Cities and Towns in Europe
Nicosia is the only divided capital left in the world. The city is divided right in the middle from east to west into two very distinct parts, which feel like they don't belong in the same century. The south side is Greek Cypriot and is as modern and western as the rest of Western Europe. There are lots of cosy cafes, art shops, and cute restaurants down the narrow lanes. The north side is Turkish Cypriot and resemble more like Istanbul with its oriental bazaar, mosques, and dilapidated houses. It's easy to cross the border at Ledra Street, so there is no reason not to explore both sides.
Another holiday town in Cyprus, but compared to Ayia Napa and Limassol, Paphos seems close to its expiration date – not unlike many of the tourists here. Many hotels and restaurants seem outdated and the once pumping bar street is half deserted and otherwise tacky. But the coastline is pretty with plenty of small beaches and coves, and the cute harbour is equal picturesque. There are also two fine historical sights: Paphos Archaeological Park, which has the famous Paphos Mosaics, and further north the Tombs of the Kings.
Denmark's second largest city is just too darn likable. It's beautifully located on the coast surrounded by green forest. While the harbour just recently has been developed into an attractive area with award-winning architecture, the canal that cuts Aarhus in two has always been a favorite with its lively cafe and bar scene. The picturesque cobbled stone Latin Quarter (not mistaken with the open museum) is not just charming, but still a vibrant neighbourhood with indie design shops. The iconic rainbow tube on top of ARoS art museum stands out from the city skyline and has propelled Aarhus onto the radar of international travellers. One of the adorable things about Aarhus is its modest size. Nothing is too far away - even the beaches (or Harbor Bath) are just a bicycle ride away.
Although Bogense is tiny, it has been a flourishing market town since the 13th-century. To this day you can still find pretty cobblestone lanes and the main street is lined with irregular half-timbered historical houses. The oldest house in Bogense was founded in 1420, and the pub, Erik Menveds Kro, was founded in 1543, making it the oldest pub in Funen. The town’s modern marina is thriving and the path along the shore in front of the white church offers splendid views over the sea. An oddity of Bogense is the long narrow gardens, which some of the small traditional houses have.
Copenhagen became the capital in the 15th century, and today has about 1,2 millions inhabitants, more than 20 per cent of the entire population of Denmark. Visitors tend to spend most of their time in the pretty historical city center, which is packed with fine historical buildings ranging from colourful half-timbered houses to fairy-tale like royal castles. But these days Copenhagen is largely evolving in the outer districts, which in Danish are called brokvarter. The old red light district behind the main train station, Vesterbro, has transformed into a hipster paradise with cool restaurants and bars. The once rough immigrant district of Nørrebro is now popular with indy designers and coffee shops - besides the many kebab places. Even the island with the airport, Amager, is experiencing a renaissance with new developing, some of it world class architecture like 8tallet. So to fully experience Copenhagen make sure to explore all the different districts: Christianshavn (water canals), Ørestad (new architecture), Bryggen (urban waterfront), Frederiksberg (elegant houses), Vesterbro (hipster central), Nørrebro (multicultural mix), Østerbro (posh living) and, of course, Christiania - the freetown.
Kerteminde is a traditional fishing town spanning across the mouth of a fjord. The charming old part has a small collection of wonky half-timbered houses and picturesque cobblestone courtyards. The slim traditional fishing houses at the waterfront, which used to be for the poor fishermen, have recently become attractive due to their beautiful location, so many of them have been renovated. Besides the Fjord & Bælt centre, where you can learn about life in the sea, Kerteminde also has a few museums, including one for the painter Johannes Larsen. The surrounding countryside is endless farmland dotted with traditional villages with thatched roof houses.
Vesterhavet (North Sea) is well known for its big waves and strong winds, but Klitmøller is particularly famous. It’s called Cold Hawaii because the weather conditions for wind- and kitesurfing are perfect year around. Windsurfers, not only from Denmark, but from all over Europe, come to Klitmøller to ride the waves. Pre surfing times, Klitmølle was a traditional fishing village, which was popular in summer with families on holiday, but today the town is flavoured by the growing international community of surf bums, who live out of their vans. Klitmøller is very unique in that aspect, that the fishing boats and surfboards share the beach together.
There are so many good spots along the west coast of Jytland, but some are more popular than others. While Klitmøller has become the trendy place for windsurfers (and those who want to mingle with them), Løkken is still the more traditional beach town for those who are more interested in the sun and sand, than the wind and waves. The wide sandy beach seems endless and is dotted with iconic beach huts, as far as the eye can see. All the summer cottages are semi hidden in the hilly landscape of sand dunes and lyme grass. Though Løkken town is small, it’s very lively with an abundance of cafes - it even has a bit of a party scene during the summer months.
Denmark is an archipelago (expect for Jutland, which is connected to Germany). There are more than 400 islands, but only about 70 of them are inhabited. Most of the major islands are interconnected with bridges, but the minor ones are only reachable by ferry. The island of Ærø is one of the latter. The island is 20 km long (88 sq km) and has a population of less than 6000 people. There are three small towns on the island; Marstal, Æreskøbing and Søby. Charming Æreskøbing is particularly picturesque with its well-preserved historical (18th-century) houses and cobbledstone lanes, which has remained unchanged since Medieval times. Due to Ærøs manageable size, it's popular in the summer with cyclists and hikers. Since Ærø lies within the South Funen Archipelago, the marinas are equally popular with yachts.
When people are talking about enchanting Tallinn, they are talking about Old Town. It's a neat, UNESCO-listed maze of old houses, hidden courtyards and spire-topped churches dating back to the 14th century. Large parts of the huge medieval town wall still stand with imposing gates and tall towers (one even has cannonballs embedded in the wall). The maze is made up of narrow, cobbled lanes - it can hardly become more photogenic than this. Even the occasional Russian tour group seems to fit in well. That said, there are more amber/knitting/souvenir shops than you can poke a stick at (along with a fair share of strip bars), but Old Tallinn has managed admirably to keep its charm without being tarted up or tacky.