Collected by AFAR Explorer
Gamla stan, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
This picture was snapped in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, a quintessential, well-preserved medieval town with 13th-century architecture, cobblestone streets, and idyllic alleyways reminiscent of times long gone. I love cultural nuance. So when I learned...
Folkungagatan, Stockholm, Sweden
To while away time, you can go people-watching and vintage shopping in Stockholm’s answer to New York’s SoHo—South of Folkungagatan, called “SoFo” on Södermalm ("Söder" to locals). This busy bohemian district boasts some of the edgiest cultural...
Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
No celebration brings otherwise reserved Swedes out of their shells more than the summer solstice festival of Midsummer. While its roots are pagan, Midsummer is celebrated by all classes of society. You’ll find folks wearing handmade wildflower...
Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark
As I arrived in Copenhagen for the first time, I followed the map from the subway to my hostel. All was going smoothly until a police officer who was directing traffic stopped me from passing. I stood there with my big pack on my front and back...
Sortedam Dossering 9, st, th, 2200 København, Denmark
This group of more than 30 cafés across Denmark are open early, so they’re great for breakfast. The tea, coffee, and sandwiches are all very nice, but what really sets Lagkagehuset apart is the quality of the cakes. It would take an iron will to...
Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark
When you think of a royal palace, you usually think of one set building. In Copenhagen's case there are actually four distinct buildings which surround a large central square. Why four? Apparently, because it was originally inhabited by four noble...
Gl. Hovedvagt, Kastellet 1, 2100 København, Denmark
While the little mermaid is good for what she is, just about everyone who sees her finds her...well...small. It shouldn't be a surprise for something that is quite literally called the LITTLE mermaid, but somehow she often still disappoints. What...
Sankt Annæ Gade 29, 1416 København, Denmark
You can see the black and gold spiral steeple of the Church of our Saviour, or Vor Frelsers Kirke, all over Copenhagen. It's not until you are standing beneath it you realize that golden spiral is actually a staircase—on the outside. If you are...
Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København, Denmark
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the...
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beyond tulips, windmills, and weed, Amsterdam's global image is entwined with water. The Canal Ring (Grachtengordel) is made up of 165 fluid channels developed during the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. In the ensuing years, the water network has...
Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
During Holland's Golden Age, when spice trade with Asia and North Africa was booming, wealthy merchants built mansions along the expanding canal ring that became Amsterdam. Today the fashionable homes have been reincarnated as upscale offices,...
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
Dam, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The central hub of downtown Amsterdam is Dam Square, and it’s been at the heart of the city’s history since the 13th century. Today, the open-air public space is ringed by shops and restaurants and packed with people, including street...
1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
Leidsestraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with Leidesplein (Leidse Square), a colorful if sometimes frenetic entertainment hub near Vondelpark, at Amsterdam's southern end. Accessible via trams 1, 2, 5, 7 and 10, the square is the stage for...
Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's one of Amsterdam's prettiest districts, where swans glide on tree-shrouded canals and gabled mansions recall Holland's Golden Age: de Wallen, better known as the Red Light District (RLD). Since 2000, prostitutes have plied their trade here as...
Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
Singel, 1012 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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