As it’s Throwback Thursday, what better way to mark this day than a look back at 2018’s top travel destinations? Stockholm, Copenhagen and Montenegro are our favourites this month!
Stockholm: Miriam Thompson
Stockholm, capital of Sweden, has been my favourite place I visited in 2018 without a doubt. My boyfriend and I decided to go on a quick three-day minibreak last Easter and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The amazing food was the highlight, including Sweden’s famous meatballs, one of the best experiences for any foodie is to visit the restaurant Aifur. Although a little over the usual student budget, the atmosphere is was unique as you get to dine like Vikings in an underground cavern filled with people on benches drinking mead whilst the resident lute player provides background music. Aside the food, the museums in Stockholm exceeded expectations.
We chose to do museums to keep the trip fairly cheap although some of them cost, they didn’t break the bank. My top two were the Vasa Museum (although don’t make the mistake of starting on the top floor like we did, or you’ll gather a very different story to what actually happened) and the Science and Technology Museum. The city is also easy to walk around despite the map making the centre look huge, catching the ferry boat though is a great experience as it allows you to see the city by water.
Copenhagen: Sophie Hunt
Denmark’s charming capital city, Copenhagen has something to offer every tourist no matter your interests. Top sights include the Little Mermaid statue, Tivoli Gardens – one of the oldest theme parks in the world, Christiania, Rosenborg Castle, the Round Tower and Nyhavn – the pretty-as-a-picture, colourful street with the beautiful docks.
Although it’s not the cheapest of European city break destinations, Copenhagen’s lively, friendly and welcoming atmosphere is worth spending the extra pennies for. Public transport in the city is also great, so it couldn’t be easier to explore. Just watch out that you don’t get flattened by a cyclist as you trawl around.
Montenegro: Inga Becker – Hansen
My top travel destination for 2018 is Montenegro! Looking for somewhere alternative, relatively cheap and with plenty to do? Look no further! Hidden amongst the Balkan countries adjacent to the Adriatic sea lies the beauty and hidden jewel of the Adriatic coastline, Montenegro…Enticing in both its charm, food and rich heritage, it has a lot to offer and is as yet to be discovered by mass tourism!
Where to begin? The country is rich with heritage and history from prior to the countries break to independence from the original state Yugoslavia. The country’s name is derived from Venetian, meaning ‘Black Mountain’ , in reference to the Mount Lovcen referring to the dark, thick evergreen forest enriching the mountain.
“Located 461 stairs high and 1660 m above sea level”
Mount Lovcen is located within the national park with the same name and features the country’s equivalent to Stonehenge, this being the Njelos Mausoleum. Located 461 stairs high and 1660 m above sea level, this grand tribute to Petar II Petrovi-Njegoš or Njegoš is truly something to admire and worth visiting. Njegoš himself decided he wanted to be buried upon the mountain from which the poet and philosopher viewed the vast country, and contemplated life, and its easy to see why with a view like that!
The vast majority of the population are Orthodox Christians and so many monasteries as well as chapels and churches are dotted across the country. One notable once being ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’. The church was erected following sailors finding a statue of Madonna and Child washed up on the very site where the church has been built, following which sailors began throwing rocks onto the same spot when returning home safely from voyage. Ships were then filled with rocks and the rocks scattered in order to build up the islet. The original church was formed by 1484.
“The striking light blue roof and slightly dishevelled brickwork are eye-catching”
In order to see the intricate chapel, you first arrive at the elvish-looking village of Perast, a small quaint fishing village. From here you take a short boat ride into the centre of the Bay of Kotor and arrive at the small islet. Even from afar, the striking light blue roof and slightly dishevelled brickwork are eye-catching as you edge closer to it by boat. Upon entering I marvelled at the intricate chapel and its detailing, the walls and ceiling featuring baroque artistry from a local Perast artist an intimate and bewitching offering to Mother Mary. Further to this the museum houses a collection of silverware and Italian paintings.
The Old Town of Bar is not often spoken of in tourist guides but is well worth a visit. Over time it has been invaded by Venetians, Serbians, Hungarians as well as the Ottoman Empire and now lies as ruins you can walk through and explore. You can observe the aqueduct which was destroyed in the earthquake in 1979.
“Food is plenty, yummy and relatively cheap”
Not only is Montenegro’s history a drawing point, but for a foodie like me, whatever I’m eating when I’m on holiday is important, and Montenegro has a lot! Featuring seafood, grilled meats as well as tasty fresh fruit and vegetables, food is plenty, yummy and relatively cheap!
Travelling around the country is fairly easy, given there are coach services which run across most of the country and these cost around 5/6 euros return journeys depending on where you are heading. Its also the easiest way to explore cities and towns which the tourist websites and journals talks less of, the places where I found there to be more things to see and do.
Overall, I couldn’t sell Montenegro enough as a destination! After going on holiday there last summer I am dying to take my family there to see it for themselves as there is so much to see and do and such rich history and culture! Go as soon as you can !