISIT THIS SPRING

It's almost spring and for many that means some time off work (with all the holidays it brings)! It's probably been a while since you've had some time off so a weekend getaway this spring might be perfect for you. Therefor I made a list of 10 cities in Europe you should visit this spring. Spring can be an amazing time of year, summer is just around the corner and the weather is getting warmer all over Europe, it's the perfect time to explore a new city and a new country! This spring I'm going to Gdansk, Poland so that'll have to be my spring-vacation. Let's get into the list!
 
LIVERPOOL
One of my absolute favorite cities ever! I had never even thought of visiting Liverpool before 2015, when my relative moved there. I thought Liverpool was only for soccer fans and I had no interest in that at all. But when I came to visit I fell in love with the city, I even loved it so much that I moved there in 2016. Liverpool for me has it all, it's a big city but it doesn't feel like a big city, which I really like. There's a beautiful walk to take by the Mersey, fantastic shopping and the locals are lovely. I would love to go back soon! 
 
A beautiful spring day in Liverpool in March 2017.
 
MARRAKECH
I never thought about Marrakech before but recently it has been all over my Instagram-feed! And I'm obsessed! It looks absolutely beautiful with all the colors and patterns. I talked with my mother about Morocco a while ago and she told me she's been there in her 20's and I was so jealous. I had to dig our her photo albums and look at the pictures and even back then it looked amazing. I need to go soon! I wrote this blog post in the middle of the night and I just realised that Marrakech is not in Europe haha. But oh well, it made the list anyway!
 
GOTHENBURG
I of course had to include my favourite city in Sweden, Gothenburg. Gothenburg during springtime is amazing with its open-air cafees, trams and just the over all happy feeling. I love Gothenburg because much like Liverpool it's a big city but it feels small. I haven't been there since the summer 2016 so it is really time to go again soon, hopefully this summer!
 
At the famous amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg in June 2014!
 
VIENNA
Another city that my mother made me jealous about. She went there a couple of years ago and came back with amazing stories and it looked beautiful in her pictures. I've been to Austria several times before but only to skii so I really want to experience another part of the country. I think Easter and springtime is a perfect time to visit Vienna since it can be quite warm during the summer in the middle of a big city. 
 
BRUSSELS
I had planned to go to Brussels this March but unfortunately it had to be postponed. But from what I've seen and heard it's amazing. Can't imagine anything better than strolling around Brussel eating both some Belgian chocolate AND a Belgian waffle haha. I'm ready to pack my bags for a long weekend in Brussels. 
 
MUNICH
Germany! A country I've been to many times but never really seen a lot of. When you live in the south of Sweden you often drive to Germany for one single reason: to buy cheap alcohol. So I've been many times but I have never gotten the chance to explore it as much as I want to. Munich is on top of my list of cities to visit in Germany. Munich is famous for Oktoberfest (a huge beer-drinking party) that lasts for two weeks every year. But Munich is not all about beer but it's also a city with lots of culture! 
 
Picture of Munich by: The Culture Trip
 
KAUNAS
Kaunas and I crossed paths when I was searching for trips for my mothers birthday (we finally decided on Gdansk, Poland and we're leaving on Thursday!!). Kaunas is located in Lithuania and the first city in Central and Eastern Europe as a UNESCO City of Design. In 2022, Kaunas will be the European Capital of Culture, so needless to say it's a city to visit for those who are interested in culture and cultural heritage. Also, I've heard, that Lithuania is a great country to visit if you're interested in visiting a spa. 
 
HELSINKI
Ever since the fellow travel blogger Amanda wrote about her visit to Helsinki I really want to go! I have friends from Finland but it has never crossed my mind to actually go there. It's very close to Sweden so for me it's a perfect weekend trip. Helsinki is also filled with beautiful architechture and culture. As you might have noticed in this blog post that is something I really value when deciding on a destination haha. If you want to know more about Helsinki I recommend that you head over to Amandas blog and read her post about the city. 
 
Picture of Helsinki by: The Masculine Traveler
 
TALLINN
The old town of Tallinn was in 1997 placed on the UNESCOs World Heritage Site, so here we have another cultural city that I would like to explore! It's the capital of Estonia and a city with loads of activities such as biking, spas, markets and gardens etc. So it's a perfect city for a weekend this spring!
 
SOFIA
A super cultural city! With history all the way back to the antiquity! Can you tell I'm excited haha?! Lonely Planet writes "Sofia is no grand metropolis, but it's a largely modern, youthful city, with a scattering of onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and stubborn Red Army monuments that lend an eclectic, exotic feel." Does it not sound amazing? If you are looking for a trip filled with culture; Sofia is the city for you!
 

So, are you now excited to visit some cities in Europe this spring? I am for sure! I'm super excited to visit Poland this weekend since I've never been before! Hopefully, it will be great. I will of course update you on my trip when I get back. But if you want to follow along in real time; don't forget to follow me over on my instagram @strokeofadventure. Hope to see you over there!
 

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HOW TO GET CHEAP FLIGHTS

All of us want to travel for free but that's not really possible. So the next best alternative is to find flights as cheap as possible. But how do you do it? I'm a budget traveller and can't afford expensive flights all around the world and the tips I will share with you now are tips that I use myself and has helped me during my travels. So let's get started. 
 
JUMP INTO INCOGNITO-MODE
 
Before you start searching for flights, open a new window in your browser and make it incognito or "private". This way the websites you visit won't be able to save your searches and remember what you've searched for. Because if a website notice that you search for the same route several times, they will up the price. It can also be a good idea to clear you cache and cookies. 
 
USE A SEARCH ENGINE
 
And by this I don't mean Google or Bing (who even uses Bing??). I mean Skyscanner or Momondo. Skyscanner is my favourite and I even signed up for their newsletter which means that I get an email a couple of times a week with the lowest air fares. Momondo is also great and I've found that sometimes it shows some budget airlines that Skyscanner doesn't. Besides Skyscanner and Momondo I sometimes use Google Flights, I don't really like it and feel like they have a lot to work on but it's great for checking the availability of flights. Google Flights almost never presents the cheapest fare so I wouldn't trust it with that. 
 
READ MORE: HOW TO TRAVEL ON A BUDGET
 
 
FLY OFF SEASON
 
If you fly off season you will not only get a cheaper flight but you will also avoid all the tourists. It's a win-win situation if you ask me. Flights are usually the most expensive during summer when everyone has time off and wants to go on summer holiday with the fam. Christmas and New Years are also very expensive. 
 
BOOK FAR AHEAD
 
Book your flight as early as possible as prices tend to increase the closer to departure you get. A good rule of thumb is to book 1-3 months ahead. When I recently booked tickets to Poland I booked in January and I'm not traveling until April. My ticket was also extremely cheap because of this. You can also do the opposite and wait until the very last minute to book but that's a risk I personally wouldn't take. There might not be any seats left and in worst case senario they're not even that cheap. Bonus tip: Book on a Monday. Most people discuss their travel plans and book tickets during the weekends which makes the tickets more expensive. 
 
BE FLEXIBLE
 
Both with destiantion and dates. In other words don't focus on the destination, focus on the price. Take a look at your budget and think to yourself "where can I go with this money?". It's not realistic that you have $100 to spend on flights and you want to go from Europe to the Caribbean, unless you're extremely lucky. Your budget might take you some other place in Europe. You should also be as flexible as possible with travel dates. If you travel mid-week tickets are usually less expensive since most people travel during the weekends. 
 
READ MORE: HOW TO AFFORD TRAVELING
 
 
SIGN UP TO LOYALTY PROGRAMMES
 
Most airlines have a loyaly programme where you can either collects points or get bonuses in other ways. These bonuses can later be used as payment for flights, upgrades or discounts. I have a EuroBonus card from SAS/Star Alliance which means that I collect points everytime I fly with them. With my EuroBonus-card I also get discounted tickes since I'm under the age of 26. 
 
DO NOT HESITATE
 
If you find a great deal, book it! You can't search forever so if you find a great deal, don't be a fool and "wait a couple of days", your great deal might be gone and you will regret now booking in the first place. 


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10 THINGS TO DO IN COPENHAGEN

I've lived in the south of Sweden for the majority of my life and that means living very close to Denmark. I'm also part Danish and have therefor been in Denmark quite a bit, but mostly Copenhagen and Helsingør/Elsinore. So I thought I would share with you all, whether you're planning a trip to Denmark or not, ten things to do in Copenhagen.
 
1. NYHAVN

Nyhavn, the part of Copenhagen you've probably seen a thousand times on Instagram. With it's colorful, picturesque houses by the harbor it's a very popular destination during the summer. In summer Nyhavn is filled with restaurants with outdoor seatings overlooking the harbor. Nyhavn is also the beginning of most of the sightseeing boats around Copenhagen.

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

2. CHRISTIANIA
 
Christiania is a wild, wild ride. It's a part of Copenhagen that lives by it's own rules and is most famous for being the "hippie" part of Copenhagen. This is a part where people with alternative lifestyles gather. The area used to be a military area but it was abandoned and in the 70s it was occupied by hippies. Christiania has an autonomy based on each individual's responsibility for his own life and home. There are no laws but only few rules in Christiania; no weapons, no violence, no heavy drugs and no buying/selling property. Cannabis is forbidden in Denmark but in Christiania it is not, therefor Christiania is a common place for selling/dealing cannabis. There's even a street, Pusher Street, when you can buy cannabis in little stalls just out in the open. I'm not a advocate for any kinds of drugs but I do find Christiania and the people living there very fascinating. Many believe that Christiania is only a shelter for drug users, but there are at least as many people who express their joy that a sanctuary like this exists. Christiania is perceived by many people as a kind of breath in the big city. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in Copenhagen since it is one of a kind and filled with beautiful art!

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

3. TIVOLI
 
The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen was founded back in 1843 and is still one of the most visited places in Copenhagen. Tivoli is an amusement park in the center of Copenhagen. All the rides are designed to fit Tivoli's old style and it's all very nostalgic! It's very common to visit Tivoli at night and just have a bite to eat in there and take a walk around the park. Tivoli also transform every holiday, so if you want to get an unique visit; visit Tivoli during Christmas, Halloween or New Years.

Picture: The Planet D

4. GLYPTOTEKET
 
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek or more commonly known as Glyptoteket is a very special museum. The museum has two main exhibitions; The Department of Antiquities with Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art and The Modern Department and it also has a beautiful winter garden. It's an amazing museum to visit since the architechture is extremely beautiful! It's also free on Tuesdays or if you have the Copenhagen Card.

Picture: Your Holiday Homes

5. STRØGET
 
Strøget is the main shopping area of Copenhagen with both high end/luxury-stores and budget-stores. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants in the area if you get hungry whilst doing tons of shopping!

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

6. DEN BLÅ PLANET
 
Den blå planet or The Blue Planet in English is is Northern Europe's largest aquarium and has water on all sides and it is suposed to give you the feeling of being under water. There are three big exhibitions; the ocean tank, the Amazonas and the Coral Reef. It's a bit expensive to visit but if you have the Copenhagen Card you have free entrance!

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

7. DEN LILLE HAVEFRUE
 
The original little mermaid! Not really but still. Den lille havefrue was gifted to Copenhagen about 100 years ago by Carl Jacobsen after he watched the ballet of The little mermaid by H.C. Andersen. Den lille havefrue is visited by an insane amount of tourists every year and because of this the statue has been vandalised several times; it's been painted pink and had its head decapitated amongst other things. It's worth a visit if you're nearby!

Picture: Kopenhamn.com

8. CITY TOUR
 
As in every other city I recommend going on a city tour. There is a varaity of free tours and paid tours both by foot and by boat in Copenhagen. You can choose from historical tours, art tours and so much more. I recommend everyone to go on a tour!

9. THE NATIONAL MUSEUM 
 
Denmark's National Museum in Copenhagen has exhibitions from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History. It is located in The Prince’s Palace, built in 1743-44, but since the palace is no longer used by the royal family it is today a museum instead. Denmark's National Museum offers self-guided tours and a Children's exhibition for the little ones! Denmark's National Museum is free for childen under 17 or for anyone with a Copenhagen Card!

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

10. COPENHAGEN BOTANICAL GARDENS

I'm a sucker for botanical gardens, I just love them. So of course Copenhagen Botanical Gardens had to make it to the list. The gardens are located in the centre of Copenhagen and covers an area of 10 hectares and is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses from 1874. The garden has 27 glasshouses. The most notable is the old Palm House from 1874 that is 16 metres tall and has narrow, cast-iron spiral stairs leading to a passageway at the top. There is no entrance fee to visit the gardens so it's definitely worth a visit!

Picture: Visit Copenhagen

AIRPORT MISTAKES & HOW TO AVOID THEM

Airports! A place you either love or hate. Personally, I really like airports, mostly because I really like to sit and watch people. That sounded really creepy but there's something facinating about watching people getting trough their day. When I'm at an airport I like to sit and watch people and try to guess where they're going; business trip or a sunny holiday? I might never know but I really like it! For others airports is just conected to stress. But to help you relieve that stress I present to you common airport mistakes and how to avoid them!
 

 
BEING TOO LATE
 
I know that sometimes unplanned things happen that makes you late but try as hard as you can not to be late to the airport! You don't want to miss a flight and have to reschedule just beacuse you were too lazy in the morning. Rescheduling can be expensive and totally unnecessary if you were on time in the first place. 
 
BEING TOO EARLY
 
The exact opposite of being too late. Being several hours early is just no fun. Yes, it does take some time to get trough security, passport controls and finding your gate but it doesn't take 5 hours. Arrive with a good amount of time to spare, bring a book to read whilst waiting or go grab yourself a meal. You have plenty of time, but you don't have to spend the entire day at the airport. 
 
NOT PREPARING FOR SECURITY
 
Before I started to travel more regulary going trough security was the biggest thing causing me stress (and it didn't help when they checked my bag for drugs on my first ever solo trip to Paris only 17 years old!). Remove your belt, empty your water bottle and pack your liquids in a plastic bag before getting in the security line. I usually travel with a lot of camera gear and electronics such as my laptop and chargers so I try to gather all electronics in the same bag so when it's time for security it's easy to unpack and re-pack afterwards. 
 
 
READ MORE: HOW TO AFFORD TRAVELING
 
NOT CHECKING IN ONLINE
 
Always check in online before arriving at the airport! By doing this you don't have to stand in line to a check-in desk or maschine and will therefor save a great amount of time. By checking in online you usually can choose your seat before all the best seats are taken. Bonus tip: If you are two people flying together, book the window seat and the aisle seat chances are that no one wants to sit in between you and you will have to entire row to yourselves!
 
NOT WEIGHING YOUR BAG AT HOME
 
Overweight baggage can be extremely expensive, make sure you haven't packed too much. Enough said. 
 
Me traveling to Madrid alone back in 2016! I'm glad I've updated my photography skills since then haha!
 
READ MORE: TRAVEL MISTAKES TO AVOID
 
NOT TAGGING YOUR LUGGAGE
 
This goes for both checked luggage and carry-on. If you or the airline accidently lose a bag it's very difficult to get it back if there's no name and/or phone number on it. It's better to be safe than sorry in this case. Also, take a quick photo of your luggage before checking it in, in case the airline lose it, this will help them identify it and get it back to you faster!
 
NOT BRINGING A PORTABLE CHARGER
 
The outlets at the airports are usually already taken so bring your own charger, that way you don't have to rely on the ones at the airport. 
 
NOT TAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO THE AIRPORT
 
Parking your car at the airport is expensive but some airports even charge to get in to the drop-off zone. Save yourself the money by taking public transport to the airport. It's also great because you don't have to remember where you parked your car haha, which is always a struggle for me!
 

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Why you should hike more + 5 easy tips to get you started!

* This post contains affiliate-links. Which means that if a purchase is made via one of my links I earn a small commission and is able to keep providing content for you. Thank you for your support! *
 
Hiking is a favorite of mine and I do it a lot. And now I'm going to try to get you interested as well haha! I love hiking just because of the simplicity, you can hike almost anywhere, you get to be out in nature and it's just very simple! It also just happens to be the only kind of exercise/cardio that I don't hate, so that's very helpful. 
 
So why should you hike more?
 
Well, it's not only a great form of exercise but every hike is a new adventure. On every hike you discover something new and that's something I really like. I always hike without headphones or any other distraction which is just so much nicer than listening to some boring pop-song and not listening to the wonderful sounds of nature. Wow, writing that I realised what a nerd I am haha. 
 
Hiking is also super cheap and more than often FREE! A free adventure?! Who would say no to that?! So while you are saving up for those other amazing adventures you can still explore and discover via hiking. Also, you don't really need anything but a good pair of boots and clothes to fit the weather and you're good to go!
 
When I was younger I didn't really understand the point of hiking but the older I got I realised that it's very relaxing and as a student I can really benefit from that. Between stressing over exams and going to lectures I try to squeeze a hike in to get my mind off things and you should too!
 
READ MORE: How to afford traveling
 
To help you get started with hiking I hereby present to you 5 easy tips to start hiking!
 
1. Invest in a good pair of boots! Although hiking isn't about the gear, you will benefit from a good pair of boots and they will probably last you a long time if you take good care of them. I use the Hanwag Tatra Lady GTX and I'm very satisfied since they are not only warm but also water proof.
 
2. Bring a friend! It's easier to get started if you bring a friend also if you plan to hike together it's harder to bail on eachother since no one wants to be that friend.
 
3. Dress for success! I learned this the hard way, look at the weather forecast BEFORE going on your hike or you might end up very cold or even worse in my opinion very hot. Also bring a rain jacket no matter the forecast, because you never know. 
 
4. Bring water and snacks! Hiking can be tougher than you think so bring water and snacks to be able to make it all the way. Hiking is no fun if you have low blood sugar, let's just leave it at that. 
 
5. Let other people know your hiking! If you are hiking in a remote area please inform a friend or family member three things; where you plan to hike, who you are with and how long you are planning to hike for (if it's a hike during several days). It's better to be safe than sorry in case of an emergency!
 
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Stroke of Adventure is a travel related blog, Instagram and YouTube-channel. Stroke of Adventure was founded with the purpose for me to share my adventures (both big and small), tips and other things related to travel.

SOA is written by me, Mie, and I'm a 20 y/o traveler, student and photographer from Sweden. You can read more about me if you click "About me" in the top menu.

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