We are back from a 15 day adventure, touring around Northern Europe spots! Matt and I had the amazing opportunity to visit Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. All of which were incredible, but I definitely have a few favorites (I’ll share more below!).
I’ve shared a few pictures of our trip on Instagram and Snapchat (LaurenB), but I wanted my blog readers to be the first to view our pictures and hear about all about our adventure.
So without further ado…
Matt and I were fortunate to spend about 3 days in Berlin, prior to beginning our cruise along the Baltic Sea. Berlin was absolutely incredible for so many reasons, but my favorite thing was being submersed in the history. Having the opportunity to see the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Hitler’s Bunker, the Watch Towers, etc. felt surreal. We were also fortunate enough to be in Berlin when Germany was playing in the Euro Cup, so the excitement and energy was uncontainable! And of course, being the beer fans we are, we loved being able to indulge in German beer. We did a five hour bike tour through the city (complete with a stop at a Biergarten!) through Fat Tire Tours, and we would highly recommend it. They have locations in a few different cities and biking through the city was a great way to see all the sites.
This is one of the churches in the square near our hotel. If you notice, the statues look significantly older than the church. Because Hitler loved the arts, he wanted to preserve the statues so he had them sunk into nearby lakes and rivers. At the end of WWII when everything was being rebuilt and restored, the statues were reclaimed from the lakes. Crazy right?
Humbolt University (we stood in the square where Hitler had books burned)
The Berlin Wall
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. There are many interpretations for the design, what do you think?
After leaving Berlin, we headed to a nearby port to meet our cruise ship. Our first stop was Estonia, a very interesting, yet beautiful and of course history-rich country. Estonia is a country often referred to as “E”-stonia due to the heavy influence of technology. The entire country has free wifi; awesome right? The founder of Skype is also from Estonia, creating this interesting blend between the medieval architecture in the center of Tallinn, yet equipped with our modern day technology. Check out a few of our pictures below!
The view from Old Town in Tallinn which over looks the city.
A restaurant built into the side of this medieval building for amazing views of Tallinn.
We also did wine tasting while in Tallinn. We went down into the cellar where that man is standing. This tasting room had been taken down to ruins in WWII. When the owner came back, and this man was living nearby, they decided to strike up a partnership to re-open the tasting room. You can actually stay in their bed and breakfast outside of Tallinn, where their winery is located.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Russia was definitely one of the most unique places I have ever been. While we were there, we went to Catherine’s Palace (definitely worth visiting if you make the trip to Russia!), Swan Lake at the Russian Ballet, and rode on a boat through the center of the city as St. Petersburg is made up of multiple canals.
Catherine’s Palace, the walls are covered in the gold you see behind me throughout the entire palace. Absolutely breathtaking!
Catherine’s Palace, we took this picture as a view from her gardens.
The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood
Sipping Russian Sparkling Wine during the intermission of the ballet. So tasty!
Near the Moyka River where we took a boat tour through the center of St. Petersburg.
Helsinki was a charming town, located just a few minutes by bus from our cruise ship, making it very close the sea. Unfortunately, due to our cruise itinerary, we were in Helsinki on a Sunday which unlike America, means everything is closed! Matt and I walked around the city and wished so badly we could go in the shops because they looked so adorable (well maybe Matt was happy we weren’t able to go in!). Nonetheless, I snapped a few pictures and we will definitely be back!
One of the churches in Helsinki; the architecture is magnificent.
Apartments in Helsinki. I love the flowers on the windowsill, so picturesque!
I have to say, of all the places Matt and I visited, we unanimously agreed that Stockholm was our favorite. We loved the Swedish culture, the local shops, and the rich history in Gamla Stan (the Old Town in Stockholm). We also visited an Ice Bar while in Stockholm, which is definitely worth doing if you make your way up to these Nordic countries!
Views while walking around Gamla Stan
Any GOT fans out there? This square was where the inspiration for the “Red Wedding” episode came from. There was a similar incident that happened centuries ago in the same spot we stood.
Enjoying a Swedish Vodka drink while in the Ice Bar. The red juice is lingonberry juice, which is a common berry often paired with Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes.
Copenhagen was a beautiful city. We were so fortunate with the weather while in Northern Europe and only experienced rain while in Copenhagen. We had hoped to visit Tivoli Gardens but due to the weather decided to explore the city, do some shopping, and enjoy a delicious meal at the cutest Danish Farmer’s Market.
Shops in Copenhagen
Pop-up beer shop at the Farmer’s Market
Oslo was also absolutely beautiful. There is French influence in the design of their buildings and apartments, coupled with the gorgeous Fjords, and city being right next to the sea, it was just breathtaking.
Our cruise ship sailed through the Fjords the morning of us docking there. Matt and I enjoyed breakfast on our stateroom balcony, and when we docked, this castle was our view. Incredible!
Vigeland Sculpture Park
Vigeland designed 212 sculptures in the park, the one behind us being only one of those.
I loved this view of apartments right next to the sea, their boats docked below.
And since we were on an amazing cruise ship, taking us to all of these beautiful destinations, I had to include a few pictures from our ship.
Sunset views from the ship; I have never seen so many colors in the sky. Being in the middle of the sea, we were surrounded by the darkness of the sea and the brilliance of this sunset.
A view of our ship docked in Oslo. Do you see the Castle I pointed out earlier?
Enjoying dinner on the ship
I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures and hearing a little bit more about our trip. Are you planning any trips soon? Have any questions about any of the spots we stopped? Comment below!