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Sights in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and has a large variety of museums, churches, synagogues, and art galleries to walk through and explore.

  • Abba The Museum—a museum dedicated to Swedish pop sensations ABBA that has exhibits that highlight the band’s history from its beginnings to its breakup and enduring legacy with unique outfits worn during performances and original memorabilia along with interactive stations to sing, dance like an ABBA avatar, or perform on stage; Djurgardsv. 68
  • Fotografiska—a contemporary photography gallery in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Sodermalm waterfront with fine art photography by artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Anton Corbijn; Stadgardshammen 22
  • Grona Lund Tivoli—an amusement park with intense rides, gardens, arcades, and restaurants with the Power Tower, one of Europe’s tallest free-fall amusement park rides; Lilla Allmanna Grand 9
  • Historiska Museet (The Swedish History Museum)—a historical museum with Viking treasures and a gold room as well as other exhibitions that provide an overview of Sweden’s history; Narvav 13-17
  • Junibacken—a storybook park with a storybook house that resembles the house that Pippi Longstocking, the beloved children’s book character created by Astrid Lingren; Galarvarsv 8
  • Kungliga Slottet—a castle built on the ruins of Tre Kronor castle which burned down in 1697 with highlights including the Versailles-inspired Karl XVI Gallery and Queen Kristina’s silver throne in the Hall of State and 608 other rooms making it the world’s largest royal castle still used for its original purpose; Slottsbacken
  • Vasamuseet—the custom-designed home of the warship Vasa that sank soon after embarking on its maiden voyage in 1628 with most of the passengers aboard and was raised in 1961, reassembled, and restored with an entrance level that has a model of the ship and a theater showing a film that covers topics not seen in the exhibitions and four other levels of exhibits with salvaged artifacts, information about life on the ship, naval warfare, sculptures, and temporary exhibitions; Galarvarsvagen 14
  • Skansen—the world’s first open-air museum founded in 1891 by Arthur Hazelius to show how Swedes once lived with 150 traditional homes and exhibits including a glass-blowers’ cottage; the Nordic Zoo with elk, reindeer, brown bears, wolves, and native wildlife; staff in period costumes; a functional bakery; a bank and post office; a machine shop; botanical gardens; and Hazelius’s mansion with restaurants, cafes, and hot-dog stands throughout the park; Djugardsvagen
  • Moderna Museet—a modern art museum with a permanent collection that has paintings, sculptures, photography, video art, and installations by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Damien Hirst, Scandinavian and Russian artists, temporary exhibits, viewing rooms, children’s workshops, and hands-on events; Exercisplan 4
  • Millesgarden—the former home and studio of sculptor Carl Milles that includes a modern art gallery with rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, an outdoor sculpture garden, a museum shop, and a café; Herserudsvagen 32
  • Spritmuseum—the Museum of Spirits that is dedicated to the country’s relationship with alcohol and covers the history, manufacturing, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in addition to traditions, drinking songs, and food combinations; Djugardsvagen 38
  • Thielska Galleriet—an art gallery with a collection of works by late-19th-century and early 20th century Scandinavian artists such as Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, Ernst Josephson, and Bruno Lilijefors; Sjotullsbacken 8
  • Nordiska Museet—Sweden’s largest cultural history museum and one of its largest indoor spaces situated within a Renaissance-style castle with a collection featuring Sami objects, clothing, table settings, and the world’s largest collection of paintings by August Strindberg; Djugardsvagen 6-16
  • Medeltidsmuseet—a family-friendly museum built upon foundations from 1530 that provides visitors with the opportunity to explore reconstructions of typical homes, markets, and workshops from medieval Stockholm with hands-on and multimedia exhibits such as a 1520s-era ship, a display about Gallows Hill, and a gated tunnel; Stromparteren
  • Royal Armoury—this armory in the cellar vaults of Sweden’s palace has memorabilia from royal childhoods, coronations, weddings, and murders as well as coronation coaches and temporary exhibitions; Slottsbacken 3
  • Riddarholmskyran—a beautiful church built by Franciscan monks in the late 13th century that has served as the royal necropolis since the burial of Magnus Ladulas in 1290 and is home to the armor of the Seraphim knightly order with wall plates displaying the coats of arms of the knights; Riddarholmen
  • Nobelmuseet—a museum that provides an overview of the history of the Nobel Prizes and their recipients through displays, films, video interviews, and café chairs signed by the visiting prize recipients; Stortorget
  • Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde—a palace that belonged to Prins Eugen, a painter and prince, that includes a gallery of pieces by Eugen himself, Nordic paintings and sculptures by artists such as Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, and temporary exhibitions with the palace surrounded by gardens and a 1780s windmill; Prins Eugens vag 6
  • Medelhavsmuseet—an elegant museum with Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts and a gold room with a 4th century BC olive wreath made of gold as well as mummies and a café; Fredsgatan 2
  • Skogskyrkogarden (Woodland Cemetery)—a scenic graveyard designed by famed designers Gunnar Asplund and Sigrid Lewerentz that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and known for its functionalist buildings with Greta Garbo’s grave located within; Sockenvagen
  • Ekoparken (Royal National City Park)—the world’s first national urban park established in 1995 that stretches throughout Stockholm and into the suburbs of Solna and Lidingo and features rare plant and animal species with some that live nowhere else in Sweden
  • Kulturhuset—an arts center with galleries, workshops, a cinema, three restaurants, and libraries with international periodicals, newspapers, books, and graphic novels in a variety of languages as well as the City Theatre and Stockholm’s main visitor center; Sergels Torg
  • Hallwylska Museet—a palace completed in 1898 that was once home to an obsessive collector, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, who amassed a collection of kitchen utensils, Chinese pottery, 17th century paintings, silverware, and sculptures; Hamngatan 4
  • Ethnografiska Museet—a museum with displays on aspects of non-European cultures including temporary exhibitions and live performances with past exhibitions focusing on Afghan culture, gender norms in different cultures, and voodoo; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 34
  • Bonniers Konsthall—an art gallery with international contemporary art, a reading room, a café, art seminars, and artist conversation sessions; Torsgatan 19
  • Aquaria Vattenmuseum—this aquarium is dedicated to ecology and marine environmental issues and has seahorses, sharks, piranhas, and clownfish; Falkenbergsgatan 2
  • Nationalmuseum—Sweden’s largest art museum which is home to the country’s collection of painting, sculpture, drawings, decorative arts, and graphics from the Middle Ages to the present; Sodra Blasieholmshamnen
  • Tantolunden—one of Stockholm’s most extensive parks with an outdoor gym, play area, and walking paths; Zinkens Vag
  • Tekniska Museet—a technology-oriented museum with interactive science and technology exhibits, a room with kinetic experiments and stations to test balance, flexibility, and strength, a mining exhibit, a model railroad, inventions by women, and a climate-change game; Museivagen 7
  • Armemuseum—a museum dedicated to the drama of warfare with three floors of exhibitions featuring art, weaponry, and life-size reconstructions of horsemen, barracks, and starving civilians; Riddargatan 13
  • Wetterling Gallery—a gallery space with contemporary and multimedia art exhibitions; Kungstradgarden 3
  • Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet—a natural history museum founded in 1739 with interactive activities such as crawling through a human ear, sitting through forest fires, and mosquito chambers as well as displays of fossils, rocks, stuffed wildlife, marine life, and polar plants; Frescativagen 40
  • Sparvagsmuseet—a transport museum with 40 vehicles including antique horse-drawn carriages, vintage trams and busses, and a tunnelbana carriage; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Storkyrkan—Stockholm’s oldest building which was consecrated in 1306 and its cathedral with a Baroque exterior and a Gothic-Baroque interior with royal-box pews designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and a sculpture by German sculptor Berndt Notke entitled George and the Dragon; Trangsund 1
  • Dansmuseet—the Rolf de Mare Dance Museum that features traditional dance masks from Africa, India, and Tibet; stylish costumes from the Russian ballet; Chinese and Japanese theatre puppets; and a renowned collection of early 20th century Ballets Russes costumes; Drottninggatan 17
  • ArkDes—a museum next to Moderna Museet situated within a converted navy drill hall that focuses on architecture and design with a permanent exhibition that spans 1000 years of Swedish architecture and has an archive of 2.5 million documents, photographs, plans, drawings, and models; Exercisplan 4
  • Ostasiatiska Museet—a museum dedicated to Asian decorative arts with one of the world’s best collections of Chinese stoneware and porcelain from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties and the largest and oldest Asian library in Scandinavia; Tyghusplan
  • Strindbergsmuseet—the preserved apartment of writer and painter August Strindberg who lived in the residence for the last four years of his life with his closet, study, library with 3000 volumes, dining room, and temporary exhibits; Drottninggatan 85
  • Ulriksdals Slott—the 17th century palace home to King Gustaf VI Adolf and his family until 1973 and now has royal apartments including a drawing room, stables with Queen Kristina’s 17th century coronation carriage, and the orangery with Swedish sculptures and Mediterranean plants; Slottsallen
  • Kaknastornet—a 155-meter-tall building that houses the radio and TV broadcasting stations for the country and has a gift shop, visitor center, observation deck, restaurant, and café with views of the city and archipelago; Morka Kroken 28-30
  • Bergianska Tradgarden—a botanical garden that borders the university on one side and Brunnsviken lake on the other with rare Swedish plants, a café in the Orangeriet, and a greenhouse named after the water lily; Gustafsborgsvagen 4
  • Riddarhuset—a 17th century building situated between the Royal Palace and government buildings on the island of Riddarholm that acts as a shrine to the once powerful Swedish nobility; Riddarhustorget 10
  • Rosendals Slott—a palace that was once home to Karl XIV Johan in the 1820s and has luxurious furniture and an outdoor organic café set within gardens and greenhouses; Rosendalsvagen 49
  • Fjarilshuset—Haga Ocean—a butterfly house within a tropical environment with flying birds and butterflies, fish, and a large shark aquarium as well as temporary exhibits; Hagaparken
  • Cosmonova—a planetarium, IMAX, and 3D theater with themes such as mummies, dinosaurs, and prehistoric sea monsters; Frescativagen 40
  • Leksaksmuseet—a toy museum with all sorts of toys on display including model trains, airplanes, toy soldiers, toy robots, Barbie dolls, and stuffed animals; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Postmuseum—a postal museum that covers almost 400 years of Swedish postal history with old mail carriages, postcards, and a children’s post office; Lilla Nygatan 6
  • Swedish Museum of Performing Arts—a dramatic arts museum with an expansive collection of set designs, costumes, and musical instruments; Sibyllegatan 2
  • Kungliga Myntkabinettet—the national museum of economy with treasures such as Viking silver, the world’s oldest coin (from 625 BC), the world’s largest coin (a copper plate weighing 19.7 kilograms), and the first banknote (issued in 1661); Slottsbacken 6
  • Sjohistoriska Museet—a museum with over 1500 mini boats, exhibits that delve into Swedish shipbuilding and life on deck, and children’s activities; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 24
  • Tobaks and Tandsticksmuseum—a museum that explores the history and culture of smoking and the manufacturing of Swedish matches
  • Skansen Akvariet—an aquarium with piranhas, lemurs, and pygmy marmosets (the smallest monkeys in the world)
  • Konstakademien—the Royal Academy of Fine Arts which is an art gallery with several annual exhibitions; Fredsgatan 2
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Sights in Oslo, Norway

Oslo has a rich maritime and cultural history and is particularly known for its Viking heritage. It has interesting museums and cultural attractions to explore with a sampling of these sights below.

  • Ekebergparken—a public park that looks out over the city and Oslofjord with artwork from the collection of art collector and developer Christian Ringnes with pieces by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abramovic, Jenny Holzer, and Tony Oursler; Kongsveien 23
  • Astrup Fearnley Museet—a private contemporary art museum designed by Renzo Piano with a glass sail-like roof and a collection including works by Jeff Koons, Tom Sachs, Cindy Sherman, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer, and Damien Hirst with the most famous piece being Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles; Strandpromenaden 2
  • Ibsen Museet—a house-museum with Henrik Ibsen’s former apartment that was his final residence featuring his study in the condition he left it and the bedroom where he said his last words; Henrik Ibsens Gate 26
  • Nasjonalgalleriet—an art gallery with the country’s largest collection of traditional and modern art with works by Edvard Munch including The Scream, European art by artists such as Gauguin and El Greco, and 19th century Norwegian artists such as JC Dahl and Christian Krohg; Universitetsgata 13
  • Vigelandsanlegget—an outdoor showcase of work by Norway’s beloved sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, with 212 granite and bronze pieces depicting lovers, elderly couples, crying babies, and beggars; Nobels Gate 32
  • Akerhus Festning—a fortress on the eastern side of the harbor built in 1299 to protect Oslo from outside threats and over the years it has been enlarged, modified, and tightened up its defenses and now includes a medieval castle, a fortress, and other buildings including active military installations
  • Rod Bianco—a gallery featuring boundary-pushing artwork from Norwegian and international contemporary artists; Waldemar Thranes Gate 84c
  • Vikingshipshuset—a museum with nicely restored Viking ships discovered in Oslofjord in the late 19th century with three ships displayed with few artifacts remaining; Huk Aveny 35
  • Polarship Fram Museum—a museum dedicated to an iconic ship from polar exploration, the 39-meter Fram, where visitors can explore the decks, bunk rooms, and exhibits with artifacts, maps, and pictures; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Munchmuseet—a museum dedicated to Edvard Munch with the largest collection of his work in the world including 28,000 items such as 1,100 paintings and 4,500 watercolors; Toyengata 53
  • Henie-Onstad Art Centre—a private art museum that has works by Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso; impressionist, abstract, expressionist, and contemporary Norwegian pieces; and the largest collection of Kurt Schwitters’ work made while he lived in Norway during World War II; Hovikodden
  • Norsk Folkemuseum—Norway’s largest outdoor museum with over 140 buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries gathered from around the country, rebuilt, and organized according to regional origin; farm animals; horse and cart rides; an Old Town section with a reproduction of an early 20th century Norwegian town with a village shop and old gas station; and an exhibition hall with comprehensive displays on Norwegian folk art, historic toys, national costumes, domestic and farming tools and appliances, and visiting exhibits and information on the life and culture of the Sami; Museumsveien 10
  • Royal Palace—the Norwegian royal family’s residence built for the French king Karl Johan that was not continuously occupied until King Haakon VII and Queen Maud assumed rule in 1905 and has been modernized by the current king, King Harald V; Slottsparken 1
  • Historisk Museum—three museums altogether that includes the National Antiquities Collection which has displays of Viking-era coins, jewelry, and ornaments; the only complete Viking helmet; the 9th century Hoen treasure which is the largest find in Scandinavia; and a section on medieval religious art; an Arctic exhibit; a collection of ancient Norwegian coins; and the Ethnographic Museum with rotating exhibits on Asia, Africa, and the Americas; Frederiks gate 2
  • Vigeland Museum—a museum which was built by Oslo in the 1920s as a home and studio for Gustav Vigeland in exchange for the donation of much of his work and contains statuary and monuments to public figures as well as plaster molds, woodblock prints, and sketches; Nobelsgata 32
  • Nobels Fredssenter (Nobel Peace Center)—this museum is dedicated to winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and has digital displays providing information on the lives and accomplishments of the winners, changing exhibitions on aspects of the prize and its winners, a theater that shows films on the history of the prize and its winners, and a gift shop; Radhusplassen 1
  • Oslo Cathedral—a cathedral dating back to 1697 with elaborate stained-glass windows by Emanuel Vigeland and a painted ceiling completed between 1936 and 1950 as well as a large altarpiece that is a 1748 model of The Last Supper and the Crucifixion; Stortovet 1
  • Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park—a sculpture park designed by Renzo Piano that features international contemporary art by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Ugo Rondinone, Franz West, and Ellsworth Kelly; Tjuvholmen
  • Norwegian Resistance Museum—a museum that is adjacent to a memorial for resistance fighters executed during World War II and focuses on German occupation in Norway with artifacts including underground newspapers, maps, photographs, and a wired set of dentures to receive radio broadcasts
  • Natural History Museum—a museum with a zoological collection that is filled with stuffed native wildlife, the geological-paleontological collection, and greenhouses; Sars gate 1
  • Botanical Garden—the oldest botanical garden in Norway with a scenic arboretum, a scent garden, a mountain landscape, and specimens from the Oslo fjords including four nearly extinct specimens as well as woven sculptures by Tom Hare; Sars gate 1
  • Radhus—a twin-towered town hall that is home to the city’s political administration and filled with tributes to Norwegian cultural and working life; Fridtjof Nansens plass
  • Kon-Tiki Museum—a museum dedicated to the raft Kon-Tiki which Thor Heyerdahl used to sail from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 and the totora-reed Ra-II built for a 1970 Atlantic crossing by Heyerdahl; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Norwegian Maritime Museum—a museum that depicts Norway’s relationship with the sea including its fishing and whaling industries, the seismic fleet which searches for oil and gas, shipbuilding, wreck salvaging, and pleasure craft; Bygdoynnesveien 37
  • 1857—an artist-run space in a former timber yard that is known for its collaborative curated efforts between Norwegian artists and those from Europe and beyond; Toyenbekken 12
  • Queen Sonja Art Stable—a public gallery space that was once a storage space for 50 years and was reopened as a gallery by Queen Sonja on her 80th birthday and hosts yearly exhibitions and a photograph collection collected by Queen Maud
  • Oslo City Museum—a museum situated within the 18th century Frogner Manor that adds perspective to traditional Norwegian life in the 18th century and has exhibitions about Oslo’s urban history; Frognerveien 67
  • Nasjonalbiblioteket—a modern library that has historic documents from Norway’s cultural history from 13th century manuscripts to magazines, films, and Norwegian musical scores; Henrik Ibsens Gate 110

Sights in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and has an interesting history explored through museums and art galleries.

  • Arheoloski Muzej (Archaeological Museum)—a museum with exhibits that focus on prehistory to the Tartar invasion with artifacts such as the Vucedol Dove, a three-legged ceramic vessel shaped like a bird that dates back to the 4th millennium BC, and a linen piece that has the longest known text in ancient Etruscan writing; Trg Nikole Subica Zrinskog 19
  • Botanicki Vrt (Botanical Garden)—this garden was founded in 1889 as research grounds for the faculty of biology at Zagreb University and features an arboretum with English landscaping, an artificial lake, and an ornamental Japanese bridge; Marulicev trg 9a
  • Crkva Svete Katarine (St. Catherine’s Church)—this church built for the Jesuits between 1620 and 1632 has one nave, six side chapels, and a shrine with the vaults and walls decorated with pink and white stucco from 1732 and hung with 18th century illusionist paintings; Katarinin trg BB
  • Crkva Svetog Marka (St. Mark’s Church) – an old church built in the 13th century that was once the parish church of Gradec with a Baroque bell tower added in the 17th century, a steeply pitched roof decorated in multi-colored tiles to depict the coats of arms of Zagreb on the right and the kingdoms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia on the left, and in the 20th century wall paintings by Jozo Kljakovic; Trg Svetog Marka 5
  • Dvor Trakoscan (Trakoscan Castle)—a heavily visited castle that was originally built in the 14th century and remodeled in the mid-19th century by Juraj VI Draskovic whose family had owned the castle for 300 years and lived there until 1944; the interior has wood-paneled rooms in different architectural themes filled with period furniture and family portraits; located 3 miles northwest of the village of Bednja, Trakoscan 1
  • Entomoloska Zbirka (Entomological Collection)—a museum with 50,000 insect specimens; Franjevacki trg 6/I, Varazdin
  • Galerija Starih I Novih Majstora (Gallery of Old and Modern Masters)—an art museum located in the 18th century rococo Palaca Sermage (Sermage Palace) with traditional paintings by Croatian and European artists; Trg Milijenka Stancica 3, Varazdin
  • Museum of Broken Relationships—a unique museum centered around mementos of relationships that have ended with donations from around the world with featured stories including a broken toaster and sad notes; Cirilometodska 2
  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art—a gallery of paintings within the naïve art genre that was popular during the 1960s and 1970s but has declined since with works by artists such as Generalic, Mraz, Rabuzin, and Smajic; Cirilometodska 3
  • Croatian Association of Artists—a gallery designed by Ivan Mestrovic with a rotating program of exhibitions and events throughout the year that was once a mosque; Mestrovic Pavilion, Trg Zrtava Fasizma 16
  • Museum of Contemporary Art—an art museum designed by famed architect Igor Franic that has solo and themed shows as well as a permanent collection featuring 620 works by 240 artists half of which are Croatian; Avenija Dubrovnik 17
  • Maksimir Park—a wooded park that is 18 hectares that was the first public promenade in southeastern Europe and has English garden-like landscaping with alleys, lawns, and artificial lakes as well as the Bellevue Pavilion which is often photographed and a house resembling a Swiss cottage; Maksimirski perivoj bb
  • Museum Mimara—a private art collection donated by Ante Topic Mimara consisting of Ptolemaic glassware from Alexandria, delicate jade and ivory Qing dynasty ornaments, 14th century wooden crosses decorated with semi-precious stones, and a European painting collection with works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Bosch, Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, and Degas; Rooseveltov trg 5
  • Croatian State Archives—an Art Deco building with wise owls on the corners of the roof that was built in 1913 to house the royal library and land archives and is now home to the state archives and a reading room with chandeliers and a painting depicting influential Croatian figures; Marulicev trg 21
  • Galerija Klovicevi Dvori—an art gallery housed within a former Jesuit monastery that has a large roster of temporary exhibitions throughout the year with past exhibitions including pieces by Picasso and Chagall; Jezuitski trg 4
  • Lauba—a private art collection within a former textile-weaving mill that displays Croatian contemporary art from the 1950s to the present with rotating works and regularly scheduled programs including free creative workshops for children; Baruna Filipovica 23a
  • City Museum—this museum situated within the 17th century Convent of St. Claire has exhibits that illustrate the history of Zagreb with archaeological finds from the restoration of the building in the 1990s, old city plans, lithographs, documents, altar and stone masonry from the Cathedral and St. Mark’s, and socialist era paraphernalia; Opaticka 20
  • Museum of Illusion—an interesting museum with sensory activities, a slanted room, a mirror of truth, and over 70 other exhibits, hologram pictures, puzzles, and educational games; Ilica 72
  • Mestrovic Atelier—the former home of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most recognized artist, who lived in the house from 1922 to 1942; inside the home is a collection of sculptures, drawings, lithographs, and furniture; Mletacka 8
  • Art Pavilion—an art-nouveau pavilion that has rotating exhibitions of contemporary art; Trg Kralja Tomislava 22
  • Gallery of Modern Art—a gallery with works by Croatian artists from the past 200 years including 19th and 20th century artists such as Bukovac, Mihanovic, and Racic; Andrije Hebranga 1
  • Stone Gate—a shrine that was once the eastern gate to the medieval Gradec Town and has a painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus by an unknown 17th century artist; Kamenita
  • Zagreb 80s Museum—a four-room museum that illustrates Zagreb in the 1980s with reconstructions of typical lounge and kitchen interiors from the decade, a room with games with a Commodore 64 and Atari, and memorabilia; Radiceva 34, 1st floor
  • Zagreb 360 Observation Deck—an outdoor deck atop Zagreb’s tallest high-rise located on the 16th floor that provides panoramic views of the city and the street below; Ilica 1a, 16th floor
  • Ethnographic Museum—a museum located in a domed 1903 building with a collection of 70,000 items and 2,750 on display including jewelry; ceramics; musical instruments; tools; weapons; and folk costumes such as gold-embroidered scarves from Slavonia and lace from the island of Pag along with artifacts from South America, Ethiopia, China, Japan, and Australia; Mazuranicev trg 14
  • Museum of Arts and Crafts—a museum that explores craftwork from the Middle Ages to the present with ornate walnut furniture, rococo ornaments, liturgical vestments, and votive images and a collection of black and white photographs depicting Croatia until the 1950s; Trg Republike Hrvatske 10
  • Technical Museum Nikola Tesla—a science museum with steam-engine locomotives, scale models of satellites, a replica of a mine, and exhibits on agriculture, geology, energy, and transportation as well as a planetarium; Savska 18
  • Art Park—a small park that holds activities from June to October such as live-music sessions, film screenings, and mural painting sessions; off Tomiceva
  • Backo Mini Express—a model railroad displayed across 75 square meters—the largest in southeastern Europe—that runs across 1050 meters of railway lines and well-crafted scenery; Gunduliceva 4
  • Galerija Greta—a storefront gallery in an old textile shop that has rotating exhibitions with different art forms such as sound installations and video to sculpture and fine art; Ilica 92
  • Zoo Zagreb—a zoo with animals such as seals, sea lions, otters, and piranhas; Maksimir Park
  • Croatian Natural History Museum—a museum with prehistoric tools and bones excavated from the Krapina cave and exhibits that illustrate the evolution of animal and plant life in Croatia with temporary exhibits focusing on different regions; Demetrova 1

Sights in Valletta, Malta

Valletta is the capital of Malta and is a city with a rich cultural and military history. It is very religious with several churches and a basilica.

  • Barrakka Ta’ Fuq (Upper Barrakka Gardens)—a lookout point with a troupe of cats, greenery, and views of Grand Harbour and the Three Cities across the water; Castile Square
  • John’s Co-Cathedral—an impressive church designed by the architect Gerolamo Cassar between 1573 and 1578 with an interior renovated in the 17th century in a Maltese Baroque style with a painting of John the Baptist by Caravaggio, a long low nave with walls and pillars encrusted with rich ornamentation, marble floors, and a vault with paintings by Mattia Preti that depict events from the life of St. John the Baptist; Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Grand Master’s Palace—the former residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John and until 2015 the seat of Malta’s parliament is now home to a collection of over 5,000 suits of 16th to 18th century armor and weaponry including crossbows, muskets, swords, and pistols and the State Apartments with five rooms usually opened to the public; Pjazza San Gorg
  • National Museum of Archaeology—a museum housed within the Auberge de Provence that features exhibits that include artifacts such as stone tools dating back to 5200 BC, Phoenician amulets, and a temple model from Ta’Hagrat as well as model prehistoric figurines that were found within the area, pottery from the Bronze Age, animal figurines, and jewelry; Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Fort St. Elmo and National War Museum—this fort named after the patron saint of mariners was built in 1552 in only four months to guard the harbors on either side of the Sceberras Peninsula and was restored and reopened in 2015 with the addition of the National War Museum which covers Malta’s wartime history from 1565’s Great Siege when Turkish forces attacked the country to World War II with audiovisual displays and artifacts such as a biplane and the George Cross awarded to the country in 1942
  • City Gate—this city gate designed by Renzo Piano resembles the dimensions of the original 1633 entrance to the city giving visitors the feeling of crossing a real bridge with a frame designed to look like knights’ sabers
  • Parliament Building—this building completed by Renzo Piano in 2014 includes two massive stone volumes that are supported by stilts and photovoltaic panels on the roof which generate much of the energy required to ventilate the building and inside is the northern block which contains the parliament chamber and the southern block containing the offices of the members of parliament
  • Lascaris War Rooms—a mechanically ventilated underground tunnel complex that lies 40 meters below the Upper Barrakka Gardens that housed Great Britain’s secret command in Malta during WWII and remained in use until 1977 with a restoration completed in 2009 with the rooms laid out in their original configuration staffed by wax figures; Lascaris Ditch
  • Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck—a church honoring St. Paul who was shipwrecked in Malta in 60 AD and brought Christianity to the country with a 19th century façade and a 16th century interior with treasures such as a gilded statue of St. Paul carved in Rome in the 1650s, a golden reliquary containing bones from his wrist, and part of the column on which he was killed in Rome; Triq San Pawl
  • Carmelite Basilica—a basilica originally built in 1570 and expanded in the mid-19th century that was rebuilt between 1958-1981 after being damaged in World War II with a 42-meter-high dome and an interior with an early 17th century painting of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and red marble columns; Triq I-Arcisqof
  • Valletta Contemporary—a modern art gallery with a rotating roster of exhibitions and installations from local and international artists; 15-17 Triq il-Levant
  • MUZA—the current incarnation of Malta’s Museum of Fine Arts located in the Auberge d’Italie, a 16th-century building that was once home to Italian members of the Knights of St. John, with historic maps and paintings; Auberge d’Italie
  • Casa Rocca Piccola—a 16th century palazzo that is the family home of the 9th Marquis de Piro who currently lives there and allows visitors to see parts of his luxurious home and the family’s WWII air-raid shelters; 74 Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Malta Postal Museum—a small museum with a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the postal system of the Knights of St. John; 135 Triq-I-Arcisqof
  • Malta Contemporary Art—a space dedicated to photography, painting, mixed media, and other art exhibitions; Triq Felix
  • James’ Cavalier—a 16th century fortification transformed into an arts center with galleries, theater, and a cinema; Castille Place
  • Sacra Infermeria—located in the former 16th century hospital run by the Order of St. John, this museum has an exhibition about medieval medicine; Triq-it-Tramuntana
  • Prospettiva—an installation designed by a Maltese architect to celebrate Valletta’s distinction as the 2018 European City of Culture that merges the city’s five gates into a two-dimensional structure disassembled into planes; Glormu Cassar Avenue
  • Siege Bell Memorial—a memorial erected in 1992 that commemorates those who lost their lives during the war convoys between 1940 and 1943; St. Christopher Bastion
  • Toy Museum—a doll-sized museum with a large private collection of model toys such as tin cars from 1950s Japan, tin toys from 1912 Germany, Matchbox cars, farmyard animals, train sets, and dolls; 222 Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Triton Fountain—a grand fountain sculpted by Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap in 1959 restored and reopened early in 2018
  • National Library—a library with a classical façade erected by the Knights of St. John with book-lined shelves and occasional temporary exhibitions
  • Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial—a monument to the 2,298 members of the Commonwealth Air Force who died in World War II with no known graves
  • War Memorial—a monument to the 600 Maltese and almost one million British servicemen who died in World War I

Sights in Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania and has endured a turbulent history of occupation and violence and has many memorials to victims of the atrocities that occurred within the city and country.

  • Arkikatedra Bazilika—Vilnius’s main cathedral that has been a national icon for centuries and inside is the 17th century Chapel of St. Kazimieras; this cathedral was originally a temple to a pagan god before becoming a church in the 13th century when Lithuania converted from paganism to Christianity (the last European country to convert); Katedros 1
  • Ausros Vartai (Gates of Dawn)—the only remaining gate of Vilnius’s nine 16th century gates which has to the right of the gate a door leading to the Chapel of Our Lady of Vilnius, a room that has its walls covered with metal and silver hearts and an icon of the Virgin Mary known for its healing powers; Ausros Vartu 12
  • Vilnil Museum of Illusions—a fun museum that explores how different illusions work through interactive displays; Vokieciu g.6
  • Apastalu Petro ir Povilo Baznycia (Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church)—a Baroque style church with extensive white décor inside the church including sculptures and intricate stucco carvings; Antakalnio g. 1
  • Paneriai—a forested historic site that serves as a memorial to the many Lithuanian citizens who were killed in the Holocaust; Agrastu 17
  • Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania—a museum that provides an overview of the monetary development of Lithuania such as the transition to a central bank; Totoriu g. 2/8
  • Anne’s Church—a Gothic church known for its impressive façade; Maironio g. 8
  • John’s Church—a beautiful church located on the campus of Vilnius’s university that was reconstructed in 1749 with a high altar and elaborate blue organ and is known for its adjoining bell tower which can be accessed via a modern glass lift elevator; Sv. Jono g. 12
  • Church of St. Theresa—an early Baroque-style church with ornate carvings and frescoes inside; Aushros Vartu g. 12
  • KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus)—a museum dedicated to the Russian KGB and its prisoners who had to survive unbearable conditions; Auku g. 2a
  • Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania—a fortified palace that has been remodeled, expanded, destroyed, and rebuilt over the years and is now shown in its restored version of a Baroque palace built for the grand dukes in the 17th century with a central courtyard and ceremonial halls; Katedros aikste 4
  • Antakalnis Cemetery—one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful graveyards with the burial sites of those killed by Soviet special forces on January 13, 1991, and a memorial that honors Napoleonic soldiers who perished from starvation and injuries in Vilnius while retreating from the Russian army; off Kariu kapu gatve
  • Vilnius University—founded in 1579 during the Counter-Reformation, this university was run by Jesuits for 200 years before being closed by Russians in 1832 and not reopening until 1919, it has 23,000 students and is home to Lithuania’s oldest library with 5 million books including one of two original editions of The Catechism by Martynas Mazvydas (the first book published in Lithuanian); Universiteto gatve 3
  • Mindaugas—a landmark statue that depicts the early unifier of the Lithuanian tribes in the mid-13th century and Lithuania’s first king; Arsenalo gatve 1
  • Gediminas Castle and Museum—the last of a series of settlements and fortified buildings that have occupied the site since Neolithic times and is a brick structure built by Grand Duke Vytautas in the early 15th century with great views of Vilnius and an exhibition that traces the history of the castle over the years with some scale models; Gediminas Hill, Arsenalo gatve 5
  • Tolerance Centre—one of the three main branches of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum that has served as a refuge, concert hall, and theatre over the years that displays Lithuanian Jewish art, cultural, and historic collections with a small permanent exhibit on the Jewish avant-garde movement in Vilnius; Naugarduko gatve 10/2
  • Presidential Palace—a classical edifice that is home to the president and chancellery with a ceremonial changing of the guard every day at 6 pm and the flag-hoisting ceremony on Sundays at noon, tours must be booked in advance; S. Daukanto gatve 3
  • Michael the Archangel Church—an early 17th century church built by the Sapiega family with a Gothic nave, colored marble high altar, and alabaster statuary that is a unique example of late-Renaissance architecture with an exhibition inside with religious art, liturgical vessels, rare manuscripts, and reliquaries from Vilnius Cathedral; Sv Mykolo gatve 9
  • Bernardine Church and Monastery—one of Vilnius’s most impressive churches which was extended and improved in the 17th and 19th centuries and converted to a warehouse by the Soviets before being regained by the Bernardine community once Lithuania gained its independence and is now back to its original state with trails to explore the complex; Maironio gatve 10
  • Museum of Applied Art—housed in the Old Arsenal which was built in the 16th century and restored in the 1980s, this museum features temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection of 15th to 19th century Lithuanian sacred art; Arsenalo gatve 3a
  • National Museum of Lithuania—this museum displays artifacts that show how Lithuanians lived from Neolithic times to the 202th century with special collections devoted to the country’s folk traditions such as numismatics with some of the very first Lithuanian coins and burial goods; Arsenalo gatve 1
  • TV Tower—a 326-meter high TV tower with a tall needle that is symbolic of Lithuania’s resilience and strength as 12 pro-independence protesters were killed by the Soviet army here on January 13, 1991, with memorials to the victims near the tower and a revolving restaurant and observation deck at 165 meters high; Sausio 13-osios gatve 10
  • Theatre, Music, and Cinema Museum—a museum with three centuries worth of musical instruments such as the pusline (a primitive Baltic string instrument made from animal bladders) and kankle (plucked fretted-string instruments) as well as memorabilia from Lithuanian and Soviet films and an extensive collection that documents the national theater; Vilniaus gatve 41
  • House of Signatories—the 18th century home where Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence was signed on February 16, 1918, and now has an exhibition of materials related to the National Movement and the signatories; Pilies gatve 26
  • Holocaust Museum—a museum that depicts the destruction of Lithuania’s Jewish community, the Litvaks, through photos, documentation, and firsthand accounts; Pamenkalnio gatve 12
  • Amber Museum-Gallery—a small museum that is dedicated to Baltic gold and what can be created from it with trinkets and jewelry upstairs and in the basement pieces of many-hued amber, kilns, and other archaeological finds; Sv. Mykolo gatve 8
  • Kazys Varnelis Museum—a museum that features the personal collection of Kazys Varnelis, an artist who became famous for his optical and 3D paintings, with the collection including paintings, furniture, sculptures, maps, and books; Didzioji gatve 26
  • Bernadinu sodas—gardens located between Gediminas Hill and the Bernardine Church with riverbanks, paths, trees, and flowerbeds; Maironio gatve
  • Contemporary Art Centre—the largest center for contemporary art in the Baltic region with 2400 square meters of photography, video, installations, exhibits, and events such as lectures, live music, and film screenings; Vokieciu gatve 2
  • Vilnius Picture Gallery—built in the 17th century with additions in the 19th century, this former palace features a permanent collection of Lithuanian art from the 16th to the 19th centuries as well as temporary exhibitions that showcase Lithuanian movements, artists, and mediums; Didzioji gatve 4
  • Energy and Technology Museum—Vilnius’s first power station that operated between 1903-2003, is now home to exhibitions on energy, technology, and their historical development with original machinery for power generation preserved; Rinktines gatve 2
  • Memorial Complex—located on the grounds of the Tuskulenai Manor is this memorial to the victims of violence during the 20th century in Lithuania; Zirmunu gatve 1F
  • Radvilos Palace—a 17th century palazzo that is home to the foreign fine-arts section of the Lithuanian Art Museum; Vilnaius gatve 24
  • Europa Tower—the highest skyscraper in the Baltic region; Konstitucijos Prospektas 7

 

Shopping in Riga, Latvia

Riga has some unique shops, galleries, and shopping centers with a variety of stores that will appeal to any shopper. Here is just a sampling of the shops in Riga:

  • Central Market—a market hall with zeppelin hangars from World War I that has vendors selling produce, fruits, and vegetables; Negu iela 7
  • Art Nouveau Riga—an art nouveau souvenir and gift shop located in the midst of the art nouveau district; Strelnieku iela 9
  • Galerija Centrs—a modern shopping complex with stylish shops and restaurants; Audeju iela 16
  • Stockmann—a large department store spread out over four floors with men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes as well as tableware, textiles, toys, appliances, cosmetics, a florist, grocery store, and deli; 13 Janvara Str. 8
  • Alfa Centrs—a Norwegian owned shopping mall that is the largest shopping center in Latvia with an H&M, a supermarket, and an Apple Store; Brivibas 372
  • Basteja Pasaza—a collection of European boutiques with high-quality and high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories stores; Valnu iela 12
  • Jana Rozes Gramatnica—named after and established by a famous Latvian publisher in the early 20th century who died in Siberia in 1942 and had his company nationalized until 1988 and in 1992 denationalized, this bookstore has Latvian books and books in English, German, French, Russian, Russian, and other languages; K. Barona 5
  • Ekovirtuve—an organic food store with locally produced food such as preservative-free organic produce and meats and a restaurant that serves organic, vegan, and vegetarian dishes; Rupniecibas iela 11
  • Proud 2B—a globally recognized brand with modern, comfortable, affordable, and basic clothing by designers; Dzirnavu iela 84
  • Apavi 40+–a women’s and men’s plus-size footwear store with shoes produced in Latvia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, the UK, and Finland; Kr. Valdemara street 38
  • Baltu Rotas (Baltic Jewelry)—owned by famed Latvian jewelers Inita and Vitauts Straupe, this gallery reproduces classic Baltic and Scandinavian designs as well as designs original pieces; Grecinieku iela 11-2
  • Bergs Bazaar—a shopping district with eclectic boutiques, furniture stores, an upscale hotel, an angling shop, and restaurants; Marijas iela 13/4
  • Globuss—a bookstore with English books, dictionaries, grammar texts, and English language literature; Dzirnavu iela 67
  • Domina—a shopping center with 110,000 square meters of clothing, footwear, and lifestyle apparel as well as a supermarket; Ieriku 3
  • Mols—an American-style mall with European chain stores and a food court; Krasta 46
  • Blow—a designer clothing store with names such as Alexander McQueen and Dolce and Gabbana at affordable prices; Barona iela 16
  • Medus Istaba—a small family-run business that sells honey, wax, and bee-related products; Peterbaznicas Str. 17
  • Hobbywool—a knitwear shop with knitted scarves, mittens, and garments; Maza Pils iela 6
  • Kalnciema Quarter Farmers Market—a farmer’s market with a variety of food stalls and craft vendors; Kalnciema iela 35
  • Robert’s Books—a secondhand English bookstore and café that hosts concerts, talks, and readings; Dzirnavu iela 51
  • Spice—a large mall with European brands such as H&M, Debenhams, and Zara, small stores, restaurants, and cafes; Lielirbes iela 29
  • Miesai—an independent design company from the Baltic region with simple everyday designs; Gertrudes iela 121
  • Glass Point—a glass art studio and shop that sells locally made artwork and designs; Pernavas Street 33
  • ETMO—a contemporary Latvian design shop with products for the home, clothing, and accessories; 4 Torna Street
  • RIIJA—a Latvian design boutique with a variety of products by Latvian designers such as bed linens, towels, clothing, furniture, tableware, and lighting fixtures; Terbatas iela 6/8
  • Manilla—a paper, stationery, and gift shop with home accessories, greeting cards, calligraphy items, toys, art supplies, and stationery; Terbatas iela 55
  • Chocolate No. 1—a chocolate café with chocolate products, hot chocolate, muffins, coffee, and a chocolatery; Blaumana iela 38/40
  • Cetras Zoles—a stylish discount clothing and shoe store; Terbatas iela 13
  • Dzenis Amber—an amber jeweler; Ratslaukums 7
  • Doma Antikvariats—an antique shop specializing in high-end antiques such as paintings, furniture, jewelry, icons, silver, porcelain, and antique medals; Smilsu iela 8
  • Love Riga—a Latvian souvenir shop with trinkets and other mementos; Audeju iela 5
  • Origo—a shopping center with name brands such as Nike and New Balance, clothing stores, bookstores, cafes, and restaurants; Stacijas laukums 2
  • EGLE Crafts Market—a crafts market with souvenirs, amber products, wooden goods, jewelry, wool, and leather goods; Kalku iela 1a
  • Page—a book store with a curated selection of books, magazines, writing tools, prints, and paper products; Miera iela 4
  • MusMaja (Our Home)—a souvenir shop with printed postcards and gift items; Kaleju Street 7
  • Boutique Maripol—a fur store with fur jackets, vests, and hats; Stabu iela 20

 

Sights in Riga, Latvia

Riga is an historic city with a sad history of occupation by Sweden, the Soviet Union, and Nazi forces during World War II but has many parks, memorials, monuments, and museums worth checking out to see how the city’s past has shaped its present appearance.

  • Riga Motormuseum—a recently renovated museum with the largest and most diverse vintage motor vehicle collection in the Baltic region with over 100 automobiles and motorcycles as well as interactive exhibits, virtual reality simulations, a children’s play area, a museum café, and a gift shop; Sergeja Eizenshteina Iela 8
  • Vermanes Garden—a scenic garden with colorful flowers that have different colors and textures; Terbatas Iela 2D
  • Mezaparks—a spacious large park with a zoo, restaurants, forested areas, bike paths, and a lake; Mezaparks
  • Zanis Lipke Memorial—a museum dedicated to Zanis Lipke, a Latvian who with his family helped save the lives of 50 Jewish individuals during the Holocaust and smuggled them to safety via an underground railway; Mazais Balasta Dambis 8
  • Latvian National Museum of Art—the largest depository of professional art in Latvia with five floors of works by Latvian artists and beautiful architectural design inside and outside; 1 Janis Rozentals Square
  • Nativity of Christ Cathedral—a beautiful cathedral with a golden dome and many treasures inside such as gold cupolas and Russian Orthodox iconography; Brivibas bulvaris 23
  • Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum—an outdoor museum that shows how Latvians in the countryside lived; Brivibas gatve 440
  • Musee Art Nouveau—an apartment with ten rooms furnished in the Art Nouveau style with descriptions written in several languages; Alberta iela 12
  • Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum—a museum that highlights the story of the Holocaust in Latvia and has a house that was in a Jewish ghetto; Maskavas iela 14a
  • Riga Cathedral—originally built in 1270 as a bishop’s cathedral, this cathedral features a large organ built around 1884 that has 6,768 pipes, one of the largest in the world; Herdera laukums 6
  • National Library of Latvia—a repository of national and world literature with the majority of the 4 million items in the collection consisting of Latvian and foreign publications about Latvia and Latvians; 3 Mukusalas Street
  • Museum of the Occupation of Latvia—an educational institution established in 1993 to display artifacts, documents, and educational exhibits about the 51 years that Latvia was occupied by the USSR and Nazi Germany; Raina bulvaris 7
  • Pareizticico katedrale—a restored Russian Orthodox church with glistening gold domes and an interior with icons and ornate décor
  • Art Museum Riga Bourse—an art museum with a small permanent collection consisting of an Oriental section, Ancient Egyptian exhibition, and other treasures from around the world as well as temporary exhibitions; Dome Square 6
  • Freedom Monument—a statue completed in 1935 to commemorate Latvian independence that depicts the image of Liberty holding three stars in her hands to symbolize unity; 1 Brivivas iela
  • Museum of Riga’s History and Navigation—a museum that takes visitors through 1000 years of Riga’s history with a variety of artifacts some prehistoric; Palasta iela 4
  • Riga Zoo—a small zoo with a polar bear, tropical house, giraffe house, a reptile room, and insect room; Meza prospekts 1
  • Latvian War Museum—a large museum with each floor focusing on a different war or theme with temporary exhibitions as well; Smilshu iela 20
  • Cat House—a popular attraction that depicts the story of a Latvian homeowner who was denied membership in the Great Guild and then built two cat sculptures on his roof with their backsides facing the Guild and their tails straight up in the air; Meistaru iela 19
  • Railway History Museum—a museum that illustrates the history of train operating systems, telephones, telegraphs, and the work at a railway line and models such as a German steam engine, snow plows, and a prison coach; 2/4 Uzvaras Boulevard
  • Swedish Gate—the only surviving city gate of Riga which was built into the city wall in 1698 during Swedish rule; Torna iela 11
  • World of Hat Museum—the only museum dedicated to hats in the world containing exhibits from around the world including hats, bonnets, and headbands; Vilandes iela 7
  • Jewish Museum—a museum dedicated to the history of Latvia’s Jewish community from the first Jews in Latvia in the 16th century to the events of the Holocaust; Skolas iela 6
  • Rumbula Forest Memorial—this forest was the site where thousands of Jews were forced to march to and were then shot and dumped in mass graves and is now a memorial with a large menorah surrounded by rough stones; Maskavas iela
  • ZINOO Riga—a children’s museum with over 100 interactive science exhibits and games; Dzirnavu iela 67
  • Modes Muzejs—a fashion museum with interactive hands-on exhibits for children and adults that displays clothing styles throughout the years; Grecinieku iela 24
  • Sun Museum—the only European museum dedicated to the sun which explores how different cultures depict the sun; Valnu iela 30
  • Botanisches Garten des Universitaets—a beautiful botanic garden with tropical houses, greenhouses, trees, and flowers; Kandavas iela 2
  • Great Choral Synagogue Memorial—a moving memorial that shows the ruins of a synagogue burned to the ground with hundreds of Jewish worshippers inside during the Holocaust; Gogola iela 25
  • Melngalvju Nams—the Gothic Blackheads House built in 1344 as a hotel for wayfaring merchants who wore black hats that was leveled by the Soviets in 1948 and renovated and reopened in 2000 for Riga’s 800th anniversary with a Dutch Renaissance façade; Ratslaukums 7
  • Okupacijas Muzejs—the Latvian Occupation museum which depicts the devastation of Latvia by Nazi and Soviet forces during World War II and the Latvian struggle for independence in September 1991 with a monument to the Latvian sharpshooters who protected Lenin during the 1917 revolution outside; Strelnieku laukums 1

Shopping in Rome

Rome is not one of the most affordable cities to shop in but could be fun just to browse at designer ateliers and fashion houses and see if anything strikes your fancy. Here is just a sampling of the many stores you can check out during your trip to Rome:

  • A. Testoni—named after the brand’s founder and original designer, this shoe store sells his artistic and comfortable footwear for men and women as well as color-coordinated messenger bags; Via del Babuino 152
  • Ai Monasteri—a shop selling traditional items made by Italian friars and monks including liqueurs, herbal decoctions, toiletries, colognes for children, and jams; Corso del Rinascimento 72a
  • Al Sogno—a high-quality toy store with an emphasis on artistic and multisensory toys such as puppets, dolls, masks, stuffed animals, and illustrated books; Piazza Navona 53
  • Almost Corner Bookshop—a tiny bookshop with a great selection of books from best sellers to translated Italian classics; Via del Moro 45
  • Anglo-American Book Co.—an inviting English-language bookstore with over 45,000 books that has a varied selection including textbooks, fiction, and nonfiction; Via della Vite 102
  • Anteprima—a clothing store with African and Roma inspired clothing such as day and evening dresses and separates; Via delle Quattro Fontane 38-40
  • Antica Caciara Trasteverina—a deli with ham, salami, Sicilian anchovies, burrata cheese, and local wines; Via San Francesco a Ripa 140 a/b
  • Antica Erboristeria Romana—the oldest apothecary in Rome dating back to 1752 with teas and herbal infusions as well as essential oils, bud derivatives, and powdered extracts; Via Torre Argentina 15
  • Arsenale—run by designer Patrizia Pieroni, this high-end clothing store sells stylish overcoats, bustiers, and flowy dresses; Via del Pellegrino 172
  • Art Prive—a small jewelry shop run by designer Tiziana Salzano makes chunky multistrand torsade necklaces; Via Leonina 8
  • Bartolucci—a toy store with handmade items made from pine by a family that has been designing its products for over 60 years which include items such as cuckoo clocks, bookends, bedside lamps, wall hangings, and a child-size wooden vintage car; Via del Pastini 98
  • Berte—one of the oldest toy stores in Rome that carries a large selection of dolls, stuffed animals, Legos, and other collectibles; Piazza Navona 108
  • Borsalino Boutique—a haberdasher with distinguished fedoras that have been worn by movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper; Piazza del Popolo 20
  • Braccialini—this family-run handbag shop sells uniquely shaped bags such as little gold taxis, Santa Fe stagecoaches, appliqued leather beach bags, and themed creature bags; Via Mario De’Fiori 73
  • Brighenti—a sumptuous Italian clothing store with a marble floor and huge crystal chandelier suspended overhead and items such as silk nightgowns, pajamas, and vintage-inspired swimsuits; Via Frattina 7/8
  • Brioni—founded in 1945, this internationally renowned menswear designer is known for its custom-made suits worn by clients such as Clark Gable and Barack Obama; Via del Babuino 38/40
  • Buccone—a wine shop located in the former coach house of a Marquis that has 10 layers of shelves packed with wines and rare vintage wines as well as sweets, biscuits, and packaged candy; Via di Ripetta 19/20
  • Bulgari—a world-renowned jeweler that designs jewelry that is colorful, playful, and well-crafted; Via dei Condotti 10
  • Cartoleria Pantheon Dal 1910—a stationery shop with fine handmade paper, stock paper, artisanal sheets of handcrafted Amalfi paper, and hand-bound leather journals; Via della Rotonda 15
  • Castelli Profumerie—an Italian perfume shop with labels such as Acqua di Parma, Bois 1920, Bond No.9, and Comme de Garcons and a knowledgeable staff who really knows the store’s products; Via Frattina 18 and 54
  • Castroni—an international food shop with delicacies from around the world such as Twinings teas and exotic Spanish spices as well as a large variety of coffees, teas, and candies; Via Cola di Rienzo 196
  • Ceramiche Musa—a ceramic accent and tile store with tiles made in Vietri, a region known for its high-quality clays and traditional ceramics; Via di Campo Marzio 39
  • Cesari—a bridal clothing and home store with fabrics such as velvets, silks, cottons, damasks, and taffeta and a personalized line of bedspreads, tablecloths, lingerie, and embroidered linens; Via del Babuino 193
  • Coin—a department store with upscale designs including accessories, handbags, cosmetics, and clothes for men, women, and children as well as cookware items; Via Cola di Rienzo 173
  • Davide Cenci—a major Italian fashion designer known for impeccably tailored and custom-designed clothing that sells men’s and women’s clothing for a variety of occasions with items such as sailing sportswear and trench coats; Via Campo Marzio 1-7
  • Delfina Delettrez—a Roman designer who creates edgy accessories that are inspired by the human body that blend skulls, wild animals, and botanical elements in her jewelry; Via del Governo Vecchio 67
  • Eddy Monetti—an upscale men’s store that sells jackets, sweaters, slacks, and ties made of wool, cotton, and cashmere; Via Borgognona 36
  • Elena Miro—a high-end women’s plus clothing store that sells sophisticated clothing for women sizes 12 and up; Via Frattina 11-12
  • Enoteca Al Parlamento Achilli—located close to Montecitorio, the Italian Parliament building, this wine shop, restaurant, and food shop is popular with journalists and political figures; Via dei Prefetti 15
  • Ermenegildo Zegna—an internationally recognized men’s clothing designer of well-made suits; Via dei Condotti 58
  • Ex Libris—one of the oldest rare bookstores in Rome that is known for its selection of scholarly and collectible books from the 16th to 21st centuries including editions on art and architecture, music and theater, literature and humanities, maps, and prints; Via dell’Umilta 77/a
  • Fendi—an Italian fashion powerhouse since 1925 now owned by the Louis Vuitton group and once run by Karl Lagerfeld that is known for its collections mixing textures and fabrics; Largo Carlo Goldoni 419-421
  • Fratelli Rossetti—a shoe store known for its classically styled men’s and women’s leather shoes, loafers, and pumps; Via Borgognona 5/a
  • Frette—a bedding store that has been a major supplier of linens and towels for homes and hotels since 1860; Piazza di Spagna 11
  • Furla—a high-quality handbag store known for its affordable prices; Piazza di Spagna 22
  • Galassia—a women’s designer clothing store with stylish clothing by designers such as Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, and Yamamoto; Via Frattina 20
  • Galleria Alberto Sordi—a beautiful covered shopping arcade opened in 1922 with sophisticated shops and cafes; Via del Corso 79
  • Giorgio Armani—a world renowned designer known for his silhouettes and deeply cut dresses and stylish menswear; Via dei Condotti 77-79
  • Gucci—one of the most glamorous labels in the world known for its classic styles and trendy clothing regularly worn by celebrities; Via dei Condotti 8
  • Hydra 2—a popular store for Italian teens and college students known for its statement pieces; Via Urbana 139
  • Ibiz-Artigianato In Cuoio—a father-daughter team that creates stylish leather handbags, belts, and sandals; Via dei Chiavari 39
  • Il Forum Termini—a shopping center located inside Rome’s largest train station, Stazione Termini, that has over 100 shops including Benetton, Nike, Mango, L’Occitane, Sephora, and bookstores with decent selections of English language classics and best sellers; Stazione Termini
  • Il Papiro—a paper shop that sells writing materials and hand-decorated papers made using a 17th century marbleized technique; Via del Pantheon 50
  • Il Sellaio Serafini Pelletteria—a family business known for its handmade leather bags, shoes, and belts; Via Caio Mario 14
  • Krizia—run by designer Mariuccia Mandelli, this clothing store has been run by many stylists over the years and is now back to its original style of clothing; Piazza di Spagna 87
  • L’ Anatra All’Arancia—a stylish clothing store that sells designer clothing by Marina Spadafora, Antik Batik, See by Chloe, and the store’s owner (Donatella Baroni) as well as perfumes and jewelry; Via Tiburtina 105
  • La Bottega del Cioccolata—a chocolatier that makes chocolate candies and treats; Via Leonina 82
  • La Citta del Sole—a toy store with fair-trade and eco-friendly toys along with classic and vintage toys arranged by age group such as puzzles, gadgets, books, and child-friendly toys; Via della Scrofa 65
  • La Feltrinelli—a major Italian bookstore with three floors of books including some in English, music, postcards, holiday items, and small gifts; Piazza Colonna 31/35
  • La Perla—a lingerie store with beautiful lingerie and underwear that is stylish and romantic; Via Bocce di Leone 28
  • La Rinascente—Italy’s most well-known department store that sells cosmetics, designer sportswear, handbags, and accessories; Galleria Alberto Sordi, Piazza Colonna
  • Laura Biagotti—a prominent Italian designer of cashmere pullovers, cardigans, and dresses as well as men’s and women’s perfumes; Via Mario de’Fiori 26
  • Le Gallinelle—a small boutique that sells classy retro-inspired clothing; Via Panisperna 61
  • Le IV Stagioni—a ceramics store with traditional Italian pottery, glazed pots, vases, and ceramic flower wall ornaments; Via dell’Umilta 30/b
  • Le Tartarughe—designer Susanna Liso’s clothing store that sells haute couture and ready to wear lines that mix fabrics such as raw silks or cashmeres and fine merino wool together; Via Pie di Marmo 17
  • Libreria IBS—a bookstore/café that is known for its discounted secondhand books and also sells a small selection of English paperbacks and DVDs; Via Nazionale 254-255
  • Libreria del Viaggiatore—a small bookstore that sells guidebooks, maps, travel journals, and poetry from around the world in English, French, and Italian; Via del Pellegrino 165
  • MMM-Massimo Maria Melis—a jeweler who is known for incorporating ancient Roman and Etruscan designs into his jewelry and frequently using antique coins in his bracelets and necklaces; Via dell’Orso 57
  • Mado—a top vintage designer of eccentric and unique dresses, gowns, and other clothing pieces; Via del Governo Vecchio 89/a
  • Marisa Padovan—a destination for custom lingerie and bathing suits; Via delle Carrozze 81-82
  • Mikiway—an eclectic clothing, jewelry, and accessories store with designs by up-and-coming Italian fashion designers; Via del Boschetto 40b
  • Mimmo Siviglia—a tailor known for his custom-made dress shirts and attentive customer service; Via Urbana 14a
  • Missoni—a family-run internationally recognized label that has bohemian knit designs with patterns such as zigzags, waves, and stripes, elegant evening attire, and swimsuits; Piazza di Spagna 78
  • Moriondo E Gariglio—a family business recognized for its chocolate delicacies made from family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation; Via Pie di Marmo 21
  • Murano Piu—a shop famous for its handblown Venetian glass pieces including Murano jewelry, tableware, vases, and chandeliers; Corso Rinascimento 53/55
  • Patrizia Pepe—a clothing store that sells trendy fashions such as jeans, jackets with oversize lapels, and high heels; Via Frattina 44
  • Pifebo—a popular vintage clothing store with a great selection of clothing from the 70s, 80s, and 90s; Via dei Serpenti 141
  • Pinco Pallino—a children’s clothing store with nice clothing for boys and girls as well as a cute line for babies and toddlers; Via Vittoria 35
  • Pineider—an exclusive stationery store opened in 1774 that uses fine Florentine leather for its wallets, briefcases, and desk accessories; Via di Fontanella Borghese 22
  • Prada—a clothing, handbags, lingerie, and accessories label renowned for its blend of European luxury with modern finesse; Via dei Condotti 88/90 (men’s) and 92/95 (women’s)
  • Pure Sermoneta—a designer clothing store for children ages newborn to 12 with labels such as Fendi, Diesel, Dior, Juicy Couture, Nolita, and Miss Blumarine; Via Frattina 111
  • Quattrocolo—an historic shop opened in 1938 that showcases micro-mosaic jewelry crafted in the style perfected by artisans at the Vatican mosaic studio as well as 18th and 19th century cameo and engraved stones; Via della Scrofa 48
  • Rachele—a small children’s clothing store run by a Swedish designer who makes only two of each item for toddlers up to age 12; Vicolo del Bollo 6-7
  • Renard—a leather boutique that creates its leather blazers, trench coats, and skirts from leathers tanned with natural extracts; Via dei Due Macelli 53
  • Replay—a casual-chic clothing store for young adults with jeans and T-shirts with American sports teams emblazoned on them; Via della Rotonda 24
  • SBU—a menswear fashion label popular with celebrities and members of the A-list that sells jeans, casual apparel, shoes, and sportswear; Via di San Pantaleo 68-69
  • Saddlers Union—a pricey Italian handbag store known for their leather handbags made on-site supervised by one of the shop’s original artisans; Via Margutta 11
  • Salvatore Ferragamo—a major fashion label internationally recognized for its footwear that also sells handbags, leather goods, men’s and women’s clothing, scarves, and ties; Via dei Condotti 65 (men’s) and 73/74 (women’s)
  • Save the Queen—a beautiful clothing store with exotic and creative clothing for women with frills, cutouts, and textures; Via del Babuino 49
  • Savelle Arte E Tradizione—a family business that sells religious gifts and trinkets and specializes in rosaries, crosses, religious artwork, statues, and papal memorabilia; Via Paolo VI 27
  • Schostal—a clothing store that sells fine-quality shirts, underwear, and handkerchiefs made of wool and cashmere; Via Fontanella Borghese 29
  • Society—the flagship store for Limonta, one of the most famous and historic Italian textile brands that uses rare and desirable fabrics to give their designs a vintage appearance; Piazza di Pasquino 4
  • Spazio IF—run by designers Irene and Carlo Ferrara, this clothing store works with unique designers and artists with an emphasis on Sicilian designs such as hand-cut handbags, swimsuits, designer textiles, jewelry, and sportswear; Via dei Coronari 44a
  • Superga—a shoe store known for its classic sneakers in a variety of colors and a popular model worn by celebrities such as Katie Holmes and Kelly Brook; Via delle Vite 86
  • Taro—a clothing store that sells handmade knitwear made from rare yarns and bold colors such as tunics, sleeveless jackets, shawls, and pants; Via di Ripetta 144
  • Tebro—a classic Roman department store that specializes in household linens and sleepwear; Via dei Prefetti 48
  • Tod’s—a global shoe powerhouse known for its simple and classic designs; Via Fontanella di Borghese 56a-57
  • Trimani Vinai a Roma Dal 1821—a wine and spirits store with one of Rome’s largest selections of Italian wines as well as champagne, spumante, grappa, and liqueurs; Via Goito 20
  • Valentino—an Italian fashion powerhouse known for its shoes, gowns, and accessories; Via dei Condotti 15
  • Versace—the flagship store of the international label with Byzantine-inspired mosaic floors and futuristic interiors as well as its clothing, apparel, jewelry, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, and home furnishings; Piazza di Spagna 12
  • Vestiti Usati Cinzia—a vintage clothing store with fun 60s and 70s apparel, sunglasses, shoes, and accessories; Via del Governo Vecchio 45

Heads up–Dublin guide coming out tomorrow!

I apologize for the delay in new posts–I have been diligently writing and researching my guide to Dublin and will have it out for you tomorrow, I promise! Thanks for bearing with me and as always, thank you for supporting and reading my blog!

Sights in Berlin, Germany

Berlin is the capital of Germany and is very industrial in nature but does have some landmarks such as the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and a large complex of museums, galleries, and a performance hall known as Kulturforum. A visit there could yield some surprises and it has a history worth exploring.

  • Aquadom and Sea Life Berlin—a commercial aquarium with indoor tanks that feature native marine life with waterfront urban scenes, starfish petting tanks, overhead tanks, and a submarine room with a glass elevator that takes visitors through a fish tank to the exit; Spandauer Str. 3
  • Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)—a large cathedral originally built in 1905 that is the largest 20th century Protestant church in Germany with a wide stairwell that leads up to the dome, historic photos and models, and sarcophagi of Prussian royals; Am Lustgarten 1
  • Berliner Fernsehtrum (TV Tower)—a 1,207-feet-high tower that is higher than western Berlin’s broadcasting tower and the Eiffel Tower with an observation level where you can see for 25 miles and a rotating restaurant; Panoramastr. 1a
  • Berlinische Galerie—a Berlin-centric museum with modern art, photography, architectural models and plans, and artists’ archives; Alte Jakobstr. 124-128
  • Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)—a top landmark in Berlin that is a gateway to Berlin since the dismantling of the Berlin Wall where the Unification Day and New Year’s Eve parties are held—only one gate remains out of the 14 built between 1788 and 1791 by Carl Langhans and faces an historic square, Pariser Platz that houses bank headquarters, the French embassy, and the federal parliament offices; Pariser Platz
  • Britzer Garten—named after its surrounding neighborhood (Britz), this is a large park where seasonal floral exhibitions are held and home to small brooks, streams, and other waterways; Buckower Damm 146
  • Brunnenplatz—a sprawling castle with turrets and gables inspired by a real castle that is the district courthouse and a local park with mosaics, decorative flower beds, and a central fountain
  • Contemporary Fine Arts—a modern art museum housed in a very modern building that highlights Berlin-based artists and other major artists; Am Kupfergraben 10
  • DDR Museum—a museum that highlights life in socialist East Germany with a recreation of an East German kitchen, a simulated ride in a Trabi (the only car average East Germans were allowed to own), and a walk inside an interrogation cell; Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1
  • Denkmal Fur Die Ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) —a memorial for the Jews killed during the reign of the Nazis during the Holocaust designed by an American architect with more than 2700 concrete slabs and an underground information center about the Holocaust; Cora-Berliner Str. 1
  • Deutsches Historiches Museum (German History Museum)—a combination of a theater that shows German and international films and a museum that provides an overview of German history since the early Middle Ages; Unter den Linden 2
  • Deutsches Technikmuseum (German Museum of Technology)—a museum with several floors of machinery including two airplane rooms, train sheds, and an historical brewery; Trebbiner Str. 9
  • Ehemalige Judische Madchenschule—a brick building that once was a Jewish girls’ school and a military hospital during WWII that is now after some neglect a multiplex with art galleries, restaurants, a bar, and a Jewish deli that serves Jewish delicacies; Auguststr. 11-13
  • Galeria Plan B—an art gallery that showcases unique Eastern European art; Potsdamerstr. 77-87, Building G, 2nd courtyard
  • Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial Site)—memorials as well as a museum and research center on the Berlin Wall along with the Reconciliation Chapel; Bernauer Str. 111
  • Gemaldegalerie (Picture Gallery)—one of Germany’s top art galleries with a large collection of European paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries with seven rooms dedicated to paintings by German artists, a special collection showcasing Italian artists, and the world’s second largest Rembrandt collection; Kulturforum, Matthaikirchpl
  • Hamburger Banhof-Museum fur Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art)—a remodeled train station that has post-1960 modern Western art with a permanent collection including installations by German artists Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer as well as paintings by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and others along with the largest and most valuable collection of contemporary art in the world; Invalidenstr 50-51
  • Heilandskirche Sacrow—a lakeside church with a bell tower and colonnade that was closed from 1961 to 1989 by the East German government due to the fact that it was perceived as a possible hiding place for those trying to flee; Fahrstr, Potsdam
  • Kulturforum—a collection of museums, galleries, and the Philharmonic Hall that includes the Gemaldegalerie (Picture Gallery), the Kunstbibliotek (Art Library), the Kupferstichkabinett (Print Cabinet), the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), the Philharmonie, the Muskinstrumenten Museum (Musical Instruments Museum), and the Staatsbibliotek (National Library)
  • Mauermuseum—Museum Haus AM Checkpoint Charlie—a museum that depicts the history of the Berlin Wall and those who tried to escape through, under, and over it with human rights exhibits and paintings included as well; Friedrichstr. 43-45
  • Museuminsel (Museum Island)—located on the site of Berlin’s two original settlements, this complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site with the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Bode-Museum, the Pergamonmuseum, and the Neues Museum (New Museum)
  • Spy Museum—a newer museum opened in September 2015 that has interactive exhibits from Biblical times to the present that provide overviews of military interrogation techniques and the secret services as well as fictional spies; Leipziger Pl. 9

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