On most business trips we are on a very tight schedule: work, meetings, planes, trains. And so on. We never have too much spare time at hand yet we hope to experience something authentic and avoid the touristy things to do. Whenever I am on a business trip, I get to be shown around and spare the time and effort to find and experience those few things I have time for.
That’s how I’ve come to value this type of guidance: most cities we travel for business are huge, busy and confusing. It’s easy to end up visiting a few landmarks, most likely the ones on the postcards. Unless that’s what you’re looking for.
Let I contribute with my two cents on a few cities I like.
It was love at first sight and, well, it took me by surprise. I am into spectacular, hectic cities like London and I didn’t give too many chances to anything else, really. But Oslo charmed me with its architecture and laidback people. After my first visit, I said to myself – this is a place to settle down and live a good life.
No doubt, the best arancini I’ve ever eaten. Only writing about it and I am prone to jump on a plane…it’s a small venue, a vegan restaurant. You’d be surprised by the creativity of the menu, the flavors, and the variety. A choice is not easy, you’ll end up ordering a bit of everything. Like I did. I almost asked my friend to bring some arancini when she flew to Bucharest for a visit.
It’s a touristy landmark but it’s a unique experience. The (more than) 200 pieces by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland are impressive. 200 stories of human expressivity, there aren’t 2 sculptures alike. I recommend allocating at least 2 hours to get to see all of them. Plan your visit at sunset: I guarantee you an overwhelming experience with the statues silhouettes standing still in the dimming light.
Berlin has a unique vibe, no doubt about that. There is something for everyone. To the point, my recommendations below.
This is a personal favorite, I am a classical music & opera aficionado. But do know that Berlin is the home of Berliner Philharmoniker, arguably the best orchestra in the world. If you are in town and if they are, too do go and see them. You haven’t heard anything like that, I promise.
I’ve visited Berlin many times before discovering this small and cozy museum in Charlottenburg, my favorite neighborhood. One of the most important modern art museums in Berlin, it hosts over 120 Picasso works! I am delighted to see a few of the most well-known Giacometti sculptures. The Berggruen is never too busy, you can take your time through the halls and enjoy the art.
When in Charlottenburg, stop by at Opera Italiana Trattoria. This is the best Italian food I ever tasted. The wine list is impressive and the location is absolutely charming!
There is so much you can do and see in London. I’ve been visiting London for more than 10 years, I feel like a local already. Here are a few recommendations you may not find in your regular travel guide.
This Picadilly upmarket department store founded in 1707 is an iconic place in London. People visit it equally to buy exquisite merchandise of all kinds or to simply walk around and wonder. I’d say don’t leave without screening the cakes area: the salty caramel cake is not something you’ll forget too soon.
Also known as Astor house, this is a stunning piece of architecture that amazes you even more once you step inside. This Victorian mansion’s interiors are opulent and lavish. When it was finished in 1895, Two Temple Place contained the largest strong room in Europe as well as two other enormous fortified safes. Visiting is free of charge, the experience is unforgettable.
This is the last thing you could think of doing in London unless you are an opera aficionado. Still, if you opt-in for this guided tour, you’ll get the chance to see the interiors of this magnificent theatre (and backstage!). I was in awe when I first stepped in for a performance. I hadn’t seen anything like it. I still show up well in advance to enjoy the theatre, whenever I attend a performance.
Do you want to recommend something yourself? Maybe for Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam? Other?