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Ralf Krahe′s Wishlist
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California, USA
I started to rock climb outside this year. Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne meadows can be climbed in 5 pitches. This is the view from the top.
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Töölö, Helsinki, Finland
Rent a bike and grab Helsinki's bike pathways map to create a custom tour. There are a few major loops and many junctures to jump from one loop to the other (i.e.,'green loop', 'town loop', etc..) Plan to be out for a couple of hours. The ride is...
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Norra Esplanaden, Helsingfors, Finland
At midnight in June and July, Helsinki glows. Here, AFAR's founders stroll the Esplanadi, a grassy park and cobblestone walkways bordered by two avenues in the heart of the city, after a dinner at Restaurant Gaijin (www.gaijin.fi). In the day,...
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South Harbour, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Cruising the Baltic in the middle of summer is an experience not to be forgotten. We had the opportunity to dock in the South Harbor, which is conveniently located within walking distance of the city's center. This is a view looking north toward...
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Sveaborg, 00190 Helsingfors, Finland
A popular excursion for both locals and visitors, Suomenlinna, a fortress built across a group of islands in Helsinki’s harbor, is just a short ferry or water-bus ride from the city center. Begun in 1748 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,...
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00101 Helsinki, Finland
In Paris, we're spoiled with bakeries on every corner, reeling us in with the sweet perfume of butter and sugar that wafts onto the street as we pass. In Helsinki, locals should feel fortunate to have Kauppatori, the city's market square where a...
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Lönnrotinkatu 29, 00180 Helsinki, Finland
Guests at the new GLO Hotel Art in Helsinki’s Design District can borrow a guitar or painting supplies to unwind before bed. From $173. Lönnrotinkatu 29, 358/(0) 10-344-4100
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Unionsgatan 29, 00170 Helsingfors, Finland
One of Helsinki's biggest tourist attractions is the Lutheran cathedral downtown. The plaza in front of the church features a statue of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. There are a number dining options in the area, but one of my favorites is...
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Tiilimäki 20, 00330 Helsinki, Finland
Munkkiniemi is a neighborhood thirty minutes away from Helsinki with the tram; it's very exclusive, sophisticated and very green. Once densely populated by pine trees, the pines were replaced by leafy greens as the neighborhood developed. Lots of...
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00170 Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is the dynamic capital and largest city in the beautiful, Scandinavian country of Finland. Since it's on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (an arm of the Baltic Sea) the sky offers up some dramatic backdrops for the splendid architecture...
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Lutherinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
One of the most famous landmarks in Helsinki is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Walking around, you would never spot the church as there are none of the typical signs, like a spire or a cross, marking it. All you see is a large green...
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Kauppatori, 00130 Helsinki, Finland
In Helsinki, we took a short bus tour before heading out to Porvoo. When we returned to Helsinki, we spent some time at an outdoor market near the Havis Amanda statue before we met up for lunch with my grandma's former foreign exchange student....
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Regeringsgatan 57, 111 56 Stockholm, Sweden
$$$$
Heading toward Stockholm's Old City in the morning
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Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
In a city known for clean lines, Stockholm’s Södermalm district (“Söder” to locals) is surprisingly nonconformist. A slum in the 18th century, the neighborhood is now home to a mix of clothing and furniture shops; Thai, Greek, and Turkish...
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Nytorgsgatan 38, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden
To take a break, or to fika, is an integral part of Swedish culture, and many locals escape to cafés at least once a day. The word fika was once slang for kaffi (coffee). But fika is more than a cup of joe. The ritual often involves pastries, or...
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Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Located on the island of Djurgården, this purpose-built maritime museum is an extraordinary sight: It houses the massive warship Vasa, which sank just minutes after launching on its maiden voyage in 1628. Raised from the harbor in 1961,...

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Vaxön, Vaxholm, Sweden
The Midsommar celebrations are for everyone in Sweden. Everyone makes their kran (crown) to wear for the celebration.
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Blasieholmsgatan 4A, 111 48 Stockholm, Sweden
I had the pleasure of visiting Stockholm twice this summer for business. On both trips, I could not get enough of this restaurant, B.A.R., near the Grand Hotel. Despite its location in the middle of tourist central, this is a gem that is quite...
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Östermalmstorg, 114 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Östermalms Saluhall is one of Stockholm's most famous markets. While the prices aren't cheap, since 1888 the market has been where those looking for the very best fish, meat, and produce shop. For most travelers in Stockholm, it provides a good...
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Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm, Sweden
It's one thing to visit castles, cathedrals, and museums. But a city hall? Normally, I would have the same reaction. Stockholm's Stadshus, though, is not your average city hall. For starters, it holds the exclusive and much respected Nobel Prize...
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Sköldungagatan 2, 114 27 Stockholm, Sweden
Twelve distinctive rooms in a restored 1910 brick town-house mix sophisticated touches (marble bathtubs) with comforts such as sheep-skin throws and Scandinavian antiques. Guests have all-hours access to a kitchen with a fridge full of cheeses,...
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Sergels torg, 111 57 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm Kulturfestival offers a mix of music, theater, and other artistry connected to culture—from jazz acts and rock bands to African beats—and you may run into the occasional bleeding zombie walking by as part of the city’s Zombie Walk....
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Skånegatan 79, 116 35 Stockholm, Sweden
Let's face it, Stockholm is three things for travelers: It's cold. It's expensive. And it's home to some of the most gorgeous human specimens on this dear planet of ours. I may have found the perfect place to remedy these issues, should they be...
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111 47 Stockholm, Sweden
Centrally located in Stockholm, the King's Garden is a lively urban garden/park/plaza that connects the harbor with one of Stockholm's main shopping districts. It contains a series of "outdoor rooms" including a formal entrance, fountain with...
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Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 116 45 Stockholm, Sweden
Here is a museum dedicated to the art of photography and placed, um, picture perfectly for views of Stockholm. The museum building sits along the waterfront with a view of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and the Tivoli Amusement Park. Exhibitions change...
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Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
According to Swedish Naval Articles in place when the Vasa set sail, “He who carries a light in the ship and carelessly starts a fire causing the ship to burn, shall be thrown into the selfsame fire.” One is reminded by the strict Naval Articles...
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Zinkens Väg, 118 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Every other block in Stockholm seems to have a bakery or a coffee shop that also sells pastries. Swedes seem to love their pastries almost as much as the French. Since it's almost impossible to avoid the bakeries in Stockholm, I simply gave in and...
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111 29 Stockholm, Sweden
December in Stockholm is a great time to explore various Christmas markets (Julmarknader) around town. At Stortorget in Gamla stan (Old town), you'll find the city's most popular Christmas market where you can pick up a variety of porcelain...
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Drottningholm, Sweden
Located a mere 45 minutes from Stockholm via ferry, the Royal Domain of Drottningholm provides an opportunity to visit one of the finest examples of 18th-century northern European architecture and garden design. The ensemble of palace, gardens,...
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115 25 Djurgårdsbrunn, Sweden
Stockholm is an amazingly beautiful city with an extensive network of parkland easily accessible from the downtown. While visiting, I rented a bike and rode to the island of Djurgårdsbrunn, which is one of the Royal Parks known as Ekoparken (6,671...
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Klockstapelsbacken 3, 116 41 Stockholm, Sweden
Translating into “Vanity,” Fåfängan requires a bit of an uphill hike, but once there, you’ll realize why the name Vanity is apt. The isolated gazebo-style restaurant/event location stands atop its very own hill surrounded by perfectly manicured...
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Östermalmstorg, 114 42 Stockholm, Sweden
You can dig into the freshest seafood in town at Lisa Elmqvist in Östermalms Saluhall, a popular food market open since 1888. It serves Swedish classics like fried salted herring with onions and cream, salt-cured salmon with dill-creamed potatoes,...
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Rosendalsvägen 38, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
It really doesn’t get more eco-friendly and organic than dining on freshly baked bread and pastries at Rosendals Trädgård Kafé and Bageri. Their breads are baked with biodynamic flour from the Saltå Kvarn mill in nearby Järna, and their dishes are...
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Linnégatan 18, 114 47 Stockholm, Sweden
Put on your square-rimmed glasses or buy some quickly if you want to rub shoulders with Stockholm’s attractive business professionals at this posh happy-hour spot. You’ll probably feel out of place if you show up in jeans or screaming bold colors....
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Nybrokajen, Stockholm, Sweden
Ferries such as Strömma Kanalbolaget and Waxholmsbolaget regularly shuttle travelers around some of Stockholm's 28,000 archipelago islands. Stromma’s 1931 steamboat SS Stockholm has a brunch cruise that runs every weekend. It's a three-hour...
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Waxholmsbolaget runs ferries from Slussen to Vaxholm, and the ride usually takes about an hour each way. Probably the most visited within Stockholm’s archipelago, Vaxholm offers these main attractions: a 16th-century fortress; a harbor lined with...
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Tjärhovsgatan 4, 116 21 Stockholm, Sweden
If you're looking for traditional Swedish food, called "Husmanskost," check out Kvarnen, which serves a wide range of dishes like meatballs, pickled herring, reindeer, and more. On my last trip to Kvarnen with a visiting friend, we dug into...
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Rödabergsgatan 11, 113 33 Stockholm, Sweden
I tried out a little French-inspired corner street restaurant called BYN Crêperie & Ciderie and dug into the spicy Chorizo Crêpe for lunch. BYN creates different types of savory crepes filled with meats, vegetables, and homemade sauces—which you...
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Stockholm, Sweden
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Every year, a chocolate festival is held in Stockholm. Lovers of chocolate come out in droves (I dare say, thousands) to sample handmade truffles, pralines, all sorts of chocolate-y goodness, as well as to dip treats...
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Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 München, Germany
The Olympic Park from the 1972 games, is still very much alive with activity. Today concerts are held in the arena and the main stadium also hosts sporting events. The funny thing to me was that although it was an Olympic venue, there are no...
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Viktualienmarkt 6, 80331 München, Germany
Inhabiting a 100-year-old building refurbished by local architects Hild and K and Albert Weinzierl, the Louis Hotel riffs on the Baroque style professed by its namesake, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, while remaining unapologetically modern. Stucco...
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Nordallee 25, 85356 München, Germany
I had only 2 hours in Munich recently, and I made the best of it. Paulaner and a brat at the airport. Don't leave Germany without it.
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Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany
Wander around the outdoor Viktualienmarkt in Munich and you become overwhelmed by the sights and the smells of the open-air market. It is hard for us to understand that this is how the locals do their day-to-day shopping. The smells draw you in...
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Hackenstraße 6-8, 80331 München, Germany
Just a few minutes drive from Munich's BMW Welt, I knew this restaurant was an authentic gem when I meandered in and was greeted by a large table of smiling Germans. Dressed in Lederhosens and Dirndls, they were toasting with German beers and...
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Munich, Germany
The Englischer Garten of Munich is a huge park within the city that has so many different things to see and do. There's an Asian pagoda that is part beer hall, part food stall emporium (think sauerkraut, sausage, and fried potatoes) where you can...
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Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
I would compare Marienplatz to the Grand Place in Brussels, but with a Bavarian twist. The square in Munich is almost as large, and its town hall just as impressive. A beautiful destination for lovers of architecture. While the square itself is a...
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Schillerstraße 5, 80336 München, Germany
You don’t usually choose your accommodation based on their continental breakfast selection for the following morning. But with Hotel Schiller, that’s precisely why you should. The accommodations are clean and centrally located, the beds...
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Rindermarkt 1, 80331 München, Germany
On a clear day, head to St. Peter’s in the heart of Munich’s Old Town and get ready to climb. Visitors can ascend 306 stairs to a lookout that wraps around the church’s clocktower. After braving the narrow staircase, you’re rewarded with bird’...
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Englischer Garten 3, 80538 München, Germany
One of the most enjoyable things you can do in Munich is sit down at a bench in one of the many beautiful beer gardens, which serve as familiar gathering points for locals, friends, and visitors alike. The beer is top-notch, and the atmosphere...
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Blumenstraße 4, 80331 München, Germany
Located in Munich's Altstadt, or old town city center, Schrannenhalle is a long, beautiful, wrought iron & glass market hall filled with gourmet food and wine. Originally dating to the 19th century, Schrannenhalle was recently rebuilt as an...
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Glockenbachviertel, one of Munich's prettiest neighborhoods, is located south of the city center and next to the Isar River. Formerly home to the city's Jewish community and millworkers, Glockenbachviertel was the center of Munich's gay and...
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Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany
Munich's Deutsches Museum is the world's largest museum of science and technology. My whole family had so much fun in this museum we could easily have spent the entire day here. Exhibits cover 50 fields including computers, electric engineering,...
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Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 München, Germany
Whether you are a BMW owner or a car lover, BMW plant tour is a must when visiting Munich. The whole tour last about 2 hours and you got to observe the actual process line of BMW. This amazing tour is such an eye opening experience for behind the...
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Munich, Germany
English Garden, located on the Isar River in Munich, opened in 1789. This large public area was named "Englischer Garten" because it was designed and landscaped in the style of a classic English park. It is one of the world's largest urban parks,...
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Brienner Str. 11, 80333 München, Germany
The Confiserie Cafe Luitpold is known as the "sinful mile" and is the meeting place for sweet connoisseurs in the heart of Munich. Bring the flavors back home with you with a package of cookies, marzipan or chocolates skillfully prepared by chef...
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Sveavägen 60, 111 34 Stockholm, Sweden
There’s a vibrant, watering-hole rowdiness to Café 60 that makes it feel more like a university café lounge filled with coffee-drinking students and frat boys. Except, at this popular local joint on Sveavägen, you get large shrimp and crayfish...
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Velleron, France
Early summer in Provence--cicadas in the trees and lines of lavender stretching to the horizon under a Van Gogh sky...Clichéd it might be, but the setting is heady...
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84220 Gordes, France
In the early hours of a summer morning I visited the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque in Provence near the crumbling hill town of Gordes. It was completely silent, with not a soul about. A purple swathe of lavender cut a dash as it graced the old...
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84220 Gordes, France
Modern travel by car has become a contest to get from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time. I lament the days I commuted to work by bicycle, or better yet, by foot. Given the vast distances in the United States not connected by safely...