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Category: Cities & Culture

Meet the Romans in Serbia

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.   I was sat right…

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.


I was sat right at the top, in the Royal Opera House it would have been seat Y51 – very high up with a restricted view. Looking down and behind the half naked archaeologist who was unmoved by the burning sun I could almost see Russell Crowe fighting ferociously for his freedom. Behind me was a flat green field with occasional glimpses of the Danube river, on whose bed was preserved this rich archaeological site.

We are standing at the top of the amphitheatre with a capacity of 12,000 seats” the voice of the enthusiastic guide woke me up.

 The itinerarium Romanum Serbiae

We are at Viminacium, one of many Roman towns and fortress in Serbia, not far from the capital city Belgrade. It covers a huge area and some of it is still undiscovered due to the presence of the nearby power plant which produces 20% of Serbia’s energy. The government is trying to buy land still owned by the local people to stop the theft of artefacts that are uncovered after heavy rain.

Large numbers of lamps, bricks, paving tiles, rings and coins have been uncovered and exhibited either at the Museum in Pozarevac or the Museum in Belgrade. The Viminacium complex is building their own museum too at the moment.

The Viminacium Amphitheater, Serbia

 The site has beautiful tombs decorated with frescoes whose colour was still bright and with mixed pagan and Christian symbolism. Tomb G5517 has a Christogram in a double floral garland and this is known as a Constantine Cross, after the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. Tomb G2624 has animals and flowers and is clearly pagan, thus proving that Christians and Pagans were sometimes buried in the same cemetery.

Viminacium, Serbia

Serbia has the largest number of Roman emperors born outside of Italy – 17 altogether, among them Constantine I and Justinian I. The tourist board has put together a project to combine visits to all the major Roman excavations on Serbian soil, called Itinerarium Romanum Serbiae. It will incorporate Sirmium, today known as Sremska Mitrovica, Singindunum which is Belgrade, Viminacium or Stari Kostolac, combined with visits to the forts of Nis, Kostol and Karats. The itinerary also includes visits to the imperial residences at Gamzigrad and the UNESCO site, Šarkamen, Mediana and Iustiniana Prima.

2013 will see the 1,700 anniversary of the Edict of Milan by which Emperor Constantine legalised Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, and celebrations will take place in the city of his birth, Nis.

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How to spend 24 hours in Łódź

Łódź is the third largest city in Poland and it’s easily accessed by train, with the journey lasting about one hour and forty minutes from Warsaw. Another option is bus…

Łódź is the third largest city in Poland and it’s easily accessed by train, with the journey lasting about one hour and forty minutes from Warsaw. Another option is bus which comes at a cheaper price, but extends your travel time to two hours and forty-five minutes. Łódź was famous all over Europe for its cotton cloth yields and even called the “Promised Land”, after it became one of the largest textile production centers in Europe. That is the reason why even today the city is referred to as the Polish “Manchester”. The 20th century saw a very hard period for the city with Lodz’s population almost decimated after WW2. The industry and infrastructure were heavily destroyed as well.

Łódź itself contains a mysterious aura that can be very intriguing and fascinating, whether it’s that melancholic feeling of experiencing some of its rich old prosperous times mixed with its rapid present development, but the city itself deserves more attention from tourists and prospective travelers. In recent years the city is often overlooked by many tourists for more popular destinations in the country, and due to a lack of investment even major parts of the city suffer from poor infrastructure which can lead some to the impression; “is this really the third-largest Polish city?” Nevertheless, thanks to its beautiful palaces, rich cultural heritage, its Polish Film School, and its kind people who are always ready to help, makes you leave this city with a warm heart.

How to spend 24 hours in Łódź?

Piotrkowska Street

Piotrkowska street

First, why not start with something that Łódź is most famous for! Its PIOTRKOWSKA STREET. The ideal place for starting your sightseeing would be at the Plac Wolności, or Liberty Square, where the beginning of the street starts and continues its long length of about 4.2 kilometers, making it known as one of Europe’s largest commercial streets.

The street is home to wonderful architecture, housing and monuments – with probably the most popular feature being the Arthur Rubinstein monument, who was born in Łódź and grew up in this street. Another popular feature is the monument of the “Three Manufacturers”. It is also known as the Łódź Walk of Fame for its star-plaques which includes the names of the most important stars in Polish cinematography.

In addition to its shops, during the night the street comes alive with entertainment, having more than one hundred pubs, restaurants and clubs along its way. If you have a tight time-frame to discover all the street offers, do not worry as there are many rickshaws or trambuses along the street which is probably a good idea to invest your money in if you are in a hurry.


Manufaktura Lodz

One of the things that should not be missed include MANUFAKTURA – which is a place mixed with traditional and modern elements. Traditional due to the fact this place used to be home to 19th century industrial buildings of the former Izrael Poznański’s factory and modern after its revitalisation, which made it become a popular center of entertainment, shopping and culture known all over Poland. Besides the mall, Manufaktura also has two museums, numerous restaurants and discos, a cinema and even a little tram taking you from one part of the complex to another.

What I loved about this place is how they managed to preserve the original spirit of its past in its beautiful red color facades which at the same time look very modern. This place is huge, so don’t expect to see everything if you are visiting city for only 24 hours. To make the most of your day, it’s best to visit Manufaktura during the evening, otherwise, you won’t regret a visit to this symbolic series of buildings in Łódź.


If you arrive at the Łódź Kaliska station, the tram ride to the city center will take about 15-20 minutes which is already enough to gather a basic impression of the city, and its cultural heritage, which is mixed with the Jewish, German and Russian architecture styles most notable besides the local Polish style.

The city is famous for its post-industrial buildings and palaces built by the most powerful industrialists in the city and the ones who definitely deserve your attention include the Izrael Poznański’s factory and the White Factory. Poznański’s factory is the most famous Jewish landmark in the city and it is also a home to the Museum of the City of Łódź. Here you can learn more about the industrial past of the city during the 19th century. On the other hand, within the White Factory there is an Open-Air Museum of the city’s past wooden architecture.

Museum of Cinematography

Museum of Cinematography Lodz

It is very hard to see more than a handful of things in only 24 hours, but if you get the chance try to pay a visit to the Museum of Cinematography and learn more about Polish cinema and art, as Łódź offers the best cinematography in Poland.

Eating and drinking

When it comes to eating and drinking you won’t have to look far, as Piotrkowska street and Manufaktura offers you numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants with Polish and international cuisines to choose from, along with the usual fast food outlets. You can also shop for some traditional Polish souvenirs whilst in the city.

Where To Stay in Lodz

You can search for hotels in Lodz on Booking and compare cheap rates on HotelsCombined.

Have you ever been to Łódź or are you planning to visit? Tell us about your experience in the city, in the comments below!

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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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