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Rostock and the neighbouring Warnemünde are probably two of the most delightful places in Germany that you have never heard of. Situated in northeast Germany, Rostock is one of Germany’s loveliest former Hanseatic cities. Warnemünde, on the estuary of the Warnow River, is the seaside resort of Rostock and has a sensational broad sandy beach, the largest on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast. Warnemünde is also one of the world’s busiest cruise ports. However, the port is commonly marketed as Berlin (Warnemünde), enticing cruise passengers with the opportunity to visit the German capital. But I say don’t bother visiting Berlin. Don’t get me wrong; I love Berlin and have paid it a visit more than once. However, a shore excursion to Berlin from Warnemünde is a very long and expensive day trip. As the one-way journey by either bus or train takes around three hours, even with a long day in…
I loved my day in Stockholm and was utterly seduced by its setting and its medieval old town. With its Baltic Sea archipelago, Stockholm boasts the most spectacular approach of any port that I have visited on a cruise.
If like me, you are visiting Sweden’s capital as part of a cruise and have only 24 hours or less to seek out the best bits, you will need to make some tough choices. To help you make the most of your day in Stockholm, here are some essential practical tips, including how to get from the cruise terminal, and my pick of what to see and do.
This is a tale of two cities.
Visitors justifiably swoon over Tallinn for its perfectly intact medieval centre. Founded in 1154, it lies on the northern coast of Estonia and is the country’s hub for culture and tourism, as well as its capital.
But there is more to Tallinn’s charms than its UNESCO-listed Old Town. Cross its railway tracks and you will discover a very different side of the city. Telliskivi Creative City with its street art, craft beer and designer studios, and the iconic wooden buildings of Kalamaja offer a refreshing alternative to the cutesy appeal of Tallinn’s medieval centre.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from my day in Helsinki. In the words of one friend, Finland’s capital is “boring, boring, boring.” How damning! But another friend told me, “I loved it and I think that you will too.” Helsinki, also known as the “Daughter of the Baltic”, occupies a peninsula and a fringe of several small islands. Surrounded on three sides by water, this natural seaport was founded by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden (to which Finland belonged for many centuries) as a new trading post in southern Finland in 1550. The aim was to woo trade from the Estonian city of Tallinn, thus challenging the Hanseatic League’s monopoly on Baltic trade. Today, Helsinki is known for not only its stunning natural environment but also its architecture, sauna culture, design scene and its unique gastronomy. But if like me, you are visiting Helsinki on a cruise and have…
St Petersburg is a city that makes you think in exclamation marks. Built on the network of islands, crisscrossed by 65 rivers and canals, its beauty is equalled only by its rich history.
Russia’s cultural heart has become an increasingly popular stop on Baltic Sea cruises. But with a plethora of enticing places screaming out to be visited, how do you make the best of one or two days there?
To help you with these tricky choices, here is my guide to visiting St Petersburg from a cruise ship.
With its historic city centre, complete with cobbled streets and candy-coloured gabled houses, and a cutting-edge design scene, one day in Copenhagen is not enough. Add to these city streets crammed with effortlessly cool shops and bars, a thriving restaurant scene – 15 Michelin starred restaurants no less – and world-class museums and there is enough to keep even the most restless visitor occupied for a good week.
But if like me, you are visiting Denmark’s capital as part of a Scandinavia & Baltic Sea cruise itinerary and have only 24 hours or less to discover its treasures, you will need to make some tough choices. To help you make the most of your day in Copenhagen, here are some essential practical tips, including how to get from the cruise terminal, and my pick of what to see and do.
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