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Europe

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Germany

Every year, when the days get shorter, I get excited for Christmas. The Christmas Market in Frankfurt is one of the highlights of this season, and I can’t wait to get out and have a cup of hot Glühwein.

Usually, the month of December means meet-ups with friends and co-workers at the Christmas Market. Plus, we like to go by ourselves a few times, just to enjoy the lights and look at the various handicrafts.

Even though we’ve lived in Frankfurt for a few years already, we discover new things every time we go. Last winter, for example, I found out that you can get amazing grilled salmon at the market. We have also discovered some of the smaller markets, which are all worth visiting.

Estonia

When we visited Tallinn on our recent trip to the Baltics, we instantly fell in love with the city. The charming medieval building, the cobblestone streets and alleys, all of it was perfect.

Additionally, we found lots of things to do in Tallinn. Unfortunately, we only had three days, but we could easily have spent much more time here. And you know what we loved most? Despite being amazingly beautiful, Tallinn hasn’t made it onto the radar of most tourists yet. That means that you will find far fewer crowds than in other European capitals like Paris and Berlin.

If you’re thinking about visiting Tallinn, then let us give you some advice on the best places to see as well as our favourite travel tips.…

Lithuania

Do you want to climb giant sand dunes, admire blue houses or relax on the beach? Then you should visit the Curonian Spit in Lithuania.

As I already mentioned in our post about the best things to do in Klaipeda, my great-great-grandmother came from this area. After she moved to Bielefeld, at the other end of Germany, she kept talking about how much she missed the beauty of her homeland. And now that we’ve visited the Curonian Spit, I understand what she talked about.

The Curonian Spit is stunning and a reason by itself why you should travel to Lithuania. And it’s easy to get there! No matter if you travel by car or by public transport, here is how to visit the Curonian Spit, how to get around and what to do and see.…

Germany

Are you in Frankfurt and have an extra day? After you explored the city, we recommend you to go on a day trip. One of the towns nearby that we love is Bad Homburg. You can easily spend 1 day in Bad Homburg without getting bored, strolling through the gardens and exploring the castle.

We lived in Frankfurt for two years before we finally visited Bad Homburg for the first time and I regret that we didn’t go earlier. It’s the perfect day trip! Back at the beginning of the 20th century, this spa town attracted visitors from all over the world. The Thai King loved the gardens so much that he gifted two pavilions to Bad Homburg!

These days, you’ll mostly run into local tourists.…

Lithuania

In the late 19th century, my great-great-grandmother took a train from Klaipeda to the other end of Germany, leaving everything she knew behind. She had just divorced her husband and was looking for a job. Back then, the city still belonged to Germany and went by the name of Memel.

With this kind of family background, can you imagine how excited I was to visit Klaipeda? And so was my grandmother, even though she wasn’t travelling with us. But at least, we could send her pictures of where her grandmother had grown up.

I assume that most of you who read this have no family ties to Klaipeda. But do you know why you should still be as excited as me about visiting?…

Italy

One of my favourite things about travelling is discovering all the incredible stories out there. Sometimes they are very personal stories. Sometimes, they are about significant events that changed the world. And sometimes, they are about silly wars started by a petty argument.

That is the case of the infamous War of the Bucket. I heard about that war for the first time when I travelled to Bologna. I was exploring the city when I met some students from the University. They decided to show me the place, and we got along well pretty quickly. We chatted for a while, got dinner (fast food, student life!), and that’s when they told me this fascinating story.…

Lithuania

One of the best trips you can take from Vilnius brings you to Trakai. Located only about an hour from Lithuania’s capital, this is an easy and fun excursion.

Trakai is famous for its castle located on an island in the middle of a lake. It’s also a charming town where you can find a few museums and traditional houses. Altogether, you should expect to spend half a day here. If you leave Vilnius in the morning, you can be back after lunch.

While walking through Vilnius, you’ll see a few tour agencies offering to take you here. Our advice is not to join them and go by yourself instead, using our guide. Not only will you save money, but you can also decide what to see and how much time to spend at each place.…

Europe

Bern is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve had the pleasure to visit. I still remember being amazed at the landscape while peeking from the window of my train. The city itself is also gorgeous, with beautiful buildings, cobbled streets and lovely gardens.

In retrospect, I have no idea why it took me so long to visit Bern. I had been thinking about coming here for many years but it was never feasible. The closest airport was too far away, I didn’t have time or I just decided to go elsewhere. But from Frankfurt, my new home, it was so easy to get to Bern by bus that there was no reason to go anymore.

I absolutely loved Bern! If you haven’t been, I highly recommend that you go.…

Finland

When I was a child, my dad’s friend gave me a book called “Where Santa Claus lives”. I spent hours flipping through the pages, looking at pictures of Santa Claus and his elves. Visiting such a village, where I could meet Santa Claus and his helpers, sounded like a dream to me.

Needless to say that when I heard about the Santa Claus Village in Northern Finland, I knew that I had to go there. A village where it’s Christmas all year long? That sounds like a dream!

We visited in February, when the temperatures dropped to -20ºC and the ground was covered in a meter or more of snow. After taking an overnight train to Rovaniemi, we dropped off our luggage at our guesthouse and took the next bus to the Santa Claus Village.…

Estonia

We arrived in Kuressaare on a stormy day. A storm had just flooded Pärnu and the waves were so high that I felt sick on the ferry. To be honest, I often feel sick on ferries, even when others can’t feel the movement of the ship at all. But that day was grey and stormy and when I went to the deck for a minute, the wind almost blew my hat off.

So you can imagine our first impression of Kuressaare. Rainy, windy and grey. Fortunately, we had booked a room in a spa hotel and could spend the rest of the day relaxing in a whirlpool. The next day was much better. After a bit of rain in the morning, we were left with a whole day of sunshine.…

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