Today's blog post is taking us to Bergen Norway. A UNESCO World Heritage City and a place I never thought I would visit if I'm honest but completely fell in love with!
We took the train from Oslo to Bergen which is deemed the most picturesque in the world and it did not disappoint. I did a full blog post showing you some snaps from the journey. You can check it out here.
Bergen is a quaint little fishing city on the west coast of Norway. I didn't really have high expectations truthfully, but once we strolled to the waterfront and looked across at all the colourful houses and shops I immediately fell in love.
There was surprisingly a decent amount to do in this small village. One thing we did that was truly amazing was a boat tour of the fjord Nærøyfjorden, a valley left from glaciers with breathtaking views.
The tour was €50 for 3 hours and a comfy boat that brought you through the valley to little postcard pretty villages and we also got to sample some spring water straight from a waterfall.
The town itself is small, similar in size to that of Galway and it reminded me alot of the Irish city. We were there for 2 nights which was a perfect amount of time to get everything done.
The second day the weather was slightly drab but that didn't stop us exploring. We went to the local church, had lunch on a bench in the middle of the university and then we went on the funicular to the top of Fløibanen. It cost about €7, takes less than five minutes to reach the top and you are rewarded with amazing views of the city below.
Even on an overcast cloudy day, the views were just incredible. There is also a museum at the top, playground, cafe and even some goats! We decided to hike back down to the city which took over an hour but was great to do!
The rest of our time in Bergen was spent strolling through the parks and streets. We also went to the fortress at Bryggen 'Old Town'. It was nice to see but it wouldn't be top of my list on the things we saw. Enjoyable nonetheless.
A place with low expectations that turned out to be one of my favourite parts of the trip! I highly recommend a visit to Norway and in particular to do the train journey from Oslo to Bergen. It is once in a lifetime and I'm so glad I experienced it!
Hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about any of my trips please feel free to message me or leave a comment below :)
Until next time,
My sister and I recently went to Paris in December for a short break for the Christmas Markets. We spent 2 nights/3 days in the city of lights and I'm going to share with you all we got up to!
First off, we stayed in the Crowne Plaza Place de la Republique, which was a fantastic location with the metro a 2 minute walk from the hotel connecting you to most of the key tourist sites in Paris. We were lucky to be upgraded to a Club Room and it was comfy, clean and modern. I highly recommend this hotel.
Paris is one of the most expensive cities in Europe so one way to save some cash is using the metro to get around. We purchased a '3 day tourist ticket' from one of the kiosks in the station. It was €26 and saved us some serious dosh! There is a bus top tour on offer but the 1 day pass for that cost more than the 3 day for the metro. They are not as scary as you think and with the free app 'Paris Metro Map and Routes' you can get to any destination with ease.
The most famous hot chocolate in the world
Both Lorraine and I have visited Paris a few years ago so we narrowed down things we wanted to do in the 3 days. One of the key experiences we planned was a Brunch in Angelina's.
Angelina's Café is world renowned for its infamous African Hot Chocolate that is literally like chocolate pudding - so good! I opted for the French toast and the coffee, which was an experience in itself. If you are a coffee drinker you are going to die at how good the coffee is in Paris.
Considering the status of the café the pricing was standard. You will find no matter where you go in this city both tea/coffee/minerals are all around the 7euro mark. Yes - EXPENSIVE
Favourite Things to do
One of the highlights of this trip was the tour of the Opera Garnier. (Parisian Opera). If you know me at all I am OBSESSED with all things Louis Vuitton and this is where the brands SS/AW fashion shows take place. It was honestly amazing. It cost 16euro with audio guide and is well worth the money. The architecture is incredible and I was in awe of the building. Something different to do but definitely worth it.
We also went to Notre Dame Cathedral which is fab. It's one of them buildings you have to see in person to appreciate the grandeur of it. And if you're a Disney fan your just waiting to see the Hunchback swing from the gargoyles! :)
More Things to do
There is so many amazing sites in Paris. I've been 3 times to date and still haven't seen them all. Another excuse to go back in a few years! Here's some more of my fave places:
Paris is amazing and should be on everyone's Bucket List! I will definitely be returning to this fabulous city in the future. If you have any questions or are planning a trip and want to know more don't hesitate to message me or leave a comment below.
Until Next Time,
I've been lucky enough to travel a lot of Europe over the past three or so years and there are definitely some places that stand out more so than others. As Christmas is fast approach I thought I'd share some of the cities I think would be perfect for a Christmas Market break.
I book all my trips with Lorraine Wynne Travel Councellor. The great thing about booking with her is you can pay alot of trips on deposit and pay them off bit by bit making it super easy to plan your dream holiday or quick city break. Check out her Facebook here.
1. Krakow, Poland
Krakow is the 'up and coming' city of Europe in my opinion and with good reason. It is stunning! A relatively small city it is easy to get around and the market square is so pretty. Aside from the markets you can also do tours of the Salt Mines which are amazing and Auschwitz with I highly recommend visiting. Although we went in March, the cold weather made it all the more enjoyable being cosy and wrapped up in our wool hats and scarves. A bonus, it is also super inexpensive to eat and drink, so you can enjoy mulled wine for €1/€2.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
I went to the Christmas markets last year in Prague and it was just lovely. Again, relatively small compared to other European cities. The main square host a huge market full of food, crafts and nick-knacks. We went on the weekend and the Saturday night was extremely busy however the Sunday was more quiet and perfect to stroll around. I love Prague, I've been to this gorgeous city twice and would go back in a heartbeat!
3. Budapest, Hungary
My favourite city to date! I love Budapest and I want to go back to experience the Christmas markets. This city is just breathtaking! From the Danube, to the thermal springs there is truly something for everyone. It is one of the bigger cities so there is a lot to do and markets scattered throughout. My sister is going in a couple of weeks and to say I'm jealous is an understatement. Again, it is one of the more affordable city breaks.
4. Paris, France
I think a little bit of my heart will always be left in Paris. No matter how many times I visit this city it is like the first and I fall in love all over again. This is where I am spending two days to enjoy the markets this year! From the beautiful architecture to the delicious food I just love Paris. It is on the more expensive side, but in my opinion is 110% worth the extra cost. Again it is one of those cities where being wrapped up in winter clothes adds to the experience (if that makes sense)! Paris, t'amore!
The motherland of Christmas Markets! Much like Paris, Berlin has a piece of my heart. I love this city for two reasons - 1. There is so much history and culture and 2. The transport is amazing! (Random I know). What I like about Berlin is almost everything is within the one area or two stops away via tube. You will find various squares filled with huts full of goodness. Much like Dublin in price. You could spend 2 or 10 days in Berlin and still find something to do!
There are my suggestions for some winter break! If you have any questions about any of the places mentioned above please ask away. I have been to them all and would love to help any way I can.
Until next time,
2017 saw another adventure take place during the month of July as my friends and I interrailed through Scandinavia! Our first stop was Oslo, we had two days of touring around the city and today's post is going to be all about it.
Vikings, Forts & Lots of Boats
Oslo itself is a relatively small city compared to others I have been to. There was surprisingly more to do than I initially thought. Alot of the main museums are on a little island about 20 minutes off the mainland, however there are some pretty impressive buildings in the city itself.
We did a tour of the Norwegian Parliament which was extremely interesting. For those of you who don't know, Norway has a King, Prime Minister and Parliament, unlike other monarchy the Parliament can decide at any time to 'get rid of' the King. I thought it was both interesting and confusing!
City Hall was also an interesting place, the main foyer was huge with murals and marble everywhere. It's free to visit - always a bonus!
Fram, Viking & Kon-Tiki Museums
A short ferry ride from the harbour takes you to Bygdøy where there are several museums for you to see. The first is the Viking museum, a MUST DO! It is about a 10 minute walk from the dock so make sure and bring comfy shoes! Follow that by a 15/20 walk to the trio of museums - The Kon Tiki Museum, seeing the adventures of a group of men across the Atlantic on a raft. The Maritime Museum - more boats to look at but really nice views of the city skyline and the Fram Museum - Norway's most visited spot which houses a giant polar ship - very cool!
All these are included in the OSLO CITY PASS. It cost us €60 and it included most of the sites along with public transport, ferries and discounts to restaurants including the Hard Rock Cafe.
Oslo, like most Scandinavian countries is expensive so the pass makes it more affordable. Food and Alcohol are very expensive so being smart, going to supermarkets, getting water for the day, snacks and then a good meal in the evening is advisable.
Things to do...
In my opinion two days is more than enough to see all Oslo has to offer. The Olso Pass is a must to make it a bit easier on the pockets. Check out my blog to see the Oslo - Bergen railway here (the most scenic rail journey in the world).
Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Also a thank you for helping me get to the Finals of the V by Very Blog Awards for the travel category! You have no idea how much it means to me and here's to bigger and better things to come!
Until next time,