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Expat Interview: Live in Madrid, Spain as an expat

Welcome to Expat Interview Series. In this article, Kerry will show you what’s it like to live in Madrid, Spain as an expat. You can understand the city better from an expat’s viewpoint, and get to know important information such as living cost, good and bad things about Madrid, and how to prepare to move to Madrid, etc.. All tips and advice about Expat life in Madrid are here for you 🙂

 

Where is Madrid?

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and is located right in the center of the country. The city is known for having an abundance of art and culture. Some of the most famous sites include its art museums, Royal Palace, and Plaza Mayor. Madrid is certainly a gorgeous city, and extremely expat-friendly.

Madrid at night

Photo courtesy of Kerry

 

Firstly, let’s get to know a bit about Kerry 🙂

Kerry’s Background

My name is Kerry Ireland, and I am the blogger behind “The Petite Wanderer”! I absolutely fell in love with traveling after studying abroad in Madrid. I am a communications PR/advertising major at Loyola University Maryland, with a minor in studio art. I am an artist, and paint landscapes and portraits with oils and acrylics. I also love to sing, and I play the flute! I guess you could say I have a lot of passions.

I lived in Madrid for six months, starting in early January 2017.  Prior to moving here, I had only been out of the country once, to the Turks and Caicos with my mom after I graduated high school.

 

1.Why did you choose to live in Madrid?

Primarily, I chose to study abroad in Madrid because I wanted to focus on studying the Spanish language. My mom is fluent, and I grew up listening to her speak it. It has always fascinated me, and since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to learn to speak Spanish one day. I thought living in Spain would be a great opportunity to become immersed in the language and really get a strong base for it.

 

2. How did you prepare for moving to Madrid?

Since I studied abroad through my school, my abroad advisor pretty much babied us before departure, going over all of the essential things we needed to do. So through my university, everything was taken care of. Knowing that I would only be living in Madrid short term, I just brought one large suitcase filled with my basic and essential belongings. Of course, I did some major shopping when I got there!

suitcase

Difficulties & Challenges

3. Did you experience any difficulties when you first moved to Madrid? How did you overcome?

The second I got off the plane, an overwhelming feeling of sadness rolled over me. I had never been away from home and my family for more than a month or so, and knowing that I would be gone for half a year kind of hit me all at once. I had spent the previous year preparing for the move, but the reality of it did not hit me until after I actually arrived at the Madrid Bajaras airport.

I remember holding in tears as I got into the taxi, on the way to the hotel I stayed at for the first few nights. Luckily my amazing boyfriend traveled over with me and helped me get settled in the first week I was there. Once we arrived at the hotel, I immediately broke down and started sobbing. It was definitely one of the most overwhelming experiences I faced while living abroad! After a few days, I started to settle in, and things got a lot better.

 

4. Did you experience any discrimination in Madrid?

Nope! Spaniards are generally lovely, kind, and accepting people. One thing that I found funny was their fascination with American politics. Once a Spaniard noticed I was American, they would ask “What do you think of Trump?!” I found it pretty funny that that is what Spaniards think of now when they think of America.

 

5. How to deal with culture shock in Madrid?

The first week I was there, I experienced pretty major culture shock. Like I said earlier, I had only been out of the country once prior, and I stayed in a touristy resort town. I was surrounded by a new language, new culture, and new people. It probably took around two weeks to a month to really become accustomed to my new surroundings. Then it just felt like home.

 

About the city

6. What do you like about Madrid?

I adore Madrid! It is such a lively city and there are so many things to do. Every day is an adventure in this city. Being so huge, there was always something new to try, new places to explore, and more people to meet. I loved that you can just hop on a metro, and end up somewhere awesome within minutes.

Beautiful Madrid at night

Beautiful Madrid at night – Photo courtesy of Kerry

 

7. Is there anything that you don’t like about Madrid?

This is a difficult question. I’d say the one thing I really didn’t like was that a majority of Madrid’s population seemed to be cigarette smokers. The city air often reeked of cigarette smoke, especially in crowded areas. The smoke bothers me, and if I am around it too long, I start to feel sick. So that’s what I didn’t really like about Madrid. The air quality of the city is also pretty bad and is known for being polluted and smoggy.

 

8. What are your favorite things to do in Madrid?

I loved exploring the city! Madrid is huge, and there was always a new place to check out. I really liked visiting the “hipster” neighborhood, Malasana, which had amazing cafes, bars, and vintage stores. It’s a really cool area. I also loved getting “lost” and exploring the city’s central neighborhoods! I found some awesome restaurants and side stores by doing this.

 

9. Where do you recommend to visit in the Madrid?

The Royal Palace is simply gorgeous! It is filled with period décor and original paintings. It is so elegant- one of the most beautiful palaces I have been to. I also would recommend visiting the Egyptian temple that was gifted to Madrid, Templo de Debod, at sunset. It is so magical. I would also go to all of Madrid’s famous art museums, such as El Prado, Reina Sofia, and the Sorolla museum. These museums are home to some of the most famous paintings in the world!

Royal Palace Madrid

The Royal Palace in Madrid – Photo courtesy of Kerry

 

10. Cost of living in Madrid, Spain

Madrid is affordable to live in.

Grocery

Groceries are especially cheap. To put into perspective, I bought handmade bread for 50 cents, and a wine bottle was around 2 or 3 euros!

Transportation

Madrid has AMAZING public transportation. The most popular being the metro, which will take you all over the city. You can also take commuter trains and busses. I had a student public transportation card, which cost me 20 euros/month for unlimited transportation. The adult pass is 50 euros/month.

Apartments

Apartments In Madrid are affordable, and most of my friends were paying around 500 euro rent. Apartments usually come furnished, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bed.

 

Building relationships

11. Is it easy to make new friends in Madrid?

I made so many friends in Madrid! I’ve noticed that Spaniards tend to be very social and accepting, so it is very easy to meet people and make friends. I recommend attending Intercambio sessions, as this is a great way to meet people.

Many bars and cafes in Madrid host Intercambio nights weekly, where you will partner up with a Spaniard and speak in English for a half hour, and then in Spanish for a half hour. There are also a lot of paid and free courses you can take (Spanish cooking, dancing, art, and more!) Again, this is another fantastic way to meet people.

 

12. Do you hang out with locals or foreigners mostly?

I hung out with a combination of both. I made some amazing Spanish friends, who I now call my “Familia Española”. Because I was part of an Erasmus program, I also made friends with a lot of other abroad students. So I had friends from literally all over the world!

 

13. Where is your favorite place in Madrid to meet friends?

I loved going out to the bars, grabbing a coffee at some of the local cafes, and just hanging around the Sol/Gran Via/Plaza Mayor areas with friends! My Spanish friends would show me some local favorite places for food/drinks, so it was really nice getting to know the city through the eyes of a local.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Plaza Mayor in Madrid – Photo courtesy of Kerry

 

14. Expat Community in Madrid

By “expat”, I did interact with other exchange students and travelers from outside the country.

 

Reflection

15. Can you tell us a memory that you have in Madrid?

One of the memories that stands out to me was watching the sunset at Templo de Debod with my boyfriend. It was during my first week in Madrid, and one of the last days he was there with me, the city was still so new, and seeing all the sites and culture for the first time was so exhilarating. We loved watching the sun set behind the Royal Palace. It was very romantic!

 

16. Did you change your perspective about the city after living here for a while?

I guess the initial excitement of being in a new place diminished after a while. But after living in Madrid for about a month, the city totally felt like home to me.

 

17. What are your advice and tips for moving/ living in Madrid?

I would say brush up on your Spanish a little before going. While a lot of Madrileños do speak English, many (especially from older generations) don’t know a lick of English. You will also be surrounded by Spanish, so it is a really good idea to practice some of the basics before moving.

 

18. Would you recommend others to live in Madrid?

Absolutely! Madrid is a super safe city and filled with so much culture and activities. There is always something to do, and it is super easy to travel around Europe from there. Prices are decent, so it caters to people on a budget. The people are lovely, and you will make great, lifelong friends!

 

19. What have you learned from living abroad?

I learned that I have a huge passion for culture, and connecting with people from all over the world. While I lived in Madrid, I was able to travel all over Europe, so I met tons of people from literally all over the world. I learned that I love to travel, and I want to continue doing it for the rest of my life.

I also learned to become independent. I was essentially living on my own, in a foreign country, so it basically forced me to become super independent, quickly.

I learned to not to get anxious about little things. In fact, I like to say that living abroad “cured” my anxiety. It gave me more of a “big picture” point of view, and I realized what really mattered to me, and stopped focusing on small, unimportant stuff that would previously give me anxiety.

 

20. Do you want to add anything?

Thank you for interviewing me! I really do recommend living in Madrid for foreigners. It is an ultra-safe city, filled with life. Just do your research before making the move, and most importantly, focus on enjoying your time there, rather than being homesick!

 

More about Kerry

Kerry Ireland is the voice behind the travel blog, The Petite Wanderer. After studying abroad in Madrid for a semester, she fell in love with traveling. Through her blog, she hopes to inspire anyone out there who wants to peruse a life of wanderlust! Aside from blogging and traveling, Kerry loves creating music, cuddling with her cat, and painting. She hopes to educate and inspire her readers to get out there and see how incredible this world is.

Kerry

Don’t forget to follow her on all social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Read more interviews in this Expat Interview series:

Expat life in Beppu, Japan.

Expat life on the Marshall Islands

Expat life in San Diego, CA

Expat life in Prague, Czech Republic

Expat life in Germany

Thank you for reading

Discover what it's like to live in Madrid, Spain as an expat. Cost of living in Madrid, things to do in Madrid, how to prepare to move to Madrid, good and bad things about Madrid, expat tips and more! You'll definitely want to save this to your Board to read later! #expat #expatlife #madrid #spain #livingabroad #travel #expatriate #expatblog #expatliving #ExpatTips

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I love so many places BUT NOT Prague: Expat Life in Prague

Welcome to Expat Interview Series! In each week, you will get to know what it’s like to live in a city as an expat. The purpose of this series is to help YOU to understand the city from an expat’s viewpoint. Last week, you got to know the expat’s life in San Diego. This week, Caitlin will show you what it’s like to live in Prague, Czech Republic.

 

Where is Prague?

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic (now known as Czechia). It is centrally located in Europe and is only a short journey away from many other wonderful spots. It’s a beautiful city which straddles the Vltava river. Prague is home to some of Europe’s finest architecture including what is widely considered to be the most beautiful bridge in Europe, Charles Bridge. The cobblestone streets provide a beautiful backdrop for any tourist but when choosing it as a place to live, whether to work or to study, there is more to it that you must take into consideration.

Beautiful Charles Bridge

Expat Interview: Live in Prague as an expat

Firstly, let’s know a little bit about Caitlin!

Caitlin’s Background

My name is Caitlin. Originally, I’m from Vermont, USA but I’ve been on the road for about 6 years now. I teach English as a second language and while I enjoy the job I am trying to move into writing full time. Also, I love all animals and horseback ride as often as I can. I like hiking, yoga, photography, and cats.

1. Why did you choose to live in Prague?

I ended up living in Prague solely for the visa. It was never really on my radar as a place to live. I’d been previously as a tourist but that was it.

2. What was your moving procedure?

I moved to Prague in July of last year, 2016. I chose it based on visas. It’s the first move I made that wasn’t completely independent as I had a boyfriend along for the ride. He’s Spanish and I’m American so finding a country we could both work and live in legally was a challenge. The Czech Republic turned out to be our answer. He didn’t need a visa and I could get the trade license which is fairly straightforward and doesn’t need sponsorship.

 

3. How did you prepare to move to Prague?

Unlike some other moves, I’ve made I had a job almost entirely lined up before I arrived. I actually applied and interviewed for a few jobs before I arrived and I was offered one in Liberec, which is a much smaller city in the north of the Czech Republic.

Because of its size, we decided it was better to stick with Prague so my boyfriend would have better work prospects as he doesn’t speak Czech so he was relying on the tourist industry for work. We arranged an Airbnb for our first few nights and planned to apartment hunt as soon as we arrived. I had my final interview arranged for the first day or two I was in town as did my boyfriend. We prepared well. I also had started the process on my visa and was in touch with the woman (her contact is something I’d be happy to share one-on-one with someone) who would help. I was already well into my 90-day tourist visa so I needed to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

 

Difficulties & Challenges

4. How to deal with culture shock in Prague, Czech Republic?

I don’t think it’s culture shock as the culture really isn’t that different than America. But I did struggle with some things, namely, the cold, dark, wet winters. Brrr.

5. Did you experience any discrimination in Prague?

I don’t know if I’d call it discrimination but definite unfriendliness. The Czechs are not known for their warmth and it’s sadly very evident just how cool they are once you start living there. I remember walking into a little tabac with my boyfriend, looking to buy a bus ticket, and before we’d opened our mouths, the woman behind the counter just looked at us and shouted ‘no’. It was hard to have this happen in our first days when we were trying to fall in love with our new home.

 

6. How to overcome difficulties in Prague?

Yes. I learned quickly that the English teaching world in Prague was very different than what I’d previously been exposed to in Sydney and Vietnam. It was oversaturated and most of the teachers were underqualified with only online TEFL and no teaching experience to speak of. So, I realized that I was going to end up being overworked and underpaid. In the first few weeks, I was there, I quickly started applying for more interviews. I cut down on the hours I was working for James Cook, the company I’d originally interviewed with, and started advertising for private students through a few online sites.

 

About Prague

7. What do you like about Prague?

I liked its architecture. There’s no doubt that Prague is a beautiful city. It has the astronomical clock, old town square, the castle, churches here and there. It did a wonderful job of staying intact throughout Europe’s dreadful history and all these amazing structures are still here for us to see today.

8. Is there anything that you don’t like about Prague?

The cold! And the fact that wine is sooooo expensive. I gained a few pounds from all the beer I drank! Actually, it’s a pretty expensive city to live in. It’s cheap if you’re coming with a dollar or a euro, but to live the cost is really high, as I’ve outlined below.

 

9. What are your favorite things to do in Prague?

Actually, my favorite thing to do in Prague is to escape it. I love the outskirts. There’s a little village to the south, which is technically still in Prague, called Radotin. It’s along the train line, just 8 minutes from the city, and it’s adorable. The river runs right through it, it’s calm, and green, and quiet. It’s a wonderful spot to escape the noise and business of city life. I love to grab a beer and sit by the river down there, especially when the sun is shining.

10. Where do you recommend to visit in Prague?

I had a friend visit earlier this year and we did a few of the standard things, old town, and the castle but I also took her to Letna park which is great for a warm day and a picnic but has stunning views all year long. My second go-to spot is Namesti Miru which is just a small square but it has an absolutely beautiful church which I love staring at both inside and out.

 

Cost of living in Prague, Czech Republic

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not cheap. In fact, it’s really expensive. The currency is Crowns but I’m going to convert everything to USD to make it easier to understand.

My salary was between $10 and $16/hour

  • A liter of beer at a bar costs $2
  • A really bad bottle of wine at Tesco costs $3
  • A dinner out for two at a normal restaurant costs $12
  • A new pair of pants costs $10
  • Internet costs $20/month
  • Basic cell phone bill costs $16/month

Rent of a one bedroom apartment costs $630/month (this is the kicker-the market in Prague is very much a landlord’s market, the prices are exorbitant and nearly impossible to survive with this example, what my boyfriend and I paid, is very low.)

A years transport ticket good for tram, train, metro, and bus costs $165 (this is the best deal in town!)

 

Building relationships

11. Is it easy to make new friends in Prague?

Actually, I struggled so much with this in Prague. I have to admit that I was spoiled in some of my previous homes with a readily available group of super fabulous people the moment I arrived and that just didn’t happen to me in Prague.

Part of the reason was that my job was not in one place, I ran from office to office all day long teaching lessons at different locations. So, I didn’t get to know my ‘colleagues’ at all really. Often when you move to a new place work is your first port of call for new drinking buddies. I had to look elsewhere. I actually went on a number of friend dates. People I connected with on Facebook. Some clicked, others didn’t. I struggled and it was definitely difficult not to have a great support system in the city. I was lucky that I had my boyfriend but I wonder if that was also the reason I didn’t end up with lots of friends, I didn’t really need them, I had him.  

12. Do you hang out with locals or foreigners mostly?

Foreigners. I met up with a few Czech women and some of them were o.k. but none of them were interested in follow-ups (was it me!?) and the ones that were, were very difficult to get close to.

13. Where is your favorite place in Prague to hang out?

Prague just changed its smoking laws this spring, so last winter all the bars and restaurants were smoky and awful. I hate that. So, I chose cafes. There’s a little chain called Cross Café. I drink chai lattes and theirs are my favorite! Plus, they leave you alone for as long as you want to stay there. And no smoking!

Now that there’s no smoking I’d rediscover more bars and restaurants where I wouldn’t end up reeking of smoke!

 

14. Do you interact with any expat communities in Prague?

I went to a few events. I can’t remember exactly which organizations they were through but all were different things I found on Facebook just searching the events on there. Nothing really clicked through and I felt a bit awkward going to them, in all honesty.

 

Reflection

15. An unforgettable memory!

It’s hard to pick out one memory but so many of my memories revolve around the trams. They are just everywhere. We lived above a tram line (DON’T!) so we heard them running all night long. The trams are an awesome form of transportation when they work well but if they’re stuck, you’re screwed!

 

16. Did you change your perspective about Prague after living here for awhile?

Yes. Sadly, it went from positive to negative. I do feel so bad about it but people have reminded me that it’s o.k. not to like a place. I LOVE SO MANY PLACES IN THIS WORLD! But after living there, Prague simple isn’t one of them.

 

17. What are your advice and tips for moving/ living in Prague?

Do your research. I think if you make a good salary and you’re not struggling day to day you’ll enjoy it much more than I did. So, look into the cost of everything as compared to your salary. Will you have enough to enjoy your life? Also, be ready for the winter. It’s not only cold but dark and damp. Also, skiing or other outdoor sports will take some getting to, and the wilderness is not at your doorstep. If you’re content to sit inside and drink beer for a good chunk of the year, then you’ll be happy in Prague. If not, I can’t recommend it.

 

 

18. What have you learned from living abroad?

I’ve learned so much from living abroad. Before Prague, I lived in Ireland, Morocco, Vietnam, and Australia. Everywhere has its good and bad. I’ve learned to be open-minded and accepting. Also, I’ve learned to embrace differences but, especially in Prague, I’ve learned that we don’t all have to belong everywhere. I’ve learned heaps about myself really, and I’ve learned how much I’m capable of more than anything else and I think that’s an invaluable life lesson.

 

More about Caitlin

Caitlin

Caitlin grew up in the countryside of Vermont, USA before heading off to college in Maryland. Since then she’s earned her CELTA to teach English as a second language and with that has lived and worked in Ireland, Morocco, Vietnam, Australia and The Czech Republic. She became an expat in 2011 and has never looked back. Caitlin loves riding horses and is a lover of all animals. She loves photography, though she’s still learning. She loves hiking, yoga, the countryside and the city, knitting, and writing, which she does on her blog at Countryjumperblog 

Follow Caitlin on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

Read more interviews in this Expat Interview series:

Expat life in Beppu, Japan.

Expat life on the Marshall Islands

Expat life in San Diego, CA

Thank you for reading

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Discover what it's like to live in Prague as an expat. Cost of living, good and bad things about Prague, things to do in Prague and more! You'll definitely want to save this in your Expat Board to read later! #prague #expat #expatlife #livingabroad #praguetoday #travelprague #expatliving #expatblog #expatblogger


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A Guide to Julefrokost – A Danish Christmas Celebration

Christmas is coming with the most exciting and long-awaited celebration of the year: Julefrokost. If you live in Denmark or know about Danish culture, I think you may once hear about this party. My first time participating in Julefrokost was last year, 2016. I love the party and here is my sharing about it. I hope you will enjoy reading. 

 

What is Julefrokost?

Julefrokost plays an important part in Danish tradition. Every December before Christmas, people gather together and celebrate an annual Julefrokost – a Danish Christmas lunch. This party can be between family members, or just generally a group of people (friends, colleagues, the member of clubs).

In Danish, Jule means Christmas, and Frokost means lunch. However, the time of the party may depend on the host, and usually, it starts late in the evening, around 5 pm. It can be considered as a dinner as well.

 

Before Julefrokost

So, what do people do to prepare for this party? The participants will prepare some gifts and the host will prepare delicious food and drinks for the participants. You can enjoy lots of Danish traditional food in this party.

 

Dress code

In the party, people usually dress up and wear formal clothes. For example, men usually wear suits, while women wear beautiful dresses. Some people will dress up as Santa Claus too. The dress code is also up on the host’s rule, so check it before you come to the party!

 

What do people do in Julefrokost?

1. Eat

Julefrokost is a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas, so of course, there are a lot of Danish traditional food. You will eat for hours and much more than you usually do. I don’t know how to prepare for the party, but found a cool post for this. You can check here to see how is a proper Danish Julefrokost

It’s Julefrokost and it’s time to get fat! So stay strong and eat for the whole night 🙂 

 

2. Drink

The participants may be asked to bring their own drinks and also drinks for the others. You can bring beers, cocktails, beverages, or whatever you want to.

The most important drinks in Julefrokost is snaps. Snaps is a small shot of drink and people drink it during eating, and it contains around 32% ~ 40% alcohol. You can read more about snaps at Wikipedia

In my opinion, snaps tastes like a combination of water, apple juice, and vodka. It tastes kinda weird I think…

Julefrokost Meal

“Everyone doesn’t like it but they still drink it”

“It doesn’t taste good, but it’s the tradition so everyone will drink snaps.”

My friends say that many Danes don’t like snaps, but they still drink it because it is an important part of Danish culture.

 

3. Sing

It’s so interesting to see Danes sing while they’re drinking. In the party that I participated, people sang Haps haps haps song while drinking Snap. I found it was really funny, so I asked my friend for a lyric. You can check out the song here.

 

4. Talk

Julefrokost is also a time for everyone to gather together and share their stories. It’s time for reflection, so people usually look back and share their achievement and what they have done during this year. If you celebrate with your company, it’s a great time to get to know more about your colleagues and build a good relationship.

 

5. Dance

Yes! As other parties, Julefrokost cannot miss a dance floor. In my party, people just used the living room as a dance floor, and someone got to be a DJ, and others danced. It was so fun that night. 

 

6. Game

You can play some games at the party as well. It can be drinking game such as beer pong, or gift game such as PAKKELEG – the most common game in Julefrokost.

Rules: It can depend on each party but generally it follows

Each person brings a small gift and all gifts are placed in the middle of the table.

  • 1st round: Everyone takes turns in rolling the dice and when you roll a 6, you can choose a gift until all gifts have been taken.
  • 2nd round: You rolls a dice and can take other people’s gift if you can roll a 6.

Gift for Julefrokost party

After a period of time, everybody opens their gifts. Some people will have no gift while some may have more than one. In my case, I, unfortunately, didn’t receive any…

 

7. Smoke

Many Danes smoke, and they usually go out and smoke regularly. You can meet and see most of the people in the party outside. 

 

What happens at a Julefrokost, stays at the Julefrokost

In Julefrokost, especially after midnight, people get pretty wide. They may do crazy things and behave strangely. Everyone knows that and no one will blame you if you do something strange that night.

Don’t worry, on Monday people will back to the same 😉

 

5 Best Tips for Julefrokost

  • Don’t go out the night before. You need to get ready for the big day.
  • You should drink water because it helps reducing hangover next day!
  • Don’t drink too many snaps if you don’t want to be too drunk
  • Eat more than you do and drink more than you do
  • Enjoy yourself and be a bit crazy because it’s Julefrokost!

 

Just accept all the Julefrokost invitations and enjoy the best party of the year.

You can enjoy the most of the Danish culture with it. Hope you will have a great time!

Skål !!!

Read more about 10 Most Surprising things in Denmark

Thank you for reading

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Christmas is coming with the most exciting and long-awaited celebration of the year: Julefrokost! Julefrokost is a Danish Christmas Celebration. Click here to read more! #Christmas #Dinner #Denmark #Culture


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Best Amusement Parks around the world according to Travel Bloggers

Do you remember the awesome feeling on the roller coaster at the park? Do you miss having an ice-cream while watching shows? Amusement parks are perfect places to spend good times with family and friends, with various activities to enjoy. In this article, I collaborate with other travel bloggers to share our favorite amusement parks and what to do there. I hope you will enjoy the reading.

1. Canada’s Wonderland – Vaughan Ontario

by Janine Good from Fill My Passport. Check out her Facebook and Twitter!

If you need an adrenaline rush or are looking for a great day out this summer, you need not look any further than Canada’s Wonderland. This ultimate theme park in the northern part of Toronto is the perfect mix of rides, shows, games, food, and water fun.

Leviathan

You can ride the Leviathan- the highest roller coaster in Canada, before feasting on a classic funnel cake of ice cream and strawberries. Or how about buying a bucket of rings to toss for a mega plush prize before grabbing a selfie with Snoopy?

Leviathan

Don’t forget to try yummy funnel cake of ice cream and strawberries

Waterpark

Hot and sweaty? Head to Splashworks, the official waterpark in the complex! It is the cure for the humidity with new water slides, splash pools, and the famous lazy river. Forget your swimmers? No problem! Buy a lovely swimsuit at one of the many boutiques on site.

Events

Canada’s Wonderland really has something for everyone. This year enjoy many planned events to celebrate Canada 150 including fireworks, shows, specialty concessions, and more. Grab a season’s pass and enjoy over 40 rides and the ultimate thrill in the city all summer long.

Halloween Haunt

Heading to Toronto in October?  Be sure to experience Halloween Haunt – Wonderland’s official spectacle for the ghoulish holiday.

Halloween Haunt

Go through corn mazes, haunted houses, spooked up rides, zombie parks, and more. Yes, you get that rare opportunity to play bumper cars with creepy clowns! Pick up a candy floss as you run away from clowns and ghosts. Don’t want to be a scare target? No problem! You can actually buy an immunity necklace to ward off the evil spirits ☺

It’s time for bumper cars!!!

Canada’s Wonderland seriously has something for the inner child, inner adrenaline junkie, and inner scaredy-cat in all of us. You really do need to go. And when there, you seriously need to try the funnel cake… think of it as your reward for enduring a creepy haunted house, a death-defying ride, or just because you’re hungry. You will be happy you did.


2. Disneyland California – the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure

by Allison from Seekingneverland. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

I know what you’re thinking. Disneyland is for kids. Well if you are anything like me, you know that is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, Disneyland parks might be just as much for adults as it is for kids. California Adventure and Magic Kingdom are always changing rides, dining options, shopping, shows, and more providing countless entertainment options for adults who still love the stories they grew up with. I honestly can say I get a different experience every time I visit.

To give you a quick rundown of everything Disneyland California has to offer, let me tell you what a typical two days look like. Yes, you can successfully see everything in two days, which includes Magic Kingdom, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney.

 

Here’s what to do and see at Disneyland California as an Adult:

a) Downtown Disney:

I always stop at Uva Bar for a few drinks. I love their Phil Collins drink. Then I jump around Downtown Disney checking out any new stores or enjoy some live music at the House of Blues. On Magic Kingdom day, I usually take lunch at Earl of Sandwich. Since they don’t sell alcohol and have overpriced fast food, I step out and spend my lunch at Downtown Disney.

Having a beer at Disneyland

b) the Magic Kingdom

First things first, I always walk in and grab a map then go straight to the Indiana Jones ride for my fast pass. Although I’ve been to Disneyland countless times, I still like to grab a map and explore one land at a time; shopping for new odds and ends, seeing what changes have happened, etc. And Yes, I grab a churro at just about every churro stand. If I find myself tired and needing to rest, I take the train around the park, sneaking in kisses with my boyfriend in every dark tunnel! With so many renovations coming to Magic Kingdom (i.e. Star Wars Land), who knows what exciting adventures are in store for us adults.

 

c) California Adventure

Get there early and as soon as the park opens run your little heart out and grab your fast pass to the Cars ride. I also recommend making a reservation for dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant or spend your afternoon wine tasting at Mendocino Terrace. Between beer, wine, and more churros, find time to ride the super fast roller coaster, as well as, the Ferris wheel for some relaxation and views of the park. California Adventure really comes alive at night with their World of Color Show. Did I mention their new Guardians of the Galaxy Ride? If you loved Tower of Terror like I did, you are sure to love the new Guardians of the Galaxy Ride even MORE!

Enjoying some drinks at California Adventure


3. Knott’s Berry Farm

by Family Travel Writer, Susie Chadwick from Photo Jeepers

If you’re getting priced or crowded out of visiting other Southern California theme parks, perhaps it’s
time to visit Knott’s Berry Farm. My family has loved having season passes to Knott’s Berry Farm and
visiting frequently. The parking is easy and close, the passes are cheap, there are fun rides for little kids,
and thrill rides for bigger ones. Something for everyone!

Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets

If you live within an hour drive of Knott’s Berry Farm, I highly recommend getting a season pass. With
options for less than $100, the Knott’s season pass is a great deal. Add on parking if you’ll go more than
a handful of times.

Insider Tip:

  • A big benefit of a Knott’s Berry Farm season pass is an early admission on select days. The park opens up to 40 minutes early on certain days during the summer. Check the Knott’s Berry Farm Facebook page to find out when early entry days are.
  • Knott’s Berry Farm season passes are for a calendar year. Don’t buy your pass on a weekend or holiday in January. Avoid lines and get a free visit by buying your pass the fall before!
  • It’s never crowded if you go early!

Must-Do Rides and Shows

Knott’s is great for roller coaster fans! My family’s favorite rides at Knott’s are Silver Bullet (54” height
requirement) and Montezooma’s Revenge (48”).

Time to have fun!

Camp Snoopy is also fun, especially for little kids! Pigpen’s Mud Buggies is always my four-year old’s first request. And the whole family enjoys the Calico Railroad, especially the Christmas-themed version. The Snoopy on Ice shows is fantastic. Everyone we’ve seen has been a high-quality production, and
it’s a great break from the heat and crowds.

Soak City

For about $20 more, you can add water park admission to your Knott’s season pass. The water park is
pretty typical – slides with height requirements, a few splash play places, a lazy river, and a wave pool.
Life jackets are required for everyone under 40” (including infants), and like the theme park, there is
something for everyone.


4. Cedar Point

By Kris from Nomad By Trade. Check out Kris’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well!

Cedar Point, located on a peninsula jutting out from Ohio’s Lake Erie coastline, is known for its record-breaking roller coasters. Their collection of seventeen coasters (including a couple of kiddie ones) is unlike any other.

Specifically, Cedar Point is constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for thrill seekers and has built quite a collection of mind-blowing steel coasters. Four of their current coasters held the world record for the tallest roller coaster at the time that they opened. Millennium Force, opened in 2000, is still consistently ranked as one of the top steel roller coasters in the world and was the first to break the 300ft mark. While making the trip to the top of the lift hill, riders are treated to stunning views of Lake Erie and on very clear days the Canadian coast can be spotted way off in the distance. When you’ve had enough rides, you can take a break on the mile-long beach or hit the newly rebranded Cedar Point Shores water park right next door. A day at Cedar Point is a must-do for any thrill-seeker.


5. Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark

by Ha from Expatolife. Check out and follow my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Do you know which country has the oldest parks in the world? The answer is Denmark! The oldest park is Dyrehavsbakken in Klampenborg, and Tivoli, which is located in the heart of Denmark – Copenhagen, takes the second position.

Tivoli is a place that you cannot miss if you have a chance to visit Copenhagen. The park is located near the Copenhagen central station and always crowded with lots of visitors and locals. There are different types of ticket, which allow you to enter only, or including all the attractions, or half-a-year ticket. I chose the day pass ticket which includes everything, and I totally recommend to avoid the long waiting line.

What can you do there?

a) Rides

Just like other parks, Tivoli also has various thrilling games to try such as rides, roller coaster, etc.

One of my favorite game – Amusement ride in Tivoli

Trying roller coaster with a nice city view?- Why not? 

b) Beautiful landscape

A nice walk around the lake is a must-do at Tivoli

c) Show

At the weekend, you can enjoy different shows in Tivoli. There are lots of Danes go to Tivoli this time to enjoy the show with their season pass as well.

The Voice was filmed during my visit

If you’d like to know more about Denmark, don’t hesitate to check out this article: Top 10 Most surprising things about Denmark that you should know


6. Ba Na Hills in Vietnam

by Ha from Expatolife. Check out and follow my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Are you interested in seeing something different in Vietnam? Visiting Ba Na Hills – A little Europe in Da Nang, you can enjoy the European architecture and Vietnamese one at the same time while hiding from the hot and humid of Vietnamese weather.

Believe or not, this place is in Vietnam

What to do there?

a) Cable car

Amazing view from the cable car

b) Le Jardin de Amor

Beautiful gardens are here for you to enjoy

c) Temple

A view of Linh Ung temple 

d) Debay Ancient Wine Cellar

e) French Village

French Village with lots of performances every day!

f) Fantasy Park

Located just 45 minutes by car from Da Nang city, Vietnam, Ba Na Hills is a must-visit-place if you have a chance to visit the middle of Vietnam. You can read more about this lovely amusement park in this article: A Complete Guide to Ba Na Hills

What is your favorite amusement park? Share with me in the comments!


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Eat like an Icelander: 9 Icelandic food to try

It’s yummy time again! In this post, I’m gonna introduce you delicious Icelandic food that I tried during my trip. Iceland is famous for being extremely expensive, but it cannot stop us from trying its specialties, right? Let’s see what I discovered!

 

1.Skyr

I first knew about the name “Skyr” while I was on the plane to Iceland. It was a long 3.5 hours fly from Copenhagen to Keflavík, so I started reading the magazine that WOW air provided. (Note: WOW air provides cheapest flights to Iceland, read more at: How to find cheap flights?)

Skyr first caught my eyes with its appealing flavors with different choices from plain, strawberry, blueberry, mango, etc., as well as its amazing benefit. Not only contains high protein, Skyr is FAT-FREE!

How does it taste?

Skyr tastes quite similar to yogurt, but it has a thicker form. I prefer the one with mix flavor of blueberry and raspberry! It’s super tasty and healthy.

How can we eat Skyr?

Skyr is often served with milk, but trying it alone is also tasty. Skyr is popular in Nordic countries, so you can buy one in Danish supermarkets as well. You can read more about Skyr here.

Skyr – a healthy product from Iceland

2. Dried fish – Harðfiskur

During my road trip in Iceland, I noticed that dried fish is sold every where. You can either find it at the supermarket, or souvenir shop, or fish markets.

I tried it once at the flea market, and still remember the taste until now. I could feel the freshness of the sea with a bit salty, and I totally enjoyed the tastiness from different types of fish. Not only rich omega-3, dried fish products have lot vitamins and protein. You can surely buy it as a perfect souvenir thanks to its healthiness, lightweight and long-shelf-life.

This is at the flea market – Kolaportid. Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you want to try it? – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

3. Icelandic meat soup – Kjötsúpa

Having a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold outside is the best, isn’t it? Meat soup is one of the traditional dishes of Iceland, and every restaurant offers this meal. With the tasty flavor from the broth made of the root veggies – potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and lamb, Kjötsúpa comforted and warmed me up.

4. Smoked lamb – Hangikjöt

Don’t forget to try smoked lamb when you visit Iceland. Although smoked lamb is a traditional Icelandic dish which is usually severed on Christmas day, you can still find it in many restaurants.

5. Flatbread – Flatkökur

Yet another food to try on this list is flatbread, which is made of the mixture of rye flour and whole wheat flour. It is usually served with some butter and a slice of smoked lamb, or smoked salmon. I tried the one with smoked lamb, and that combination was totally delicious!

A nice Icelandic meal with smoked lamb on flatbread and meat soup.

I had this meal at Loki café, which is a nice restaurant served Icelandic traditional food with a beautiful view. The decoration was very unique and the service was good too! I totally recommend this place.

It is located opposite the cathedral

A nice view from the café

Stunning decoration at Loki café

6. Icelandic hot dog

There is a very famous hot dog chain in the heart of Iceland, Reykjavik named Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which means “The best in town”. It has operated since 1937, and famous for its lamb sausages. Many famous people have visited this stand, including Bill Clinton (2004). This place is selected as the best hot dog stand in Europe as well.

 

7. Icelandic bakery (Kleina)

Have you ever wondered how people have breakfast in Iceland? It’s very common to get some bread (Kleina), and drink cocoa milk! This was what I had with my friend in Iceland 🙂

A delicious breakfast!

8. Liquorice candy

Liquorice candy is so popular in Nordic countries, and Iceland is not an exception. There are various candy stores in Reykjavik, Iceland with different flavors. I think the taste is quite weird, but many people love it, so try it!

There are so many flavors to choose!

9. Shark meat

When I was walking around the flea market, one seller offered me to try shark meat. It was quite salty, and the taste stayed long inside my throat. Although I don’t support or encourage eating shark, trying it was one way to understand more about Icelandic food and culture.

This is also at Kolaportid, Reykjavik – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you dare to try? – Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs

Do you want to try any of these? Let me know your ideas in the comment!


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10 Best Things to do in Iceland for the first time

When I first arrived in Iceland, I was so amazed by how beautiful Iceland is! Iceland is an incredible country with various things to discover. In this article, I would love to share 10 Amazing things to do in Iceland for the first time. I hope you can find some inspirations to explore Iceland.

What to do in Iceland?

1. Take the road trip

With the famous Ring Road, Iceland is a popular place to do a road trip. It was my first time to rent a car and go around a country. I was traveling along the ring road from Keflavík to Southern Iceland. It was totally awesome to see how beautiful nature is, and to see the changes in the landscape along the road.

 

2. Hitchhike

Because Iceland is the safest country to do hitchhiking, I gave myself a try. It was very easy and simple. You just need to stand at one side, shake your hand and show a thump up. It took me less than 5 minutes to get a car there, and the experience was very nice! At first, I thought that it’s not safe to hitchhike, but Iceland’s drivers proved to me the opposite! They are very friendly and helpful. So give yourself a try if you go there.

 

3. Hike

Although I had visited many countries before, I didn’t do hiking. In my Iceland trip, I climb up the hills and mountains. Following the long steps, I saw many magnificent views that I couldn’t ever forget. It was totally worth the effort!

 

4. See the abandoned plane wreck

The feeling of seeing a plane wreck is unexplainable. After a long walk (around 3km) from the parking lot, I finally found an abandoned plane crash. It was so cool to walk inside, to see the effect of the crash and the time on the plane.

 

5. Live in the car

I literally lived in the car for 3 days. I ate in the car, drank in the car, slept in the car. It was so so cold to sleep in the car, especially because I didn’t bring a sleeping bag. I couldn’t sleep much because of the cold. However, it was a life experience when I could just drive everywhere I wanted and stopped at wherever I found beautiful. You can get inspired with Icelandic food list here!

 

6. Explore the Glacier and Iceberg in Iceland

One of the awesome things to do in Iceland is exploring the Glacier! I felt like I visited Antarctic when I saw the Iceberg and the Glacier. It was so amazing! You can even hear the sound of when the Iceberg was fallen as well.

7. Visit a volcano

Seeing a volcano was on my bucket list for a long time, and I did it when I visited Iceland! The volcano was just so huge!!!

 

8. Visit black sand beaches

I hadn’t known about black sand beaches until I did some research about Iceland. Because of the volcanic nature, the sand is black there. So amazing, isn’t it?

 

9. Observe midnight sun

It was so bright until midnight when I was there in May! The sun didn’t seem to come down. I heard that the night was even brighter from June to August. It was quite difficult for me to sleep because of the midnight sun.

 

10. Look through the waterfall

There’s a very special waterfall in Iceland, where you can go behind the waterfall, and look the view outside through the powerful waterfall! The view was so stunning when I got there. I watched the sunset from behind the waterfall, and it’s just beautiful as it’s like in the movie.

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How to find cheap flights? – Best websites to use!

Many of my friends asked me how I could be able to afford my travel, especially when I mostly commuted by airplanes. Believe or not, I once got on the plane 18 times in one month. Am I rich? Nope! Most people think that it’s cheaper to travel by buses or trains, etc., but if you know how to find cheap flights, you can save a lot of money as well! In this post, I will introduce my favorite websites to find cheap flights!

1. Skyscanner

I guess many of you have heard about this site, right? It’s my favorite when finding flights. I like the feature that you can just select the whole month to find the best time with comparing all the choices. You can also just choose “Anywhere” as a surprising travel option.

However, the website doesn’t show all the cheap airlines, and sometimes the combination is a bit pricey. Therefore, I will just use it as one of the references when searching for flights.

Be careful when you book multiple flights through this website. Sometimes it says that you will take a responsibility to transfer on your own, so you have to make sure to pick up all the luggage by yourself, and prepare a visa if needed. I once booked multiple flights without knowing that I need a visa to transfer because my booking was with 2 different airlines. As a result, I lost my bookings and all the money :/

 

2. Goeuro

This website is very useful because you can find all kinds of transportation, including buses, trains, flights or even Blabla cars. It evaluates the Smartest options, the Cheapest options and also the Fastest options. You can also see the time needed for commuting as well.

3. Bravofly

I just discovered this website recently and used it as one of the options to find flights. You can also find hotels, cars or combination between flights and hotels here. Pretty convenient, right?

 

4. Kayak

This is one of the websites that I used to compare the price as well. The website is user-friendly and well-designed. If you sign up for an account, you may be able to find good private deals with up to 35% saving.

35% saving if you sign up!!!

5. Fly4free

This website provides various good deals with a good combination of flights and accommodation. You can read more about the description of each trip on their website, and book the trips with the links. If you are lazy to plan your trip or look for some travel inspiration, Fly4free will be your favorite website.

6. Momondo

Momondo is one of the best flight comparison prices. It provides cheap options for flights, hotels, car rental. You can find some trip inspiration there as well. I love the Trip Finder option. You can enter your budget, choose your favorite destinations or just randomly anywhere. You can also choose which type of places you would love to go such as cities, beaches, nature or skiing, etc.

 

7. Rome2rio

This website is amazing! You can find all the unusual paths through this one. The site lists all the options by plane, bus, train, ferry and automobile, along with the price and the time needed for transportation.

For example, in this search, I try to find a way from Copenhagen to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany.

Options from Copenhagen to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany


If you fly inside Europe

Sometimes I found cheap flights by checking directly in airplanes’ websites since some good deal do not show up in general comparison website. These are some budget airlines you would love to know! Most of them are only available in Europe.

 

1. Ryanair

Ryanair is my top website to find cheap flights. You can save lots of money with this airline. I have used it several times and these are my reviews.

Good points:

  • Incredibly cheap! You can find good deals starting from 5 Euro!
  • User-friendly website
  • You can bring a carry-on suitcase with a bag on board.

 

Bad points:

  • Hassle at the check-in if you don’t hold a good passport. If you travel around Europe, and you’re not EU resident, you will have to do a passport checkup at the check-in luggage point.
  • The seat is very tiny and not that comfortable. If you’re tall, you feel it very uncomfortable during the flights. However, I think it’s acceptable if you’re looking for a cheap option to go from places to places in a short period of time.
  • Expensive charge if you bring extra luggage. Therefore check out the allowance rules carefully before you fly.
  • Commercial, commercial and commercial. They play lots of commercials on the airplane and it’s quite annoying. It’s quite understandable that Ryanair tries to have more income from selling stuff on the plane.

 

2. Norwegian

I love using Norwegian service because it’s really good. You can have free wi-fi access on board. There is no hassle in check in part.

Sometimes the price is a bit pricey, but if you are under 26, you can use the promotion code: UNDER 26, and you can see lots of deduction from the normal price! It can be even up to 50% off!

 

3. Wizz Air

Wizz Air provides cheap flights as well, even cheaper than other competitors. However, it’s quite inconvenient if you have more than one piece of luggage. You will need to pay an extra fee if you bring more than “One piece of cabin baggage”. Read more here.

 

4. easyJet

I flew with this airline few times and nothing much to complain, except it was late with the boarding time. EasyJet is also one of the cheap options for flights, and the seat is quite small as well.

 

5. SAS

Some people will say SAS is quite expensive to fly, but it’s cheap if you book ” Young flights” for those who are under 26 years old. Also, the price of SAS is a bit similar with Norwegian. You can get free coffee or tea on the plane, and the service is very nice!

Finding cheap flights will take time, but it’s worth your effort. I hope you can find good deals based on the list of websites above. Did I miss any good websites? You can share in the comment so I can update the list!


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How was your experience with booking through those websites? You are more than welcome to discuss with me in the comment ?

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Top 10 most surprising things about Denmark that you should know

I decided to write this post when one of my friends asked me “What surprised you the most when you first came here?” As a Vietnamese girl who lived in Japan, Denmark is a whole new world for me. Denmark was the first European country that I visited. Let’s take a look at the 10 most surprising things about Denmark in this post. It’s not only useful for those who want to know more about this lovely country, but it’s also a good preparation if you have a chance to visit Denmark.

1.Toilet for both genders

You can see a lot of toilets for both genders if you’re in Denmark. So, don’t get surprised or shocked if a guy or girl comes to the same toilet with you.

Toilet in Denmark

I was so surprised at the first time when I was in this situation. I still remember the feeling when I heard a random guy’ voice outside when I was in the toilet, and I was like

“No way! How did I go to a wrong one? I remember I enter correctly?”

I was really shy and embarrassed at the moment, so I actually stayed in the toilet for a while. Waiting, waiting and waiting, but they didn’t go!

“Oh No! What should I do then?”

I had no idea and just went out as fast as I could. After talking to my friends, I realized that some toilets in Copenhagen are for both genders.

 

2. Hygge

“What is the most special thing about Denmark that you will show a foreigner?”, I asked my Danish friend.

“Hygge”, he answered.

I heard that Hygge is the way that helps the Danes survive in the cold winter, and I can confirm that it’s true! (After staying here in the winter)

So what is Hygge? Hygge is a very special activity in Denmark. It can be defined as having a good time with good people. If you walk around Copenhagen in the evening, you can see lots of people sitting together, having a cup of coffee or having a meal, with a small candle in between. As I heard,  too many candles for Hygge caused health problems in Denmark 🙁 

Hygge and coffee time in Denmark

What is better than a cup of hot chocolate in the winter?

Also, I was shocked when I knew it was common for Danes to leave their babies to nap in a stroller outside when moms “Hygge” inside. OMG! How is it possible ?? How can they leave the babies outside, even when it’s really cold and windy ??

I once asked my Danish friend about it, and he said “It’s really safe to do that because they calculate the wind direction, and the baby will cry if bad things happen. Also, no one kidnaps children here. It costs a lot to raise a child”. It’s totally different from other countries that I’ve been to.

 

3. VAT

Denmark is one of the countries has the highest tax in the world. The standard VAT in Denmark, or called Danish VAT “MOMS” is 25%. Therefore, everything in Denmark is expensive compared to other countries. In my first day in Copenhagen, I was shocked when buying a small bottle of Coca-Cola with 20 DKK. It is more expensive if you buy it in Seven Eleven or Fotex, compared to Netto and Fakta.

 

4. Super windy

I think the thing that I hate most in Denmark is the weather :/ It is way too windy. Sometimes I cannot even ride my bicycle because of the strong wind.

 

5. Flat country

Denmark is a flat country. As I read, its average height is above the sea of 31 meters. The article also said that the highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 meters. You cannot see any mountain in Denmark, only small hills. So, it is the best place for cycling, isn’t it?

 

6. Bicycles, bicycles, and bicycles

Because of the geography, Denmark is a perfect place for cycling. If you come to Copenhagen, you can see people bike everywhere. Danes love biking in every type of weather, even it’s rainy, windy or snowy. In Copenhagen, there are lines for bicycle only, and also traffic lights for bicycles. Bicycle thefts are very common in Copenhagen as well. So, watch out!

Bicycle in Denmark

 

7. Drinking culture

It’s very normal to see people walking with a beer or many beers on the street in Denmark. You can see people drinking on the street, public transportation, and public places. It is legal to buy alcohol everywhere too. There are many drunk people in the weekend in Copenhagen.

You can read about Danish drinking culture at Julefrokost here

 

8. Smoking

Another surprising thing to me is that many Danes smoke. You can see a lot of people smoking in the parties, bars, and clubs. They will go out for sometimes and then come back inside. I was once the only one left inside the house because other people were smoking outside.

 

9. Apartments in the inner city

a) Same floors

The apartments inner the city of Copenhagen have the same number of floors which are 3 or 4. The designs are also a bit similar as well. It seems to me that those apartments just have different colors and different window styles. I was lost at first days when I just came because I couldn’t find my way to similar apartments. 

Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark

If you visit Nyhavn, you can see it clearly!

b) No curtain

I was surprised to know that some apartments do not have curtains on the windows :o! “How can they keep privacy then?” – I still wonder this until now… luckily my place has curtains already 😀

c) Only stairs

Also, most of the apartments only have stairs. 2 places that I lived, none of them has an elevator. I visit some of my friends’ houses and there are only stairs too. However, it’s a good chance to practice and improve your health, isn’t it?

 

10. Health care system

You can get an assigned doctor when you have a CPR number in Denmark. When you change your place, you have a choice to choose your own doctor. Also, health check-up is free. Feeling unwell? Just call your doctor and book an appointment. Unfortunately, the medicine price is pretty expensive, and the health care system does not cover your dental cost.

 

I hope you enjoy reading the 10 Most surprising things about Denmark! Which one surprised you the most on this list?

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Milk Bars: A cultural experience in Poland

A visit to “Milk bars” is a compulsory activity if you have a chance to set your foot in Poland. Milk bars, or bar mleczny, were opened during Communist era to provide cheap but nourishing food. Milk bars were initially created to provide all people with cheap meals which were subsidized by the state. Now, milk bars have become one of the cultural experiences to any visitors in Poland. Eating at milk bars, you can enjoy a taste of Communist-era Polish cookery, and experience the warm feeling with the cafeteria style. In this article, I will introduce 2 famous milk bars in Warsaw and Kraków that I visited during my trip.

Note: I have no affiliation to these place, just my reviews after eating here 🙂

 

1.Prasowy in Warsaw

Arrived at Warsaw Chopin Airport in the early morning of February, I was welcomed with a heavy rain. I decided to start my journey in the capital of Poland by stopping at a milk bar because it was so rainy outside. After checking carefully on the Internet, I decided to pay a visit to Prasowy.

Prasowy was one of the top milk bars appeared in my search, along with lots of good reviews. It was also near my hostel, and easy to reach by bus from the airport, along with a short walk. The location was really good in my perspective. Also, there is a park next to it, you can just come by after eating.

Before entering the milk bar, I tried to learn some basic Polish words such as saying “Yes” and how to point at the food. However, the waitress could understand English so it was easy to order food.

 

Design and atmosphere

I found the restaurant very cute and friendly itself. It has some cool words and decoration on the wall. Entering the door, I found some pink tables on the right, and blue chairs with white table on the left. The place was clean with cafeteria style, and of course with the irresistible food aroma.

Menu

The menu is in Polish, but you can ask the waitress to help you to translate. There is an A4 paper menu, also wall-menu as well. Prasowy serves a breakfast menu with scramble eggs and bun. However, I chose to try a meat dish with rice and vegetable instead.

 

Food

After paying at the cashier, I received a receipt and waited at the middle of the restaurant to receive my food. The portion came bigger than I expected for the cheap price (17 zolty for all). It also tasted delicious and gave me “home-made” feeling.

 

Although feeling full already after the main dish, I wanted to try the dessert and drink there because they were incredibly cheap! I just simply came to the cashier, pointed at the dessert because I did not know the name. And yes, here they are!

 

Review

With good location and cheap but delicious food, Prasowy should be in your check list during your visit in Warsaw.

 

Location

Address: Marszałkowska 10/16, 00-590 Warszawa, Poland

Open time: 9am – 8pm

 

2. Milkbar Tomasza in Kraków

As a budget traveler, I think it’s the best way to experience the culture and enjoy good but cheap food is to eat at milk bars. Milkbar Tomasza was on my list after reading good review and also the location. It is located inside Old Town, so you can just stop by if you are around there.

Design and atmosphere

Milkbar Tomasza has a modern design, with a compact size of a small restaurant. I feel that it’s newer and more modern compared to Prasowy Milk bar in Warsaw.

 

Menu

Milkbar Tomasza has English menu, and the staffs can speak English fluently, so there will be no problem in choosing and ordering the food. I chose the dish of the day in the menu because it seems more economic than choosing separately.

 

Food

Different from Prasowy, in Milkbar Tomasza you will be served at the table after ordering food. The food came with good portion, and delicious as well. I received my soup first and then the main dish. I was really full after having those dishes.

Review

Modern style restaurant, good location, affordable and delicious food, Milkbar Tomasza is a perfect choice to get a good meal in Kraków. I visited there in the evening, but I heard that it served excellent breakfast menu as well. So let’s give it a try!

 

Location

Address: Świętego Tomasza 24, 33-332 Kraków, Poland.

Open time: 8am – 8pm daily except Monday

 

Conclusion

Eating at milk bars, I could enjoy the cultural experience by eating like locals and exploring dishes from Communist era time. Although the dishes are mainly simple, they are delicious and worth trying. Prasowy has different style compared to Milkbar Tomasza. In Prasowy, I could feel the “old-time” and cafeteria way by self-service, while Milkbar Tomasza brings me more modern style and well-advanced. Each place has different atmospheres as well as different dishes, so pay a visit to each will fulfill your trip to Poland.


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