conscious traveling, coronavirus, Covid-19, culture, fika, Hotel, Hotels, Stockholm, Sweden

Post-Lockdown Travels: Stockholm

When I left Sweden last year in mid-December little did I know that I would not be able to go back for the next nine months. To my dearest people, it was just another “see you soon” hug and I didn’t even say farewell to some friends. Then Corona-crisis started all around the world. Some countries, like my own, had super strict lockdowns. Meanwhile, only Sweden stayed sane. I even read somewhere that if an alien ended up in 2020 Sweden, they would have a hard time finding out that we are living in the middle of a pandemic. After spending almost nine months of being apart from my favourite people and country – I finally visited Sweden in late August-September.



WHERE I STAYED
It was my seventh visit to Stockholm. Each time I stay in new places, visit new restaurants and try new things. And each time, my experience gets better. As a conscious traveller, alongside comfort, it is also important to me that the hotel I am staying in has a conscious approach to business. That is why I stayed at Hotel Birger Jarl. Centrally located on Tulegatan 8, in Norrmalm, yet in a very quiet and vibrant neighbourhood. Hotel Birger Jarl is an amazing place for a super relaxing weekend, working remotely, or just to enjoy your vacation in STHLM. Very recently the hotel partnered up with a sustainable beauty product brand – IDUN. Their hair & skincare products are available in the hotel’s dreamy bathrooms. It is the first time IDUN has partnered up with a hotel.







To keep the number of people in the restaurant at the same time to the minimum, the hotel offers a booking option for the breakfast venue. Birger Jarl has modern, minimalistic rooms, with a view over the beautiful streets of Stockholm. Keep an eye on their website as they run quite attractive deals almost every season. For example, right now you can enjoy up to 40% off on your Weekend stay at Hotel Birger Jarl.





WHERE I ATE:
As a vegan traveller, Sweden is my personal paradise. Almost every city has a variety of vegan restaurants. But even if you visit a non-vegan restaurant, most of the places always have vegan-friendly options as well. With every visit, my preferences change. So this time I will share two of my current favourite vegan places that you definitely need to check out in Stockholm:

1. MyVegina – located on Norrtullsgatan 21, has amazing vegan options including hot and cold dishes and drinks.

2. Hermitage – right in the heart of Gamla Stan, on St. Nygatan 11 offers vegan buffet every day. It’s an ALL YOU CAN EAT dreamy paradise.

OVERALL TRAVEL EXPERIENCE:
Sweden almost looked and felt the same as ever, during the corona pandemic in Summer. But one can definitely see the lack of tourists while walking on Gamla Stan, or queueing for museums, which, by the way, are free for everyone. I will not lie, I kind of enjoyed less packed old town of STHLM, giving me more calmness to spend more time in touristic areas.



After visiting Sweden, my approach to coronavirus has also changed. I am less panicked and more careful. As I spent March-July in the super strict lockdown of Georgia, curfews and face masks in an open space included, I could not imagine that people in the Swedish part of the world would keep living normally. By normally I mean that social distancing has always been a thing in Sweden, even before corona. It is called simple manners in this part of the world. Most people work from home, most universities study remotely too, most stores have self-checkout tills, and social events for more than 50 people are still banned.
 


I am looking forward to visiting Sweden all over again. In the meantime, stay safe and if you plan your trip to Stockholm, alongside this one, you can check out my previous blog posts about what to see and do in STHLM.

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breakfast, brunch, fika, Hotel, Hotels, photography, Stockholm, Sweden, travel, Trips & Other Stories, Uncategorized, vegan, Vegetarian

An Instagrammable Guide to Stockholm

As you might have noticed from my Instagram, I am living in Gothenburg for almost a year already. Last Summer, when I visited Scandinavia for the first time, I surely highlighted my trip to Stockholm, which made me come back to Sweden for a much longer period because of coffee shops, a healthy lifestyle, Fika, people, and eco-friendly culture.
Since then, I have visited Stockholm five times, and as an architecture geek, I am falling in love with the city more and more every time.

Here’s my very Instagram-friendly guide to Stockholm.

Where I Stayed
The most important thing for me while booking a hotel is the location. It is crucial for me that the hotel is budget-friendly, centrally located, but in a calm area. On top of that, it is also my concern that, as a conscious traveler, the place I am going to stay is eco-friendly. That’s how I found a perfect match for all of my needs and wishes, which happens to be Hotel Tegnérlunden right in the heart of Stockholm.

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Hotel Tegnérlunden is located at Tegnérlunden park, where you will meet a statue of the iconic Astrid Lindgren. A lot of bars and restaurants are within walking distance.
The hotel has many options for breakfast (including vegetarian & vegan options), the breakfast venue is located on the 6th floor, which means that you will have an amazing view over Stockholm city center while having your daily dose of nutrition.

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The iconic Gamla Stan
The old town of Stockholm is full of 17th, 18th-century buildings, narrow colorful streets, modern Nordic and international restaurants, cozy cafes and a lot more attractions like the Royal Palace or Storkyrkan Cathedral. Make sure to discover the old town on foot!
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And in the evening you can enjoy nice cocktails in modern bars full of local and international people.
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Where to Fika
Fika is probably the most Swedish thing you will ever experience: a coffee/tea break with something sweet like Swedish chocolate balls or cinnamon buns. You can fika (it is also being used as a verb) with your friends or even on your first date.
If you are a coffee lover like me, Stockholm will also be your favorite destination. You have cute little coffee shops almost everywhere, that serve very delicious Swedish desserts. My favorite fika places change almost every month, but one place that always tops my list is Rosendals Trädgård where you can go for plants shopping right after your coffee break.
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My other fave fika place around Sweden and especially Stockholm is Johan and Nyström. They serve hands down one of the best coffees in the country. The minimalistic Scandinavian interior design makes the coffee shop a great place for meetings, and even for work.

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There are also various cozy coffee shops around Gamla Stan that you definitely need to check out. For your best breakfast & brunch experience, you can also check my previous blog post about Stockholm.

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3edf41e5-7cc5-45e1-b35d-92e9d7061bd9Even though I have been to Stockholm several times, this was the first time I visited the Swedish capital during wintertime. It might indeed be colder here than in other countries in Europe, and it gets dark pretty early, around 3pm, but I would still suggest you visit Stockholm during late November/early December just to enjoy open-air ice-skating, Christmas flea markets around the city, and a lot of mulled wine while walking around the city.

Here are some pictures I took while discovering Stockholm by foot on Skeppsholmen, Södermalm, and Norrmalm.

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I hope you will enjoy your stay in Stockholm and make sure to share your favorite destinations with me on Instagram.

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brunch, Czech Republic, food, Hotel, photography, Prague, stories, travel, trip, Trips & Other Stories, Uncategorized

Where to Stay in Prague

It is no wonder Prague has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe during the last couple of years. A city where you can enjoy beautiful architecture, delicious food, one of the best beers and most importantly – cheap prices even during the most touristic season; July-August.

Prague’s beauty comes from that it wasn’t severely damaged during World War II. Therefore many of its historic buildings still remain intact today. Its buildings were also relatively untouched during the 17th and 18th century, which nowadays make Prague one of the most breathtaking cities with an unusual mix of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

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View from the Astronomical Tower in Prague

Here is where to stay in Prague in order to make the best out of your trip without breaking your bank!

1) Residence U Černého Orla
Located right in the heart of Prague’s old town, just 100 meters away from the historic Charles Bridge, Residence U Černého Orla is set in an elegant Baroque house. If you are looking for a vintage styled, centrally-located and budget-friendly hotel, you should definitely check out Residence U Černého Orla.
One of the best things about the hotel is the breakfast, which is served every morning during the weekdays from 7 – 11 a.m. and during the weekend from 8 – 11 a.m. at the Residence U Černého Orla Restaurant. It includes not only Czech but also international cuisine. You can have a fresh start of the day with a French or English breakfast alongside a lot of other options in their menu.
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The comfort about Residence U Černého Orla is that you can basically walk to anywhere in Prague’s old town and discover every little street by foot.
The iconic John Lenon Wall is just a two-minute walk from the hotel.
Also, if you’ll take my advice, leave your windows a bit open while you sleep, trust me, you will wake up to the most delicious Czech Chimney Cake smell, which is every dessert lover’s dream to find.

 

Another good thing about the hotel is that every day from 3 – 5 p.m. you can enjoy free snacks like fruit, club sandwiches and cookies.

If you need any help or advice from their friendly staff working there regarding entertainment in Prague, they will help you out at any time by arranging tickets to theatre performances and more.

 

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2) MeetMe 23
Another budget-friendly and super modern option you have while staying in Prague is MeetMe23. Located right in front of the Central Station and around 400 meters away from the National Museum of Prague, Meetme23 will give you a really comfortable vacation experience, with 24 hours reception desk. They even have a fun game called Escape-Game, which is your chance to win free drinks in the hotel’s restaurant.
Breakfast is served every morning from 7 – 10 a.m.
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You will also meet those cute blue figures at MeetMe23, where you will be able to create your own little figure right next to the reception desk, which will be a nice memory from your Czech trip.
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Now that you have an idea about where to stay in Prague, let me tell you about the Vegan-friendly places in the city. Because, as a pescatarian who is on her way to be vegan, it can be tricky for me to find good food on the go. While I love vegetarian food and am always ready to try something new, it’s next to impossible to find a meat-free dish in some areas.
If you’re a pescatarian, vegetarian, or vegan, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
As locals told me if you went to Prague ten years ago and said you were vegetarian, you might get a few raised eyebrows.
But thankfully things have totally changed since then. Places like Vegan’s Prague, Beas Vegetarian Dhaba, or Veget Bistro Café will blow your mind away with their super delicious Vegetarian and Vegan cuisine.

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Vegan Sushi in Prague

Stay tuned for my amazing weekend trip I took to Vienna while visiting Prague. Coming your way super soon!

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Astronomical Clock in Prague

Meanwhile, you can follow my journey on Instagram. Make sure to share your travel stories with me!

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