The Best Places to Visit in Northern Norway


The mountains of Senja island in northern Norway

Are you planning a trip to Scandinavia? If so, you probably already have a bucket list. But here’s my take on some of the best places to visit in northern Norway that may be new to you.

There’s a lot to pack into a trip to Norway. From the fjords to the big cities, the country offers so many attractions. Yet when people ask me for my advice, I often point them northwards. Northern Norway is stunning, perhaps the most picturesque region after the fjords.

Introducing northern Norway

It never looks like it on a map, but the north of Norway is vast. Distances are long and that could be why traditional cultures have remained in place for so long. That means it’s impossible to see everything in this article on just one trip, without dedicating weeks to the task.

The region is also incredibly varied. The mountains of Lofoten offer some of the most incredible scenery on the planet. But the area east of Tromsø is largely open and barren. It’s wild and wonderful in a completely different way.

If you’re looking for an easy way to see some of the region’s best sights, consider a Hurtigruten coastal voyage. You’ll miss some inland attractions, but you’ll get a fantastic view of Lofoten, Tromsø and some other highlights. If you visit in the winter, it’s a great way to catch the northern lights too.

Despite their location at the north of Norway, many places including Lofoten and Tromsø are not as cold as you might expect, thanks to the warming waters of the Gulf Stream. However, there are significant climate variations between the coastal areas and the inland region. If you’re heading to Kautokeino and Karasjok, wrap up warm!

Read more: This German Photographer Captures Northern Norway’s Raw Beauty

As for where you should go, it’s impossible to cover everything. I’m sure many people in the comments below will be moaning that I didn’t include X or Y! But this article isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list. It’s simply my personal recommendations. Use it as a resource to inspire your own trip planning. Enjoy!

Senja island

Norway’s second largest island Senja rivals the Lofoten islands for spectacular scenery. But there’s one crucial difference: there’s way fewer visitors! To fully appreciate the peace and stunning sights, you should plan to spend at least a day, preferably two, and be prepared to hike.

A good place to start is by driving the national scenic route. The narrow road twists and turns along fjords giving you sight of steep, ragged mountains plunging deep into the water. The only trouble you’ll have is to decide where to stop for a walk!

Okshornan mountains on Senja island, Norway

If you bump into a local on your wanders, there’s plenty to ask them about. Storytelling has a long tradition on Senja. Ask about Senjatrollet–the troll seen both on land and at sea—and how the Ausa mountain acquired a face and eyes.

If you have time on your travels, call in to Husøy island in the Øyfjord. This windswept isle is home to a few hundred hardy souls, some of whom live in houses stayed with wires to withstand the fierce winds. Husøy island is connected to Senja by a breakwater.

Nyksund, Vesterålen

Many Norwegian fishing villages have been through turbulent cycles of activity, but few more stories are starker than Nyksund’s. Once a thriving home to hundreds of cod fishermen, Nyksund was abandoned in the 1970s as the industry struggled.

Read more: Photos From Northern Norway’s Remote Vesterålen Islands

The village was saved by an enterprising German. Soon enough the village had life again, with accommodation, cafés, and galleries and even a population of locals, albeit only in the summer. It takes a long time to drive there, but it’s well worth it. Even at the height of summer, Nyksund still feels like the end of the world.

One of the well-known names to enjoy the area is none other than Queen Sonja. She’s even lent her name to the hiking trail over the mountain to the neighbouring village of Stø.

The ghost village of Nyksund in Vesterålen, Norway
Nyksund

The Dronningruta trail (which means Queen’s Route in Norwegian) is actually two routes that run between Nyksund and Stø, forming a circle; both routes are well marked. A straightforward 5km walk tours the sandy beaches of the coastline, while experienced hikers can tackle the tougher 14.5km route over the mountain.

The Trollfjord

Svolvær is the launch point for tours to the Trollfjord, one of Norway’s lesser known yet most dramatic fjords. While you could spend days exploring the Sognefjord alone, the Trollfjord is just 2km long and extremely narrow. You enter the fjord at its narrowest point, just 100 metres wide. Surrounded by towering mountains, this is no trip for claustrophobics.

The fjord received national notoriety in 1890 when it was the site of a standoff between the industrial steam ships and traditional open-boat fishermen about access and fishing rights to the fjord. It’s a scene that was captured in a famous painting on display in the art museum of Svolvær.

Snow-covered mountains at the Trollfjord

Today the area is known just as much for its local population of sea eagles as for the plentiful stocks of fish. Captains often use fish to lure the breathtaking birds close to the ship for a close-up view. Unlike some of the other Norwegian fjords, there is no road access.

The World War II bunker in Kirkenes

Kirkenes is notable for its Russian influence, which extends to the bilingual street signs and many shop advertisements. But it’s also known for being one of the most heavily bombed cities during the Second World War. In the town square, a War Mothers Monument commemorates the effort of the town’s women during the conflict.

Read more: Arctic Norway Travel Guide

The intimate andersgrotta bomb shelter is built into the bedrock under the town. It gives visitors a feel for what it must have been like during the hundreds of occasions local residents had to take refuge.

Access to the shelter is by pre-arrangement only, so that a short film and local guides can add context to your surroundings. Tours run daily for groups in the summer season, but individual places can be booked in advance with the Kirkenes snow hotel.

Tromsø’s Mount Fløya

To fully appreciate the spectacular Arctic setting of Tromsø, take the city’s cable car. This recently upgraded facility whisks visitors up Storsteinen mountain, 421 meters above sea level.

Blue light of Tromsø in the Norwegian winter
The view of Tromsø from Mount Fløya during the winter ‘blue hour’

In the winter, it’s a popular place for hunting the northern lights. In the summer, many visitors make the trip just before midnight to enjoy the experience of the midnight sun. Wrap up warm, because it gets chilly up here pretty much anytime of the year!

For the fitter, the Sherpa staircase (sherpatrappa) is a great alternative to the cable car. The set of 922 stone steps were built by Nepalese mountain road workers to reduce erosion on the existing path.

The witch monument in Vardø

Along with climate change, Vardø is known for the witch trials in the winter of 1662–1663, although people had been accused and killed for many years before that. About 150 people were executed for sorcery in the region over a period of 40 years, including many Sami men.

In 2011, a memorial was built on Vardø beside one of the country’s national scenic routes. The striking Steilneset memorial commemorates those killed along with other cases of genocide. The burning chair and memorial hall were designed by artist Louise Bourgeois and the architect Peter Zumthor.

Sami culture in Kautokeino & Karasjok

The Sami people are a very visible characteristic of Finnmark county in northern Norway. The indigenous people are spread over the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

Kautokeino Church, Norway

Many visitors are spellbound by the vivid costumes, outdoor lifestyle, and folk songs known as joik, compared by some to the traditional chanting of some Native American cultures.

Although visible across northern Norway, the Sami culture really comes to the forefront in Kautokeino. About four in five people speak Sami as their primary language of everyday life in this small town. One in three Kautokeino residents work in the reindeer business, which has sustained the Sami people for years and continues to do so today.

About 80 miles away, the equally small town Karasjok is home to the striking Sami Parliament. Set amid the pine forests of Karasjok, the Parliament building is clad in Siberian larch to blend in with its surroundings. Opened in 1989, the Parliament acts as an institution of cultural autonomy for the Sami people. 39 representatives are elected every four years.

The responsibilities of the Parliament include the management of the national government’s Sami Development Fund, the development of the Sami language, protection of cultural heritage sites, and development of Sami teaching aids.

The Norwegian Sami Parliament in Karasjok, Finnmark
The Norwegian Sami Parliament in Karasjok, Finnmark

A total of 14,000 people in Norway are registered in the Sami electoral register. To be eligible for inclusion, you must have at least one great-grandparent who speaks or spoke Sami. Curiously, you must also attest to “feeling” Sami.

Visit mainland Norway’s northernmost point

I say the northernmost point rather than the North Cape (Nordkapp), because, well, it’s complicated! Choose for yourself which place you consider to be Norway’s northernmost point. As most people do head to the Cape, let’s start there!

This iconic destination attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The reason is simple to understand if you arrive on a clear day. The view from the plateau really does make it feel like you are standing on the edge of the world. Yet the rest of Magerøya island also offers stunning views and an isolation that you won’t find at Nordkapp.

Given its location at over 71 degrees north, weather can be highly unpredictable, and thick fog can often obscure the otherwise beautiful view across open ocean and make driving the E69 highway difficult and dangerous. For these reasons, planning ahead is essential on any visit to the cape.

North Cape globe sculpture
The famous globe sculpture at Nordkapp

A modern visitor centre is home to a panoramic movie of the variable weather conditions and birdlife year-round. There’s also a gallery, a small chapel, and most importantly in this part of the world, clean public restrooms! The center also contains what has to be one of Norway’s largest gift shops.

Å: the end of the road in Lofoten

The enjoyable road trip in Lofoten along the E10 ends abruptly in a car park in the ancient fishing village of Å. Today, Å functions as a living museum.

Founded by the Moskenes History and Museum Society, the main function of the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum has been to preserve the fishing village rather than to build anything new. The old boathouse has been converted to hold most of the museum’s exhibitions, but the whole village is an exhibition.

Don’t miss the 19th-century stone oven bakery that still produces the bread and aromatic cinnamon buns sold in the village café. Other buildings worth a look include the former cod liver oil factory, the forge, and the boathouse. Each one contains exhibitions detailing what life was like in each particular building.

Cottages and boats at Å in Lofoten
Fishing cottages in Å

The original 19th-century grocery shop still functions as a shop today, selling local food, literature, and groceries to the small number of local residents and holidaymakers. You can even stay here. Considering the small size of Å, there’s a lot of places to stay.

This makes the village a popular choice with travellers. That’s especially true for those starting or ending their trip with the nearby ferry to the mainland from Moskenes.

The whirlpools of Bodø

Unlike the northern lights, the Saltstraumen maelstrom is a natural phenomenon that runs to a timetable! That’s due to the predictable movement of the moon in relation to earth. Approximately every six hours, up to 400 million cubic meters of seawater is forced though a 150-metre-wide strait.

As gravity pushes water through the narrow strait, water speeds reach up to 40kph, forming whirlpools. When the current is at its strongest, the difference in water levels between the two sides of the strait can be up to a metre, easily visible with the naked eye.

While not as powerful to watch as a waterfall or white-water rapids, Saltstraumen is nevertheless a fascinating demonstration of the power of nature. The impressive backdrop of the Børvasstindene mountain range adds to that feeling.

The Saltstraumen maelstrom at its height
The Saltstraumen maelstrom at its strongest.

Once you’re done, Bodø itself is worth a few hours of your time. The city is preparing itself for its year in the spotlight as European Capital of Culture in 2024, so expect a lot of changes in the months and years to come.

Birdwatching on Røst

Last but absolutely not least, the islands of Røst. Despite all the remote places on this list, Røst has to be the most remote of them all.

This tiny group of islands is located more than 100km from the mainland and around 40km from Å in Lofoten. Despite its remoteness, driving here is possible thanks to the daily ferry service from Moskenes and Bodø.

The sole reason the community of 500 people exists here is the traditional production and export of stockfish. A sports hall, restaurant and festival carry the name Querini, a 15th-century sailor from Venice whose shipwreck on Røst lay the foundation for the industry that still exists almost 600 years later.

The ruins of a 19th-century stone church stand on the northern coastline, while the current one can seat more than half the islands’ population.

Elsewhere in Northern Norway

Chances are, I haven’t mentioned your favourite place! That’s because the region is vast and there’s so much to see. With that in mind, I hope this article gives you some ideas for planning your next trip north of the Arctic circle. Some other ideas for you include:

Narvik: Another important location during World War II. Several naval battles were fought over control of the ice-free harbour. Another important aspect to Narvik, both then and now, is the rail link to Kiruna in Sweden.

Sortland, Vesterålen: Not a place I’d recommend for a long stay, but it’s worth a stop if you’re passing through on the way to Nyksund. Check out the town’s blue buildings and the curious story behind them.

Svalbard: I didn’t include the Arctic archipelago in this article because it’s so far away! But if you have the time and the money (it’s an expensive place to visit, even by Norwegian standards), Svalbard is an incredible experience. The main settlement Longyearbyen can be reached via picturesque flights from Oslo and Tromsø.

Snow hotels: Another expensive but memorable option is to spend the night in one of the region’s snow hotels in Alta or Kirkenes. They are not as cold as you might think!

What’s your favourite place to visit in northern Norway – and why? Let us know in the comments below! If you’ve enjoyed this article, why not share it on Pinterest so that others can find it and enjoy it too? We’ve got the ideal pin for you:

A coastal scene from the north of Norway

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San Vicente Palawan Travel Guide: DIY Itinerary, How and When to Go, Hotels, Things to do and see + more


The Ultimate Travel Guide to San Vicente Palawan

Out of the numerous local trips I’ve had, I found San Vicente in Palawan as one of the most promising destinations to date. It’s known for its long white beaches and picturesque surroundings – but more than that, one can feel the tranquility because unlike its nearby municipalities, San Vicente has maintained its number of tourists to preserve and protect their sanctuary.

San Vicente Palawan Travel Guide photo by by Jimanggro via Wikipedia CC
San Vicente Palawan Travel Guide photo by Jimanggro via Wikipedia CC

San Vicente is the first-class municipality of Palawan and has two barangays that offer various activities for tourists – Port Barton and Poblacion.

To walk you through this great destination, here’s a travel guide on where to go, where to stay, and what to do and see in San Vicente, Palawan.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Malagnang Mud Festival photo via Malagnang Festival FB
Malagnang Mud Festival photo via Malagnang Festival FB

You’ll notice a lot of European tourists visiting San Vicente – most especially Port Barton from December to Mid-May, where they escape during the winter season in their respective countries. However, if you’re into cultural festivities, you might as well visit in June for their Malagnang Festival which usually happens around June 19-21.

HOW TO GET THERE

From the long 7 long hours of land travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and vice versa, travelers can now book direct flights from Manila to San Vicente, Palawan via Skyjet with 50-minute travel time.

San Vicente Airport in Palawan
San Vicente Airport in Palawan

However, if you prefer the latter, you can book a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Once you arrived at the Puerto Princesa International Airport, take a van going to San Vicente, which will take about 5 hours.

HOW TO GET AROUND

The local government of San Vicente has also thought of sustainable ways to introduce more transportation options for guests and tourists. One of these would be their electronic bikes (E-bikes) which can be used on land tours, and also a ride from the San Vicente Airport going to your resort or hotel in Poblacion or Long Beach.

San Vicente Palawan Electronic Bikes
San Vicente Palawan Electronic Bikes

You can also rent a habal-habal which are suitable for longer distances and rough roads. However, if you’re into DIY travel, you can rent your motorcycles as well.

WHAT TO DO

With lots of things to do in San Vicente, you’re sure to enjoy an escapade like no other – whether you’re alone or with a group.

Beach-hopping in San Vicente

Inaladelan Island Resort in San Vicente Palawan
Inaladelan Island Resort in San Vicente Palawan

Some of the beaches in San Vicente worthy of a visit include the Long Beach, Inaladelan, Capsalay Island, Ombo Beach, and more. To see the complete list of beaches, click here. To explore some of the beaches, one of the best options would be renting a motorbike with a driver, good for 2 persons.

Also read: 19 Must-Visit Beautiful Islands And Beaches In San Vicente, Palawan

Catch the Sunset at Bato ni Ningning

Bato ni Ningning photo by Stevien Camposano via Facebook
Bato ni Ningning photo by Stevien Camposano via Facebook

Watch the sun as it sets at one of the best viewing decks in the municipality. It is perched on top of a hill in Brgy. Alimanguan, the northernmost barangay of San Vicente, and is also the best place to have a fantastic view of the Irawan beach and of course, be able to get that Instagram-worthy shot. Take note that there is a 20 pesos entrance fee.

Discovering the Many Treasures of Port Barton

Port Barton Beach
Port Barton Beach

Another gem worth checking out is Port Barton, where most tourists frequent to get a glimpse of the breathtaking island. Aside from the sunset and rich wildlife, some of the places to visit in Port Barton include the Turtle Sanctuary at Secret Paradise Resort, named as the only official turtle sanctuary endorsed by the Philippine Government (DENR) and the WWF- Philippines.

Other activities include trekking to Pamuayan Falls and beach bumming at Inaladelan Island.

Go underwater at NaoNao Beach

Be mesmerized with the beach’s azure waters and white sand. This beach in Port Barton is also famous for its 70-hectare coral reef that you can explore if you’re into diving and snorkeling. Once you’ve It’s also the perfect way to chill at its tropical cottages and indulge on some fresh seafood – definitely a tropical getaway.

Stay for lunch at Starfish Island

Sandbar or Starfish Island photo by Aivan Abao
Sandbar or Starfish Island photo by Aivan Abao

This island is surrounded by lots of starfish and is a popular hot spot for lunch. It is included in one of the island tours, and light swimming is the perfect activity to do in its shallow waters.

WHERE TO STAY

Club Agutaya

Club Agutaya in San Vicente Palawan
Club Agutaya in San Vicente Palawan

Location: Long Beach, Barangay San Isidro, Palawan, San Vicente, 5309

Check Rates and Availability

The resort is in its perfect state and it has a perfect location if you just want to stay at the beachfront. Everything the resort has is unforgettable, especially its friendly staff and its lovely in-house cats and dogs (seriously). I can’t wait to go back to this piece of paradise! Read our Club Agutaya Resort Review.

Villa Encantador Resort

Villa Encantador Resort in San Vicente Palawan
Villa Encantador Resort in San Vicente Palawan

Address: Long Beach Road, San Vicente, Palawan, 5309 Palawan

This is an ideal accommodation if part of the itinerary is beach bumming at the long beach and having some time for yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They feature modern Unit/Villa and includes free use of the following: free kayaking, free videoke singing, and more. The room is equipped with corner tables, With Heater in each bathroom, comfy beds, and a TV. Lastly, the resort can also arrange short trips and activities like island hopping.

Turublien Long Beach Inn and Bar

Turublien Long Beach Inn and Beach Bar
Turublien Long Beach Inn and Beach Bar

Address: Poblacion San Vicente, San Vicente, Palawan

Check Rates and Availability

If you’re on a budget, then this beach inn might be the perfect place for you. It’s perfect for backpackers, as they have a bar, free private parking, a garden and barbecue facilities. They also feature family rooms with a private bathroom with a shower. The resort also provides a 24-hour front desk, airport transportation, a shared kitchen, and free WiFi.

La Acuario Beach Inn

La Acuario Beach Inn Native Cottages
La Acuario Beach Inn Native Cottages

Address: Sitio Panindigan, Poblacion IV-B MIMAROPA PH, San Vicente, 5309 Palawan

Check Rates and Availability

Although a budget-friendly accommodation, this place is one of the most recommended in San Vicente. They’re praised with their impressive food menu, cleanliness, room amenities, and friendly staff. Rooms are completed with free towels, toiletries, and clean beds. With only PHP1,000, you’d get to book a standard room and enjoy the sea view from there.

Also see: List Of Hotels And Resorts In San Vicente, Palawan

WHERE TO EAT

No San Vicente getaway is complete without indulging on various cuisine – most especially seafood dishes at the following restaurants.

Ayette’s Bamboo House Restaurant

Steamed Prawns at Ayette’s Bamboo House Restaurant
Steamed Prawns at Ayette’s Bamboo House Restaurant

Address: Corner Rizal Ballesteros Street, San Vicente, Port Barton, Palawan, Philippines

Located just a few steps away from Itaytay beach lies Ayette’s Bamboo House Restaurant – offering a wide range of menu and drool-worthy dishes such as the range of continental breakfast, prawns with garlic, curries, and fresh seafood of course. Fruit shakes are also available. Impressively, this place also features a garden and accommodation perfect for families and huge groups.

Mabuti Eat & Chill

creamy mushroom pasta photo via Mabuti Eat & Chill FB
creamy mushroom pasta photo via Mabuti Eat & Chill FB

Address: Rizal Street Port Barton, Palawan, Philippines

A healthy conscious restaurant in Port Barton? Yes, please! If you want to have your coffee and ice cream fixed with a view of the ocean, then this place is the place to be. They offer vegetarian and vegan breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and they do not use any artificial colorings to create their bread and cakes. To top it all off, they also serve the best coffees and fruit shakes. Some of their recommended food on the menu includes the mozzarella toast, veggie burger, and a mango salad.

Mojitos RestoBar

Mojito Flight at Mojitos Restobar
Mojito Flight at Mojitos Restobar

Address: Purok Maunlaud | San Vicente road, Port Barton, San Vicente

Cap off your island hopping with some amazing concoctions and refreshments at Mojitos RestoBar. It has a very cozy and relaxing atmosphere which makes this a perfect place to chill and try some of their impressive refreshments. Try their sharing platters! Definitely worth the hype!

Oasis Port Barton

Address: Roxas Street | Purok Masigla, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan Island, Philippines

Great and quality seafood dishes are here at Oasis Port Barton. It’s one of the most talked-about restaurants in Port Barton because of its impressive dishes, service, and clean surroundings. Must-tries include bulalo, garlic shrimp, and tapsilog.

Reef Café

Breakfast bagels at Reef Cafe Port Barton
Breakfast bagels at Reef Cafe Port Barton

Address: Bonifacio Street | Corner Burgos Street, Port Barton, San Vicente

It’s burger frenzy here at Reef Café which is popular for having the best burger in town. Try out the onion rings and fish tacos! People also keep coming back for more western food such as margarita pizza, veggie quesadilla, and chicken kebab skewers to name a few.

San Vicente is Palawan is an unmissable destination in the Philippines – fact. Its tranquil beaches are proof that our country is a gem worthy of a visit whether you’re a local or a tourist. Needless to say, this destination will ensure that everyone has nothing but a good time with a trove of memories to last them well into a lifetime.

With more options on how to go this paradise, you’re surely off to a great tropical adventure.

Palawan Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best San Vicente Palawan hotels, resorts, and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in San Vicente, Palawan? Please follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

*Help us improve this San Vicente Palawan Travel Guide by sending suggestions on new places to visit, foodie spots or any helpful travel tips. Happy Travels!

Also read:





Black Travel Vibes: Discover A Different Side To Iceland


Black Travel Vibes: Discover A Different Side To Iceland
Photo Credit: @just_janyah

In recent years Iceland has gone from relatively unknown to one of Black travel’s coolest destinations — literally. Just a quick scroll of social media shows that travelers just can’t get enough of this ice-cold “hotspot.”

Popular sites in the country like the famed Blue Lagoon and the Skógafoss Water Fall are a must when you visit, but there are other amazing gems to discover as well like the eerie Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck. Even when it comes to Iceland’s accommodations there’s more to uncover beyond ice hotels and bubble rooms.

This hidden side of Iceland is exactly what travelista Janyah (@just_janyah) set out to find on her trip to the country. From climbing arches to finding stillness in churches, Janyah saw a side to Iceland many don’t see. Check out more photos from her adventure and take notes from our guide so that you can plan a trip that will help you travel deeper in Iceland too.

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What to do in Sofia: The ultimate Sofia travel guide


Hello fellow visitors! Alexx right here from FindingAlexx I get on a year-long solo experience to a brand-new nation each week for a year, with my path based totally off the most affordable trip eachTuesday Yep, it’s as frantic as it appears! This outrageous experience took me to Sofia, a lovely concealed treasure in the Balkans and also the funding city ofBulgaria Here’s all you require to understand if you’re taking into consideration a journey to Sofia, from what to do, where to rest to exactly how to navigate and also extra.

Where to keep in Sofia

Let’s kick this off with some excellent information … Sofia is the excellent area if you get on a spending plan! There are a lot of economical hostels in Sofia with dormitory beds for much less than $13 an evening, or you can obtain an affordable resort space from regarding $32 an evening.

Normally I’m a large supporter for holiday accommodation with complete kitchen area centers so you can conserve cash on food, however food in Sofia is so economical (and also excellent!) that there’s truthfully no requirement to prepare your very own food.

Some wonderful alternatives for locations to keep in Sofia are Generaator Hostel, Peter Pan Hostel, 5 Vintage Guest House and also the aptly-named Hotel Cheap.

How to navigate Sofia

If you’re remaining in the city centre and also you do not mind obtaining your actions up, you’ll possibly be able to see the city rather conveniently by foot. A great deal of the primary views are within strolling range, and also straying aimlessly around the city was exactly how I discovered tons of my leading food suggestions!

If you like to obtain someplace quicker (and also possibly drier), there are cable cars, buses and also the city. A solitary trip is 1.60 BGN (regarding 90 cents) or a day pass with unrestricted travel is 4BGN (regarding $2).

There’s no Uber in Sofia, however there is a wonderful regional taxi application that does the very same point, called TaxiMe. You can register with your UK number, include in your bank card and also hail a flight via the application similar to you would certainly anywhere else.

To obtain to and also from the airport terminal conveniently and also fairly inexpensively, I would certainly advise obtaining a taxi from the airport terminal taxi stand. Only one firm is authorized to give taxi solutions at the airport terminal and also they have actually obtained typical price prices, so comply with the indications to the main taxi location and also you’ll be taken care of. To enter into the city centre you must pay regarding 15-20 BGN ($ 8-$12).

On an incredibly limited budget plan? You can obtain the city from Terminal 2 at the airport terminal to Serdika terminal for 1.60 BGN (cash money just so you’ll require to utilize an ATM MACHINE at the airport terminal), after that transfer to a bus, cable car or various other city to obtain closer to your resort.

How much to allocate Sofia

Yay for economical locations! Much like my week in Warsaw, Sofia was an actual reward for my budget.

If you’re searching for a difficulty, Sofia is in fact feasible to experience from just $15-$20 each day. This would certainly cover economical hostel holiday accommodation ($ 9-$13) and also grocery store or bakeshop food (up to $7). You can see tons of the lovely structures completely free, and also with a little Googling you might self-guide a city trip to learn more about the city’s communist background.

To include in a wonderful regional dish ($ 6-$10), a beverage ($ 3) and also the contribution for a complimentary strolling trip ($ 6), I would certainly advise budgeting around $40 a day.

You can obtain newly baked rewards from regional pastry shops for much less than 1BGN (regarding 65 cents), good sandwiches or salads for lunch from 4-8BGN ($ 1.95-$ 4.50) or somewhat fancier sit-down suppers from 12-20 BGN ($ 6.50-$12). A neighborhood beer will certainly set you back anything from 2BGN to 6BGN relying on where you are ($ 1.30-$ 4).

The ideal points to do in Sofia

Despite it not being as popular as various other Eastern European locations like Prague and also Budapest, the city has a great deal going all out and also there’s unlimited points to do in Sofia whatever you enjoy.

Gain some understanding right into Bulgaria’s rough past, look for pre-owned rewards at flea markets, consume your heart out at a few of my much-loved cafés from all my trips, or get away the metropolitan forest and also go out to discover an additional neighboring city. Here’s 5 of the very best points to do on your Sofia journey.

1. Learn regarding communist background

Bulgaria’s political past is something that’s still woven throughout the city, with significant head office, style, galleries and also sculptures standing for the communist age from 1946 to 1989.

Whether you’re an overall novice to communist background or all clued up and also desire to see exactly how if influenced Bulgaria especially, there’s a number of locations and also scenic tours to include to your Sofia communism course.

Coming from New Zealand, where communism’s never ever touched anywhere near our little edge of the globe and also where I went with mathematics and also scientific research courses over background, location and also national politics (geek, I understand), my understanding of Eastern Europe’s communist regimens was restricted.

First up is the Free Sofia strolling trip, which runs 3 or 4 times a day (relying on the period) and also is tip-based. Your regional trip guide will certainly take you around 20 of Sofia’s must-see places, and also you’ll obtain a suitable introduction of the background and also national politics of the city, in addition to a neighborhood’s pointers on points to do, consume and also see.

Free Sofia likewise has a day-to-day communism trip for just $11, which provides you a three-hour in- deepness go through of the city’s communist sites in addition to an understanding right into what Sofia resembled to live in throughout those 43 years.

Want extra? Consider seeing the National Historical Museum or the Museum of Socialist Art, which is residence to the significant red celebrity that rested on top of the communist celebration’s head office prior to being toppled in the late 80’s.

2. See the city’s most lovely spiritual structures

While the leading religious beliefs in Bulgaria without a doubt is Bulgarian Orthodox (at around 60%), there are some merely sensational churches, mosques, sanctuaries and also abbeys in the funding city.

Start off with one of the most legendary structure in the city, and also among the coolest structures I have actually ever before seen, Alexander NevskyCathedral This seriously outstanding Orthodox church was begun in 1882 however not complete till 30 years later on, and also it is just one of one of the most legendary sites in Bulgaria’s funding city, with a 45 m high gold-plated dome and also inside made from onyx, marble and also various other ultra-fancy products.

Other Orthodox churches that deserve a check out are St Nicholas Church (a Russian Orthodox church), the Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church, and also Sveta Nedelya Church, which has a significant background consisting of a funeral battle in 1925 by the Communist Party where over 500 of Bulgaria’s exclusive political numbers were hurt and also 150 were eliminated.

After Eastern Orthodox, the following most usual religious beliefs is Islam, with up to 15% of the populace determining asMuslim Bulgaria was under Ottoman policy for nearly 500 years, from the late 1300 s till the Russian Empire tackled the Ottoman Empire in 1878, however after being freed many thanks to Russia’s success and after that stating self-reliance in 1908, several structures from this age were repurposed or ruined. The 16 th century Banya Bashi Mosque is the only working mosque left in Sofia, and also because of this it’s a dynamic center for the city’s Muslim neighborhood.

Ancient background followers will certainly desire to make a quit at Sveti Georgi, a 4th-century Christian church constructed by the Romans in the old city ofSerdica It’s the earliest structure in the city, and also it’s residence to some sensational frescoes going back to the 10 th century.

3. Devour all the economical food

I’m a large advocate for food preparation your very own food while taking a trip to stick within a limited budget plan, and also typically enable myself a little investing cash weekly for a dish or 2 out. Buttttt in Sofia, I ate in restaurants every dish of the entire week. Yes, I claimed every dish!

The regional food scene is not just economical, however it’s in fact seriously outstanding as well. From pastry shops where you can obtain 4 breads or savouries for the matching of EUR1, to Instagrammable breakfast places with following degree meals, to standard dining establishments providing home-style meals, I would certainly return in a 2nd essentially simply for the food.

There’s bound to be a restaurant in Sofia ideal for whatever sort of food pleases your fancy, however right here are a few of my favourites.

Bistro Pesto was my top, and also I’m not embarrassed to claim I had lunch there 4 days in a row! They’re an incredibly charming edge dining establishment close to the primary purchasing blvd, and also they offer Italian food all the time and also evening. Their panini food selection is incredible; genuine Italian active ingredients and also a Bulgarian cost. Win win!

If you’re searching for a fashionable food image (no reasoning right here), look into the breakfast food selection at Rainbow Factory orBoho I really did not make it to Rainbow Factory however my hostel friends went crazy regarding it, and also I can directly guarantee the Oreo pancake pile atBoho Mmmmhmmmm.

And for a reasonably-priced however scrumptious sit-down supper, make sure to see the tales at Shtastlivetsa, a chain dining establishment with a HUGE food selection of home-cooked dishes. Prices are not surprisingly a little bit more than the regional road food delays, however the solution is amazing, the dishes are substantial and also there are a lot of passionate Bulgarian meals to select from.

4. Head right into the hills

Sofia’s landscape is unusual in regards to European funding cities, since there’s a range of mountains so close to the city centre. The base of Vitosha Mountain is just 10 kilometres approximately from the city, and also it’s conveniently obtainable by taxi, public transportation, or strolling if you desire to make a day of it.

In summer season Vitosha is a preferred treking location, where city-dwellers get away to on weekend breaks to obtain some fresh air. The greatest top is 2290 m however there’s likewise treks around the lower fifty percent of the hill to various rivers and also falls.

During winter season, the hill is a ski hotel, ideal for any type of snow rabbits on a spending plan. Although it is substantially less-developed than various other European ski locations like Switzerland and also France, your day pass and also rental will certainly be more affordable and also your cash will certainly go way better.

As well as being an adrenaline task location, Vitosha is residence to an additional Sofia must-see and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, BoyanaChurch Boyana is an Orthodox church from the 11 th century and also is renowned for the several frescoes it houses, specifically a collection ago in 1259.

5. Take an outing

There’s some rather extraordinary locations to see and also experience beyond Sofia itself, so if you have actually obtained the moment, I would certainly advise attempting to press in an outing or 2!

My leading choice for an outing from Sofia is Plovdiv, an additional Bulgarian city and also among both 2019 European Capitals ofCulture Plovdiv is a number of hrs far from Sofia by bus, and also tickets set you back regarding ₤ 6 each method. Once you’re in the city I would certainly advise getting on a complimentary strolling trip, run by the very same organisation that run the Sofia trip. They have actually obtained a city trip everyday year-round in addition to a complimentary graffiti trip daily from October toApril And if you desire to discover on your own, do not miss out on the special coloured homes that line the roads in the old community, it’s various to every various other European old community I have actually seen!

Fancy an exercise? There’s no far better location in Bulgaria to obtain relocating than in the Seven Rila Lakes location. Seven Rila Lakes is, you presumed it, residence to 7 antarctic lakes in the Rila chain of mountains, and also all are in between 2100 m and also 2500 m of elevation. It is feasible however it is difficult to arrive on public transportation so it’s ideal to work with a cars and truck and also drive (1.5-2 hrs), or to publication an arranged day trip or shuttle. Bonus idea: Don’ t miss out on Rila Monastery, a 10 th-century Eastern Orthodox abbey and also the biggest in the nation. Well worth a check out!

And there you have it, a complete travel guide for Sofia and also past for your Bulgarian experience! Book your trip to Sofia currently with STATravel If you desire to comply with even more of my experiences you can locate me on Instagram



Travel Guide for OWL Fans: Washington DC


Overwatch Washington Justice

With the Overwatch League kicking off this new season this past weekend in Dallas and New York City, fans are traveling across the country, or in some cases internationally to see their favorite teams play live. Some fans may end up spending a little more time than just the games in their host city, and with that in mind here is a list of recommendations to fill the time while visiting the United States capital for the Washington Justice’s Homestand.

Memorials and Museums tend to be one of the capital’s biggest attractions outside of the world of politics and sports. As one could imagine, there is an extraordinary amount of history to cover so guests would have to pick and choose depending on their stay, with that here are some recommendations for every homestand the Justice host. 

One of the easiest activities to do is to take advantage of the national parks services. D.C. has plenty of those connected to the National Mall, however, some of them are a little off the beaten track, they are well worth the trips.

  • Washington Wizards game Feb. 21, 7 pm EST- NBA game against the Cleveland Cavilers 
  • Washington Capitals game April 4, 7 pm EST- NHL game against the Florida Panthers
  • Washington Nationals games all at 7:05 pm EST for the following dates April 6, June 19 and June 22-MLB games against the Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Crumbs and Whiskers– If you are looking to get some friendly pets in, book in advanced and you can get a 15 minute cuddle session in with a cat or 70 minute stay for less than $25!
Ben's Chili Bowl
The original Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. Photo by Leigh Vogel
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl– A local favorite for politicians that has earned its reputation for a must-visit destination
  • Toki Underground– Claims to be “D.C.’s Original Ramen House” and can satisfy your noodles craving
  • Union Market– If you are looking for relatively cheap but local food, this is the spot to go to.
  • Pop’s Sea Bar– For those of you wanting to experience seafood on the east coast on a budget, look no further.
Dupont Underground live event space
Photo courtesy of Daniel Lobo
  • Bonsai National Museum-For nature lovers, this unique stop claims to be an “oasis of calm in the middle of [the] nation’s capital.” It may not be a bad idea to go there and relax after a full day of Overwatch.
  • DuPont Underground-The closest thing for urban exploration can be found here just a stones throw away from the national mall. This closed down subway station has transformed into an underground art gallery for the city.
  • Artechouse-An augmented reality exhibit that makes it’s name a little on the nose. Artechouse takes the building its housed in and transforms it into a breathtaking art space through the power of augmented reality. Come for the art, stay for the augmented reality cocktails at the end of the tour!

Featured image courtesy of Danita Delimont

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other TGH writers along with Matt.

You can also follow Matt @CoyleMatt_ on Twitter and @Coyle.m_ on Instagram.

“From Our Haus to Yours”





The Best Makeup Bags for On-the-Go Beauty


There are many travel makeup styles—the ultra-minimalist with just lipstick and mascara, the maximalist who feels bereft without their full kit of beauty products to choose from, the organization nut who craves a designated pouch for everything, the throw-it-in-and-go type who doesn’t mind a mess. No matter what category you fall into, we’ve rounded up the best makeup bags to keep you looking and feeling your best while jet-setting.

Cosmo Cosmetic Bag

Lay-n-Go
amazon.com

$31.45

Filled with elastic straps to hold brushes and tubes and a zipper pouch for small items, this drawstring bag curls up into a compact ball and then spreads flat over the countertop (or table, or your lap) wherever you land. 

Parisian Stripe Hanging Toiletry Organizer

containerstore.com

$16.99

This bag has lots of convenient, see-through pouches to keep all of your makeup organized and the handy hanger means it can be stored on the back of the bathroom door to save space. 

Vanity Case Set

A larger, revamped version of Cuyana’s beloved Travel Case, this bag comes with space for all of your makeup and skincare essentials, plus a slim removable pouch that’s perfect for bobby pins and hair ties.

Java Coffee Naomi Makeup Organizer Bag

Stephanie Johnson
nordstrom.com

$50.00

The lower section of this dual-phase bag stores essentials like palettes and brushes while the upper pouch offers space for your color cosmetics. 

Travel Cosmetic Case Organizer

If you’re packing a major makeup kit, look no further than this sturdy, jumbo-sized case filled with adjustable sections to house all of your cosmetics and pockets for plenty of brushes and tools. The hard-walled sides also mean your powders and pallets are in no danger of getting crushed. 

Monogrammed Large See All

Paravel
net-a-porter.com

$110.00

There’s no hunting for the eyeliner at the bottom of the bag with this monogrammed see-through option. 

Vanity Kit

Anya Hindmarch
net-a-porter.com

$425.00

This leather-trimmed top-handle kit has two separate zipper sections—one shallow compartment for brushes and makeup tools, and a deeper one for all of your beauty products. 

Pucker Up Flat Makeup Bag

Wander Beauty
nordstrom.com

$38.00

If you’re searching for a cute makeup bag you won’t mind pulling out of your purse or travel bag in public, this lip-shaped pouch  is just what you need. 

Iconic Lay Flat Cosmetic Bag

Vera Bradley
zappos.com

$45.00

The body of this cosmetics bag unzips to lay flat on any surface and reveal easy-to-sort-through mesh pouches. An exterior pocket is perfect for keeping quick-grab items like lipstick. 

Hanging Travel Toiletry Kit Bag

AmazonBasics
amazon.com

$14.76

This Amazon favorite is perfect for pouch-lovers. The large interior  has several sections of organization, including loops for brushes, while the two exterior pockets offer additional space, and the front flap unzips to reveal a hanger for even more options for how to store it. 



Honeymoons for all seasons: a lovers’ guide to the world’s most romantic destinations – and when to visit them


Before you book the big trip, make sure you’re going to be in the right place at the right time – whenever you set the date…

SPRING

A delightful season to visit Paris, with fewer crowds, cheaper room rates and temperatures warm enough for a picnic on the banks of the Seine. 

Another European city that blooms at this time of year is Amsterdam, reachable in four hours on the Eurostar, and where it’s easy to rent bikes and cycle through the surrounding tulip fields or stroll through the city’s flower market. 

Spring is also the ideal time to fly to Japan, when Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka transform under an Instagrammable burst of cherry-blossom trees and festivals and the air is less humid than summer months. 

Thailand’s white-sand beaches and temples are best visited from February to April, the driest, warmest time of year, with up to nine hours of blissful sunshine per day. A Californian road trip is spot on from March to May, with perfect weather (cloudless blue skies, but not too hot) so you can drop the roof and cruise from Santa Monica to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at clifftop restaurants for jaw-dropping Pacific views along the way. It’s also a great time to hit Los Angeles and Las Vegas before temperatures soar in summer to a mind-melting 40C (104F). 





The Best Travel Shoes For Your Sole-mate


Shoes can make or break a trip.

They need to be comfortable so you can keep going all day, they need to pack easily and, of course, they need to look good.

Here are the best flats for travel. They may be the most appreciated gift you’ve ever given.

LS from Arcopedico

Affectionately called “shocks” because these shoes are as soft and light as socks, the LS is Arcopedico’s best seller. The knit material molds and move with your feet, and the twin-arch support provides all day comfort. They’re machine washable, smush into a carry-on and come in more than two dozen colors. You’ll want them all. Price: $105

The Point from Rothy’s

If you can only bring one pair of shoes to cover both casual and dressy events, this is it. Made from recycled plastic water bottles, Rothy’s are comfortable, machine washable and take up practically no room in your bag. The Point is so simple and elegant, it works just as well with a dress as it does with jeans. Price: From $145

Born Cameo Woven Shoes from Sundance

These form-fitting slides make getting through TSA a breeze and are perfect for slipping off and on while flying. The open, cane-style weaving is pretty in a variety of neutrals and pastels, and is light and airy for warm weather adventures. Price: $90

Torrey from Minnetonka

Like wrapping your feet in a blanket, these suede slipper-style boots are great for making you feel as though you’re still on your comfy couch while you’re running around outdoors. The rag wool exterior and cozy pile lining are all about pure indulgence while the durable, heavily-treaded sole does the work. Price: $59.95

Oca Low Canvas Sneakers from Cariuma

These old-school sneakers are made following new-school ethics, and they’re destined to become classics. Handcrafted in Rio from fair-trade cotton, these Brazilian beauties are the new hot sneaker, thanks to painstaking attention to detail and super comfort. These are the kind of shoes you throw on every day and forget about until someone stops to compliment you on them. Price: $79

Raja from Salt + Umber

This simple yet elegant little leather flat is handmade, eco-friendly and perfect for travel. It can be dressed up or down, and comes in three neutral shades to go with anything. Plus, its minimalist silhouette belies its maximum comfort. Price: $89

Hale’iwa Li Canvas Sneakers from OluKai

This Hawaiian-inspired brand is all about living aloha, and this pretty in pink sneaker – named after a country town on Oahu often called the “Gateway to North Shore – will have you craving a hammock and some palm trees. It’s so versatile, you can lace up to look stylish in the city, then step on the Drop-In Heel for beach vibes – speaking of which, a portion of proceeds directly supports the Ama OluKai Foundation. Price: $100

Rascassa Canvas Espadrilles from VISCATA

Espadrilles are a warm weather staple, and these are the ones to get. Handcrafted in Barcelona, these authentic flats are made with soft cotton canvas and 100% natural jute, an eco-friendly material that breathes to keep your feet feeling fresh and looking great. They’re also lined with leather, and available in half a dozen colors. Price: $77.99

Wool Runner-up Mizzles from Allbirds

Everyone already knows how comfortable Allbirds are but did you know they make a shoe that laughs at the rain, as well? The Mizzle (short for misty drizzle) has all of the beloved brand’s signature features with the addition of their weather-repellent Puddle Guard™ to keep your feet dry and natural rubber treads for traction on slippery surfaces. As if you needed more reasons to love Allbirds. Price: $135

Slipper Socks from Plaka

These unique slipper socks have a soft and durable rubber sole, making them slip-free multi-taskers. Warm and soft, they’re ideal for overnight flights so you can go to the restroom without worrying about getting the bottom of your socks wet. Or you can run down to the lobby of your hotel to pick up a snack while keeping your feet protected. Honestly, you can just wear them all day. Price: $29.95



Tour Packages in Chennai | newkerala.com


Tour Packages in Chennai

Chennai, Feb 9: Taking a tour in Chennai City can be a trip to many places of your liking. Tourists should choose the tour packages that are ideal for them and not rush through the tour. There are various travel deals to offer your tourism experience in the most enjoyable way. Make sure you get the best and different tour package to see the major attractions of Chennai such as RK Mirai, national museum, heritage citadel, markets, bus stand, churches, etc. For those who would like to spend more time than traveling, they can choose to stay at any of the hotels in the city. You can even choose the option of having dinner in the most popular restaurants of the city.

There are various tour operators offering different packages and activities that will suit all kinds of tourists to visit Chennai. Tourists can find the best of the best tours in the city through internet.

In Chennai, there are various tour packages that tourists can choose from. These include; romantic day tours, business trips, honeymoon packages, weekend packages, family package, family holidays, corporate trips, business packages, honeymoon packages, etc. The travel company will assign you the right tour package depending on your requirements.

So if you want to have a tour with a lot of activities, you may go for the honeymoon tour or the romantic tour. For a honeymoon tour, you can either choose the luxury train tour or one of the cruises. After getting the right package, it will be best to hire the car, the motorcycle, the train or the cruise. The mode of transport will also depend on whether you want to see the sights on foot or ride in the motor cycle.

The other important things that tourists should take into consideration are the accommodation, food, transportation, entertainment and all other things. To book the hotel rooms or the cabins, the tourists need to follow the booking procedure. As the popularity of this city has increased, you can book the packages online to avoid hassle.

There are certain package rates where you can avail the package with less price by choosing some of the less-priced rooms or the cabins. The price depends on the availability of the room or the package. You can also take the advice of the hotel booking agencies and get an idea on the pricing.

Before booking the tour packages, tourists must know about the major attractions in Chennai. You can decide from among the famous tourist attractions or the hotels, museums, and the shops in Chennai. The tourists can find the best ones to visit during their tour.

There are different tour packages in Chennai such as, honeymoon tour, honeymoon packages, family packages, corporate tours, business tours, tours in restaurants, bus trips, art galleries, botanical gardens, etc. The tourists can book all the tour packages and go on a honeymoon tour. They can also choose the cheap hotel and the beautiful dinner to enjoy while having a family.

So if you wish to visit the historical monuments of the city, you can book the adventure packages. Tourists can choose the tour packages which will suit them in the most perfect way. For the best packages, the tourists need to find the services of the Chennai travel guide.

The Chennai travel guide will guide the tourists to find the most affordable packages in Chennai and enable them to enjoy a memorable vacation. A Chennai travel guide can help tourists to choose the tours with their respective needs and preferences.



Pauline Frommer of Frommer’s travel guide book series shares top travel sites


Data pix.

Pauline Frommer, editorial director and publisher of Frommer’s travel guide book series is in Chicago for the 16th Annual Chicago Travel and Adventure Show that will take place February 8-9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Chicago’s only consumer travel show, the Travel and Adventure Show gives travelers options on various vacation spots along with educational seminars and the opportunity to meet travel celebrities.

Here are her preferred travel sites for travelers:

Top 5 airline sites:

1. skiplagged.com
2. momodo.com
3, skycanner.com
4. tripadvisor.com
5. adoga.com

Top 5 hotel sites:

1. hotelscombined.com
2. tripadvisor.com
3. kayak.com
4. booking.com
5. google.com/travel/hotels