EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

50 Awesome Travel Products You Can Buy on AliExpress For Less Than 20$

You have probably heard about AliExpress. In case you didn’t, it’s China’s largest online retail service. What makes AliExpress unique? You buy directly from a manufacturer so the prices are…

You have probably heard about AliExpress. In case you didn’t, it’s China’s largest online retail service. What makes AliExpress unique? You buy directly from a manufacturer so the prices are considerably lower. Another great thing about AliExpress is that most products have free or very low shipping costs.

Truth be told, there’s a lot of junk on it. It takes some time to carefully select good items and another drawback is that parcels sometimes take a month to arrive.

I’ve mostly bought photography accessories from AliExpress. For instance, the remote control shutter release for a Nikon camera cost me 1.49$. The same thing in the store was 20$.

If you don’t mind waiting, you can find some really good deals there.

In this post you’ll find 50 awesome travel products you can buy on AliExpress for less than 20$.

So let’s start.


500ml Watter Bottle


Daily Backpack


Denim Daily Backpack


40L Travel & Hiking Backpack


Portable Cosmetic Travel Bag


Thermos Cup


Transparent Toiletry Bag


Women Travel Makeup Case


Travel Bag


Storage Bag for Electronics


Tactical Pen


Mini Portable Electronic Scale


RFID-blocking wallet


DSLR camera backpack


LENS cleaning pen


Portable Camera Tripod


Vintage Camera Strap


Universal Camera Lens Cap


DSLR Camera Lens Dust Blower 


GoPro Shutter Pistol Trigger 


Wireless Home Security Camera


GoPro Accessories Bag 


Travel Notebook


Genuine Leather Passport Cover


Titanium Multifunctional Swiss Knife 


Wireless Headphones 


Inflatable Neck Pillow


3 Pcs/Set Unisex Nylon Packing Cubes


Classic Umbrela


Universal Travel Adaptor


ROCK Odin Series Power bank 5000 Mah


6 ports USB charger


Microfiber Towel 


Padlock 


Sleeping Mask


Luggage Tag


Travel Door Alarm 


Universal Macro Lens Kit


Humidifier


Wireless Bluetooth Speakers


Multi-Purpose Tarp


USB Flash Drive


Camping Hammock 


Earplugs 


Facial Mask


MacBook Air Case 


GPS Tracker 


IRONX Lunch box 


Micro SD Card 


Flashlight 

You can also check EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide in which I list all gear I personally use.

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Bitemojo Food Tour – Step Into Prenzlauer Berg Neighbourhood

There are many approaches to experiencing a city – and no wrong ones! Places are like people, they have many layers to them. The surface of the city doesn’t paint…

There are many approaches to experiencing a city – and no wrong ones!

Places are like people, they have many layers to them. The surface of the city doesn’t paint an accurate portrait of its persona. There are cities that I thought I’d enjoy immensely for their architecture or interesting history. However seeing them in person, they fell flat. Likewise there are also cities that are deemed ugly or boring but once you get to know the culture, the secret spots, the people, suddenly you’re in tune with the city’s newfound vibrancy.

One of the cities that keeps calling to me is definitively Berlin. Our affair started a year ago. I first visited Berlin in October, 2016. Like all first comers I ticked off all major touristy sights. I visited some of the finest museums Berlin had to offer (and they have a lot to offer – over 10 museums)! I got to hang out with Berliners in Kreuzberg, do beer yoga (it’s fun as it sounds), try tasty German brews and dance the night away in Berghain. Like most cities it was only scratching the surface.

The second time I visited was exactly a year later, October 2017. Through my conversations with the locals (their English is impeccable by the way) I found out what I was missing out on! Food!

Yes, I tried everything that street carts have to offer! Donner, currywurst and to be fair, ten other types of wurst. Much as I enjoy street food, I decided that I need to expand my menu.

One of the things that makes Berlin such a great city is that it’s so culturally diverse. So I wanted to experience that diversity through my favourite medium, food.

I’ve been told that Prenzlauer Berg has a serious food scene.

PB neighbourhood, I was told that it’s like Kreuzberg but for young families (also former residents of Kreuzberg). Due to being a much gentrified district and as such, a perfect scene for a cafés & eateries. It’s a big mix of scenery. From colourful boutiques, green oases, interesting shops, a JR mural (and other great examples of street art) to a wide range of eateries.

Hence I booked a food tour through an app called Bitemojo. I never did a tour through an app so I was curious how the whole process would look like.

The only thing you need for this tour is an empty stomach and a smartphone! The tour costs 25 euros, and for that price you get 6 delicious bites & 6 hidden gems of Prenzlauer Berg.

How Does Bitemojo Food Tour Work:

  1. Download the Bitemojo app
  2. Choose a Tour to Your Fitting
  3. See at what time the tour is available
  4. Get to the starting point and enjoy!

Prenzlauer delivered. The tour took me to six different restaurants all specializing in different types of cuisine.

Ataya

bitemojo food tour

First one was a small restaurant offering some of the best vegetarian/vegan cuisine in Berlin. The owners are a lovely couple from different cultural background. She is from Cagliari, Italy and he is from Dakar, Senegal. As a result, the food they create is a harmonious fusion of influences from both continents.

My first bite was ravioli! A perfect example of the African-Italian fusion. The recipe was inspired by the cuisine of Sardinia (as their tomato sauce), but the couscous is Senegalese. From dough to the sauce – everything is homemade!

Pasticceria Mangiarte

bitemojo food tour

Next stop was my favorite, Pasticceria Mangiarte. The owner Ivan hails from Taranto, Italy. He’s a baker and a painter – and I certainly agree, that his pastries are masterpieces. I had a bigne with Chantilly cream and an espresso to accompany it with. The Chantilly cream melted in my mouth.

bitemojo food tour

I had to order some other delicacies and I tried some type of delectable pastry with passion fruit. It was divine, a truly religious experience. The prices are really reasonable (a piece was 1 euro!) and everything, and I mean everything is homemade. Every batter, filling, glaze and cream!

The Panini Shop

the Panini Shop

Another business owned by a married couple! A panini shop, the only store in Berlin that specializes in paninis only! Next to classic Italian paninis they offer their own recipes too.

I had their Sweet Chicken on sesame bread and some orange juice. The bread was evenly toasted, the salad was crunchy and not soggy from the sauce (which I hate when happens with paninis) and chicken was perfect. It was delicious. My friend had the Burger panini which was even better. Their menu offers a really nice selection, and for dessert you can get some cookies too.

Neue Liebe

Neue Liebe cafe

I finished the tour at a cosy café. It offers freshly baked vegan cakes.

I had a slice of lemon bread with a great cappuccino. It was served with pomegranate. It was a great place to end the tour. The atmosphere is very chill and intimate. Perfect place to wind down.

Sightseeing in Prenzlauer Berg

When you’re navigating your way between these amazing eateries, you’re discovering the neighbourhood around you. The map that takes you to your next bite also informs you about the sights that you’re passing by. From Zeiss Planetarium, specialized Swedish candy shop ‘Herr Nilsson Godis’, Helmholtz Square and many other interesting gems off the beaten path.

Prenzlauer Berg

The tour offers all in all 6 bites, but alas I didn’t have luck because two of the places that were on my map were closed that day. But Bitemojo food tour is very fair and offers you Bitecoin (very clever name) to exchange for a bite at another restaurant of your choosing in Berlin. They have a large list of venues where you can go for a bite! Bitemojo keeps your unused bites valid for 6 whole months!

Blumen

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to drop by Berlin again in next 6 months! 🙂

There are a lot of advantages to doing a tour like this. You get to start at what time you want, you can take as much time you wish at a restaurant without feeling like you’re holding up the group.

Neue Liebe

On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a solo traveller. When I travel alone, I like doing group tours because it usually leads to meeting interesting people that later on you can hang out with for a few hours or go for drinks!

If you’re wondering what to do next in Berlin, check out our guide here.

 

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90+ Travel Resources for LGBT Travelers in Europe

Check out EuroTribe’s essential travel resources for LGBT travelers in Europe, which include the tools and suggestions on safety, accommodation, things to do and more! Pre-trip inspiration LGBT Travel Blogs…

Check out EuroTribe’s essential travel resources for LGBT travelers in Europe, which include the tools and suggestions on safety, accommodation, things to do and more!

Pre-trip inspiration

LGBT Travel Blogs

People love checking travel blogs for inspiration, planning, and great local tips before their travels. This is especially true for LGBT travelers, who are in need of safety tips and destination guides. Luckily, there are so many great LGBT travel blogs out there. Here are some really good (and famous) LGBT travel blogs;

Travels of Adam
Two Bad Tourists
Nomadic Boys
Globetrotter Girls
Dopes on the Road
Gastro Gays
Minka Guides
MANCHIC

LGBT Websites

Out Traveler is perhaps the only LGBT website dealing with gay travel exclusively. Travel Gay Europe is another great resource for gay travelers. It has a comprehensive guide to almost every European country and recommendations on hotels, bars, nightlife, and events. A small section is dedicated to news. The other websites on the list are quite famous LGBT resources. They mostly cover news, entertainment but sometimes there are travel related topics too.

Out Traveler
Travel Gay Europe
Advocate
AfterEllen
autostraddle
PRIDE
LGBTQ Nation
Huffington Post Queer Voices
Daily Extra
Gay Cities
New Now Next

LGBT Travel Guidebooks

Damron Guidebooks are the most popular in this category and they exist since 1964. They have an extensive listing of gay-friendly business around the world, including the tips and a yearly calendar of events. There’s also another popular guide – Damron Women’s Traveler, which covers exactly the same things as the men’s one. European destinations they cover include Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Dublin, Barcelona, Sitges and more.

Spartacus Guide publishes its gay guide annually and it has more than 900 pages of useful travel info for gay and bisexual men. They also publish a Berlin Gay Guide.

Lonely Planet guides also have an LGBT section with safety tips, best gay venues, and other helpful advice.

Magazines and Newspapers

There are plenty of LGBT magazines online and in print. The most famous ones are OUT (gay and lesbian travel, fashion and culture); Curve (lesbian magazine), Passport Magazine (lots of tips on travel) etc. Check out the expanded list below!

OUT
Curve
Passport Magazine
Hello Mr.
Gay Letter
Jarry Mag
g3
HISKIND
SIEGESSÄULE (Berlin Queer Magazine)

IGLTA

IGLTA is one of the most important global resources in the LGBT tourism industry. You can find tips on whatever you are looking for- from accommodation providers, airlines, cruises, health and fitness, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators and more. They have suggestions for destinations across the globe and a calendar of events that you can filter by audience or type. IGLTA’s partners are strong supporters of LGBT rights.

NGO’s

Eastern Europe is still falling behind when it comes to LGBT rights, compared to their western counterparts. In some places, it may be more difficult to find suggestions on queer culture and nightlife for example, so NGO’s are your best bet. You can send them an email to check what’s the safety situation like or ask for suggestions on cultural events, meetups or nightlife. Not sure where to look for? Fear no more as here’s a list of LGBT rights organizations in Europe.

Planning your trip

MFA Website

Checking your country’s MFA website should be the number step during every trip preparation. There you’ll find the most up to date information on the country you are visiting, visa regime and safety tips. Not every MFA website has info on LGBT safety and tips but another great resource is Equaldex which shows Equality Index for every country in the world.

LGBT Friendly Accommodation

Many accommodation booking providers have LGBT sections on their sites, and they showcase LGBT-welcoming hotels, apartments, and activities. Some of the notable LGBT friendly accommodation providers are;

Expedia
misterb&b
Trip.com
Airbnb
Rainbow World Hotels
Purple Roofs
Further a Field
Hilton
Hyatt
Hotels.com
Orbitz

You may also be interested in how to find cheap accommodation in Europe.

LGBT Cruises

Some people love LGBT cruises while some hate them. Yet, LGBT cruises are one of the biggest contributors to the LGBT tourism in general and they offer travelers a friendly atmosphere and security that might be more difficult to find elsewhere. If you need inspiration, here are some companies which are famous in the cruising world;

Olivia
Atlantis
Source Events
The Cruise
Emerald Waterways

LGBT Tour Operators

If you are not a fan of cruises or independent travel, you can check out some of the tour operators below.They offer anything- from city breaks to beach holidays and physically demanding adventures.

Out Adventures
Pied Piper Travel
32 Travel
Pride World Travel
Brand G Vacations
HE Travel
DETOURS
Oscar Wilde Tours
IGNAS Tour
Gay Sail

LGBT Tours in Europe

There are many specific tours dealing with LGBT culture in Europe and it’s also fairly easy to find one. Your best bet is to google for LGBT tours in your destination and find the most suitable one. However, if you need some suggestions you can check out some of the tours below;

Prague4gay
Tenerife Les Friendly
Italy Gay Travels
Quiiky
Rainbow Gay Tours
The Gay Locals Paris
LisbonBeach Tours
Piers and Queers Tours
Pink Iceland

At The Destination

Dating Apps

Whether you want to make friends or hook up with someone, dating apps can help you with that. You can meet local people (use common sense of course!) or get recommendations on LGBT happenings in your destination. Grindr is the most famous app for gay men, while lesbian/bisexual women usually use Tinder and HER which is only available in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Grindr
Scruff
Jacke’D
Tinder
HER

Networking Groups

Couchsurfing is a famous travel social network platform. LGBT travelers can utilize the website’s many groups to find like-minded people and things to do. One of the biggest is Queer Couchsurfers group. You can also look for destination specific groups. Meet Up is another great social network website that can help you find and join groups you like, based on your interest and values.  Facebook Events is another helpful (and most easily available) tool that can help you find parties, cultural happenings, meetups etc.

Couchsurfing
Meet Up
Facebook
Lesbians Who Tech
Out in Tech

LGBT Parties in Europe

Parties can also be easily found with a simple Google search but here are some of the Europe’s most famous ones.

Gay Spring Break Sitges
Barcelona Pride
Circuit Festival
We Party Festival
La Demence
Italy Gay Summer Pride
Hot Season Festival
Rainbow Reykjavik
Pink Week Slovenia
XLSIOR

Anything missing? Feel free to comment below!

Featured photo: The Castro by karendesuyo on Flickr (under CC BY 2.0)
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10 Alternative Places in London And What They Offer

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums? Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do…

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums?

Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do all the touristy things. But to really get a feel for the place, you need to find places where the locals love to frequent. Sometimes we all need a bit of quietness and don’t want to be surrounded by big crowds with selfie sticks.

When you start frequenting the more alternative places in London (or in any other city that you visit) is when the real fun begins. This is the reason why I compiled my list of the more alternative places in London!

Freud’s Museum

Freud Museum

Photo: Freud Museum by Matt Brown on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

You can tell a lot about a person by their apartment. When you step into the Freud Museum,  you step into his home. Therefore you get a chance to peek into the private space of world’s most famous psychoanalyst.

After fleeing from the Nazis, Sigmund Freud and his family made Hempstead their new home. In this house, he has produced some of the most noteworthy works in the field of psychology. Everything in his Hempstead home remained the way he left it. The interior was decorated due to the help of Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter.

You can see the waiting room, his study, and the famous couch! The museum offers an all-around insight into his cultural environment much as the trajectory of the development of psychoanalysis.

2. Barbican Conservatory

Photo: Barbican Conservatory by Sascha Pohflepp on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London. The building is also one of the finest examples of brutalist architecture, therefore, an interesting choice for a conservatory. One of the things that makes it special, is that this little green oasis is hidden in the midst of London. It houses over 2,000 species of tropical plants, trees and various exotic fish. If you want to be surrounded by tranquillity and escape the crowds of London – this is the perfect hideout.

It has amazing exhibitions and workshops throughout the year, so keep an eye out for interesting events.  The only downside of this place is that it’s only open on Sundays!

3. the Indian YMCA

Lamb curry

Photo: Lamb curry by pelican on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

By all accounts, the Indian YMCA is an institution. They’ve existed around 60 years and during all those years they’ve created an impeccable reputation and they uphold it to present day.  So what do you get at the Indian YMCA? The best and most affordable Indian food in all of London.

Notoriously known for their curries (they offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options). Everything is cooked home-style and spiced accordingly. A number of different dishes, all with rich aromas and low prices. Consequently, you will definitely find yourself coming back during your stay in London.

4. Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf

Photo: Trinity Buoy Wharf by k_tjaaa on Flickr (under CC)

First of all, Trinity Buoy Wharf was just another engineering establishment (iron buoys). Since the late ’90s, it transformed into another center for the arts and creative hubs. What makes Trinity Buoy Wharf a fascinating place?

It is the origin of Container city and home to London’s only lighthouse!

Container City is a new model of eco-friendly building design! Recycled shipping containers are used as living and working quarters. The Container City now counts over 70 containers. In addition to being good for the environment seems like it’s even more beneficial for your wallet!

London’s only lighthouse is interesting due to its unusual purpose. Jem Finer developed a musical composition that has been played since the 31st of December 1999. The composition will continue with no repeat until the year of 2999. You might think that listening to a 20 minute and 20 seconds piece would get tiring (and you’d be right!) but this piece is using an algorithm. The algorithm gives a large number of variations therefore making the composition to go in improvised directions.

If you want to find out more about the Trinity Buoy Wharf click here.

5. Jack The Ripper Tour

East end alley

Photo: East end alley by Jennifer Woodard Maderazo on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. It is taking you on the route of the notorious Jack the Ripper, a murderer that terrorized the streets of East End London. The 125-year-old murder mystery to this day baffles world-class crime investigators and historians. This tour transports you onto the streets of 19th century East End.

Explore the gruesome details of East End’s dark cobbled streets and dimly lit passageways. The whole route is constructed as an investigation, as a result, making you feel as if you fell into a Victorian detective novel.

6. Speakeasy Bars

Aviation

Photo: Aviation by Adrian Scottow on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

I am obsessed with speakeasy bars. The better hidden, the better. If they have a password which is hard to come by I am particularly amused. The charm of speakeasy bars stems from a multitude of reasons. First of all, all that playing around with hidden locations, entrances cleverly disguised as phone booths brings out our inner child. Secondly, it feels as if you’re a part of some secret club as if you’re in on a secret. It makes every night out that much special.

When coming to a new city – I always try to find out what’s their take on a speakeasy bar. London doesn’t disappoint!

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is hidden under the Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane. The Breakfast Club looks like a typical New York breakfast place. If you’re in for more than a breakfast ask the waitress to see the Mayor. You will be led to the entrance. The entrance is hidden in a fridge! The underground bar serves brunch and delicious cocktails.

Other very popular speakeasies are Evans & Peel Detective Agency, the Experimental Cocktail Club & the Nightjar.

7. Magic Circle Museum at the Centre for Magic Arts

17/365: i could be your magician

Photo by Jin on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

A secretive group of illusionists who made London a centre of magic (yes, way before the-Boy-Who-Lived) swore to keep their magic a secret. While we aren’t privy to their illusion tricks we are allowed to take a peek. As a result, the Magic Circle Museum is opened! The impressive collection has a number of interesting illusionist’s tools. Some of them are the same guns used in bullet illusions or pieces from Houdini’s act. Make sure to see some of their magic acts!

8. Chislehurst Caves

A church service in Chislehurst Caves during World War 2, recreated with wax figures

Photo: A church service in Chislehurst Caves by Ben Sutherland on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Chislehurst Caves are chalk caves that were mined by hand for over 8000 years. They were mined for flint and lime, and later on served as an ammunition depot during First World War. The 8000 years old history is divided into Druid, Roman and Saxon times. But nowadays they opened up new passageways which guide you through time to present day! It is especially interesting to visit during Halloween due to their special events!

If you want to find out more about Chislehurst Caves click here.

9. British Library’s Treasures Gallery

DIG13762-027

The Sir John Ritblat Treasures aka the British Library’s Treasures Gallery is one of the most popular museums among the Londoners. It covers 2000 years of history! What makes it so interesting is the rather eclectic collection. You can find anything from Da Vinci’s or Jane Austen’s notebooks, Magna Carta to the Beatles’ lyrics.

Time Out magazine described the British Library’s Treasures Gallery as “The Holy grail for history buffs.”

10.  The Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

And I saved best for last! The permanent exhibition of Henry Wellcome’s amazing objects features the history of science and medicine in a rather interesting and fun way. In addition to the permanent collection, there are a lot of great temporary exhibitions as well. They cover a vast array of universal topics, such as sex, sleep and death.

The Wellcome’s collection of weird objects won’t let your excitement fade away. Therefore you will find random objects such as Napoleon’s toothbrush, a DNA sequencing robot, an ancient mummy, Darwin’s walking stick and much more.

If you want to find out more info about the Wellcome Collection click here.

Now that you know where to go and mingle with the locals, book your ticket with British Airways for your next adventure! Also, don’t forget to check out these 5 places to visit in UK besides London.

What is your favourite quirky spot in London? Share in the comments!

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5 Places To Visit In UK Besides London

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter. Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan…

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter.


Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan capital. London is a magnificent city but there are numerous fantastic destinations to explore beyond Europe’s largest urban area. Here are five incredible places to visit in UK besides London;

Manchester

Manchester Canal Scene at Night

Photo: Manchester Canal Scene at Night by Smabs Sputzer on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This northern powerhouse is often cited as the UK’s second city. Famed for its rich industrial heritage, today Manchester is thriving with world-class music venues, an array of bars and restaurants and a burgeoning tourist scene in its own right. Culture is high on the agenda here.

The impressive Whitworth Gallery set amidst verdant gardens and The People’s History Museum, charting the history and important figures of Manchester, are just two of the many to visit. The Northern Quarter is the city’s premier entertainment region with excellent pubs and restaurants to match.

Cornwall

Causeway at low tide.

Photo: Causeway at low tide by Simon Harrod on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Nestled in the rugged south western corner of England is the stunning region of Cornwall.  The mystical home of King Arthur is rather isolated from the rest of the UK and thus remains delightfully unspoiled. There are countless coves and beaches and areas of natural beauty to be explored. A few of Cornwall’s must-see localities include Porthcurno, Wheal Coates and Penzance.

Travel to the very edge of the country at Land’s End or head to Bodmin Moor to make the most of the enigmatic expanse of this impressive area of natural beauty. Cornwall is also ideally suited to those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. Rock climbing and surfing opportunities are ubiquitous and there are plenty of hiking trails for those who want to remain on terra firma.

Brighton

Brighton P310 170717 -045

Photo: Brighton by Peter Rowley on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Located just 50 miles south of London is the charming but lively seaside town of Brighton. Known for its lefty politics and LGBT community, Brighton is home to one of the country’s most vibrant bar and restaurants scenes. The North and South Laine are a cavernous collection of shops and cafes located in a range of small streets and alleys which give Brighton its kitsch and cool vibe.

The beach, of course, attacks big crowds in the summer. However, the ample beach space means a 15-minute walk from the central area near the iconic pier and you’ll be able to find your own spot of serenity.

Cambridge

The Cam river

Photo: The Cam River by Francisco Anzola on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This stunning university town is famed for its classical architecture, historic market square and quaint cafes, shops and bars. Cambridge is best explored by bike and the city boasts an extensive cycle network – if you prefer, the city centre is very walkable, though you might need to use the excellent transport networks to reach some of the peripheries of the city.

The university is the principal attraction here and is actually a collection of independent colleges. Some of the more interesting and opulent are Queens’ College, King’s College and Trinity College.

Museum and cultural attractions are not in short supply here and The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences are two of the best.

The River Cam is the lifeblood of Cambridge and a hub of activity in the summer months. Either take to the water for a spot of punting and rowing or enjoy the grassy banks with some prosecco and sandwiches and enjoy the delights of this sleepy but seductive university city.

Edinburgh

Old Royal High

Photo: Old Royal High by Magnus Hagdorn on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Scotland’s traditionally Celtic capital is one of the UK’s finest cities and has plenty to offer those who choose to visit north of the border. Most of the activity is based around Edinburgh’s historic centre. The city’s Medieval heartland is famed for the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and the home of the Scottish Parliament.

Many of the best sites are located on the famous Royal Mile around which much of the ancient city was constructed. Adjacent to the Old Town is the New Town – where you’ll be privy to the city’s newest and hippest bars and restaurants as well as plenty of shops selling everything from clothes to books.

Once you’ve had your fill of the pubs and museums, Edinburgh is ideally situated for exploring further afield and seeing more of Scotland. You can reach Glasgow in under an hour and there are plenty of smaller, authentic Scottish towns which make for the perfect half-day trip.

Convinced? Check out Momondo for cheap flights to the UK and EuroTribe’s guide on finding cheap accommodation.

Featured photo: by Joe Reed on Unsplash

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9 Quintessential Norway Experiences

For obvious reasons, Norway has become a very popular tourist destination. The untouched wilderness, the architecture, the fjords, northern lights, and need I go on? But even though the fjords…

For obvious reasons, Norway has become a very popular tourist destination. The untouched wilderness, the architecture, the fjords, northern lights, and need I go on? But even though the fjords and northern lights are reasons alone to wish to visit Norway, they are not the only ones. Here are EuroTribe’s – quintessential Norway experiences;

The right to roam

Living in a big city can often be stressful. I always felt drawn to nature and would love to live close to the mountains and woods and explore them regularly.

In Norway, you’re given free access to the countryside – if you don’t litter! So you can enjoy the gorgeous Norwegian scenery and breathe in the fresh air – as long as when your escapade is finished, you pick up your rubbish.

Outdoor recreation is a part of their cultural identity and is established by law. The right to roam or the right of access (“allemannsretten”) is a traditional right from ancient times, and from 1957 it has also been included as a part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. Now everybody gets to experience nature, even on privately owned areas.

Food

Seafood for dinner

Photo: Seafood by julie corsi (CC by 2.0)

When you think of Norway, you might not think of fantastic food – but that’s where you’re wrong and no worries, I’m here to educate you.

If you consult any travel guide they will recommend you the “fårikål” or “sheep in cabbage”. It’s traditional as it gets, every fall many Norwegian families prepare this dish and serve it with potatoes.

If you love cheese, you should try Norwegian goat cheese which is brownish and its taste described as caramel with a sharp edge to it. It’s strong and specific, so it’s definitely worth a try!

Far as the sweets go, Norwegian’s go to is a heart-shaped waffle. Coincidentally, in all honesty, one of my favorite breakfast foods are waffles so I’m delighted. What’s better than a regular waffle? A heart-shaped waffle! No squares here!

Quiet

As mentioned above I always felt drawn to nature and living in a big city can often feel rushed, stressful and noisy. Some countries are simply, way calmer compared to others and the economic standard and a way of life have a lot to do with that as well.

Norway is a pretty large country by European standards with a modest population size. The low population density means there are vast areas of untouched nature. Just imagine yourself roaming the beautiful wilderness of Norway with your significant other and enjoying it completely alone sole for each other’s company.

Extreme sports

Ole Fretheim and Tevje Nikolai Lie Andersen

Photo: The Norwegian Freestyle Ski Team by Ståle Grut (CC by-sa 2.0)

The village of Voss is very famous to every real adrenaline junkie. The Extreme Sports Week is being held annually in this picturesque village. Wherever you turn you’re met with mountains, lakes, cliffs, rapids, and glaciers. At this meetup of daredevils, you can see base jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, whitewater kayaking and kitesurfing. If you’re thirsty for more action, just visit Oslo. The city is dubbed as the “winter sports capital of the world”.

Travel Green

It’s very admirable how far Norwegians have developed sustainable tourism and I’m always for supporting a good initiative. Norway is one of few places that are certified as a sustainable destination. It takes years of work demonstrating their lasting commitment to providing the best possible experiences for their guests while keeping the negative impact of tourism to a minimum. The destination must work to improve its practices and relations with the local community, in accordance with sustainability principles.

Driving Along the Fjords

Road trip from Oslo to Ålesund, Norway

Photo: Road trip from Oslo to Alesund by Gabriel Garcia Marengo (cc by 2.0)

Norway offers some of the most scenic drives in the world. Driving along the fjords is on my bucket list (alongside watching northern lights in Svalbard). One of the best rides is Aurlandsfjellet route between Oslo and Bergen which passes through the country’s most famous attractions.

Craft Beers

If you think beer is not good enough reason to visit a country well then you haven’t had a good beer! Although Norway is ultra-restrictive on buying alcohol, in the past few years there has been an increasing number of microbreweries producing various types of craft beer.

It wasn’t always like this. A couple years back you didn’t have much of a choice. To put it in words of Ewan Lewis, the co-founder and chief brewer of Ægir Brewery, “To have one beer for every taste is absurd. It’s as if an entire country served cheeseburgers as the only food.”

The microbreweries in Norway are popping up literally every month everywhere and picking up multiple international awards along the way! Nowadays when you enter a Norwegian pub you’ll be given a vast assortment of choices between brands and styles of beers! So pick your poison! Will it be a milky stout, an IPA or will you dare to try a sour?

Christmas in Norway

Jul i Bergen

Photo: Christmas in Bergen by Kjersti Magnussen (cc by 2.0)

Christmas in Norway, is a festival of light — a promise of longer days and the return of the sun. Just imagine that for weeks when it’s high noon that it feels like twilight and that it’s already dark by 4 p.m.

A highlight (pun intended) of the season is on the feast day of Santa Lucia, the “Queen of Lights”. Supposedly it’s a young woman born of wealthy parents, who went from one farm to the next, dressed in a white gown with a red sash. To light her way, she wore a crown of lingonberry twigs with lit candles and carried a torch, as she brought baked goods to each house.

On Santa Lucia Day, there’s a row of girls led by one dressed as the “Lussibrud,” wearing a white robe and a crown of lights. The girls carry baskets of saffron buns, called Lussekattor, to hand out.

Norwegians are not very religious so even during Christmas, you see no Christian elements in the holiday decorations. The whole celebrations have more pagan elements.

It is a unique and magical experience in its own way.

Svalbard

Svalbard is your best bet to experience the northern lights or go on a dogsled excursion.

If you’re not impressed by the northern lights (not possible by the way), you will surely be blown away by the midnight sun phenomenon. Svalbard is scarcely populated which lets nature run its course freely without the menacing hand of man. You will be able to enjoy earth-shattering glaciers and landscapes that you won’t believe your eyes. If you’re in Norway, Svalbard is a must.

If you’re going for the first time, then of course, I suggest focusing on more traditional sightseeing and if you’re short on time then definitively opt out for one of many Norway tours.

If you need help finding cheap accommodation in Norway check out this resource.

Do you have any other quintessential Norway experiences to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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