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Vintage Heaven in Budapest

We’re just going to cut right to the chase on this one. If vintage fashion makes your heart beat a little faster, if you’re a treasure hunter, if you’re crazy for antiques, Budapest is THE shopping destination for you.

Beautiful embroidery work at Acs Balint

Beautiful embroidery work at Acs Balint

What is a rarity in other parts of Europe, what takes painstaking research and relentless digging, is an overflowing fountain of vintage goodness in Budapest. Clothes, jewelry, housewares, you name it. It’s all in this Hungarian capital, and here are our favorites:

Ács Bálint

Hidden in a courtyard off of one of the busiest streets in Budapest is the holy grail of vintage folk clothes. The store stocks racks and racks of hand embroidered peasant blouses, complete folkloric costumes and cross body satchels. Cases are overflowing with headpieces, belts, and jewelry from as far back as the late 17th century. We walked away with silk and handmade lace Victorian style jackets with puckered shoulders and ruffled backs ($60-$90). Truly a must, this store is essentially a treasure chest of vintage clothes.
Váci utca 23
+36 1 3376 301 

Colorful blouses at Acs Balint

Tangó Classic 

If you’re looking for ruffled blouses and brocade jackets, this is the place. This tiny shop had the best collection of vintage peasant blouses that look killer with a pair of boots and battered jeans. One of a kind pieces like a turquoise embroidered jacket we snagged ($90) are the kind of bohemian pieces that top even an Isabel Marant look. In addition to clothes, the store has an impressive collection of linens for the home that transformed our table into countryside chic.
Apáczai Csere János utca 3 

Folkart Craftsman’s House 

Situated off of one of the busier shopping streets in Budapest, this emporium of bohemian crafts is not to be missed. While the inventory is sprinkled with new pieces, the real gems are antique vests and skirts, all handmade. The store boasts handy crafts from several different regions across Hungary, and while the prices are slightly steeper, the selection is impressive. We even found boho beaded headbands and boots.
Régiposta utca 12
+36 1 3185 143

Romani Design

Romani Design

Racks of boho chic at Romani Design

If handmade, boho, gypsy chic is your look, Romani Design will blow your mind. Housed in the designers own home in an ancient apartment building in the center of the city, this store doubles as a showroom for Erika Varga’s exquisite gypsy fashion line. Using vintage fabrics, Varga turns up the volume on typical Roma fashion. The result is glamorous, sophisticated bohemian pieces that are one-of-a-kind. Our favorite finds were embroidered fringe skirts and floral printed caftans ($65). A hidden gem, and absolute must-stop in Budapest.
Akácfa utsca 20-22
+36 1 788 1034 

 Written by and photos by Guest Contributors Chloe Popescu & Iris Friedman for EuropeUpClose.com

After having huge success with both a jewelry line and clothing line, mother-daughter writing team Iris Friedman and Chloe Popescu have united their passions for travel and fashion to write about shopping, style and culture across Europe.

Are ‘Northern Lights’ Cruises a Good Idea?

Ask for holiday advice for the depths of winter, and most people would suggest heading south, towards the sun. For the winter of 2013/14, though, the smart move is to head north, because there are more ways to enjoy the sun than just basking in it on a beach somewhere.

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Every eleven years or so, the sun becomes very active. Like an obstreperous teenager it develops spots, flares up unpredictably, and starts throwing things around, disturbing the atmosphere. Luckily, the result is the awe-inspiring display of celestial fireworks we know as the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. This winter coincides with the peak of solar activity, and the aurorae are already dancing across the northern skies.

Don’t Panic!

It’s a long time since people believed the Northern Lights heralded the end of the world, or that the red streamers across the sky were the work of fire-breathing dragons. They’re quite safe, so why not enjoy the show? As natural wonders go, they are certainly amongst the most breath-taking, and never the same twice. Vast swathes of the sky fill with shimmering curtains of green, white and red light, and although they may appear to reach right down to the ground, all the action actually occurs nearly a hundred miles above the ground.

See The Light

Every season, a dedicated band of aurora-watchers flock to northern climes to view this natural spectacle. Although the Lights do occasionally appear over the UK, they become more common and reliable further north, so the Nordic countries, Alaska, and Canada are all popular destinations. City breaks, remote wilderness treks, and independent travelling are all viable options for enjoying the show, but it’s always best to have some other interest for those times when the skies are cloudy, or the Lights take a night off.

Northern Lights Cruises

An increasingly popular way to sneak a glimpse of the Northern Lights is on a dedicated cruise, and various cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean Cruises, are gearing up for the season this year. Apart from the Northern Lights, fjord-hopping up and down the coast of Norway offers some spectacular scenery, plenty of ice, and interesting drop off points. Being out to sea affords some excellent viewing conditions, too, as the night skies are free of the bright lights found on land, and the Northern Lights stand out all the better.

Pack Your Thermals

No pain, no gain, though. Before embarking on a cruise consider if you are a good sailor – the North Sea can be a little choppy in winter, and it would be a shame to miss the show and spend the whole trip feeling queasy in the cabin. As for baggage, expect to take a little more than shorts, flip flops, and dinner jacket. Plenty of layers and weatherproofs will be required, as the breeze off the glaciers can be rather nippy, and stout footwear is needed for the snow and ice when taking trips ashore. Being prepared will pay dividends and allow you to enjoy the glorious sights in comfort.



Where to ski this coming season


Now that summer has been and gone, holidaymakers are turning their attention to the 2013/2014 ski season, with Europe’s alpine slopes providing the ultimate outdoor playground once the weather has turned and the snow begins to fall.

If you’re planning your first ever skiing holiday, you’re doubtless feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole thing, with so many countries, let alone resorts, to choose from.

With that in mind, the following guide is designed to help you hone in on your preferred destination and ski resort:


The world’s most popular ski destination by ‘skier days’ according to Domaines Skiables de France, with 57.9 million recorded in 2012/2013, France is a perennial favourite with British slopesmiths thanks to its convenience, value-for-money, huge ski areas and consistent conditions.

One of the most popular resorts is the famous Alpe d’Huez, whose high slopes (up to 3,330m) mean you can almost guarantee snow for your holiday. There are runs to suit skiers of all abilities and the apres ski scene is a winner with tourists.


France’s main rival in Europe and the third most popular destination in the world behind the USA, Austria offers great skiing, a friendly welcome, holidays to suit all budgets and attractive towns for a picture-postcard getaway.

One of the best-known Austrian resorts is the World Cup town of Kitzbuhel, which offers fantastic skiing and a buzzing nightlife scene. Just be wary of what month you book your holiday for as at only 2,000m maximum altitude, Kitzbuhel’s slopes can suffer when things begin to warm up in the spring.


Another one of Europe’s big hitters, Switzerland offers fabulous scenery and skiing, albeit for a little bit more money than its neighbours France and Austria.

The resort of Davos in the Graubunden region is one of Europe’s largest ski areas, so you certainly won’t get bored on a skiing holiday here. And like Alpe d’Huez, some of the slopes top out at over 3,000m for crisp conditions throughout the season.


The final one of Europe’s ‘Big Four’ ski destinations, Italy is yet another great option for a ski break this year. It has many high-altitude resorts, which makes it a great late-season destination.

These include Arraba in the Dolomites, where the highest lift is a little shy of 3,000m. Arraba’s laid back resort is ideal for family groups uninterested in the apres ski scene, although the local wine is cheap and delicious.


As well as the Big Four, there are a number of up-and-coming ski destinations in Europe offering a good and cheap introduction to skiing for those trying the sport for the first time.

These include Andorra, whose Arinsal resort is ideal for groups of beginners looking for fun both on and off the slopes. Plenty of cheap alcohol and lively bars make for fun times once the slopes have shut, while Andorra’s capital, La Vella, is only 7km away.

Intermediates and serious ski aficionados, however, will quickly get bored of Arinsal’s limited runs and should look elsewhere for their ski holiday – any of the above will suit you just fine.

The most important things to consider when booking your ski break are resort altitude and time of year; the apres ski scene (if the off-slope action is important to you); and the quantity of runs to suit your ability. Get these three right and you’ll have a great time.



Uncovering the Past in Athens’ Metro Stations


Along the rail track near Monastiraki train station in Athens, a team of young archaeology students are digging for treasures. I was told they had discovered a ‘painted stoa’, a popular meeting place during the time of Plato and Socrates. I stand by the fence and watch in fascination as they dust, scrape, and carefully handle pieces of the ancient agora. Finding treasures like these in Athens is nothing new. Everywhere you dig in the Plaka area, you are bound to come across some remnants of the old city. This is most evident at the site of the new Acropolis Museum where archaeologists uncovered layers of Athens from the Bynzantine era to the Bronze Age, much of which is visible under plexiglass flooring.

Digging by the rail line in Athens

Digging by the rail line in Athens

What is amazing to visitors to the city though, are the treasures on display right in the metro stations. While excavations were going on to build the city’s sleek transit system, the procedure was slowed to a halt many times while archaeologists were called in to examine and excavate pieces of history. This procedure was called ‘salvage’ archaeology because many of the items were damaged. Most of the findings were left in situ so people could see them as they were found allowing an insight into the way life used to be in this great city. All the evidence found was recorded as it provided a history of the past from ancient streets, houses, cemeteries, religious sanctuaries, workshops, aqueducts and cisterns. More than 50,000 ancient articles were found. Today these treasures are on display in six different Metro Stations.

Athens Metro Syntagma Station

Athens Metro Syntagma Station

Along Venizoulou Street leading to Syntagma Square there are several fenced off areas of Roman findings including baths, and in the station itself there are cases displaying everything from weaving looms to clay amphorae. As you descend down the marble steps to the concourse of Syntagma station you are entering a slick, modern area; but on the balcony surrounding the lower lobby encased in glass are the artifacts from various periods of Athenian civilization, from Byzantine through Roman to classical Greek and prehistoric. It makes for an interesting interlude in your travels to stop and admire these exhibits, allowing a glimpse into what life was like back in the days when the city was first inhabited.

Syntagma metro amphorae

Syntagma metro amphorae

In the Plaka area, at the Acropolis station where you exit for the new Acropolis Museum, there are replicas of sculpture from the east pediment of the Parthenon. Most of the findings from this area are displayed in the Acropolis Museum but a few pieces have been left for travelers to enjoy. Findings date from prehistoric to the 9th century BC and many of them were burials sites including shaft graves, tombs and cremations. Most of these burials were of children.

Artifacts at the Acropolis Metro Station

Artifacts at the Acropolis Metro Station

Back at Monastiraki, where the archaeology students are busy at work, I take time to enter the metro station and look at the extensive excavations that are inside the station itself. There are cisterns and building foundations in situ, some from the Roman era.

Inside Monastiraki Station

Inside Monastiraki Station

Whether they are mini museums of archaeological finds or just pleasantly decorated stops for transit users, the metro stations around Athens are worth exploring for their artistic decor and slick designs. Even if you aren’t planning to ride the metro it’s worth going into the stations to have a look. If you do ride the metro trains or the tram, a word of warning: watch out for pickpockets. Keep your wallets in your front pockets and your purses and backpacks close to you. Don’t let anyone bump into you or crowd around you.  These slick thieves have become the bane of the city’s transit system.

Written by and photos W. Ruth Kozak for EuropeUpClose.com



The Best Pubs in Trondheim

As the days darken and the snow falls, I can’t help but feel drawn into the cosy pubs and bars around Trondheim. Pub culture here is different from the UK, for one thing the price of alcohol means long “sessions” in the pub are out of the question. But as a Brit, I’ve made a point of exploring the pubs and bars around the city to find something akin to my “local”.

Here’s my pick of the best:

Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri

I like my ale, so naturally I’m drawn to Trondheim’s microbrewery. It was actually the very first place, let alone pub, I ever went in Trondheim. Just minutes after stepping off the airport bus, Gerry dragged me into the pub (kicking and screaming, of course) for a burger and a beer. Their burgers are some of the best in Trondheim, but I go for the beer. They sell a range of their own ales – IPA, amber ale, stout, etc – alongside a rotating guest ale, and the popular Trondhjemspils for lager enthusiasts. You can order a sampler of all their beers – perfect if you have nowhere to be later on…

The one annoying thing? Closed on Sundays! (tmb.no)

Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri

Den Gode Nabo

You might get seasick inside The Good Neighbour thanks to its low ceiling, tilted corridors and views across the water…

Perhaps the most atmospheric pub in Trondheim, it sits inside some of the old warehouse buildings of Bakklandet, right on the old bridge, the most photographed part of town. Inside, large tables encourage groups to get together so it can be tough to get a table at weekends, but if you do then you won’t want to leave. The selection of beer is good too. Alongside Dahl’s – Trondheim’s local lager – is Nøgne Ø, Samuel Adams, and Old Speckled Hen, amongst others. In summer, the floating patio is the best place in town to sit with a beer. (dengodenabo.com)

Den Gode Nabo

Inside Den Gode Nabo


Loosely translated as The Old Bookshop, Antikvariatet sits just a few doors down from Den Gode Nabo but offers a different atmosphere. The small front bar hosts concerts, comedy shows, and offers the chance to sit on the front patio endulging in one of my favourite hobbies – people watching on Bakklandet! But what makes this place special is the large book bar hidden away at the back of the pub, packed to the rafters with books, games and views across the water. (twitter.com/antikvarene)

Antikvariatet Trondheim

Antikvariatet Book Bar

Three Lions

You can take the Englishman out of England…

I’m not normally a fan of English pubs abroad, but the Three Lions is one of the best I’ve come across. It’s primarily a sports bar, with a giant screen downstairs showing football every day of the week. But hidden away upstairs is a set of separated rooms with their own screens, so the pub is capable of showing up to nine different games at once. They do awesome burgers, named after the regulars or (in)famous footballers. Imagine a fry-up in a burger and you’re half-way there! And it almost goes without saying, but as an English pub, there’s live music and quiz nights too. (threelions.no)

Three Lions Trondheim

Burger menu

Of course, there’s plenty more that could have made it. Samfundet (Students Union) offers the cheapest beer in town, Fru Lundgreen and Familien host regular gigs, Ni Muser offers cheap beer despite not being a pub… the list goes on.

But after six months as a resident of Trondheim, these four places have kept me coming back for more.

Which is your favourite Trondheim watering hole?

The Kerrang! Tour, 2014

It’s that time of year again when the Kerrang! Tour hits the road. Rock lovers are always waiting to hear for news of the event as it attracts some big names from all around the word, the 2014 lineup will not disappoint. With Limp Bizkit being the main attraction the event is sure to be a resounding success. Tickets are being offered at a superb rate, you can buy tickets for only 20 pounds! This means that you will have to get in early and buy your ticket, you will not be the only one who wants to go and see the tour as it makes it’s way through Liverpool. Check online before it is too late!


Limp Bizkit are a great addition to the line up, they have had unbelievable success world wide and remain top of the list of many people as the best live band to see. They also branched out into other genres, they collaborated with the Rap juggernaut that is Jay-Z to produce a special live album. The fusion of rap and metal meant that their music reached a wider audience, this audience then bought into the Limp Bizkit music and catapulted them even more to the forefront of music. With other great additions to the line up there is something for everyone on the list, the climax will come when the American rockers take the stage, I’m sure the roof will come off when they run through their long list of classics that the crowd know off by heart.

The Kerrang tour has always been popular in Liverpool, this is because it is easy to reach and there are plenty of options for accommodation in the surrounding areas. One of the best places to stay is Runcorn, it’s a very relaxed place. It gives you the perfect opportunity to relax and rest before a night of loud music, walk through the streets eating in one of the many local cafes and then enjoy a beer before catching the train into Liverpool. If you’re looking for the ideal place for you and your friends to sleep then you should definitely take a look a the local Holiday Inn. With great facilities, friendly staff and fantastic location you can’t go wrong if you make a booking. Be sure to get in early because you will not be the only one looking to get some great accommodation.


Winter Driving in Norway

Last weekend I had the pleasure (!) of driving in the Norwegian winter for the first time. Below you’ll find some tips for those of you doing the same, but first, my story.

I don’t drive often these days. Since leaving the UK over two years ago, I’ve driven just four times, twice on the left and twice on the right. So it’s nerve-wracking enough driving at all, let alone on the “wrong” side of the road and during a blizzard.

Yes, during a blizzard!

Driving Trondheim to Røros

My worries about making the trip from Trondheim to Røros were focused on the road surface. I’ve driven on icy roads in the UK and it’s not nice. But – and this feels stupid in hindsight – I hadn’t thought about the possibility of it snowing during the drive.

The hire car from Allways in Trondheim was fine – a red Mini with winter tyres of course (a legal requirement in Norway), heated seats, and a full tank of fuel.

Red Mini

But the very moment we stepped out of the house to start our journey, the snow began to fall.

Moholt in Winter

We were leaving Trondheim at the worst possible time – the beginning of rush-hour on a Friday afternoon. So the main E6 motorway was at a crawl. My hopes of making it to the long country road to Røros before complete darkness soon disappeared.

E6 traffic jam

The snow quickly covered up the road markings sending my spatial awareness into meltdown – especially as the E6 switches from single to dual-carriageway and back again. We finally made it to Støren, the beginning of route 30, over an hour later than planned, and sure enough it was dark.

As we turned on to route 30, my heart sank. Not only was it pitch black, the road was unlit, snow hurtled directly at the windscreen, and the sign ahead read “Røros 106km”.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a scarier drive in my life.

Winter driving in Norway

What made things worse were the local drivers, clearly used to such conditions, flashing their headlights and overtaking me. Thanks @rseholes, that’s really going to help, especially when I was driving at just 7km/h under the speed limit. Hardly a dawdler.

Whenever we found a chance to pull over I grabbed it. A chance to clean the windscreen, wipe snow from the front and rear lights, and most importantly to relax. The concentration required to drive in such hypnotic conditions is immense, and I found myself needing to stop every 20 minutes just to give my mind a break.

As the snow worsened, we pulled into a Coop supermarket at Singsås. I genuinely felt fearful about continuing and contemplated staying put until the conditions improved. After 15 minutes or so, we decided to carry on.

Taking a break

Taking a break

Conditions improved as we approached Røros. More of the road was lit and the snow had stopped. We eventually pulled into the Røros Hotell almost five hours after leaving Trondheim. On a summer day the drive would take a little over two hours.

The Return to Trondheim

After our weekend in Røros (I’m so excited to tell you all about it – next time!), I couldn’t help but be a little nervous ahead of the return drive. We left Røros with plenty of daylight still remaining. The roads were still treacherous, but with much better visibility I was able to relax a little more and appreciate some of the stunning scenery. I couldn’t believe this was the same road we’d driven just 48 hours before!

Route 30

Winter Driving Tips

For those of you contemplating a winter drive in Norway, here are some tips. Most are common sense, but some you may not have thought of.

  • Allow significantly more time to complete your journey
  • Make sure your car is fitted with winter tyres (a legal requirement)
  • Stop regularly to clear snow from your headlights and number plates
  • Check the weather forecast but don’t rely on it – conditions can and will change rapidly
  • Take a flask of hot drink and some water
  • Take warm clothes and blankets
  • Take an ice scraper, brush, and old rags/cloths
  • Take two orange warning triangles in case of difficulties/breakdown
  • Make sure your mobile phones are fully charged
  • Pull over regularly for short breaks

Be careful out there!

Holiday Gifts for Travelers


This year, we have rustled up a great bunch of gift ideas for the traveler or wannabe traveler. From gifts for the practical traveler to those wanting the trip of a lifetime, our holiday gift suggestions have you covered.

For the Travel Sophisticate

RFID Protecting Passport holderAn RFID Blocking Passport Holder is the best way to protect your passport from identity theft. All newly issued passports and many credit cards include a RFID (radio frequency identification) chip with personal information.  Choosing a RFID blocking passport holder or wallet,is an inexpensive and attractive way to protect vital information.

The pictured passport holder comes in several colors including black. It has interior pockets for credit cards, ID, business cards and currency, and includes zippered pocket for coins

For the Fashionista

I will let you in on a secret…actually a secret sweater. I accepted a sample sweater to review, but was not sure what to expect with something called a Secret Sweater, but once I tried it on, I got it. This lightweight sweater is perfect to wear under a suit jacket if you need just a little extra warmth…the secret part is that it doesn’t show. But equally as nice, it can be worn over a sleeveless dress or blouse and look fabulous.

I love the cotton and modal material from which it is made; it feels smooth and light, but is actually very warm. It comes in a small packable pouch that you can easily store in your carry-on, ready to wear in case the plane is cold or you need a sweater at your destination.  Made in four sizes and in black or creamy white, it makes a great gift or stocking stuffer. If you buy one as a gift, do yourself a favor and get one for yourself as well. Order now..there’s free shipping through 12/18. For more details and to order this Made-in the USA product, visit  Secret Sweater.


For the Garden Lover

We received a review copy of The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto by Jenny Condie and Alex Ramsay and were astonished by the gorgeous photos and poetic descriptions  of  the gardens. It makes you want to jump on the next plane to see these living art installations.

A Coffee-table sized book, The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto invites you to turn the pages with its abundance of full-color photos, some reaching across both pages. Offering historical information along with intriguing photos, this book entices garden lovers and Italophiles alike to travel to the Veneto.The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto

For the Adventure Traveler

A down sweater is warm and packable. We love that it is almost weightless, but still warm and toasty. The pictured women’s Marmot down sweater is made from 100% Polyester DWR Ripstop 1.2 oz/yd – 100% Polyester Embossed WR 1.8 oz/yd – 800 Fill Goose Down. this fitted, warmth-trapping down jacket offers surprising combination of warmth and light weight. The European 800-fill goose down insulation is extremely warm, lightweight and compressible.  Stuff it into an inside pocket for a snowball sized package that take on all your travels.Marmot Women’s Jena Jacket

Trip of a Lifetime

Next year might just be the year to take your family on a vacation they will never forget. If you are beyond the Disney cruise and the all-inclusive beach get-a-way, you should consider a family luxury barge cruise in Europe.  You can charter a 4,6,8, 10 or even 12 passenger, all-inclusive, luxury barge cruise in France, Ireland, Scotland, England or Holland for a week. Imagine, taking your family, or group of friends, on a one-week canal cruise in your favorite country. Practice the language, eat the cuisine and drink the wines and other libations of the country, being pampered every minute. Excursions to castles, wineries, and other famous sites are fully included.

Of special mention is the opportunity to visit England’s Highclere Castle, setting for public television’s Downton Abbey, on the 8 passenger luxury hotel barge, Magna Carta. For more information on Luxury Hotel Barges, contact EuroEscapes, specialists in Barge and River cruising.

Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com

Copenhagen Street Eats


Copenhagen excels at many things – it’s one of the greenest cities out there, arguably the most bike-friendly, and it has impeccable taste in art and design. It’s also made quite a name for itself as a gastronomic capital, not least because of its enviable seaside locale and plentitude of fresh, innovative talent. Perhaps most known is the multi-starred Nobu, which has been recognized as the world’s best restaurant for several years running. Be warned, a seven-course dinner of Nordic cuisine there can mean a months-long waiting list and a price tag of roughly $300.

Copenhagen Ice Cream Bar

Copenhagen Ice Cream Bar

Happily, there is also a wonderful tradition of street eats in Copenhagen, meaning foodie travelers don’t need to completely empty their pockets in order to eat like a local with some Danish flair. Given that sight-seeing all day can build up a fierce appetite, here are four recommendations for snacks that will help keep you fueled while on the go in the Danish capital.

Smørrebrød Sandwich

Copenhagen Sandwich

Smorrbrod – Copenhagen's open-face sandwich

By far the most popular snack or light lunch, or even breakfast, the smørrebrød open-face sandwiches are much loved by locals and visitors alike. Available at delis, cafes and many bars and restaurants, there is almost an infinite number of possibilities of what a smørrebrød can contain. The easiest to find are ones with smoked salmon, dill and capers on top, or perhaps prawns with lemon and a light mayo; but there are also ones with egg, ham and cheese, roast beef, salami, herring and variations of salads, to name but a few. Most are served on dense rye bread, which makes it easy to pick up.

Ristet Hot Dogs

Copenhagen Hot Dog Stand

Copenhagen Hot Dog Stand

Hot dog stands, called pølsevognen, are all over the city center of Copenhagen. Make sure to order one with all the works, or the Ristet hot dog, which can be found at pretty much any stand. The Ristet comes with crispy, fried onions, thinly sliced pickles, mustard and ketchup, and the local remoulade, which is a sweet relish. This one also has the advantage of being served in a bun – most other sausage options are served with a roll on the side.

Ice Cream From Vaffelbageriet

Copenhagen Ice Cream

Copenhagen Ice Cream

The Tivoli Gardens ice-cream stand has been serving up scoops for more than 100 years, and was recently voted by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 best ice creams worldwide. Be sure to try the specialty, the Amerikaner,  which consists of four scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone with syrup, whipped cream and chocolate-covered meringue; or opt for a blob of raspberry jam on top, which goes wonderfully well with whipped cream.

Torvehallerne Food Market

Copenhagen Market

Copenhagen Market

The Torvehallerne Food Market, located just a block from the Nørreport metro station, contains two large halls and surrounding patios which are nearly always brimming with families and groups of friends. One hall has stalls and stands selling items like fresh seafood, olives, cured meats, organic vegetables, myriad coffee beans and exotic spices. The other  hall is full of restaurant stands serving tapas, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, salads and seafood dishes. You will also find some very fine smørrebrød as well as delightful fish tacos served with pickled red cabbage.

Mikkeller Bar

Copenhagen Bar

Copenhagen's Mikkeller Bar

While not exactly a foodstuff, the varied beers of Denmark’s much-respected and popular Mikkeller brewery are a must-try, and no place is better to sample them than at the namesake Mikkeller Bar in Vesterbro. This bar has consistently been ranked the best pub in the city. About 10 types of Mikkeller are usually on tap, and the menu lists more than 100 bottled varieties from around the world. It’s a dangerously comfortable spot to while away the afternoon.

 Written by and photos by Guest Contributor Fiona Gaze for EuropeUpClose.com Fiona Gaze is a food and travel writer based in Prague.


Prevent Your Feet from Swelling on Long Flights

Swelling Leg and Foot during air travel is common malady, and it’s typically harmless. It’s not a drama since the problem usually goes away on its own once you’re touch down. But, it’s worth knowing what causes leg & feet swelling so you can prepare your next flight better and prevent this problem.

Leg & Feet swelling usually caused by inactivity during a flight. I’m not a doctor, but cited from MayoClinic.com

Sitting with your feet on the floor for a long period causes blood to pool in your leg veins. The position of your legs when you are seated also increases pressure in your leg veins. This contributes to foot swelling by causing fluid to leave the blood and move into the surrounding soft tissues.

And what you can do to prevent this problem:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Take a short walk once every hour.
  • Flex and extend your ankles and knees frequently while you’re seated.
  • Shift your position in your seat as much as possible, being careful to avoid crossing your legs.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is one of the cause of swelling. I usually bring a bottle of water once I arrive at airport and suggest myself that this bottle must be empty when I arrive.
  • Avoid alcohol and any sedatives. Of course, why? this could make you too sleepy to walk around the cabin.