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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
The 201-room Nobis Hotel in Stockholm sits on Norrmalmstorg Square and is in close proximity to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. It houses a restaurant and a bistro, offers good service, and it’s a pretty good-looking building. The rooms are modern (automated check-in, free Wi-fi) with mellow colors like mauve, creme, and mahogany, and many of them look out over the Square. While these are all reasonably interesting details about the hotel, its most notable attribute has more to do with history. Read more
Looking to expand your travel horizons this summer or fall? We’ve got the deals for you. From Bonaire to Bali to Bulgaria, travel outside the usual domestic or Caribbean destinations and head somewhere truly special this season – and still save in the process. Read more
Even if the cold doesn’t bother you, the trouble with winter is that nightfall arrives sooner than most of us would like it to. There is however, one good reason to venture out into the frigid winter air during the darkest months of the year: the Northern Lights. Also known as aurora borealis or the “northern dawn,” this electrical phenomena is approaching a peak period that will last until about 2016. In other words, if you haven’t seen this shimmering display before, the odds of catching a glimpse in the next few years are higher than usual. Clear skies on or around the spring equinox (March 20 in 2013) will up your chances even further. And for travelers planning a trip to see the aurora, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks helpfully posts a forecast online. Read more
I arrived in Stockholm for what would be the start of a seven-week journey through Europe. I figured I would start up north and make my way to warmer climates in the days ahead. Stockholm in summer is terrific because the days are long and the way the sun hits the city makes its colors come alive.
However, when planning a summer trip to Stockholm, it is important to bring along some sweaters and a jacket. I have made this mistake before in packing shorts and t-shirts thinking the Baltic countries are just like the rest of Europe. Not so. The weather can be quite rainy and cool, so be prepared.
Stockholm can best be summarized as civilized. In my opinion, Sweden is probably the most civilized country in the world. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful. And unlike in some cultures where they are friendly and, rather than not give you any information, they sometimes give you wrong information, the Swedes are very precise and accurate. I grew to love this in my five days exploring the city.
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