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Train travel is a great way to get around on vacation, especially if you want to slowly immerse yourself into a destination. Sure, flights are often quicker if you’re traveling to multiple cities, but the train offers better views and allows you to forgo the hassle of airports and security lines. That’s exactly why on a recent trip to scenic Scandinavia, we opted to take the slow route — and have returned with tips to make the most of your train experience in the region.
Stockholm gets all the attention from travelers, thanks to its chic cafes and trendy restaurant scene. But those in the know are heading out west to Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg, that’s equal parts university town and seaside retreat. Known as the Gateway to the West Coast, it’s the perfect starting point for sailing trips past thousands of islands and fishing villages along the coastline leading up to the Norwegian border. While Scandinavians make their way here during the summer holidays — renting homes along the coast — the city itself is a mecca of culture for travelers from all over. Most times of the year, you can spend a few days roaming in the city before heading to one of the nearby destinations. We set off exploring the city center by foot and tram to find out where the locals eat, play, and party — while still living on a budget.
Famous for clean Scandinavian style — as well as high prices — Stockholm rarely tops bargain shopping lists. But this sophisticated city boasts a number of discount shops and design rooms that locals head to for bargains. Check out these five Swedish shopping favorites and you’ll discover that it’s possible to score chic design pieces without getting too spendy.
It’s not often that you sleep soundly on a Boeing 747. Even less common is stretching out, relaxing, and enjoying a few beers, fresh cookies, and a satisfying shower while you’re at it. But such homely comforts are exactly what you’ll find at Jumbo Stay hostel, a converted 747 aircraft (formerly operated by TransJet) that now sits on a runway on the outskirts of Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
As tourism destinations, many major cities across the globe — New York and Paris, Stockholm and Sydney — are certainly monumental or historical or beautiful or all of the above. What they often aren’t, however, is cheap. The good news is that if you’ve got your mind set on visiting any of these metropolises, you can often find free activities to enjoy when you’re there. We’ve built a list of museums, cultural events, and even transportation that won’t cost you a thing in 10 notoriously pricey locales.
Why sleep in a concrete-and-glass building when you can stay in a vintage trailer, a Boeing 747, or even in a wine barrel? These quirky hotel concepts are totally refreshing — and they give obsolete spaces a sustainable second life.
Swiss Air Lines is offering some good fares to a number of European cities for the fall and winter, but you will have to make your mind up quickly as the sale ends at midnight tonight. If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to make a spontaneous booking, take a look at our handy checklist. Otherwise, you can book through our Travel Search tool, or visit the airline’s web site directly.
After a year-long absence from Eurail’s Select Pass program, France officially returned to the network last month, becoming the 27th participating European country. (Other changes: Eurail has chosen to do away with passes that allow travel between three and five pre-selected countries, in lieu of a four-country pass only.) To celebrate, we’ve put together three wanderlust-worthy itineraries for taking advantage of the newly revamped program.
Whether established as a joke, to make a political point, or purely by accident, these 10 micronations across the world show that, if you don’t like your own country, you can just go ahead and start your own. Of course, like all of the ones we’ve listed, yours might never be recognized as a real nation, but you may not mind.
Visit our slideshow to learn about the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, The Empire of Atlantium, a dictatorial banana-republic in Nevada, and more.
Sweden’s capital may have a reputation for being expensive (restaurant prices are 15 percent higher than in New York), but those who live in the city full-time know how to hang onto their Krona. Here are some tips on low prices go, straight from the mouths of in-the-know locals…
If you’ve ever dreamed of splashing around with dolphins, Flipper-style, singing with crabs like a certain redheaded mermaid, or simply like the sound of “sleeping with the fishes,” then here are eight epic hotels that bring you as close to the deep blue as you’ll ever get.
Pemba Island, Zanzibar
What if you could book your own, private island? Well… you can, kinda. Essentially a three-story, private, floating island in the midst of the Zanzibar archipelago, The Manta Resort (from $900 per night) features everything from a perfect sunbathing deck, open-ocean swimming, and a bedroom submerged 13 feet below the ocean.
If you’ve been entertaining the idea of a warm, sunny Caribbean getaway to reward yourself for making it through winter (hang in there, we’re almost in the clear!), here’s something to make you reconsider: Norwegian has just launched a “Nonstop Europe” sale with one-way flights starting at $201 to top urban spots like Copenhagen, London, Stockholm, and more. This is easily one of the best flight deals to Europe that’s currently available. Read more
Norwegian, the third largest low-cost airline in Europe, is celebrating its new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners with some crazy low rates. The new aircraft will be flying nonstop between Stockholm and New York’s JFK Airport three times a week, and round-trip fares are going for as low as $391. For less than the cost of a West Coast getaway, a trip would be worth it even for just a long winter weekend.
If you’ve been following FX’s current cross-border crime drama, The Bridge, you might not know that the show is actually a remake of a joint Swedish/Danish series based on a border in the Øresund Region. The region, which encompasses the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, is truly binational. Many residents commute back and forth across the five-mile Øresund Bridge that connects the two cities for work or play. Tourism boards tout the area as a “two nation vacation,” highlighting the ease of crossing between the two countries – you don’t even need a passport, though you do have to change currencies.
If you’re in Copenhagen with a day (or a few) to spare, we have some tips for what to do in Malmö, the city on the other side of the bridge. Read more
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