Last week I visited Riga, the capital of Latvia. When I booked the tickets, I thought that I made a terrible mistake but I was totally wrong! The city is fantastic, very cheap and has plenty things to do. Please don’t make the mistake to book a taxi from the airport to your hotel. There’s bus 22 that can take you to the centre of the city in just 30 minutes and with maximum cost 2 euros! I paid 18 euros for a taxi but the driver, that was supposed to wait for me inside the airport, was waiting outside and far away from the arrival section. Anyway, you should definitely visit the Old Town of Riga. It starts from the city hall square. There, you will find the city hall (duh!), the house of the blackheads and then, you can proceed to the main square of Old Town. Top image: Old Town Square.
St Peter’s Cathedral and the House of The Blackheads on the City Hall Square
Then, get lost into the narrow streets of the Old Town. You will find small coffee shops and small pubs. I really recommend the Queen’s pub. Very good prices and delicious burgers. Check the main square of the Old Town (top picture) and then move towards the Independence Monument. There’s a small park near the National Opera. Take some time there and chill at the benches.
Park near the National Opera
Park near the National Opera
I was lucky enough to find out that the day I was there it was the Museum Night, so I could enter many museums for free. I visited the Latvian Parliament even though the line was so long. You can see for yourselves!
Finally, I had to visit St Peter’s Cathedral, in order to see the spectacular view of Riga. The entrance fee is 9 for adults and 7 for students. There’s a lift that takes you 72 meters up and you can see a 360 view of the city.
View of Riga from St Peter’s Cathedral
Impressions: A small city with many capabilities. Some many places to chill, to see and experience the Latvian life. Don’t forget to visit the flea market that exists at the main square of the Old Town. You can find many masterpieces. ;)
Almost all my friends have gone to study abroad for one semester. All of them, said that it’s the time of your life where you can see clearly who’s besides you. That time came for me, too. Just a few days ago, I realized that many of my friends didn’t even text me for some time. Is it because they are jealous? Is it because they think that you don’t have any room in your heart for them any more? Or is it something else? When I realized that whole thing, I felt so lonely. But then, I discussed about it with my friend and she told me that she felt the same way. I guess that even though you’re having the time of your life with your new friends when you study abroad, there are times that you will feel lonely and homesick. Even though you’re surrounded with a lot of new friends.
One small advice: whenever you feel like it, just talk to someone. You never know what the other person thinks. He/she may be lonely, too. :)
After 3 and a half months being in Stockholm, I thought it was time to travel.
So, I booked a 7day cruise. It contained visiting Tallinn (top image: Old Town, Tallinn), Saint Petersburg and Helsinki. I’m not a boat person, neither is my boyfriend, who came with me, but we thought why not?
First stop was Tallinn in Estonia. The truth is that it wasn’t like as I expected it. It was more like a thematic park, showing me how a medieval village was at that time. But I was really impressed when I learnt that Estonia, even though it’s a small country, has some many e-government services. We spent one and a half days there and we got to see the old town and eat the most huge pancake I have ever seen in my entire life.
Pancakes at Kompressor
Next stop: Saint Petersburg! Oh my God that city! When I was a little girl, one of my favorite stories was the one of Anastasia Romanov, the princess of Russia. I always wanted to visit Russia, because of that story and of course because of my father, who says that it’s a pretty beautiful country. And when the chance came up, I couldn’t let it pass me by. We spent almost 2 days there and when we had to leave, I honestly wished to have stayed a little bit longer. We walked around the fortress and visited the Peter and Paul Cathedral, where all the Romanovs are burried.
Peter and Paul Cathedral
Also, we visited the Church of the Savior on Blood, which is the most characteristic thing in Saint Petersburg and of course, the St Isaac’s Cathedral. The day finished with the most perfect way. Limousine tour at night with champagne and several stops, so we can see the night version of the city.
Church of the Savior on Blood
St Isaac’s Cathedral
Finally, we visited the Hermitage Museum, one of the most famous museum in the world. It is inside the winter palace and it definitely worth the visit, even if you’re not a fan of the art as me. Note that everything that seems like gold, IT IS pure gold.
Inside the Hermitage Museum
View from Winter Palace
Final stop was Helsinki, Finland. The city is modern and pretty nice but I have to say, though, that it wasn’t as I imagined.
We spent several hours there and then, we returned back home, at Stockholm. It’s funny that when I think of home, I think of Stockholm. I really missed it, as I was away.
Final thoughts: Tallinn and Helsinki weren’t so impressive as I expected them but Saint Petersburg really took my breath away! I have visited many cities in Europe but that city definitely got into my top 5! And I have to say that I’m a really harsh judge :P
Long time no see, my friends. I got a little busy with school but now I’m back- I mean for good. Recently, a friend from Athens came to visit me and my boyfriend, who lives in Stockholm as well. Basically, in 3 days we had to walk him around and show him “The Stockholm Essentials”.
Let’s begin with parks. We visited the Norra Djurgårdsstaden, as we live at Lappis Campus. It’s really near if you live there, you just have to get into the woods and explore the lakes. We, also, had the chance to see swans and other animals, such as ponnies, rabbits and pigs. It’s a great place if you want to relax. You will understand what I mean. ;)
Then, we went to Djurgården. You can get there by taking the ferry from Slussen, using your SL card or by taking line 7. Honestly, I prefer the ferry because this route is never boring. There, you can find Skansen, the open air zoo of Stockholm, the Vasamuseet, the ABBA museum, the Nordiska Museum and the Gröna Lund, the amusement park of Stockholm. Walk through the island and when you feel tired, sit on a bench and enjoy the view. Then, take line 7 or walk to the centre and get at Kungsträdgården.
View from Djurgården
At the next day, we walked to the City Hall (top image: View from City Hall) to enjoy the beautiful building and of course the view of the sea.
After that, we had to enjoy a sweet from Chic Konditori, which is placed at Mariatorget station, on the red line. Of course, he had to see the view from Monteliusvägen, one of my favorite places in this city. So, we headed there, so he can enjoy a panoramic view of Stockholm.
View from Monteliusvägen
Next stop was Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm and there, you can find the Royal Palace. Enjoy the beautiful, colorful buildings at Stortorget and then, visit Barrels, for the best berger in town. Finally, we visited the Swedish Natural History Museum, known as Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet. If you don’t know it yet, Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet has a free entrance and is located at Universitet Station. If you are into evolution, both animals’ and humans’, you should give it a try.
Day 3 and is the shopping day. So, all we had to do was visit Gallerian, which is a mall at Hamngatan, near Sergels torg, Mall of Scandinavia, the biggest mall in Stockholm, near Solna Station and finally, Kista Galleria, at Kista. As a student at DSV, I spend a lot of my time at Kista Galleria, so I really recommend you to taste both the warm and the sushi buffee at ZAN.
Stockholm has so many places to discover and enjoy. Unfortunately, our friend had only 3 days available and we really tried to show him some things.
Stockholm is one of the city’s that almost every day you get to discover something new. An old-fashioned coffee store, a new park or even a new place to be admire the view of Slussen.
Today I’m going to show a typical strolling around the city.
The day begins at T-Centralen station and the Sergels Torg. Exit from Sergels Torg exit and you will get to the large square of the Swedish Capital. Walk around the square, at Sveavagen, the large avenue of Stockholm. Visit the famous shopping mall Gallerian for some shopping and then get back at the square and find your way through the stairs to the balcony. You just have to admire this view of the area (top image: Sergels Torg view).
On the next stop, you have to visit Slussen. From T-Centralen station you can take the green line towards Hagsätra or Farsta Strand or Skarpnäck and you’re just 2 stations away from Slussen. You can also take the red line towards Fruängen or Norsborg. Again, only 2 stations away from beautiful Slussen. Exit at Södermalmstorg, turn right and just walk until you find a stair. At the end of this stair, there’s the most beautiful scenery of the city, waiting for you. The beautiful Slussen.
Next stop is the Mariahissen. You can get there on feet and just a street above Mariahissen, you get to see one more time the beautiful view of Slussen but in a larger size. For me, it’s the most breathtaking view of the city. Take the advantage and take some really good pictures.
Before you go back to the city centre, I recommend you to visit Himlen Sky bar at Skrapan. You can get there by using the green line and disembark at Medborgarplatsen. The view is just amazing and you have the chance to see Södermalm from a 27floor building.
Södermalm’s view from Himlen Skybar
By the end of the day, when you get back to the city, just walk through Kungsgatan and just enjoy the walk. If you get tired, you can get at the Tunnelbana station Ostermalmstorg, which is on the red line and continue the adventure in another side of the city. ;)