your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Author: Zorica

Spare time in Belgrade? Go to Avala mountain

Avala mountain is located 16 km from the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, and it has a reputation of being a popular day or even weekend getaway from busy city…

Avala mountain is located 16 km from the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, and it has a reputation of being a popular day or even weekend getaway from busy city life. Avala is inviting especially for its walks which allow people to relax in nature.

With a height of 511 meters, Avala fits within the ‘Mountain range’, no pun intended. In the middle ages it was famous for the Avala Town, which was later conquered by the Ottoman Turks. Today the areas surrounding Avala are not heavily populated, although the mountain’s location is very close to Belgrade’s city boundaries.

Avala mountain Belgrade

Avala is one of the protected green areas of Belgrade and it has more than 600 plant species living on the mountain. Many species are  protected by law due to their natural rarities, with 21 of the 67 bird species considered rare in Serbia.

Avala tower

Besides being famous as a traditional weekend and picnic resort, other attractions on the mountain include the newly built Avala Tower which is the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkans region. Originally it was a telecommunication tower destroyed by the NATO bombing in 1999, with the new tower officially opened in 2010. The tower has a viewing platform on top with the beautiful view overlooking Belgrade, Vojvodina and Šumadija.

View from Avala tower

View from the tower!

One of the most famous monuments located on Avala is the “Monument to the Unknown Hero” which is a protected monument by the country.

Monument to the Unknown Hero

Monument to the Unknown Hero

For those who love sport activities besides walking, can indulge in activities including orienteering, climbing, mountain biking and running.

And if your hunger gets the best of you, on the top of the Mountain there’s a hotel with the restaurant “Avala”, dedicated to serving delicious meals.

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Is the Stockholm Card worth buying?

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and it’s also known as the capital of Scandinavia. Stockholm is considered quite an expensive city at times but it is always worth visiting!…

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and it’s also known as the capital of Scandinavia. Stockholm is considered quite an expensive city at times but it is always worth visiting! In this article I will review the Stockholm card and we’ll see if the Stockholm Card is worth buying.

So first of all; What is the Stockholm card exactly?

The Stockholm card is the official card issued by the Stockholm Tourist Board, which when purchased gives you access to 80 museums and attractions, public transport and many other bonus offers for the duration of the card.

The Stockholm Card’s price is based on its length of validity, which ranges from 1, 2, 3 or 5 days from the first time it is activated. The card is valid once per museum/attraction and it is valid for an unlimited amount of trips on SL transit vehicles for its duration of validity.

So let’s take a look at the prices.

Adult one day (450 SEK/51 EUR)
Adult two days (625 SEK/70 EUR)
Adult three days (750 SEK/85 EUR)
Adult five days (950 SEK/107 EUR

Now let’s check the prices of some museums and attractions;

Nobel Museum (Adults: 80 SEK)
Vasa Museum (Adults: 110 SEK)
The Royal Palace (Adults: 100 SEK)
SkyView (Adults: 130 SEK)
Fotografiska (Adults: 110 SEK)
Skansen Open-Air Museum (Adults: 70-120 SEK)
Moderna Museet (Adults: 100 SEK)

Let’s say you wish to visit all of these museums – that would cost you a total of 700 SEK, which is only a bit less than Stockholm card valid for a period of three days (750 SEK).

However, that is just the first part, let’s take a look at the cost of public transport now;

Tickets for one and two zones are valid for 75 minutes from the time of purchase and activation. Each ticket costs a total of 36 SEK, or 4 EUR for first zone and 54 SEK, or 6 EUR, for the second zone.

For a ticket with 24 hour validity, it costs a total of 115 SEK or 13 EUR, whilst a 72h ticket costs 230 SEK or 26EUR. For a 7 days ticket, the cost is 300 SEK or 34 EUR.

As you can see, public transportation is much more expensive than in other European capitals.

So if you wish to spend three days in Stockholm, plus you purchase a 72h ticket, the total price would cost you 230 SEK more due to the price of attractions costing 700 SEK plus the transport cost. In total, without the Stockholm Card, it would cost you 930 SEK or 105 EUR for 3 days. If you remember, the Stockholm three day card was only 750 SEK or 85 euros, so basically you would save at least 20 euros.

Of course it all depends on your travel tastes and what you love to do, but if you are really into culture and museums, plus you plan to stay 3 or more days in Stockholm, I think this card is very handy and helpful and also saves you the hassle of waiting in the queues and buying tickets. From my experience it was very helpful especially when it comes to using the public transport which is very expensive in Stockholm.

Also note that the prices included here were based on the price of an adult and that some museums are free of charge if you are under the age of 19, plus there are discounts for students, so the best would be to check the website of each museum you want to visit or the website of the Stockholm Tourist Board.

So Is the Stockholm Card worth buying?

Yes definitely, especially if you are staying for 3 or more days. If you are not such a culture freak and you prefer nature and exploring the city by bike, there are some other ways to save rather than using this card.

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Top attractions in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden. It also constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Built on 14 islands around one of Europe’s largest and…

Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden. It also constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Built on 14 islands around one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved medieval city centers, the Swedish capital is superbly positioned, with stunning and extremely varied scenery in every direction. Stockholm offers a wealth of museums, theaters, sights, attractions and events. Our top attractions in Stockholm include;

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan - Top Attractions in Stockholm

Gamla Stan or the Old town is one of the best preserved medieval city centers in the world dating back to 13th century and consisting of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. The Old Town is the place to be if you want to experience the true pulse of this city. This area has biggest range of restaurants, tourist shops, studios and museums. One of them is Nobel Museum. It will take you a few hours to explore the whole Old Town, but at the same time this is the most charming part of Stockholm invaded by tourists who want to enjoy the special atmosphere.

Boat sightseeing

This is a must! Stockholm is located on Sweden’s south-central east coast, where Lake Malaren meets the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with the Stockholm archipelago. We definetelly recommend the tourist company Stromma. They offer many wonderful tours (Under the Bridges of Stockholm, Royal Canal Tour, Historical Canal Tour, the early Good Morning Stockholm Tour and Archipelago race tour). Having a fika (Swedish for coffee) and having a view at one of the most beautiful capitals in the world is a must! Or if you want some adrenaline rush go for Archipelago tour! (although it doesn’t operate at winter).

The Royal Palace

One of the largest palaces in Europe is the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden, with over 600 rooms. The Palace is open to the public and offers no less than five museums. Don’t miss the parade of soldiers and the daily changing of the guard!

Skansen Open-Air Museum

Skansen - Top attractions in Stockholm

Located on the island Djurgarden, Skansen consists of the oldest open-air museum in the world and zoo with a beautiful view of the city. This place basically represents Sweden in miniature with 150 farms and dwellings from different part of countries that were transported here. You can also see native Scandinavian animals and there is also a children’s zoo and a terrarium. Overall, it is a great place to spend a day especially with family.

Moderna Museet

Moderna Museet - Top attractions in Stockholm

Experience one of the nicest collections of art featuring works of Picasso, Dali and others. This museum is located on Skeppsholmen island and exhibits present contemporary art with modern classics. The museum also has a shop and children’s workshop.

Vasa museum

Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world and more than 95 percent of the ship is original. It is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. The film about the Vasa is shown in 16 different languages. In addition there is a well-stocked shop and a pleasant restaurant. Tours of the museum take place every day.

Subway art

The Stockholm metro is home to the world’s “longest art exhibit” – being just over 110 kilometers long! Tourists can see a wide range of artwork including decorations with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 artists. The Swedish Tourism board describes it as “traveling by subway is like traveling through an exciting story that extends from the artistic pioneers of the 1950s to the art experiments of today”.


Stockholm is full of fashion stores which show-off the latest in local and international fashion. Some of the most popular stores are IKEA, H&M, Gallerian Shopping Complex, Ahlens City and others. Besides fancy clothes, there are many souvenir shops located across the city. To find the best prices, head into the Old Town for more variety and cheaper options for the bargain hunting traveler!

Where to Stay

Stockholm is very expensive so I suggest searching for a cheaper accommodation on HotelsCombined.  You can also check large selection of accommodation options on Booking. If you’re really on the budget you may try to find a free accommodation on Couchsurfing.

Getting there

You can search for a cheap flight to Stockholm by comparing rates on Momondo.

Other advice:

Stockholm card

Any traveler heading to Stockholm should pick up the Stockholm Card which gives you free admission to 80 museums and attractions. The card includes rides on a sightseeing boat or ferry, the subway, an SL bus, or a streetcar. Travelers can also browse excellent museums with art, aristocrats, world heritage, Vikings, the Nobel Prize, technology, and design. Basically, the city is yours. The card can be purchased for 1-5 days from the first time it’s used. The card is valid once per museum/attraction and is good for an unlimited number of trips on SL transit vehicles.

Stockholm, only one adventure away.

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