Hey, everybody! Today I’m going to tell you about my return to France, and what I’m doing during lockdown to keep busy.
I came back to France 10 days ago because I had no more classes at IHECS because of COVID-19 and no more work because all the cafes have closed. So I exchanged my train and bus tickets, a step that turned out to be more complicated than expected… I think a lot of people were connected at the same time on the sites to order tickets and so I spent my whole Friday night there to book my train trip from Paris to Bordeaux for the next day. I couldn’t manage to book my bus ticket to Paris and I had to book it on Saturday morning, the day I left two hours before… A rather stressful departure in this already scary period!
So all Saturday, I took the transport: 7 hours by bus to go Brussels-Paris (there was no more room for faster buses), 30 minutes by metro in Paris (when I had to change stations due to demonstrations), 3 hours waiting in the train station (which allowed me to meet a childhood friend living in Paris), 2 hours by train to go Paris-Bordeaux then 2 hours by blablacar to meet my boyfriend… a very long day with my backpack and a big suitcase full of stuff!
After these various adventures, I was finally able to settle down and now confine myself to my home with my family and my boyfriend. And in this period of confinement, we try to keep ourselves as busy as we can: board games, poker, ping-pong, darts, movies, series, sport (running), work and cooking (cooking the recipes I miss, to the good memory of Belgium) !!
In the meantime, take care of yourself and your loved ones !
Hey, everybody ! Today I’m going to tell you about a class I have at IHECS, or at least I had…
As I already announced on Facebook, after the announcements made by the president and the precautions taken, I went home to La Rochelle on Saturday, March 14. I am therefore in confinement at home surrounded by my family, taking the classes by video-conference. So I’m going to tell you about the radio course I took at IHECS. I’m going to tell you about the course and the expectations of our teacher before the arrival of Covid-19, and then the improvements that have been put in place.
The radio course takes place every Tuesday morning and lasts two hours: it is a course reserved for the French programme but some foreigners who speak the language well can access it.
The main aim of this course is to create, organise and host a live radio programme of about 20 minutes on the subject we wish to discuss. We have to create sub-topics, to animate the show with reports, interviews etc.
The first lessons were for technique and theory, the teacher gave us explanations about the material we could use, he explained how the editing software, sound recording etc. worked.
With my group, we decided to talk about cinema and the place of women in cinema. We wanted to meet different women working in this field: a technician, a screenwriter, an actress, a producer and a director. We also wanted to talk about the different awards obtained by women in this world. We will divide them into different sub-topics for our show. We will also be able to do telephone interviews to enrich our subject.
Since I came back to France and we are in confinement, the teacher decided to change the course a little bit. Being confined, we can’t meet people for our reports. We will therefore focus on the realization of independent subjects such as individual podcasts that we will gather later during the live production (if we can return to Belgium in time…).
So we will see how the rest of the course will go with containment! In the meantime stay at home and take care of yourself and your loved ones !
It has now been more than 4 weeks since the Erasmus experience began and I have been able to get to know my courses and their content better. Although all the courses I have chosen are interesting, there is one in particular that I would like to tell you about.
This is the “Civic Engagement” course, in reality it is not really a course because in order to validate it, it requires a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work within an association whose theme is the human condition.
During the introductory course, the person in charge of this course told us that it is totally possible to do more than 30 hours of volunteering and in fact almost all the students exceed this quota. To guide us, a table with various associations on different themes was given to us.
We could find associations on :
support for migrants,
LGTBQI+ support for migrant women,
integration of refugees,
asylum seekers support,
support for nursing home.
So many important themes in which I could find a strong personal and cultural enrichment. However, I had to choose only one from the proposed list.
Thus, after having studied the different actions and particularities of each of them, I volunteered as a volunteer in the association SINGA, which accompanies and facilitates the integration of refugees.
Even if I have not yet start to work within the association I know in advance that I could contribute to the animation and the good implementation of the various activities proposed (sports, playful, cultural and artistic) but also participate in the moment of exchange during the organized discussions.
The reason I’m telling you about this initiative is because I think the IHECS had an excellent idea. Indeed, encouraging volunteer work through a course in conjunction with local associations offers an advantage for both the student and the association. In my opinion, this kind of concept should be developed further.
Finally, at the end of the hours worked within the association, a file of a maximum 4 pages must be drawn up. This includes a presentation of the organisation and the missions carried out as well as the impressions felt.
A few days ago in my article about Athens (you can read it here) I told you that I’ve spent one week in Crete with my boyfriend during my vacations. It’s now time to share our experience in the largest Greek island with you, telling you about our favorite places, those we didn’t like so much, and those we haven’t have the time or the occasion to visit!
Crete is a really large island, contrary to what we might think, therefore it will take you more than a week to visit the whole island if you want to see everything. We recommend you to move from one region to another staying around 3 days in each one. We also recommend you to rent a car for the duration of your stay. For our part, we had our pied-à-terre in Gazí, just outside Heraklion, and we decided to rent a car for three days in order to venture into places we couldn’t do by bus.
WARNING: The bus network is the only means of transports that exists in Crete if you decide not to rent a car. But don’t worry, it’s really expended and pretty cheap (a day ticket costs 5 euros and a one-way ticket costs between 1.20 euros and 2 euros).
We also wanted to share the link of our Airbnb with you because we had an amazing experience. The apartment is really big, has two balconies, is located 50 meters from the beach and the owner is adorable; for example, he offered us a bottle of white wine and a basket of fresh fruits. It was “advertising time”, but now let’s talk about the places we visited during our stay!
Places to see absolutely
Let’s begin with a huge must-see in Crete : the old capital Chania (also called Xaniá) and largest city of the west side! Like all cities of the island, there are only a few places to visit, because the city atmosphere is felt walking through its narrow streets and on its Venetian port. You can also discover the east side of the port walking along the Sabbionara rampart to the lighthouse through the Guardians house.
Lose yourself in the streets of the city, don’t hesitate to go a little deeper into the heart of the less touristic districts. Take a walk to the old market and if it’s too hot (which wouldn’t be surprising!), the Folklore Museum and the Maritime Museum will be perfect for you!
If you have some time or simply like to swim, the almost transparent water of the Mediterranean Sea will call you for a short diving from the rocks or beaches that surround the city.
Seitan Limani and its beach
Located 30 min by car from Chania, Seitan Limani’s rocks and its famous beach are a must if you want to swim in a transparent/blue/green water but also if you have an adventurer spirit. The descent by car can be scary because the road is quite narrow and the curves very tight, but the view when you arrive on the wild car park is totally worth it!
If you plan to go to the beach, don’t forget your snickers (don’t wear flip flops) because you will need good shoes to go down the mountain. We don’t recommend that place if you’re afraid of heights or if you have young children because it’s very steep. But if it’s not the case, go there and enjoy it!
On our way to go to the west coast of the island, we stopped by to visit the city of Rethymnon, third largest city of Crete. As for Chania, feel free to walk through the streets of the city to discover all its secrets. We really loved Rethymnon when we shouldn’t have stopped there normally; what a mistake it would have been!
But the main attraction in Rethymnon is its fortress. Count 4 euros to visit it and don’t forget your hat and your sunscreen because the site is not shaded. We highly recommend it to you because the view of the city and the see is really beautiful and the buildings are very well preserved, specially the mosque in the center.
30 min by car from Rethymnon, don’t miss the Arkadi monastery, a site we fell in love with. This place steeped in history (I let you read the Wikipedia page about it, this is really interesting) has served as a refuge during the ottoman conquest in the 19thcentury. The warm colors of the stones, the flowers, the greenery, the view of the Cretan mountains, everything was stunning. But because images speak often more than words, admire it.
If you have time, a car and 2 euros for the entrance, go there, you won’t be disappointed!
Bali and Sissi
These two villages weren’t on our itinerary at all, but as we turned around, we first stopped to admire the village of Bali. We didn’t have time to adventure ourselves through its streets but the view from the road was breathtaking in itself. It reminded me the car journeys with my parents when we stopped on the roadside to admire the landscape (it’s nostalgia time). If you have some time, I’m sure the village is worth it!
Another place we fell in love with is the village of Sissi. There are no monuments to see in particular but to wander the streets and discover the little port of the village at the corner of one of them is worth it. Feel free to go down to the beach through the shaded alley made for it and enjoy the view there.
If you don’t like archeological sites, this place is not for you. But, on the contrary, if you like to visit ruins and to discover the places that have shaped the history of Crete, don’t hesitate! Accessible from Heraklion by car but also by bus for only 5 euros and in 30 min, the Knossos archeological site is clearly worth a visit. Some ruins are really well preserved and some others have been restored, but generally speaking, the site is really interesting and large. The site is also related to Greek mythology because it is said to have housed the famous Daedalus labyrinth in which the Minotaur was enclosed.
For 16 euros (or for free for students), you will be able to buy a ticket for the archeological site (which costs 15 euros alone, which is pretty expensive) AND a ticket for the archeological museum of Heraklion (which normally costs 10 euros). This is a great deal if you want to do both. The ticket is available for 3 days. But be careful, Knossos is a popular site for tourists and group, therefore we highly recommend you to go there at the opening at 8am if you can.
The city of Heraklion, largest city in Crete, is not a must-see for me but a great pied-à-terre on the north east coast. It is also not a place I don’t recommend you, because the city has some charm and it’s really pleasant to walk around. It’s port is really charming even if it’s kind of little, and walk along its fortress is agreeable (but be careful because the sun is very treacherous, I burned that day!).
Balos Lagoon: a lagoon really beautiful where we wanted to swim so much.
The village of Loutró: located nearby Samariá Gorge, we were really interested by this village of fishermen with white houses. But be careful, we have read that the village has many naturist beaches so maybe it was a good idea to not go ahah. But the view seems stunning!
Places that are not worth it
Located in the east, the city of Agios Nikolaos really disappointed us. The proof is that we stayed there for only an hour and I took only about fifteen pictures. Except for its little port which is very charming and the water still blue/green, the city is not worth a visit. With all the places beautiful in Crete, don’t waste your time there!
Malia and Stalida (or Stalis)
If you want to swim and sunbathe among tourists and spend your days on the beach or drinking drinks, the seaside resort of Stalida is made for you, but apparently isn’t for us! I even came back without any pictures! Concerning Malia, we didn’t go there but we made some research and we found that it’s a city very similar to Agios Nikolaos and Stalida, a very touristic coastal city with just a nice port. But if you really like archeology, stop by to visit it archeological site.
As for Athens, don’t forget you hat and your sunscreen because even if there’s wind (particularly on the cost), the sun is treacherous and a sunburn is never too far.
Someone will probably tell it to you when you’ll arrive, but don’t drink tap water and buy bottled water instead. It’s not very ecological, but it’s for your own good!
Rent a car is almost necessary if you want to visit Crete so don’t hesitate to compare prices and especially opinions about rental agencies. There are a lot of them so you’re not immune to a bad experience. For our part, we rented a car for 3 days at an Hertz agency for 95 euros with the most complete insurance (necessary when you see how Cretans drive). The diesel fuel was a little more expensive than in metropolis as we expected it to.
If you are staying for only a few days and you are planning to stay in the same region, prefer to go to the west of the island which has much more charm and places/sites to visit.
If you are planning to take an excursion (for instance Santorini), be careful to compare prices to avoid scams, because as for car rental agencies, travel and excursion agencies abound.
Crete is the ideal destination if you like to stroll through cities, get lost in more wild places, learn from archeological sites and museums, but also to rest and sunbathe by the sea. We loved Crete and I think that if the opportunity presents itself, we won’t hesitate to go back.
It’s almost time to leave Stuttgart, so I enjoyed a week and a half of holidays we had in the middle of our classes to go to Greece for a few days as a couple. On the agenda: 4 days in Athens and 8 days in Crete! I will very soon write an article about my stay in this Greek island but spoiler : I enjoyed it SO MUCH.
But for now, let’s focus on Athens, capital and biggest city of Greece, with more than 650,000 inhabitants (outside urban areas). Athens is a perfect city if you like to walk and to stroll through streets and gardens, but also if you are more interested in museums and historical and archeological monuments. After spending 4 days in Athens, I’ve prepared an itinerary for you not to miss anything about this city that has so much to offer!
My plane only landed in the early afternoon so the first day wasn’t full but I had still start to explore the city a little bit! It’s really easy to reach the city center from the airport, either by bus (for 6 euros) or metro (10 euros), and it will take you about an hour. On site, the metro-bus-tramway transport ticket costs 4 euros for one day. The transport network is really well developed and allows you to go wherever you want in the city.
We’ve decided to stay in an Airbnb to live as much as possible close to the inhabitants and to cook after going to the market. Many accommodations exist at very reasonable prices so I really recommend this solution if you’re planning to stay a few days in Athens! Our Airbnb was located in the Attiki district, a popular but charming district. We enjoyed the late afternoon to walk around and get lost in the streets. Interesting fact about Athens : a lot of street (specially the main streets and avenues) are bordered by trees so that the sidewalks are in the shade, which is not a problem when it’s 31 degrees without wind!
In the course of the streets, we discovered Saint-Panteleimon’s church and what I can tell you is that Greeks are very good at building churches! We also took a walk in Pedion Areos Park, one of the largest public parks in the city. A breath of fresh air in the middle of the city! We then returned to our Airbnb to rest in order to start the first real day of our stay.
We started this day with a must-see in Athens: the Monastiraki Square and its market where you can find fruit stands at very competitive prices. 1kg of strawberries at 1.20 euros, unbeatable for such tasty strawberries! We then walked to reach the first archeological monument on our way: the Ancient Agora of Athens. The site is very large and impressive, and its museum is also interesting if you want to observe some statues and ancient objects found on the site.
THE great deal of this stay was a pass at 30 euros (or free for students) which allowed us to visit the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos site, Lykeion site, Hadrien’s Library, the temple of Zeus and the Acropolis. We strongly recommend you to take this pass sold each of these sites to be able to see them all at a lower cost, since the Acropolis alone already costs 20 euros and each other site about 4 euros. This will also save you having to wait in line each time to buy your ticket.
After the Ancient Agora, we went to Hadrien’s Library nearby. Feel free to walk the streets so alive and full of history when you go from one site to another, you won’t regret it! All sites are generally located in the hyper-center of Athens, so you can do everything by walking. Therefore we walked to the Kerameikos district (literally “ceramic” in English), the former potter’s district. Don’t forget you cap/hat and you sunscreen, as the sun is very strong and the archeological sites are not shaded!
At the end of the afternoon, we finally headed for THE most visited site in Athens: the Acropolis. If you can, go to the Acropolis from the opening at 8am to avoid heat and tourists, or at the end of the afternoon to avoid tourist groups like those on cruises, who usually do the tours early in the morning. But overall, there are still people there. The Acropolis is clearly worth the visit and we didn’t regret visiting it because this place is full of history and really impressive. The view is also breathtaking, and you will be able to appreciate the size of the city that you may not necessarily suspect. It takes about 1 hour to visit the Acropolis. We’ve decided not to do the Acropolis Museum, but count 10 euros in full price if you want to do it.
Another highlight of Athens is the Pláka district, located below the Acropolis. It is the oldest district of the city, which has now become THE place to go out in the evening, have dinner and take a drink. Once again, take a stroll through the streets, get lost, and discover the small district of Anafiótika, a district in a district, with white houses and small alleys similar to the landscapes of the Greek islands. Don’t forget to look at the walls around you, you could see street art works that are worth it! Pláka is certainly my favorite district of Athens (not very original I know), and I recommend it a thousand times!
For this third day, we started by visiting the National Gardens of Athens. A breath of fresh air in the middle of town, and it feels great ! I still recommend you to do this visit in the afternoon when it’s hot. We then went to the archeological site of Lykeion. It’s not a site that I recommend because there is nothing particurarly interesting or even impressive to discover. The site is located quite far from the others so don’t waste your time going there, are simply walk through the streets around.
A site that I recommend a thousand times on the contrary: the Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games. This place is clearly worth the visit, but I advise you to go in the morning so as not to die of heat. We were very surprised by the size and height of the stadium. Count 4 euros to access it, but believe me, you won’t be disappointed, and you will even be able to visit the stadium museum with an exhibition of poster of the Olympic Games since their creation.
Another must in Athens is to go for a drink on a rooftop to admire the city at night in a lively setting, often away from tourists. We tried the 360 Rooftop and we really liked it!
We started our last day in Athens by walking around the Exárcheia district, known for its very civic atmosphere where the inhabitants have been managing many things themselves since the crisis. The district is also presented as the cradle of anarchism in Greece and is full of tags and street art works.
The overwhelming heat typical of Athens (35 degrees but felt much higher) finally got the better of us and we decided to take refuge in the Archeological Museum of Athens. I had read on several blogs that it was the most complete museum in the city in terms of archeology, and I can only tell you that this is true! It takes about 2 hours to visit the museum without necessarily stopping at all the works, but plan more if you are a big fan of archeology. Admission is 10 euros or free for students.
With this heat, and since we had done everything we wanted in 3 days, we went home to rest before going out for our last evening and do the last must-see of the city: climb the Areopagus hill and admire the sunset and the city at night. Athens is just as beautiful by day and by night, and I hardly recommend you to take some time to walk through its streets after dark.
What and where to eat in Athens?
In bulk, I give some Greek specialties that you MUST try during your stay: souvlaki (meat on skewers), gyros (kebab meat), grilled feta cheese, ice cream in general (they are big ice cream lovers), espresso or cappuccino Freddo (ice coffee to fall on the ground and so cheap), pitta and koulouri (a sesame covered bread that they eat a lot like here in Germany we eat pretzels).
I also share with you my favorite places in Athens:
Rozalia: a typical restaurant in the Exárcheua district, in a shaded and charming setting.
Quick Pitta: the first restaurant we tested in the city center, to be tested if you want to taste several Greek specialties in “small” quantities.
Yard Restaurant: located near the Acropolis Museum, this restaurant is pretty touristic but remains very good.
360 Rooftop Café/Bar: a charming and vegetal rooftop to drink a cocktail or a glass of wine with a view on the Acropolis. You can also eat there if you want.
You should also know that the purchasing power is much lower than in some other European countries such as France or Germany, you therefore will be able to eat well for less than 10 euros per person.
If you would like more addresses and the entire list of the places I’ve quoted here, click on this link to access to our Google map that allowed us to find our way during our stay.
If you can, visit Athens between October and May, and avoid the hottest months or you won’t fully enjoy your stay.
Don’t forget your hat/cap and you sunscreen if you want to avoid sunburns and sunstroke.
Take an Airbnb accommodation or an apartment for rent so you can buy your vegetables in the various markets in the city and cook them, there is nothing better!
If you are a student, think about taking you student card because a lot of monuments and museums are free for you, which is not insignificant.
Take out your walking shoes because Athens in a city in relief and many sites like the Acropolis are more easily accessible with good shoes.
Visit as many sites as possible in the morning to avoid tourists but also to avoid heat. Every day, we would end up coming home around 4pm to get in the cool before going out again around 7pm.
I think 3 days are largely necessary to visit Athens if you want to do the main monuments and sites as well as walk a little in the streets of the touristic districts or more popular ones. I had heard that Athens is a city known to be either adored or hated, which I can understand because it remains a very populated city, sometimes dirty in some areas, pretty polluted and made for archeology and history lovers. But despite all this, what I will remember about Athens is the people I found adorable, the mixture of urban planning and archeology, the diversity of cultures, its popular districts that live outside tourism, and of course its history!
You have already had the right to some articles about our life in Santiago, but we haven’t told you about the city and the wonders it hides. I will therefore be in charge of sharing with you my beautiful discoveries. And, of course, I’m not going to spare you my great culinary skills. But let’s start quietly, shall we?
Did you know that there are more than ten parks in Santiago? Well, I admit that there are some more or less grown-ups, but all of them are very popular with Chileans, whether at lunchtime or to breathe after a busy day at work. My favorite is Bicentenario Park. It is a few minutes from my house, and as soon as I discovered it I enjoyed running there from time to time. There are even pink flamingos!!!!! (see picture)
But it’s not the biggest one I’ve ever walked. Last weekend I went hiking with two friends to one of the many parks on the Andes mountain range, called Quebrada de Macul. Well, I can tell you it was going well. The landscape is magnificent, I found an air of South of France, the crickets and olive trees were missing and I swear to you that we were there.
The last one I will talk about is the Metropolitan Park of Santiago, in which you can climb the Cerro San Cristobal. A Cerro is a hill on the top of which there is a religious building. I have been there several times already, because you can see the whole city of Santiago and a beautiful sunset (you even have the right to a picture of me with it. And yes, you should be lucky!)
Let’s get down to business now.
So, for those who don’t know me, I am a great epicurean and cook, so I am happy to find the addresses not to be missed in each city I visit.
Like all major capitals, Santiago does not lack restaurants from all over the world. Indian, Peruvian, American, Italian, Mexican, and even French! And I must admit that I have already tested many of them. Between Burgers, Pizza, Buddha Bowl, Sushi…we always find our happiness. Speaking of sushi, a little aside, here one of their specialties is fried sushi. Yes yes yes you read well. Here is a small picture to give you an idea. They are sushi as you know them, but they add a frying pan around them and fry them, so you can only eat them with chicken or vegetarian.
Let’s go to the burgers. Here, there is something for every taste and every diet. There are some that are more gourmet than others, such as one in which a fried flowing cheese is added. Then, others more healthy, like the vegetarian burger from Bravo 195 (which became my HQ, see photo) with a red bean steak, sheep’s cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and a nice fried egg to top it all off! A real delight! Not to mention the great homemade fries to accompany it.
On the pizza side too, I found something to make my little thing happy. As a fan of Neapolitan pizza, I was surprised to find a good number of addresses that make it. I’ve already done almost everything! Here is one of my favorite pizzeria, both by the place and by their pizza (see picture Omerta).
Then to finish, I was pleasantly surprised ( yes i’m often surprised in life) to find a multitude of healthy and vegetarian/vegan addresses where you can enjoy wonderful bowl, good big avocado bread, hummus….. in short you understood the idea…
On this friends I leave you, I haven’t finished exploring everything yet! But I’ll be back soon for new adventures!
In mid-April I left to discover with Maud, the Danish capital : Copenhagen. Built on two islands, this colourful city known on social networks thanks to its famous port and its little mermaid has clearly won me over. Here is the program we had prepared and all my advice so that you can prepare your stay as well as possible. You will find at the end of the article a Google map with all our places of passage.
Day 1 : Botanical Garden / Little Mermaid / Port Nihavn The first day we started by visiting the Copenhagen Botanical Garden (free). A very well maintained park with a small hill crossed by a stream. There is a building (paying access) with indoor plants but we have decided not to visit it. After about thirty minutes in the park we left for Kastellet: a star-shaped fort. Just next door is a district of yellow houses, they are reserved for sailors. We went for a walk around and inside this fort so I strongly recommend it… It is in Churchill Park where you can see the famous little mermaid (representation of Hans Christian Anderson’s eponymous tale). Leaving in April offered us a nice surprise: cherry blossoms. Next to the Langeline fountain, you can see pretty cherry trees paths.
Then we went to eat a typical Danish dish. I had slices of caramelized pork, cucumber and red cabbage. Maud took chicken cut in sauce and bacon. Our two dishes were served with two slices of seed bread.
We continued our discovery through the Nihavn port. It is often thanks to him that we know Copenhagen, a very touristic place but really to see! Many bars border its shore, but with exorbitant prices (the Coke is at 8 euros).
We continued our walk with the Amalienborg Palace (neo-classical style) in front of the marble church (a magnificent blue dome, entrance is free) in the middle of the square is the equestrian statue of King Frederick V. You can see every day the changing of the guard at 12pm. We then went to see the facade of Christiansborg Castle (which is now the Danish Parliament) is located on the island of Stotsholmen, to visit the interior the entrance is charged (150 kr).
Day 2 : Superkilen / Norrebro / Vestebro We started the day in Superkilen Park, it is divided into three areas. The first is “Red Square” because its soil is simply red/pink/orange. You can pause on large white and red swings. The second space is paved with white linear lines. The third area is a green area with small hills. In this district, the signs are international to reinforce the multicultural aspect of this district. These three zones were created by the Superflex group of artists. On the way there we crossed a cemetery. In Copenhagen cemeteries are also parks and it is quite normal to land or play near graves. The atmosphere is really that of a park, I advise you to go and see one on one of your paths.
We then walked around Norrebro and Vesterbo, there’s not really anything in particular to see, I just advise you to walk around and sit down for a drink.
We ended the day by meeting two Danes in a typical bar: the Bobshytte. The Danish bars are very small, I felt like I was going back in time. There were jutboxes, board games, and a particularity of Denmark: you have the right to smoke inside the bar (if it is less than 40m2). In Europe, it is the only country with Austria that allows smoking in a public place.
Day 3 : Copenhagen Tower / Library / Christiania We started the day by going up to the tower of Copenhagen (about 3.50 euros per person) to get a high view of the city. There are several points of view on the city, it is the one we were recommended and we were not disappointed. It’s amazing how dense the city seems to us when we have the impression that it is very airy when we walk around it. Around this tower are the big chain stores that we had not yet seen (long live globalization). We went to a thrift store called Episode.
The Danes recommended a restaurant called Rio Bravo to eat the national dish: baked potatoes with grilled pork slices and a white parsley sauce. The price is 18 euros and it is at will, we advise you to go there for lunch because we guarantee that we came out while driving (aha).
We then visited the Royal Library in Copenhagen, also known as the “black diamond” because of its material: black granite. There is a contrast between the very modern front on the canal (where you will find the entrance) and the rear, which has kept its original facade in the middle of a pretty park. Once inside, climb the escalators to admire the inside.
Exploring Christiania: an alternative neighborhood that I really loved. It was founded by a group of squatters, unemployed people and hippies, self-proclaimed “Free City of Christiania”. It was self-managed from 1971 to 2013 and has its own flag. Atypical, you may say. Today managed by the Copenhagen woman, it has kept its identity: wooden houses with decorations specific to each house. In the middle of Christiania is a pretty lake with shores where we can easily land. Photographs are prohibited in this area because there are still sales of so-called soft drugs (hashish…). Be careful, however, smoking in this area is tolerated but not legal.
4th day : Tivoli Park and attractions In three days we had finished visiting the beautiful city of Copenhagen, so we decided to go and see the Tivoli park, famous for its beauty. Inside you will find lots of rides. You can only take the Park Pass which costs about 15 euros or take the Park + Unlimited Attractions Pass for about 50 euros. This is the one we chose, we stayed from 11am to about 6pm. Note that it is possible to pay attraction per attraction, if you only want to make one or two it will be more economical for you. The park and attractions are open from 11am to 10pm from April to September. We had bought sandwiches in the morning outside the park to make it more economical.
Overall the city is quite expensive, but we often bought our meals in aldis and coffees at 7eleven in order to reduce costs as much as possible. There are parks in all the neighbourhoods so it is very pleasant to eat and rest in the sun.
Accommodation in Copenhagen : We had booked 5 nights in the hostel. “Sleep in Heaven”, one of the best hostels we have ever built. The common areas were very warm, very clean and ergonomic. They have a breakfast at 6.50 euros that we didn’t take but we tasted their cinamonrolls and they are really the best we are eaten) and the rooms of 10 are on two floors and very well arranged. We have booked with booking (each time this site really offers us the best offers). The price was 19 euros per night and per person.
Transport in Copenhagen: Transport is very expensive so we simply did everything on foot. Sometimes it can be a little long but with good weather it is really nice to be able to observe the city and to go along nice paths (housing the docks and for example very pleasant). Copenhagen is a very well equipped city for bicycles, if you have the budget I advise you to rent bicycles by the day.
From the airport to the city centre:
There is a metro that costs about 5 euros per person per journey.
The 5 best Instagram spots in Copenhagen : a desire for photography
The famous Nihavn port
The yellow houses near Kastellet
Cherry blossoms next to the Langeline fountain (beware of the season)
Link to the Google Map, you must open it once and then you will find it in your burger menu “your addresses” then click on “maps”
In our desire to discover more about the german territory, we went to Munich ! As the capital of the famous Bavarian region, Munich has an important historical heritage. Known as one of the “most pleasant cities in the world”, we explain why we confirm this statement:
When you arrived in the centre of Munich, you couldn’t miss Marienplatz and its new city hall (Neues Rathaus), as majestic as it was imposing. There is also the Column of St Mary, built as a symbol of the end of the Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years’ War. Marienplatz is surrounded by several churches and cathedrals, including the Cathedral of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) or more commonly known as “the little onions” for its shape, the Church of St Peter (Peterskirche) and the Church of the Theatins (Theatinerkirche). Go for lunch and you’ll get a nice melody!
Continuing our adventure around Marienplatz, we came across the Viktualienmarket. A market of local products, where you can taste local specialities on site. Indeed, a restaurant area has been created in the middle of the square to enjoy Bavarian dishes. And if, like us, you make a mistake on the wrong day and go there when the market is closed, you can always admire the beauty of the square where it is located and find an open restaurant stand.
Munich is a city rich in monuments but also museums and art galleries of all kinds! While strolling around Karlsplatz, Konigsplatz and even Odeonsplatz, you can admire the beautiful architecture of these colourful buildings. We have chosen not to venture inside all the museums to fully enjoy these three sunny days strolling the streets and admiring the architecture. But if you stay longer than us, we recommend it!
You can’t miss the Englischer Garten when you come to Munich! Called Munich’s “green lung”, it is one of the largest landscape gardens in the world (it is larger than Central Park and Hyde Park!). And we can definitely confirm its immensity! Spring having made its arrival, we were able to enjoy pretty colors. We started at the south entrance of the garden to pass in front of the Hofgarten, the Greek tower (Monopteros) and then the Chinese tower, where we stopped for ice cream. We also went along the Eisbach River, where it is possible to surf! We then ended the day at the shores of Lake Kleinhesseloher, to admire a beautiful sunset.
Biergarten: garden or terrace of a restaurant where you can taste your own food, or buy it in food stands, as long as you order a drink.
What we remember the most about Munich is the feeling of being in a very airy city where life is good. The streets are so wide, flowery and colourful that you never feel like you’re suffocating. And yet Munich is a very big city! Transport is also easy to understand and serves the entire city well. We loved this little weekend so much that we wanted to extend it! Here is a list of our favorite photo spots so that you can discover the beauty of Munich with us:
The districts of Schwabing and Maxvorstadt: a bobo atmosphere and colourful houses are waiting for you.
Friedensengel: the monument is beautiful but look around, you might find pretty fields of blue flowers there!
Law Central Library: we unfortunately missed the opening hours, but check out Pinterest, it’s worth a visit!
Munich Reinsurance Company: You never thought an insurance company would have such a beautiful building.
Marienplatz: perfect for low angle pictures.
And of course, we don’t leave you without sharing with you our great tips for an economical stay:
The 3-day transport pass at 16.80 euros will save you a lot of money and you can walk around the city centre and its surroundings.
With Flixbus, we found a 20 euro round trip from Stuttgart to Munich and back! Don’t forget to look, there are many good tips on Flixbus.
We found the youth hostel a&o Hostel München Laim which offered the night at 19 euros in a mixed room. Good plan only 20 minutes from the center by subway!
On the restaurant side, we recommend Steinheil 16 for cheap German food. The plate was very copious (we even left with a doggy bag…) and we only paid 10 euros. You can also eat local for an economical budget on the Viktualienmarket.
ATTENTION: In Munich, everything is closed on Sundays. We were surprised by this, so try to plan all your activities for the other days and maybe prefer Englischer Garten on Sundays!