Pedalling through Europe’s bicycle-friendly cities

October 22, 2013 at 5:42 AM
Bicycles everywhere! Amsterdam sets the bar high for bicycle-friendly cities (Photo: joiseyshowaa)

Bicycles everywhere! Amsterdam sets the bar high for bicycle-friendly cities (Photo: joiseyshowaa)

Biking – it’s eco-friendly, it’s healthy and it’s a great way to see a city. If you want to see the city from a bicycle saddle, here are some of Europe’s most bicycle-friendly cities where pedalling your way between attractions is a pleasure.

Shop ‘til you drop on the streets of Europe

August 30, 2013 at 7:23 AM
The streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise (Photo: Dimitry B.)

The streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise (Photo: Dimitry B.)

Warning: If you are a recovering shopaholic, you should stop reading now. Reading this article may lead to a relapse.

From the bric-a-brac of Camden market to the ostentatious Haute Couture of Paris, the streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re attracted by the glitz and glamour of fashion houses like Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, or whether you enjoy wandering through the delightful chaos of street markets, Europe has it all. For all the shameless shopaholics, bargain hunters and discerning buyers out there, here is a list of some of Europe’s fabulous shopping streets.

Christmas in Denmark

November 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

If your idea of the perfect Christmas is snow, cosy evenings in front of a fire and a festive atmosphere then Denmark might just be the right winter vacation destination for you. Spending Christmas in Denmark is a great way to make precious family memories while experiencing Denmark’s local holiday traditions.

Nyhavn area in Copenhagen

Celebrate Christmas Danish style

Christmas in Denmark is synonymous with candlelight and Christmas decorations, gift giving and celebration. The scent of spruce trees fills the air, along with the smell of freshly baked breads and cakes. It’s the time of year when winter activities are in full swing and days are dedicated to family, friends, parties and good food.

Celebrations begin in the weeks before Christmas Day, when windows are lit up with candles, streets are transformed by twinkling fairy lights and the Danes bring out their Christmas wreaths. The wreath has four candles that are lit one by one on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. In front of the city hall in Copenhagen’s town square the world’s biggest Christmas tree is erected and decorated with thousands of lights.

Lucia Night is celebrated on the 12th and 13 of December with processions and traditional songs and Christmas trees in Danish homes are lit on Christmas Eve. On the 23rd of December, sometimes called Lille Juleaften (Little Christmas Eve), children are given æbleskiver (a type of doughnut), while the adults warm themselves with glögg (mulled wine). Traditional Lille Juleaften meals include hot cinnamon-laced rice pudding, called risengrød, which is served with a blob of butter and washed down with malt beer.

The biggest Christmas celebrations in Denmark take place on December 24. The Christmas Eve dinner usually includes roast duck or goose served with potatoes and red cabbage. The meal ends with a cold rice pudding with whipped cream and chopped almonds. One rice pudding contains a whole almond, and the person who finds it wins a prize. Families sing carols around the Christmas tree and presents are exchanged. On Christmas Eve families in Denmark also leave a bowl of rice pudding or porridge for Nisse, a mischievous Danish elf that likes to plays pranks on people.

Things to do on your Danish Christmas break

A wonderful way to spend the day on your Danish Christmas Break is shopping at the Christmas Markets. One of the most popular Christmas Markets is in Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park in Copenhagen, where you can find local crafts, Danish food and drink, and enjoy a variety of rides and entertainment. If you have a holiday rental near Aalborg don’t miss the Christmas market in the centre of Aalborg. The city centre is transformed into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees, lights and entertainment. There is also a vibrant Christmas market in Aarhus and the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market in Odense.

The town of Tønder is the perfect place to take a holiday rental if you really want to get into the Christmas spirit on your Christmas break in Denmark. The whole town is beautifully decorated with candles and lights, and the market place comes to life during the month of December.

If you have kids be sure not to miss Fantasy World in Holme-Olstrup, Zealand. This indoor fantasy world has a bustling Christmas market, great fun fair rides and plenty of entertainment for the children.

If you enjoy a good beer you can miss the Tuborg or Carlsberg Julebryg (Christmas Brew) that is specially made each year. The specially brewed beer is delivered by brightly decorated wagons. If you’re lucky you might get a free sample from helpers wearing Santa hats.

Winter activities are in full swing by December, so if you’re feeling energetic you can go ice-skating or even dog sledding. When you’ve had enough of the outdoors you can party the night away and one of the trendy clubs in Copenhagen, or you can spend a cosy evening in front of the fire.

The rich traditions, great food and festive atmosphere create the perfect setting for a delightful Christmas break in Denmark.