7 THINGS TO DO ON KOS

Hi guys! It's been a hot minute since I posted here but I'm trying to move my blog to my own platform but between working full-time and dying from the heat here in Sweden it's taking a while. But today I'm back with the first proper post from Kos. Finally! Kos was an amazing island and if you're looking for adventure I would recommend Kos! If you are planning to go to Kos soon (or in the future) this is the right post for you. Here are 10 things to do on the island of Kos!
 
1. RENT A BIKE
 
This is a must! Everyone rents a bike on Kos and you will understand why. The island is quite small and if you're staying in Kos town the easiest way to get around is by biking. There are bike roads all over Kos. So rent a bike and explore your surroundings! We payed €18 for the entire week.
 
2. THERMA BEACH
 
One of our favourite places to visit was Therma beach. Therma beach is a beach up in the mountains with hot springs! And amazing snorkelling! We didn't swim in the hot springs (because it was TOO HOT in the middle of summer) but we swam outside in the ocean. Because of the hot spring water running out into the ocean there's plenty of fish hunting for fish in the area so it's perfect if you like snorkelling. It is possible to bike there but beware that it's on the other side of a mountain and that you will have to bike over the mountain. We biked there and were fine but you can also take the local bus, rent a car or a buggy for the day. 
 
 
 
3. TRY THE LOCAL FOOD
 
We tried to find as many restaurants as possible that were mostly visited by the locals instead of eating at the tourist restaurants. Our rule of thumb was: if they got pictures of the food on the menu. It's bad. We were right every single time. My favourites were Alla ki alla, Never on a sunday and Ali! 
 
 
 
4. RENT A BUGGY FOR A DAY
 
One of the most fun things I have EVER done was driving a buggy around the island! It was so much fun. We rented the buggy for an entire day and drove to so many different locations that we would've missed otherwise. We checked out different small villages, beaches and we even drove up in the mountains. I believe we payed around €50-60 for the entire day + some gas. It was totally worth it!
 
 
5. GO TO ZIA

Zia is a small village up in the mountains and the view from up there is amazing. We were recommended to watch the sunset from up there but unfortunatley we didn't for various reasons, but I would believe it's stunning! From Zia you can also hike up even further in the mountains as there's a nature reserve. We were planning on hiking up but realised that it would be dangerous in the hot sun as it was almost 35°C during our week on the island. Pro tip: Go to Zia on a Sunday! There are no local buses or tourist buses to Zia during Sundays but everything is still open = no tourists and you will have the small town to yourselves!
 
 
6. SCUBA DIVE

I did my first ever scuba dive on Kos and began taking my certificate! So I will never not recommend it when I talk about Kos haha. Kos has a lot of wildlife and a lot to see. At one dive site we did not only see plenty of fish but also ceramics and antiquities from veeeeery long ago! So long ago that the authorities in Greece made it illegal to touch or swim near them. If you have the opportunity to scuba dive, I recommend that you do!
 
 
7. GO TO TURKEY

If you're staying in Kos town there are several daily ferries to Bodrum in Turkey! So why not make the most of your vacation and visit two countries at the same time. From Kos town to Bodrum it takes only 45 minutes. If I visit Kos again, I would totally do it! We were planning on going but ran into some major problems. I explain it more in the video below. Make sure to watch it so you don't make the same mistake...
  

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FIVE WAYS TO BE A TOURIST IN YOUR HOMETOWN

I grew up in several places but the small town of Landskrona in south of Sweden with approximately 30,000 inhabitants is what I call my hometown. You might have grown up in a similar town and still live there or like me; moved away. I realised after I moved that I really don't know that much about my actual hometown. So everytime I go home to visit my parents I try to explore a bit. Right now I'm home for a couple of days before I head off to Greece so I decided to make the most of it and explore something new whilst I'm here. I can't be the only one that sucks at exploring my hometown, are you the same? So to boost your interest in your hometown here are five ways to be a tourist in your hometown. 
 
#1 Visit the local museum 
Almost every town has some sort of a museum with history of the said town. I have visited the local museum in my hometown several times and it has really given me more understanding of the history of my hometown. It also made me feel closer to my relatives and ancestors since I can now understand what it was like for them to grow up in the same town as me. Many local museums also have free entry!
 
 
#2 Go on a city tour
As I wrote in my guide to Copenhagen; I recommend everybody to go on a city tour. You might think that it sounds boring and that you already know everything about your city. But I bet you don't. Last summer me and my parents did a tour around the castle in Kalmar (where I live now) and even though I lived in Kalmar for quite some time now, I learned a lot! Next time I come home to visit I hope to have some more time to do a tour around my hometown. 
 
#3 Stay at a local hotel
Have you ever stayed at a hotel in your hometown? Probably not. Get the whole tourist experience by acting like a tourist. Get a room or rent a local AirBnB even if it's just for a night! 
 
 
#4 Get outdoors!
If you really want to be a tourist in your hometown you can't stay indoors. Get outdoors and do things that your hometown offers. Does your city have mountains or amazing nature? Go on a hike or rent a MTB and explore the surrondings for a day. It doesn't have to be expensive or in the city centre. 
 
#5 Take photos
You can't be a real tourist in your hometown if you don't take cheesy tourist photos in front of tourist spots. Bring a friend and visit all of the tourist spots in your city. Don't miss out on them just because you happen to live in that city. 
 
 
I hope this inspired you to get out and experience your hometown as a tourist! I know I'm definitely going to make a better effort to experience my hometown and my surroundings. I realised whilst looking on my harddrive for photos of Landskrona that I don't have a lot, I need to get out and shoot my hometown more often! It would be fun if you would like to share ways that you explore your hometown in the comments! Now I'm going to move on to packing my last things for Greece, can't wait to go. Hope you've had a great weekend! 
 

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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

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