Marieke Willems

Marieke Willems

TravelWeekend escapes

11x fun things to do in Luxembourg city

Luxemburg stad

Luxembourg City is fun and has many attractions! The good thing is that they are all within walking distance of each other. There are several beautiful historic buildings, castles and castles, but you can also enjoy the nature in Luxembourg City. It is a lovely diverse city for a few days! What are fun things to do in Luxembourg city?

11x fun things to do in Luxembourg city

TravelCitytrips

16 fun facts about Singapore!

singapore

Singapore is an island in South-east Asia, situated on the most southern part of the Malaysian peninsula. It is made up out of a couple of islands and is a very popular tourist destination. Singapore has grown out to be one of the most inhabited and one of the most prosperous countries in the world. This city has a perfect infrastructure and is one of the safest cities in the world and is also a shopping paradise. I have gathered some fun facts about Singapore which you don’t know!

16 fun facts about Singapore!

Culture, nature and beaches/islandsTravel

Visit Koh Kood, an undiscovered island in Thailand

Koh Kood

Koh Kood, also known as Koh Kut, is an undiscovered island in Thailand. White beaches, pure nature and a clear sea, these are the characteristics of this undiscovered island. Koh Kood is only 23 km long and 9 km wide. The number of islands in Thailand with few tourists is getting smaller. Fortunately there are many rules regarding the construction and conservation of the nature at Koh Kood. The chance that Koh Kood will soon become a crowded tourist destination such as Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket or Hua Hin is relatively small. Visit Koh Kood, an undiscovered island in Thailand!

Spending a few days on this island is amazing!

Culture, nature and beaches/islandsTravel

What to do in Skåne, Sweden?

Skåne

The southernmost region of Sweden is Skåne. With the pleasant town of Malmö, beautiful nature, vast beaches, the many forests, rolling hills, kilometers of walking and cycling routes and charming villages… There is so much to see in Skåne! Do you want to know what to do in Skåne, Sweden?

What to do in Skåne, Sweden?

The Skåne region

The Skåne region is located in the very south of Sweden. Skåne has a total area of 135 kilometers from west to east and 120 kilometers from north to south. This is 2.7% of the total area of the whole of Sweden. It belonged to Denmark until 1658 and when you are in Skåne you will see the Danish influences again! This region in the south of Sweden has endless possibilities for various outdoor activities such as canoeing, supping, hiking, cycling, fishing and swimming. But there is also plenty to experience for the people who like to sniff culture and history. The region is also called the Tuscany of Sweden because of the rolling hills, the countless castles and country houses, the fantastic beaches and the picturesque villages.

In this artcile I will tell you what to do in Skåne: what to do in Nord West Skåne and what to do in South East Skåne!

Skåne, welcome to the beautiful south of Sweden!

Skåne

What to do in North and West Skåne

The city of Helsingborg

Helsingborg is the second largest city in Skåne and you should definitely not skip it during your trip in Skåne. The city has around 100,000 inhabitants. It is a picturesque city on the coast with a beautiful city center. Small and narrow streets with pebbles, colorful houses, elegant boutiques, cozy squares with terraces…. It’s all there in this vibrant city. You can see the Danish city of Helsingör/Elsinore across the strait at the harbor and the Öresund. With a ferry you are there in just 20 minutes.

Helsingborg

The sights of Helsingborg

  • The Kärnan Tower is in the center and it is very nice to climb this 35 meter high tower. View from this tower is impressive! This is the best place to take cool photos!
  • Sofiero Slott is located just outside the center and this castle was once the royal summer residence. The gardens are beautiful and are filled with 10,000 rhododendrons! This castle is one of the most popular tourist spots in Skåne and is incredibly beautiful. I especially liked the gardens. There is also a small kiosk and shop on the property. Parking is free. The castle is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the entrance fee is 120 SEK per person.
  • The Mariakyrkan is the most beautiful church in the city and is particularly impressive on the inside.
  • You will find street art at various places in the city. On the photo below you can see my favorite street art from Helsingborg. This artwork can be found on the main road, near the harbor.
Street art Helsingborg

The Palsjobaden sauna, Helsingborg

A visit to this typical Swedish sauna should not be missed! If you don’t like saunas, then it is certainly a photogenic place to have a look. The sauna consists of two sauna areas, a number of sun beds on the veranda and you have the opportunity to swim in the sea. After the sauna, you can have a drink in the attractive restaurant. Please note, men and women are separated in this nude sauna.

  • Location: Drottninggatan 151, 254 33 Helsingborg
  • Price: 70 SEK
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Palsjobaden

Kullaberg Nature Park

This is a nature park where you have great views over the particularly rugged coastline of this part of Skåne. There are various walks in all distances that are indicated by signs. I chose to take a short walk and first walked from the parking lot to the lighthouse (Kullen Lighthouse). This is a short walk, but uphill. After payment you get binoculars and you climb to the top where you can look around to your heart’s content. After the lighthouse I walked a bit down to be closer to the sea. There was a lot of wind on the day I visited this park and this made the coastline with the cliffs even rougher and wilder! You can also explore various caves in Kullaberg, climb several cliffs, cycle, bird watch, rock climb, dive and picnic at various places. The possibilities in this park are endless! Entrance and parking is free.

Near this nature park is the fishing village of Mölle. This is a great place to stop for a while. Especially the view at the harbor is very beautiful!

Kullaberg
Mölle

Tip restaurant Kullaberg: A few hundred meters in front of the main entrance of the park is the restaurant Ransvik Havveranda and this is highly recommended. The restaurant is in a top location! There is a terrace overlooking the sea and it is wonderful to settle down after a walk in this restaurant for a nice lunch or drink. With good weather you can also swim here.

Ransvik Havsveranda

Hovs Hallar & Båstad

It is certainly nice to go for a walk at Hovs Hallar. There are various walking routes that are all clearly marked. So there is a suitable walk for everyone! It is enjoyment in this area, especially to see the waves breaking on the rocks. The view is very beautiful and the place is very photogenic. Admission and parking free.

The town of Båstad is near Hovs Hallar and looks a bit like a small version of the famous Saint Tropez: a beautiful harbor, expensive shops and stylish restaurants. In the summer months there are twice as many inhabitants (more than 30,000) compared to the winter months (15,000). The beach is extensive and there are a number of cozy beach bars. Båstad is known for tennis, since the largest center court in all of Sweden is located in this town. Various famous tennis players, such as Björn Borg and Stefan Edberg, have played here. In the summer there are regularly fun festivals.

Hovs Hallar

The island of Ven

The island of Ven is one of the highlights of this part of Skåne. The easiest way to get there is by taking the ferry in Landskrona. This ferry leaves regularly, namely approximately every hour and a half, from 6:05 am in the morning to 9:30 pm in the evening. From the end of June to mid-August extra ferries leave and a ferry leaves approximately every half hour. Tickets are available at the office at the port in Landskrona. The boat trip takes half an hour and costs 150 SEK per person. Parking in the port costs around €1 per hour.

Ferry Landskrona – Ven

Attractions Ven

It is very nice to discover Ven by bike. Upon arrival on the island you will find the bicycle rental company 300 meters uphill walk from the port where you arrive by ferry. You can’t miss this! They rent normal bicycles with 3 or 7 gears, children’s bicycles, tandems with 3 or 7 gears, carts for behind the bike, golf carts…. We opted for a 7-speed tandem and for us that was a good choice. The island is quite hilly in some places and that is why I really liked the gears.

Prices bicycle rental for a day

  • Bicycle 3 gears: 110 SEK
  • Bicycle 7 gears: 150 SEK
  • Children’s bicycle: 80 SEK
  • Tandem 3 gears: 230 SEK
  • Tandem 7 gears: 300 SEK
  • Electric bicycle: 250 SEK
Ven

The island is not huge, about 4.5 kilometers long and a few kilometers wide. In the ferry to Ven and also when renting a bike you will receive a flyer with the map on it. This also shows the cycling routes and the sights of the island. The island is quiet and not many cars are driving. I have come across more tourists than cars! Finding your way is also not difficult at all and getting lost is not possible. There are also signs everywhere that indicate the direction to the important places. We have chosen to cycle the extensive red route and so we have seen the entire island in a few hours. There are a few cozy cafés along the route where you can make a stop.

Ven

The city of Malmö

The largest city in Skåne is Malmö and this is also the third largest city in Sweden. It is a very nice city to visit! The inhabitants of Malmö are fond of cycling and the best way to discover the city is by bicycle. Rent a bike and cycle around in this cozy and small town. But you can also discover this city on foot.

Malmö

The sights of Malmö

  • Gamla Staden is the old city center and this is the most atmospheric part of Malmö. You will find beautiful old and colorful buildings, attractive squares, nice streets, shops, terraces, etc. This is the nicest place to wander around.
  • The Kungsparken is a park with a large number of different types of trees, a number of cool fountains and vegetable gardens. A wonderful place to walk or to take a seat on a bench.
  • Near the park is the Malmö Museer and this museum consists of the city museum and the aquarium. The location of this museum is great because it is located in the Malmöhus Slott. This is the oldest fort in Malmö.
  • Turning Torso is a strange skyscraper and therefore the most striking structure in Malmö. The structure is 190 meters high and is based on an artwork by Santiago Calatrava. The building is located a few kilometers outside the center. Location: Lilla Varvsgatan 14.
  • Stortorget is the largest square in Malmö and it is always pleasantly busy. Here are the terraces, the town hall, the Kramer Hotel and the Kockska huset (the house of Jörgen Kock). At the corner of the square is the Apoteket Lejonet, the most important neo-Renaissance building in the city.
  • The Øresund Bridge is the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark. It is a double-deck bridge with a railway line and a motorway above. The bridge is constructed in such a way that when an airplane flies against it, the bridge does not collapse. This is because the Copenhagen airport is only 10 kilometers away. The best place to see this impressive bridge is from the Luftkastellet viewpoint, where you can easily park your car. However, it is a few kilometers from the center.
Øresundbrug

Accommodation in North and West Skåne

Villa Sigrid

A very nice place to stay is this accommodation in the north of Skåne. It is located in Vejbystrand and the beach is close to the villa. This villa has everything you need! A fully equipped kitchen, a nice bathroom, a bedroom and a sofa bed, a lovely terrace with chairs and free bicycles. We even got a delicious breakfast and a filled bag with groceries on arrival. I slept here for 4 nights and I think it’s a nice place. It is in a reasonable location in the north of Skåne.

  • Look here for the availability and prices of Villa Sigrid.
  • Not what you are looking for? Find more accommodations in Skåne.
Villa Sigrid

What to do in South and East Skåne

The village of Ystad

This is a cozy and small village and is a very popular destination with tourists. In the shopping street are small and unique shops and a number of cozy cafes. But the nicest thing about Ystad is the streets with cobblestones and full of pastel-colored houses and with cheerful flowers in front of the doors. When you walk into one of the surrounding streets from the central square, you immediately notice it. But this is not the reason why this village is so world famous. The adventures of Inspector Wallander from the books of the famous Swedish author Henning Mankell take place in these streets. At the Tourist Office you can arrange tours and get walking routes that are entirely devoted to Wallander. There are also a number of nice museums and art galleries in the village.

Ystad tip: Just outside the center of Ystad is the Saltsjöbad. It is the most luxurious spa in the region and has won various awards. You can spend the night in this stylish hotel, but this spa is also nice to visit for a day and to pamper yourself. Prices and more information can be found on the website of Saltsjöbad.

Ystad

The Ales Stenar monument

It is not entirely clear why the 59 boulders in this monument are situated in this special way. Researchers think it is a burial monument or that these boulders functioned as an astronomical clock. The fact is that Ales Stenar is one of the largest Viking monuments in Sweden and therefore definitely worth a visit. Entrance and parking is free. The boulders are located in the small fishing village of Kåseberge and it is nice to walk through it. The harbor in particular is a nice place full of restaurants.

Ales Stenar

The beach in Skanör

The beach in Skanör is known for the many small, colored and wooden beach houses that are on the beach. This looks nice and cheerful and nice. Certainly worth a visit! The beach is not very wide, but consists of nice soft sand. Parking is free.

Skanör

The southernmost point of Sweden

If you want to visit the southernmost point of all of Sweden, this is possible in the south of Skåne. This point is clearly indicated by a sign next to the harbor in the fishing village of Smygehuk. It is a tourist attraction, including a large free parking space and a few restaurants. The village of Smygehuk is known for its smoked fish. You can visit the traditional houses that were built for this purpose, called fiskrökeri. Admission is free.

Smygehuk

The most beautiful beaches in the south

This part of Skåne has a lot of beaches. Many beaches are also beautiful. Pretty extensive, not too busy and mostly pictures to see. Pay attention to how the wind and therefore the undercurrent of the sea, because this makes swimming in the sea sometimes dangerous. There are not always beach bars near the beaches so it is handy to bring your own drinks and food if you plan to spend a day at the beach. Parking is free at the beaches.

  • Mälarhusen. This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sweden. It is a wide, long and extensive beach with high dunes and fine white sand. It is wonderful to swim here or when the weather is less to find a spot in the dunes and to have a picnic. The part of the beach at Hagestad is a nudist beach.
  • Sandhammaren. This beach has won several awards in recent years for the best beach in Sweden. The dunes in combination with the huge white beach is beautiful.
  • Rörum. Just outside the Stenshuvud nature park is this incredibly beautiful beach. And this is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in Skåne.
Skåne

Stenshuvud Nature Park

Stenshuvud is a very beautiful nature park. Various walks have been plotted to explore this park. From 500 meters to a number of kilometers. So you can also walk multiple routes in one day and see the entire park. Near the main entrance is a beautiful beach 500 meters away where you have a great view. Walking a little further along the red route you come across a cool lighthouse. With ease you can enjoy yourself all day in this park. Take a picnic blanket and do what the Swedes do: sit down and enjoy the peace and nature. Entrance and parking is free.

Stenshuvud

Kivik

Kivik is a small and charming village that is all about apples. You will also see many apple orchards in the area. Apples here are much more than just apples and you will notice that when you are here. There are stores where you can actually buy everything from apples. A must to visit is Kiviks Musteri with a restaurant, café, an apple museum, an apple factory, the apple orchards and a shop. The great apple festival at the end of September is also fun. The village itself also has a beautiful beach and beautiful streets with colorful houses.

Kivik

Accommodation in South and East Skåne

Hotel Mossbylund

A very short walk from the beach is this beautiful 4* spa hotel. The spa is beautiful, with a sauna, indoor swimming pool and a nice outdoor swimming pool with wonderful sun loungers and swings to enjoy the sun and the view. The restaurant is great with great local dishes. You have free access to the spa when staying at this hotel. The rooms are nice and spacious and luxurious.

  • Look here for the prices and availability of Hotel Mossbylund.
  • Not what you are looking for? Look here for more accomodations in Skåne.
Hotel Mossbylund

Lunkaberg B&B

This attractive B&B is located in an old farmhouse. The owners are friendly people and speak and come from the Netherlands. There is a heated outdoor swimming pool and an old-fashioned wood-burning stove. The location is great because it is located between the grain fields. But with a number of villages in the area. The breakfast is extensive and delicious with all regional dishes.

  • Look here for the prices and availability of Lunkaberg B&B.
  • Not what you are looking for? Look here for more accomodations in Skåne.
Lunkaberg B&By

My travel route van 1 week in Skåne

Day 1: We landed in Copenhagen at half past eight in the morning and from there we took the train to Malmö. We picked up our rental car there. We drove to our accommodation in the northwest of Skåne. Along the way we made a stop of a few hours in the city of Helsingborg. We then went to the Palsjobaden sauna.

Day 2: We started the day with a visit to the Kullaberg nature park. In the morning we walked here and we went for lunch. After lunch we made a short stop in the fishing village of Mölle. Then we drove north to the Hovs Hallar nature park for a walk. We continued the afternoon with a visit to Båstad.

Day 3: We took the ferry early in the morning to the island of Ven. We rented bicycles there and started exploring the island. From Ven we took the ferry back at the end of the afternoon.

Day 4: We have been to Malmo for a day. Where we have enjoyed shopping, wandered around and ate delicious food.

Day 5: In the morning we drove to the south of Skåne and checked in at a hotel Mossbyland. We have visited the south coast of Skåne: Ystad, Ales Stenar in Kåseberga, the southernmost point of Sweden and Skanör.

Day 6: We have visited various beaches and a number of villages including Kivik. We checked in at Lunkaberg B&B.

Day 7: We went to Stenshuvud Park in the morning and then we drove back to Malmö. There we took the train to Copenhagen and caught the flight to the Netherlands.

Skåne

How do you get to Skåne?

Skåne is located in the south of Sweden and is therefore very easy to reach. I myself flew to Copenhagen in Denmark. At the airport, when you walk into the arrivals hall, you will automatically see the machines where you can buy a train ticket for 96 DKK. In my case there was a nice line and it took about 20 minutes before I could buy a ticket. From the airport I took the train to Malmö. This train goes about 5 times per hour to the center of Malmö. In total these were 3 stops and this train ride only took 20 minutes. Bear in mind that you can be checked on the train and have to show your passport. Are you with your own car or are you renting a car in Denmark, you can take the ferry in Denmark to Trelleborg or Ystad.


The best travel time for Skåne

The best travel time to go on holiday to Skåne is in the months of June, July and August……. days are long because the light is long. Nature is beautifully green and the temperature is perfect for walking and cycling. In the summer it is on average 25 degrees Celsius. Because of this mild climate and the many hours of sunshine, the south of Sweden is certainly suitable for people who like to visit a sunny destination in the summer.

Skåne

These are my tips for what to do in Skåne! Do you have more tips for what people have to do in Skåne?


Europe

Culture, nature and beaches/islandsCulture, nature and beaches/islandsTravelTravel

27 fun facts about India

India

I think India is a special country and you can not compare India with any other country in the world. India is definitely my favorite country in Southeast Asia! India is intimidating and the country overwhelms you. The amount of colors, smells, sounds, people and traffic is overwhelming and stimulates all your senses. But I also think this country is sensitive, colorful and mystical. What are fun facts about India?

I have collected 27 fun facts about the special country of India!

TravelCitytrips

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh: What to do in this city?

saigon

The wonderful song of Billy Joel “Goodnight Saigon” is one of the reasons why everyone must visit this city in Vietnam at least once. A song that knows many emotions, causes goosebumps, is about the Vietnam War, and above all else is very sad, though in a beautiful way. Saigon / Ho Chi Minh, what to do in this city?

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh, what to do in ths city?

Culture, nature and beaches/islandsTravel

5 of the best ways to spend your time in India

India

Almost 6.5 trillion GBP is lavished on travel and tourism each year, and India is quickly becoming one of the industry’s biggest attractions. The seventh largest country in the world, India is rich with culture and its own unique ways of life, some of which can come as a shock to the western tourist. This should by no means put you off visiting. There is so much to see and do in India and many tourists claim they return a ‘changed person’. India offers great value for money and visitors are welcomed by the warm hospitality of locals.

Here are five ways to best spend your time in this unique country.

Indian food

Experience the food

The Indian takeaways that line the streets of western cities offer just a small representation of authentic Indian cuisine. Many Indian families do not have ovens in the home, particularly within the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata so street food is an important part of life here. As you wander the city streets, aromas of spices will leave your mouth watering.

There are some fantastic dishes to try such as kathi rolls, composed of a skewer roasted kebab wrapped with veg inside a paratha bread. Other popular foods include Naan breads and curries in the North of India, with rice, lentils and stews being more popular in the South.

Indian Wedding

Go to an Indian Wedding

The chance to attend an Indian Wedding is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Weddings are a huge celebration in Indian and usually span over at least three days. Guests will attend in brightly coloured traditional dress to witness and take part in the various ceremonial rituals. Afterwards, you can expect further celebrations with food, music and bhangra dancing.

Taj Mahal

Landmarks

There are several iconic landmarks in India, including the famous Taj Mahal. The stunning white structure is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of the world. This beautiful marble tomb was built in 1632 to honour the deceased favourite wife of Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. Other iconic sites in India include the stunning hilltop Amber Palace that overlooks Maota Lake and the Ellora Caves of Maharashira.

Beaches

When thinking of India, many people conjure images of either city slums or beautifully ornate temples. It is often forgotten that Indian is also home to some stunning beaches. In fact, India has 4,000 miles of coastline. Some of the most exotic beaches can be found in Goa, in the South West of the country. Palolem beach, Goa is a particular tourist hotspot, with its white sandy bay, coconut palms and colourful beach shacks.

Volunteer with Animals

In the West Indian city of Udaipur, you can find Animal Aid Unlimited, a sanctuary for injured and ill street-animals. From dogs to donkeys, cows and pigs, they all receive medical care and a home in this wonderful place. There are also several sanctuaries in India that care for wildlife such as tigers, leopards and elephants. Many of these sanctuaries allow you to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures and play a part in their care.


India

The Taj Mahal

CitytripsTravel

Taipei, 7 must do’s and places to visit

taipei

Taipei is Taiwan‘s capital and largest city. Taipei offers a special mix of tradition and modernity. The easiest and cheapest way to move around in Taipei is by subway, i.e. the MRT (Mass Transit System). The stations are very clearly laid out and everything is indicated in both Chinese and English. What are the must do’s and places to visit in Taipei?

If you are going to Taipei soon, read up the 7 must do’s and places to visit in Taipei!

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