EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

How To Explore The Fjords Of Norway On A Budget

If you have a travel wishlist, the fjords of Norway are most likely on it. This Scandinavian country is one of the most beautiful, but also, one of the most…

If you have a travel wishlist, the fjords of Norway are most likely on it. This Scandinavian country is one of the most beautiful, but also, one of the most expensive places to visit in Europe.

However, believe it or not, there is a way to see and experience the fjords of Norway without going bankrupt. The tips below will help you save some money and fully enjoy the trip at the same time!

How To Explore The Fjords Of Norway On A Budget

Transport

how to explore the fjords of norway on a budget - transportation

The first step is actually getting there and getting around. There are many different ways to cut the prices of your transportation. Let’s talk about air travel first.

If you plan on traveling through the rest of Norway as well, not only the fjords, consider buying the Explore Norway Ticket.

This gives you the opportunity to fly as much as you want inside Norway for a period of 2 weeks. You can use the Ticket in July and August, which happens to be a great time to see the fjords. For more information on prices and dates, visit the Widerøe official website.

Also, try to choose local airlines such as Norwegian, for a much cheaper ticket price. You can also look up for cheap flights on Momondo.

Train travel is very popular among tourists. Not only because it’s not as expensive, but also because many routes take you through the most picturesque parts of Norway, fjord areas included. Make sure you plan ahead, so you can score some extra discounts.

For example, every month, at off-peak times, you can buy Minipris (“mini-price”) tickets. They will take you from Oslo to any Norwegian city for 30-40 euros. Therefore, you can go to Bergen, which is rightfully called the “gateway to the fjords”, without spending a fortune.

Food

Wherever you choose to travel, food is always a large expense. When it comes to Norway, it can even consume the biggest part of your budget if you’re not careful with where you spend your money.

It’s extremely expensive to eat in Norwegian restaurants, so if you’re trying to save up, avoid them completely. Our recommendation is buying groceries in local supermarkets and cooking your own food since this will make a huge difference. Some of the low price stores are REMA 1000, Kiwi and Rimi.

The good news is that tap water is good to drink all around Norway, so buying bottled water won’t be a problem. However, if you buy anything in a plastic bottle, remember you can return the bottle and get some money back! Little by little, you’ll end up saving some much-needed cash.

See The Fjords From Your Feet

how to explore the fjords of norway on a budget - hiking

If you’re an active person, the fjord regions are a perfect opportunity for a hiking holiday! Instead of spending hundreds and even thousands of euros on boat tours, choose this much cheaper approach.

Wherever you turn, you’ll see photo-worthy views and you’ll be able to admire the fjords from a different standpoint. Even if you’re not the fittest or if you’re traveling with children, you can enjoy some of the more gentle trails.

Find your perfect hiking trail here.

We recommend Mount Skåla, Norway’s highest mountain with its foot in the fjord, for more experienced hikers. Even though it’s very difficult, it would be a shame to miss it. You’ll know why when you see the stunning fjord and glacier landscapes everywhere around you. A fun fact is that the tower built here was once a sanatorium, which shows how therapeutic these views can be.

Other than that, consider visiting Nærøyfjord (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the narrowest fjord in the world) or Trolltunga, which you might recognize from photos you’ve seen online.

Accommodation

Depending on what you’re into, there are a couple different options when it comes to accommodation. The biggest advice is same as everywhere else – avoid large hotels and try to book in advance.

If you like or don’t mind camping, Norway is perfect for it. There’s something called “freedom to roam” or “allemannsretten”, which means you can put up a tent anywhere in the countryside or mountains, as long as you keep at least 150 meters away from the nearest inhabited house.

This means that as long as you have a tent and necessary camping gear, you won’t have to look for campsites, you can sleep anywhere in nature for free!

Also, there are over 500 lodges and cabins along the trails all over the country. They are the property of the Norwegian Trekking Association. If you’re a member of the Association, you’ll get a discount, but you can use them even if you’re not.

You can choose between self-service cabins, no-service cabins, and staffed lodges. You’ll have everything you need in all of them (firewood, gas, duvets, pillows), but there are certain differences such as the possibility of serving meals in staffed lodges. You can find the necessary information about the cabins on their website. Booking.com is another good place to take a look at accommodation options.

Couchsurfing is another option. You might meet some friendly locals who will give you even more tips on how to spend less and see more. And who’s more trustworthy than a local?

Don’t forget to check these 9 quintessential Norway experiences as well!

Enjoy!

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5 Best Experiences in Oulanka National Park

Oulanka National Park is one of Finland’s many treasures. Ever since 1956, it has been a perfect destination for those who enjoy the nature and all the activities that bring…

Oulanka National Park is one of Finland’s many treasures. Ever since 1956, it has been a perfect destination for those who enjoy the nature and all the activities that bring us closer to it.

Whether you choose to visit Oulanka national park in the winter or in the summer, there’s plenty of things to do either way. Therefore, here are our top 5 picks and suggestions!

Hike the Bear’s Trail

oulanka national park

Oulanka National Park is most famous for its amazing hiking trails. There’s a wide variety of them, starting from 0,3 km up to 82 km for the more adventurous visitors. Hiking is the best way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and, if you’re lucky, you might spot some animals along the way!

The most famous one is also Finland’s most popular hiking trail – Karhunkierros Trail. It’s also known as the Bear’s Trail or Bear’s Ring.

Physically, it’s very demanding, but, on the other hand, also very rewarding. Depending on your stamina and allowed time, it might take you up to 6 days to finish it. The circuit can be walked in whole or in parts since it’s split into 4 sections.

The trail has two main starting points: Hautajärvi and Ristikallio. Hautajärvi can be easily reached from the town of Kuusamo. The trail is well marked (watch out for the orange paint markings on trees!) and the wildlife is abundant, to say the least.

Keep in mind that, despite being called the Bear’s Ring, the trail is not circular, so you may want to plan your transportation for the way back in advance.

When it comes to accommodation, you have a choice of spending the night in one of the cabins that are free of charge for visitors or you can bring your tent. If you pick the cabin, keep in mind that there are no reservations, which means that who gets there first gets the cabin! Booking also has some properties in Kuusamo listed on their site.

However, if you don’t have a lot of time, you can explore the Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, which is one of the most iconic trails in Finland.

The Small Bear Round, how it’s commonly called, is 12 km long. This circle route can be finished in a day, but the views are still spectacular. Other than that, there are other options suitable for every type of hiker.

Explore by canoe

oulanka national park

A great way to get to know Oulanka National Park from a different perspective is from the water. Actually, the Oulanka river is ideal for canoeing and other activities on the water. It’s suitable for beginners and even children, so if you’re looking for a relaxing trip through the untouched nature of the region, you must try this.

You will probably see all kinds of wildlife, such as reindeer, eagles, or, less likely, the bears. Also, if you’re into fishing, there are areas where you can do that as well. You can get the fishing permit and all necessary information in the Oulanka Visitor Centre.

However, our recommendation is making your canoeing-trip a two-day experience at least. For a complete stress-free getaway, consider spending the night and waking up to another day of paddling.

Some of the most stunning things to see from the canoe are the Oulanka Canyon, Myllykoski and the Jyrävä falls in the Kitka River, the hanging bridges etc. Some tours offer a ride all the way to the Russian border.

Also, part of the Karhunkierros Trail can be travelled by canoe. 

Try Rafting

For an adrenaline-filled ride, you should consider rafting. Unlike canoeing, this activity is set in Oulanka’s rapids, from class I to class IV wild ones. The best time to get involved in this activity is at the beginning of summer.

The Wild Route is one of the most difficult ones.

Biodiversity

oulanka national park

Even though this isn’t an activity or a place you must visit, it’s definitely part of an overall unforgettable experience. Oulanka Park is special since it’s the most valuable conservation area in all of Finland. Dozens of plant and animal species you see here are those you won’t be able to see anywhere else in the world.

Notable among the wildlife are the 7,000 insect species (for example, wood ants, which build nests that are around three feet tall), eagles, bears, wolves, wolverines and many others.

You can pick berries and mushrooms freely, walk through the pine forests, observe the eagles and the semi-domesticated reindeer, and smell the orchids along the way. Yes, you can experience all of this in one place. 🙂

Northern Lights

Finally, the Oulanka National Park is great for witnessing one of nature’s greatest phenomena: the northern lights. You have a great chance of seeing them very early or late in the season. Ideally, you should visit in October and November or in March or April. Combined with the stunning nature everywhere around, this is a perfect location for Aurora Borealis hunting.

 

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A Guide To Jewish Sites in Belgrade, Serbia

Did you know that Serbia was the first country to be declared Judenfrei (free of Jews) during the Second World War? This was in early May of 1942. Belgrade was…

Did you know that Serbia was the first country to be declared Judenfrei (free of Jews) during the Second World War? This was in early May of 1942. Belgrade was also the only capital city with a few concentration camps. This guide to Jewish sites in Belgrade will point some of the most important landmarks in the city that are related to Jewish history and Holocaust.

Jewish Sites in Belgrade, Serbia

Jewish Street

The Jewish Street (Jevrejska ulica in Serbian) is a place you cannot miss when exploring the Jewish heritage in Belgrade. Jews lived here until the beginning of the First World War, and this region of Dorcol was a famous Jewish settlement.

Before the Second World War, about 80% of the Jewish population of Belgrade belonged to the Sephardic group. After the Second World War, the Jewish community was almost completely destroyed and this region of Belgrade, which was home to one of the oldest synagogues was badly damaged.

The Jewish street is home to the Oneg Shabat building, which was built by the same association in 1923.

Sukkat Shalom Synagogue

The Belgrade Synagogue, better known as the Sukkat Shalom Synagogue, was completed in 1925. This was the sixth synagogue built by the Jewish community in the capital of Serbia.

It was desecrated during the Nazi occupation of Belgrade and turned into a brothel. From the street, you will be able to see just the upper part of the synagogue which is the only active synagogue in the country. It has a nice and spacious courtyard.

Jewish Historical Museum

Located in one of Belgrade’s most notable streets – Kralja Petra Street, this museum showcases the Jewish heritage and history at the territories of former Yugoslavia.

The exhibition is small but well presented – from the arrival of Jews to the Balkans to the Holocaust and their rehabilitation after the Second World War. The entrance is free and the museum is part of a Jewish Cultural Centre.

The information in English is a little bit scarce, but a visit to the museum is more than worthy.

Jewish Cemetery

There are two Jewish cemeteries in Belgrade. The bigger and most famous one is a Sephardic cemetery in Mije Kovacevica street. The other one – Ashkenazi cemetery – is part of Belgrade New Cemetery.

Both are visible from the main street. The Sephardic cemetery has more than 4,000 tombstones and a number of important monuments such as the Monument dedicated to Jewish victims of fascism.

jewish sites in belgrade

In winter months the cemetery is open from 8 am – 7 pm and in summer months from 8 am – 7 pm, Monday – Friday.

Sajmiste

Sajmiste used to be a Nazi concentration camp on the left side of the Sava river, also known as the Semlin Judenlager – the Jewish camp in Zemun. At that time Sajmiste was part of the Independent State of Croatia.

Besides Jews, the camp also held captured Yugoslav Partisans and Chetniks. The estimated number of deaths at Sajmiste ranges between 20,000-23,000 people.

Originally planned as an exhibition center, with several architectural pieces of industrial design already in place, it turned out to be one of the most horrific places.

jewish sites in belgrade

Croatian ustashe who were in charge of this area persecuted more than half of Zemun’s population – including Jews, Serbs, and Romani citizens.

The camp was officially closed in July of 1944. Before that, it was bombed by the Allies in April of the same year, killing more than 100 prisoners.

According to the Serbian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, the camp had around 50,000 prisoners and 20,000 of them were killed.

jewish sites in belgrade

Unfortunately, there is no museum or a memorial center in the area of Sajmiste, and many visitors don’t even know of the existence of this place or its history. However, a several plaques are located along the banks of Sava river and a monument which commemorates those detained and killed in the camp.

Jajinci Memorial Park

Jajinci is a neighborhood that belongs to the Belgrade municipality of Vozdovac. It’s known for one of the worst reprisals in the Second World War, where more than 80,000 people were killed. Majority of them were the prisoners of the Banjica and Sajmiste concentration camps.

A monument to the victims was erected in the park in 1964. A trip to Jajinci Memorial Park can be combined with a visit to Avala as they are relatively close.

Rabina Alkalaj Street 5, Zemun and Jewish Community of Zemun at Dubrovacka street

Belgrade’s municipality of Zemun is home to a Rabina Alkalaja street. At the time of Austro-Hungarian rule, the street was called Jewish street. Rabin Alkalaj was born in Sarajevo, but he moved to Belgrade when he was 25 where he became a teacher and then Rabin.  An Ashkenazi synagogue which was built in 1850 is still presently located here.

Another street in Zemun – Dubrovacka street – is home to the Jewish Community of Zemun.

Topovske Supe, Autokomanda

A little-known fact, even among the citizens of Belgrade, is that one of the busiest traffic points in the city, called Autokomanda, was a concentration camp too. The site was known by the name “Topovske supe” and it mostly held Roma and Jewish men.

jewish sites in belgrade

The site is a little bit difficult to reach. You’d have to pass by several ruined industrial buildings in order to reach this place, which used to be an artillery depot during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

No monument dedicated to the victims exists here, and if rumors are true, the largest shopping center in the Balkans will be built on the place of this site.

Topovske supe 2, Autokomanda

Banjica Concentration Camp

The Banjica concentration camp used to hold captured Serbs, Jews, Roma and other opponents of Nazis. More than 20,000 people were detained here, and 12,000 of them were detained by the Gestapo. The camp was known for its brutality and inhuman conditions. It was closed in 1944.

The museum was officially opened in 1969 and it houses more than 400 items. Most of them include photographs, personal belongings, documents and a scale model of the camp. There’s also a reconstruction of the prisoner’s room.

 

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14 Coolest Bars in Budapest

Budapest is one of the most popular party cities in Europe and for good reason. It became famous for its ruin bars, spa parties and it also hosts Sziget –…

Budapest is one of the most popular party cities in Europe and for good reason. It became famous for its ruin bars, spa parties and it also hosts Sziget – one of the largest music festivals in the world.

Narrowing down this list was somewhat difficult but here you’ll find our selection of the coolest bars in Budapest.

Coolest Bars in Budapest

skål

Located just across the Synagogue in Dohany street, this bar with the Scandinavian vibe is an awesome place for a daily coffee or an evening drink. They have a cool selection of craft beers. There’s outdoor seating in the summer.

Dohány utca, +36 70 571 0069

Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert is the city’s most famous ruin bar, located in Kazinczy street which is the number one nightlife spot in Budapest. This huge complex consists of several venues that host different music and cultural programs.

There are live music concerts, movie projections but also some other things such as the farmer’s market.

The bar has many quirky rooms and cool interior, making you want to explore it all.

The downside of Szimpla Kert however, is that it’s overcrowded. Most people just come in to explore the place and take a few photos, before exploring what else Budapest has to offer.

Kazinczy utca, +36 20 261 8669

Fogahaz

Another huge ruin bar with lots of different rooms and music genres. It occupies the place of a former dental hospital and is a great place for dancing. Many locals visit Fogahaz. There’s an outdoor seating area too.

Akácfa utca, +36 1 783 8820

Jonas Craft Beer House at Balna

If you happen to pass by Balna – a cultural and entertainment center located by the river – make a stop at Jonas Craft Beer House.

They have some interesting specialty beers such as Golden Jonas or Cunning Beaver. If you get hungry you can try one of their burgers.

Sit outside and enjoy the wonderful view of the Danube and the city!

Fővám tér 11, +36 70 930 1392

Liebling

This hidden rooftop bar is actually part of Fogahaz complex. In the summer there’s a small outdoor terrace on the top, which makes Liebling an interesting place for a drink or two, under the open sky. There’s also a live music with the DJ booth. Liebling is quite small so if you want to grab a spot don’t come too late.

Akácfa utca, +36 1 783 8820

Bobek Kert

Bobek Kert is an awesome bar in the popular Kazinczy street. It’s not that pretentious or popular as some other places in this area, which makes it even cooler. The staff is friendly and the bar offers nice and laidback atmosphere.

Kazinczy utca, +36 1 322 0729

Doblo

This wine bar is located in the Jewish quarter and it’s one of the best places to try Hungarian wine or palinka. They offer a wide array of wine tastings and host live jazz nights. The wine menu is abundant and if you get hungry, they’ve got great cheese and an interesting mix of platters.

Dob Utca 20, +36 20 398 8863

Csendes Tars Winebar & Garden

This was one of my favourite finds in Budapest. This bar is located just next to the Karoly park which is a small oasis. In my opinion it’s also one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Sitting outside is very relaxing (especially on a sunny day) but the interior is pretty interesting too. Their wine list is extensive.

Magyar utca 18, +36 30 727 2100

Puder Bar

Nice place to eat and drink in the evening hours. There’s a large selection of beers and the food is delicious. You can sample some traditional Hungarian dishes or their tasty burgers. The interior resembles the typical “ruin bar” look and they also organise literary nights.

Ráday utca 8,  +36 1 210 7168

For Sale Pub

For Sale Pub managed to appear on Atlas Obscura, which speaks enough about the uniqueness of this place. The visitors are allowed to leave their mark on the walls, ceiling, and floor. However, the decor is not the only cool thing about this place. For Sale Pub also offers huge and tasty portions of Hungarian food. A must!

Vámház krt. 2, +36 70 232 3756

A38

A38 is the Ukrainian stone-carrier ship, now serving a totally different purpose. It was turned into a cultural center that’s housing an exhibition space, five bars and a restaurant.

You’ll find plenty of events here, mostly live music and concerts.

Petőfi híd, budai hídfő, +36 1 464 3940

Eleszto Craft Beer Bar

If you love craft beers accompanied with great food don’t skip Eleszto. You can choose between 15 to 20 types of beer, and the selection is changing very often. This is cash-only place.

Tűzoltó utca 22, +36 70 336 1279

Ellato Kert

Ellato Kert is a quirky ruin bar with Mexican decor. They serve nice cocktails here but you’ll also find some food options. There’s an open-air garden which makes this place really cool in the summer. The bar organizes art events and live music.

Kazinczy utca 48, +36 20 527 3018

Fröccsterasz

Nice choice for summer evenings and a cocktail or two. Their wine list is abundant and they also serve food, so there’s something for everyone.

Erzsébet tér 11, +36 30 419 5040

Budapest has a lot of cool bars and its nightlife is constantly changing.

Don’t forget to check out these 25 interesting things to see and do in Budapest as well.

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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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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

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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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