10 Stockholm’s museums with free entrance

10 Stockholm’s museums with free entrance

Few years ago, Swedish government decided that every person should have equal access to cultural heritage in Sweden and made many of museum free of charge. That make a Sweden a good destination for travellers who love wandering around exhibitions and learn about different things.

Most of the museums with free access you will find in the capital of Sweden – Stockholm. In this post you will find the list of them.

1. Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet)

Address: Frescativägen 40, 114 18 Stockholm

How to get there: The easiest way to reach the museum is by subway, get off on Universitet station, walk around 5 minutes

Website: https://www.nrm.se/en/16

Opening hours:

Due to Covid-19 restriction you need to pre-book your entry. You can do it on the museum’s website. Possibility times of visiting:

Tuesday – Friday:

 1st entry: 12:15 p.m. – 02:30 p.m.

2nd entry: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday- Sunday

1st entry: 10 am – 12:30 p.m.

2nd entry: 01:15 p.m. – 03:30 p.m.

3rd entry:4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Note: Required pre- booking of ticket (free of charge)

Swedish Museum of Natural History is one of my favourites in Stockholm. It is located in a beautiful building, with several floors full of exhibitions. You can find there  among others Swedish Nature, Life in Water, Diversity of Life Polar Regions and more. My favourite exhibition is one about dinosaurs and pre-history.

2. Museum of Ethnography (Etnografiska museet)

Address: Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 34, Stockholm

How to get there: The easiest way to reach museum is by bus 69 from Sergels Torg, get out on bus stop called Museiparken. If you like to walk you can also take a subway to Kungsträdgårdet, walk through Strandvägen, Diplomatparken and along Djurgårdsbrunnsviken. The walk will take around 30 minutes.

Website: https://www.etnografiskamuseet.se/en/

Opening hours: Please check if there are not any changes due to COVID-19)

Thursday – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Monday – Wednesday closed

Note: Some of exhibitions are not available due to COVID – 19, there is also a limitation of visitors

After living for 6 years in Stockholm, finally I managed to visit Museum of Ethnography.  

It is a middle-size museum with interesting exhibition about different cultures. You can find there exhibits from around the world showing differences between ways of living. Exhibits were collected during 18th century  as well as exhibits collected by Sven Hedin during his round the world sailing trip in the early 20th century.

It is a nice museum for visit while walking around Djurgården.

3. The Marine Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet)

Address: Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 24, Stockholm

How to get there: The easiest way to reach museum is by bus 69 from Sergels Torg , get out on bus stop called Museiparken. If you like to walk you can also take a subway to Kungsträdgårdet, walk through Strandvägen, Diplomatparken and along Djurgårdsbrunnsviken. The walk will take around 30 minutes.

Website: https://www.sjohistoriska.se/en

Opening hours:

Thursday – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Monday – Wednesday: closed

Note: Right now, museum is still closed for the public due to COVID -19 restrictions. For more information check the website.


This museum is as well one of my favourite museums is Stockholm. I was always fascinated by ships and sea voyages which were a first option of traveling. In the museum you can find many exhibits from voyages, seaman’s life as well as models of different ships, weapons and much more. According to the museum’s website ¨ merchant shipping history and naval history collections can compare with the finest in the world. They comprise some 100,000 objects, including over 1500 models of ships and boats.

Visiting museum plan to have minimum two hours to enjoy it.

4. The Swedish History Museum (Historiska Museet)

Address: Narvavägen 13-17, Stockholm

How to get there: The easiest way to reach museum is by bus 69 from Sergels Torg or tram 7, get out on bus stop called Djurgårdsbron.  You can reach museum as well by subway (red line), stop on Karlaplan or Östermalmstorg.

Website: https://historiska.se/home/

Opening hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum show through their 11 exhibitions history of world from Stone Age until modern times. You can learn among others about history of Sweden, medieval art, music and even massacres.

5. The Economy Museum - Royal Coin Cabinet (Kungliga myntkabinettet)

Address: Narvavägen 13-17, Stockholm

How to get there:  You will find this museum in History Museum building. You can get there walking from subway stations Östermalmstorg or Karlaplan (red line). If you do not like walk so much you can take a bus 67 and drop – off on the bus stop called Historiska Museet.

Website: https://ekonomiskamuseet.se/

Opening hours:  Please check if there are any changes due to COVID-19

Monday: closed

Tuesday – Sunday: 11 a.m – 5 p.m

Wednesday: 11 a.m – 8 p.m

I have visited this museum many years ago, when was still located in front of the castle in the old town. Making research before writing the post I realised that they change concept of this museum as well there will be available new exhibitions among other about hyperinflation. I look forward to visiting this place again and learn more about economy and its history. You can also find there money from different places and different times in history.

6. Army Museum (Armémuseum)

Address: Riddargatan 13, Stockholm

How to get there: Take a subway to station Kungsträdgården (blue line) or Östermalmstorg (red line), walk around 10 minutes from Kungsträdgården and 5 minutes from Östermalm.  

Website: https://www.armemuseum.se/

Opening hours: Please check if there are any changes due to COVID-19

Monday: closed

Thursday – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

If you are intrested in war and army history, you will like this museum. You can find there three floors filled with interesting exhibitions from medieval time until nowadays. You can learn how war and conflicts affect humanity, follow develop of weapons as well as learn Raoul Wallenberg history, who helped over 20 000 people during II World War.

What I like about this museum is that every time I learn something new visiting it. In the museum is possible to see as well special exhibitions (changeable theme). Entry for extra exhibitions is paid. However, the las ne about Secret Agent Women costed 50 SEK (around 4,50€).

7. The Royal Armory (Livrustkammaren)

Address: Slottsbacken 3, Stockholm

How to get there:  Museum is located at the Royal Palace. You can take the subway and drop – off at Kungsträdgården station (blue line), then walk around 10 minutes or if you travel by red or green line, I recommend getting out at Gamla Stan station and take walk through Stockholm’s beautiful old town before visiting museum.

Website: http://livrustkammaren.se

Opening hours:  Please check if there are any changes due to COVID-19

Monday: closed

Tuesday – Sunday: 11 a.m – 5 p.m

Thursday: 11 a.m – 8 p.m

Have you been dreaming as a child to become a princess or a prince? Most of us did that even if we do not remember it 😉. This place allowed you to enter a royal world of kings, and queens. You can see how royalty used to dress before, how they had been travelling and more. As it was an original Swedish armoury you will see there as well ceremonial equipment, weapons, and costumes. According to Wikipedia it is the oldest museum in Stockholm.

8. Medieval Museum (Medeltidsmuseet)

Address: Strömparterren 3, Stockholm

How to get there:  Museum is located under Norrbo, between Royal Palace and Opera. You can take the subway and drop – off at Kungsträdgården station (blue line), then walk around 10 minutes or if you travel by red or green line, I recommend to get out at Gamla Stan station and take walk through Stockholm’s beautiful old town before visiting museum.

Website: https://medeltidsmuseet.stockholm.se/in-english/

Opening hours:  The museum is temporarily closed due to the Corona situation. I will update you as soon as museum will be open again.

Do you like Medieval times? In this museum history comes alive again. An interesting fact is that this museum is built around largest excavation in Stockholm. It is worth to visit.

9. National Museum (Nationalmuseum)

Address: Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2

How to get there:  You can take the subway and drop – off at Kungsträdgården station (blue line), take exit towards Skärgårdsbåtarna walk around 10 minutes.

Website: https://www.nationalmuseum.se/en/

Opening hours: The museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic situation.However, they have opened a paid exhibition ¨Zorn – A Swedish Superstar¨

I have not been in that museum yet. I am looking forward to visiting it as soon as will be open. The National Museum is focus mostly on art and design.

10. Museum of Mediterranean and near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet)

Address: Fredsgatan 2, Stockholm

How to get there:  The museum is in the middle of central Stockholm. The closest subway stations are T -Centralen and Kungsträdgården.

Website: https://www.medelhavsmuseet.se/en

Opening hours:  

Monday – Tuesday: closed

Wednesday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

I am so exited that this museum is open again. I do not know how it is possible that living 7 years in Stockholm I have not been there yet. It is one of four museums in Stockholm showing a world culture. It this particular one exhibition is focus on Mediterranean and near Eastern Antiquities. I am looking forward to visiting it.

That would be everything for today. I hope my list of free museum will help you to plan summer activities in Stockholm :D. 

See you on the road,


Västerås – an industrial city with its own charm

Västerås – an industrial city with its own charm

Year 2020 is over. It was a weird and different year that no one expected. Most of the world is still fighting with the pandemic and more countries are setting up more local restrictions and even full lockdowns.

I can say that I have luck living in Sweden, where we have not had tough restrictions nor have we had any lockdown. We can still travel around home as long as we keep distance from others and try to not travel during rush hours.

We took that possibility and decided to visit a nearby town, where Carlos used to work before, and hometown of a friend of mine. The industrial town with its own charm – Västerås

Västerås – where to find it

Västerås is a city located in central Sweden, on the shore of lake Mälaren around 100 km from Stockholm. The city is well connected with the capital by trains operated by SJ (company operating trains in Sweden), which gives a good possibility for people to commute between the two cities. A train trip takes around 1 hour and in rush hours there is a train departing every half an hour.  As I mentioned in the introduction, we tried to travel there while avoiding rush hours, but it was still easy due to trains departing once per hour.

Where to stay

As we live within an one-hour train trip from Västerås, we did not need accommodation there. However, as there are many big companies there like ABB, Hitachi, or Bombardier, you can find many accommodation options. I would even say that for the size of that city there is surprisingly many hotels there. You can easily book your accommodation here. (link to booking.com)

Due to the pandemic situation, before booking any accommodation check if it is open. Most people who need accommodation in Västerås are business travellers, which are not so common right now, resulting in some hotels being closed.  

Where to eat

I have been twice in Västerås until now, and we have visited four different places. Two restaurants for lunch, one café for coffee break and one for some drinks with a friend.

Kajens Café, Mälargatan 4Dl Västerås

Being first time in Västerås Carlos invited me to a place where he went before with his colleagues. It is a small café/restaurant with a beautiful view to the lake and tasty food. You can choose between Swedish cuisine like me or something more conventional like pizza or grilled panini.

I like this place. The food we ordered was tasty, the portions were more than enough, and the price was ok. We went there during lunch time, in which most restaurants have a special deal and most of the time coffee is included in the price.

Choys Garden, Smedjegatan 2 

During our second visit to Västerås Kajens Café was closed, so we needed to find another place. We decided to have some Asian cuisine at Choys Garden.

The place was ok, but I do not think that we will come back there. The food was cheap for Swedish standards. We paid around 100 SEK per person and it was a buffe, so you can eat as much as you want. However, as I am a person with small stomach and appetite, it is not a big deal for me. 

The biggest no, and the reason why we will not come back there, is that the place was a little bit dirty. I think it was due to few personnel, and at the time of our visit they had many customers. Maybe in different circumstances my impression would be different.

In Sweden Asian Buffe restaurants are commonand you can find minimum one in each city. After visiting one in Västerås during the pandemic, I think that these type of restaurants could have problems to adapt to a new ¨keep distance¨ restrictions.

During our visit there I saw a lot of people coming at the same time to the buffet, even though signs showed that maximum 4 people should be at the same time. The problem is also that everyone is serving food with the same spoons, so there is a risk of getting sick if some guests does not put attention to disinfecting their hands and keeping distance.

Global Living, Smedjegatan 13, Västerås

Global Living is a charming coffee break/lunch/evening drink place. We went there twice for FIKA 😊, so we tried only sweets and coffee. I can recommend the hot chocolate, which was one of the best that I have had in Sweden.

This place is special. You can find there ¨avant-garde design¨ and it is possible to purchase many of the furniture and accessories you see there as well. So, if you like any painting there it is only a matter of asking the staff about it 😊.

Bistro Gränden, Smedjegatan 7,

Bistro Gränden looks like a nice restaurant for a romantic dinner with your partner, or a place for evening drinks with friends. We visited it to spend time with a friend and wait in a warm place until it was time to take  our train back.

The place is nice and warm with a wide selection of food and drinks. We ordered 3 mojitos and some French fries. It was tasty and the price was good for Swedish standards. As I live in Stockholm, and I compare the price in Bistro Gränden to a similar restaurant in Stockholm, I would even say that the price there was surprisingly low.

I highly recommend this place and we will come back in the future. Maybe next time it will be for a romantic dinner 😊.

What to visit

Västmanland County Museum, Karlsgatan 2

The first place we visited in Västerås was the Västmanland County Museum. You can learn there about the region and city´s history, about how big impact the ABB Company had in the development of the city and much more.

We had the chance of seeing a special exhibition about the music band KISS, which for me was interesting and I had a lot of fun there.

It is an interesting museum with free admission, so of course I can recommend it. Remember that due to COVID-19 restrictions museums in Sweden are closed to the public until January 25th 2021.

Aviation Museum, Hässlögatan 16

I learned about this museum while writing this post for you, and I have not had the chance to visit it yet due to COVID-19. As soon as the museum opens, I will visit it and share my experience with you.

It is an aircraft museum with most of its exhibitions in airworthy condition. I have been in many aviation museums and I really like them, so this one stays on my list 😊

Admission fee: 100 SEK

You can find more information about the museum here 

Djäkneberget, Djäknebergsgatan 10

I think this is my favourite place in Västerås. One of the highest points in city, with a beautiful view over the old town and lake Mälaren.

If you like to spend time outdoors, it is a great place for a walk, picnic or even a date with a sunset. It is a city park in which you can find a restaurant, a mini golf, and a playground for children. I know from my friend, who lives in Västerås, that this is a popular place for celebrations like Valborg or Midsommar.

I recommend you a game of finding all runestones in the park and read the inscriptions on them 😀 Reserve a lot of time, because they are around 500 of them.

You can also visit more places like:

  • Kokpunkten – Aqua Park
  • Birdsafari Sweden,
  • Botaniskaträdgården,
  • Anundshög

Västerås is  one of the towns that has stolen my heart even during a rainy day, which does not happen often. I am sure that we will visit it again as soon as the weather allows it and when the museums will be open again.  I would like to visit the Aircraft museum as well as Anundshög next time.

I hope you enjoyed the post and found interesting information here.

Stay safe and see you on the road!


Hotel Lupus – Review

Year 2020 has been special and different for all of us. Long-haul trips got canceled, so many countries closed their borders and put lockdowns.

My way of planning travels changed as well and from well-planned trips that I used to make, I chose more spontaneous stays close to home. One of those was a trip with my family to a town located around 100 km from my hometown – Gołdap.

In this post I would like to share with you a review of the hotel where we stayed – Hotel Lupus.

How to reach the hotel and first impression

Hotel Lupus is a newly opened hotel located in Gołdap’s city central, so it is a good place for exploring the town. You can find a grocery store next to it as well as tourist information within 10 minutes walking distance. If you travel by car there is a big parking lot in front of the hotel.

There is no sign on the building with information about the hotel. We arrived late in the evening, so with the darkness it was tricky to find the place. Fortunately, there is a restaurant in the same building, so we simply asked the personnel and were directed to the hotel’s reception that was on the first floor.

As I said the hotel has been recently opened, according to the receptionist it was 5 days before our arrival, so I think there will be some outside sign with the hotel’s name on it in the future.

Check – in experience

On our way to Gołdap I called the hotel and informed that we would be arriving later than we planned, which was not an issue. When we arrived, a super friendly receptionist welcomed us, and informed us that our rooms are of course ready.

It was a spontaneous trip, but for a special occasion – my mum and my sister’s birthdays. When I booked the accommodation, I asked them to prepare a flower and some chocolates in both rooms, as a surprise for the girls. It worked perfectly. When we entered the rooms, on the table  the girls found a box of chocolates and a rose. Thank you very much for making our arrival special.

Room and general impression

We booked two rooms – one double and one triple. Our rooms were located on the same floor as the reception, close to each other. From the triple room we had a view over the main street and the parking lot, but there was a proper sound-proved window, so we did not hear any traffic noise.

Both rooms were big and spatial. In the triple room, where I stayed with my sister and her boyfriend, we had one queen-sized bed and one single bed, a desk and a wardrobe. In the double room, where my parents stayed, it was a double bed and a wardrobe.

There were TVs missing in both rooms. However, it looked like the owners of the hotel have it planned to equip the rooms with TVs in the future.

Both rooms had a nice and big bathroom with shower and space for our cosmetics. That is a big plus, because for me there is nothing worse if I do not have space where to put my make-up stuff in the hotel bathroom 😊.

Breakfast and restaurant

There is a restaurant in the same building as the hotel. The name of the restaurant is Turystyczna. In the price of the accommodation was included breakfast as well, which was served in that restaurant. Breakfast was simple, but fresh and tasty. We could choose between cereal with milk or yoghurt, bread, ham, cheese, and some vegetables. Besides that, there were also warm dishes like scramble egg or sausages. 

The breakfast area was clean, and the food was fresh and tasty. Unfortunately, there was not choice of products for people with allergies like gluten and/or lactose intolerance.

Throughout the day the restaurant serves lunches, dinners, and pizza. We had a dinner there after arrival and the food was tasty and the portions were good. More about places to eat in Goldap you can find in my other post Goldap – the hidden treasure.

Even if the hotel had some deficiencies, I can highly recommend it for its helpful and friendly personnel as well as for its location and comfortable beds. I booked the accommodation calling directly to the hotel and we paid around 100€ for two rooms for one night. You can book the hotel through my blog here. 

Do you like this review? Check other hotels reviews here

See you on the road,


Once Upon a Road review
General Rate
Tężnie i widok na miasto

Gołdap – The Hidden Gem

Gołdap – The Hidden Gem

Year 2020 has been special and different for all of us. Long-haul trips got canceled, so many countries closed their borders and put lockdowns. The good thing is that in all this craziness I could spend more quality time with the people that I love and care about.

I managed to visit my family in Mrągowo – my hometown – and spent with them a whole month. Normally, with work and everything going on, a two-week stay was the maximum that I could achieve in one visit.

This month was special, but today I would like to tell you about our spontaneous trip together to a city 100 km away from home – Gołdap.  

It is a small town located in northeastern Poland, in the region of Masuria. The town is located next to border to Kalinigrand Oblast which is giving its typical border town charm with mixed polish and russian cultures. 

Tężnie i widok na miasto

Where to stay

As I said in the beginning, it was a spontaneous trip planned the day before, so we did not have so much time to look for a specific accommodation, which I think it was a good thing. Goldap is a spa town with many hotels, B&B, and private rooms, which gives plenty of possibilities for accommodation, mostly during low-season as we stayed.

We end up in the newly opened Hotel Lupus located in the city center, with a nice parking place and a restaurant. I can highly recommend it for its location, comfortable beds, nice design, and nice personnel. If I visit again Goldap, I will probably stay there again.  For my whole hotel review click here.

Zdjecie pokazujace budynek hotelu w Goldapi
Korytarz hotel Lupus

Where to eat

Our stay in Goldap was short, because it was only one and a half day, but we ate in two nice restaurants which I can highly recommend.

1. Restauracja Turystyczna, Królewiecka 619-500 Gołdap

Our first meal, which was a special birthday dinner, we had it in a place called Restauracja Turystyczna, which was a restaurant located in the same building as our hotel.

When I booked our rooms, I booked a table as well and that was a good idea. When we arrived in the hotel, there was waiting for us a beautifully decorated table with flowers on and glasses for wine. I would like to thank the personnel very much for that.

Let us come back to food. Me and my family are kind of picky if it comes to food, which make us not an easy type of customer 😊. However, I need to say that all of us where super satisfied with the food we ordered. All meals where fresh, tasty, and nicely served. See the pictures that we took.

You can find more information on here 

2. Matrioszka, Partyzantów 27A, 19-500 Gołdap, Poland

We had lunch on day 2 in a restaurant called Matrioszka. Here you can eat both Polish and Russian cuisine which gives you plenty of options. It is  heaven for people who likes dishes based on potatoes and flour, but meat lovers will find something to eat as well.

I can recommend a soup called Żarkoje (It is kind of a stew soup) and the Matrioszka plate with potatoes pancakes and more.

You can find the whole menu on http://matrioszkagoldap.pl/menu/

Lalki Matrioszka
talerz z zupa
Stół zastawiony jedzieniem

What to visit

Goldap is mostly known as a ski and SPA resort. You can visit here places and attraction such as:

1. Mini graduation towers and medical SPA with Mineral and therapeutic water drinking room, “Zdrój”

Graduation towers are known for their good effect on the human respiratory system and are recommended for people after lung problems as  rehabilitation. The salty water that is going down on the walls makes the air around full of iodine, which is like the one that we can breathe walking next to the sea.

It is a perfect place nowadays with COVID-19. We spent there half of the day, I think. Relaxing first in the salt cave, drinking mineral water, looking at the landscape view from the top and playing mini golf.

I think it is a good place to relax, recharge batteries and enjoy the time with your beloved ones or alone with a good book. Highly recommended.

Address: ul. Promenada Zdrojowa 20, 19-500 Gołdap

More information here 

Tężnia i gofry
Przejście pod tężniami
Ja i tężnie
Krany do nabierania wody mineralnej
Salon wypoczynkowy, Gołdap
kobieta grająca w minigolf
2. Water Tower

This attraction as many others is open only during summer (May – September)

It is an old water tower built in 1900 and which supplied the citizens with running water until 1996. Now it is an architectural monument with a viewpoint on top, cozy café and a museum.

Address: Ul. Paderewskiego 35, 19-500 Gołdap

Pricelist and more information you can find here: http://www.wieza-goldap.pl/en/

Wieża Ciśnień Gołdap
3. Ski slopes ¨Piekna Gora¨

As a winter sports lover you can find here 4 different ski slopes with a lift, from which the highest has 750 m of trails and it is the highest one in the lowlands in Poland.

More information: http://zajazd-rudziewicz.pl/en/skiing-slopes/

4. Revolving Café

This coffee place is a unique one and we wanted to visit it but it was closed :(. It is a place located on a hill and the building rotates which gives you a possibility to enjoy the view 360 degrees around. Is it not an amazing idea? I am sure that I need to come back there to try it.

Address: Konikowo 11, 19-500 Gołdap

More information: http://zajazd-rudziewicz.pl/en/revolving-cafe/

5. Bloodless Safari and ecological farm

Goldap can be also a good spot for exploring the area with many historical as well as architectonical monuments, among others you have:

  • Railway bridges in Stańczyki
  • A pyramid in Rapa
  • Bunkers in Mamerki
  • Weir gates near Węgorzewo
  • Borecka and Romincka Forests

That is all for today. I can highly recommend Goldap as a place to visit in Poland,within the Masuria region. I hope you find my post inspiring and helpful when planning your own visit to this beautiful town.

Stay safe and see you on the road!


Frequent traveler bonuses -how to travel for free!

Year 2019 is the one when I managed to do some of my travels for free, or almost for free. Some of them due to my work of course, but in this blog post I would like to tell you how to travel for free even if you do not work in the travel industry.

Frequent traveler bonus

As you probably already know, many companies have a membership where you can collect points and then use them to book your next stay at hotel, flight ticket or simply upgrade already booked services. 

Every company have their own name of it as well s rules about how you can earn points or how and when you can spend them. The base of all of the is that you are a frequent and loyal traveler/customer.

Today I would like to tell you about the one that I use and the one that I could already use to book my trips.

SJ Prio - Swedish railway club

Let’s start from our first trip this year being booked almost completely using points – weekend trip to Linköping – Sweden by train!

In May 2019, due to a board game convention, we decided to visit Linköping in Sweden. This small and nice town is within around 2.5-hours trip by train from Stockholm, so here starts our first travel by points. My life partner – Carlos, used to commute every day by SJ (Swedish railway company) using monthly ticket. Each month he needed to buy it, so it was smart to join a frequent traveler club runs by SJ.

Each month he was collecting around 3000 points so in the end he had many points that we could use to book the trip to Linköping. We managed to book two round trip tickets in first class, so our trip was comfortable. The seats at the first class wagon are wider, plus you can choose between coffee, water and some snacks included in the price. Cost of the trip: 0 SEK (payed by SJ points) and we have still around 16 000 points to use :). 


More information click here

Hotels.comRewards system

Another bonus club that we use is Hotels.com Rewards club. The rules here are simple, for each 10 nights that you book through this website you get one for free. If you book two rooms or more on the same stay, the nights count also double 😊.  The type of accommodation that you can book for free depends on the type of the previous 10 accommodations that you have booked.

I like this reward club very much, but if you do not travel so often then it can happen that you lose your earned nights. However, the time in which you need to collect 10 nights extends every time you book and use a new stay (counts also as a bonus stay).

We could use our first free night this year on the same trip that we used SJ points, so we did not pay for our first night at Best Western Hotel Linköping (check review here). I think that is cool when you can stay two nights at the hotel and paying only for one 😊. What do you think?

Club One by Tallink Silja Line Cruises

The last bonus club that I would like to tell you about today is Club One by Tallink Silja Line. It is a ferry company running cruises between Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki and Riga. You can book 12, 23, 48 -hours cruises or even longer stay with hotel packages on one of the cities mentioned above.

As you probably noticed, I like a lot travelling by boat. I think it is one of the best ways of travelling from point A to point B, because as soon as you enter the ship you can feel that you are on holiday. It is also a way where you have a chance to relax and get bored in a positive way.

I like to book weekend cruises when I am exhausted with everyday responsibilities and simply when we would like to spend some time together. Due to my ¨addiction¨ to those cruises, of course I am also a member of the Club One.

How does it work?

The rules in this club are also simple and clear. You earn points for each euro that you spend on booking as well as on the ship. The amount of points depends on the level that you are in (silver, gold, etc.) and it’s between 30 and 40 points per 1 euro. So, I buy all my perfumes, make up and alcohol while we cruise 😊.

My first trip by points was on October 2019, when we decided to spend a nice day in Tallinn, which is our favourite destination with Tallink Silja Line. You cannot pay the whole trip using points, so it was not entirely for free, but with a big discount. For the whole weekend trip with two nights on board, day in Tallinn and breakfast included, we have paid 950 SEK (around 85€) for 2 persons. To compare, that is worth the regular price for 2 people for this cruise and it would be around 2000 SEK (around 180€).

This membership has also some cons. Unfortunately, there is a limited time during which you need to collect the points and use them. If you do not do it you will lose your points, and there is no way to make the time extended. Another thing is that you must book a specific cabin with your points, so if you do not have enough you cannot book the lower standard and pay for upgrade.

More information click here 

Summarizing, I think that the frequent travelers’ clubs are a great idea how to keep customers happy with the company and I think it is a smart way of traveling by using them. Of course, when you choose the one that you would like to use, be sure that you are traveling a lot with that company, because most of them have rules about expiration days for your points.

First focus on the company that you travel most with, maybe some train company that you commute to work like my boyfriend or the hotels that you stay frequently. That could be through websites like hotels.com or simply directly hotel chain clubs, like I am at Best Western.

I hope that I have inspired you with this post and let me know in the comments what type of frequent traveler clubs you are using.


See you on the road,


IntercityHotel Essen review

Time for next hotel review!

Every possibility to travel is good. In September 2019, our friends invited us to their wedding in Essen , Germany, so we made a quick and intensive weekend trip to celebrate with them their big day.

I will not write here about the party, but because of it I had chance to stay in another hotel in Essen (you can find the first hotel review I did from Essen here). This time we stayed in IntercityHotel Essen.

Location and first impressions

InterncityHotel is located in the center of the city, around 5 minutes walking from the train station. It is a perfect location if you need to stay only one night, and you need to have good connection to trains, subway and other local transportation.

For us it was important that the hotel was close to the train station as we traveled from Stockholm to Essen the same day, and our airplane landed in Dusseldorf (around 30 minutes train trip to Essen). We had only few hours between our arrival and the start of the wedding.

Check – in experience

We arrived at the hotel around 1 p.m., and our room was not ready yet. It is my fault, because I did not inform them that we would be arriving earlier and check–in starts at 2 p.m. As I mentioned before, we were short on time, so I asked the personnel in the reception if it was possible to maybe change the room, so we could check in earlier. After a few minutes we got our keys and we could go to our room.

The guy in the reception unfortunately did not speak English very well, so it was a little bit complicated to communicate with him. Fortunately, his manager came to help and explained us that the room we got was prepared for one person, so we needed to take an extra change of sheets and towels. I have to say that it was a weird thing for a customer to do  by themselves in a 4-star hotel. 

Room and general impression about Intercity Essen

Our room was located on the first floor with a window to the street and a view towards a construction site. We needed only the room for one night, so that did not bother us, mostly considering that during weekends they do not work on construction. I am sure that it would be annoying for a longer stay. I cannot complain because originally that was not our room. On our key it was written a room number located in another corner that was probably prepared according to my specification to have a room in a quiet part of the hotel.

The room had a nice size and it had everything you need to have in a hotel room including wardrobe, safe box, tv, mini bar (extra charge) and shoe cleaner 😊. If you like to have coffee in your room probably you would have  been disappointed, because they do not have it in this hotel. However, there is bar down at the lobby, next to reception, where you can order drinks. I did so, and the coffee was tasty plus big thanks for getting lactose free milk for me.

As I always say, the most important part in the hotels is cleanness and bed. And here goes a big applause for IntercityHotel Essen. The room was spotless clean, and the bed was amazingly comfortable. I slept like a baby. I am big fan of hard beds and the bed in our room was comfortably hard with cozy pillows and sheets.

I apologize for not having pictures of the room, but as we arrived late to Essen and we were really tired and short with time so I completely forgot to take them  😉.

Breakfast and restaurant

Next day, after partying the whole night, it was time for breakfast experience. My favorite part of staying at hotels is the morning breakfast with a good variety of choices and the most important thing: that I do not need to prepare breakfast myself.

When looking for this hotel I did not check reviews about breakfast like I usually do most of the time, but it was a nice surprise. The breakfast at Intercity hotel was tasty, fresh, and with a variety of ham, cheese, bread and the most important for me, tea.

I started my day with a small bowl of cereal with yoghurt, followed by some sandwich and I finishing my meal with fresh bread with Nutella 😊. We walked up early this day, so we had a little bit extra free time to relax before my cousin would come to pick us up, so we decided to have a cup of coffee after breakfast.

As I cannot drink milk with lactose, and I forgot to take my pills with me, I asked a waiter for lactose-free milk. Again, it was not a problem and we could enjoy our coffee shortly after they brought it. Unfortunately, the coffee that they served during breakfast was weak and tasteless. Big no for my taste. If you like strong coffee, I recommend you to order it in the bar next to the reception.

Summarizing today’s post, I would like to say that this hotel is worth recommending if you need to have a short stay in Essen.  I think we will stay there again next time we visit this city.

I booked the hotel from the travel agency Ticket.se (where I work) but you can also book it through booking.com using the following link and help me to grow my blog 🙂

That is all for today. I hope that you could find all that you were looking for.

See you on a road!


Finnair and Helsinki Airport review

In July 2019 I had the opportunity to fly with a Finish airline – Finnair as well as visiting Helsinki International Airport. In this post I would like to share with you my opinion about both of them.

Let’s start with a Finnair. That was my first flight with that airline, and I have to say that my first impression was a positive one. I took a flight from Stockholm to Warsaw via Helsinki (yes I know, Helsinki is not on the straight way to Warsaw, but that was the only flight that fit my time schedule 😉 ).

First flight first impression!

In short flights in the Nordics, as well as above the Baltic Sea area, most of the times you will fight with Finnair’s preferred partner – a company called NoRRA (Nordic Regional Airlines). That happened during my trip. The plane was a small one with only two seats on every side. For me that is a convenient solution. Even though the plane was not the newest one, it was a comfortable trip. The most important thing for me is the cleanness of the airplane during my trip. And here the company surprised me in very good way. The plane was spotless clean and the service fabulous.

Service after boarding

Directly after being able to remove the seat belts, stewardesses started serving beverages. Every customer could choose something to drink between coffee, tea, water and local finish juice in several different flavors. Normally, I am not taking warm drinks on the plane. I read somewhere that the cans where they store water on the planes are not always properly cleaned and that it is easy to get stomach pain. This time, I took a risk, because it was an early morning flight, and everything turned out ok. It was not the best tea in my life, but was tasty and warm, and that was what I needed. 

Helsinki Airport - terminal 2

As I said earlier, I had to change planes in Helsinki Airport to flight to Warsaw. On my inbound travel I had 1.5 hours to kill on the airport. I decided to take a walk around the terminal (I was landing and departing from terminal 2). It is a middle-sized terminal, with many different stores where you can buy tax-free products, local food or clothes and electronics. Almost like on every other airport in the world. However, as it is in Helsinki, they have one, cute small store dedicated to Mumins! Paradise for all children, both the small ones as well as the big ones 😉.

Where to eat on the airport

You can find there also several restaurants serving everything from pasta through fish and deer meat, Espresso Housea Swedish competition to Starbucks, and even an Irish Pub. On my way home, when I had longer waiting time in the airport, I had lunch in Fly Inn Panorama Restaurant & Deli. I ordered a pizza with deer meat and mushrooms. The dish was tasty, and quickly served. The portion was big, so I could not eat everything. The place was nice, with a good viewpoint for departing planes. If you love planes, like I do, you will surely enjoy lunch there. The price was reasonable. For a pizza with water I paid around 20€.

My favorite place on the airport

I would like you tell you about my favorite place on this airport. Wandering around, I found a Book Swap room towards the end of the terminal. Is it not an amazing idea? If you are traveling long and you already read your book, you can leave it there and take another one. Big applause for the creators of this room. 

The room is not only made to exchange the books. It is also a place where you can relax, read, or event take a nap while waiting for your next flight. Remember! Those type of places are designed to relax and rest during long flights, so keep your music with low volume in your headphones not to bother other travelers 😉.

I spent in this room like two hours reading, thinking and watching planes getting ready to take off. If I will visit this airport again, I am sure that that it will be the place where I will spend most of the time. I do not buy unnecessary things on the airports, and there is limit of how much coffee you can drink during the day 😉, so I really appreciate a place where I can sit and read in peace. By the way, you can also take your coffee with you and enjoy it in a peaceful environment.

That would be everything for today. Summarizing, I enjoyed my time during my flight with Finnair and on the airport in Helsinki. I can recommend it to you! If you have any questions about me, my blog, traveling and food leave your comment and subscribe to my blog!

See you on the road,



Best Western Hotel Linköping – review

In June 2019 I had the opportunity to visit again Linköping in Sweden due to a board game convention: LinCon. This time we (me and my boyfriend) chose to stay in a hotel located in the city center, with good connection to Linköping University, where the event took place. As a big fan of the Best Western hotel brand, I found a nice, cozy hotel called Best Western Hotel Linköping. This is a 3-star hotel located in the main square in Linköping, on Hantverkaregatan 1.

How to get there, check-in and the first impression!

As the hotel is placed in the main square, it is easy to reach from the train station in Linköping. You can easily walk there, and it takes around 15 minutes. If you have heavy bags with you, or you do not want to walk, you can always take a bus. From the train station almost all the busses are going to the hotel and you can stop on the bus stop called Kungsgatan.

My first impression was good. Nicely-designed reception and friendly staff. I had booked my room through hotels.com, where I could use my free night (more information about memberships and how to travel for free coming soon). As a member of Best Western Membership program too, I asked if I could use it during this stay. Unfortunately, most of the times the hotel membership does not apply when you book your room through third-party companies like Hotels.com. However, the girl in the reception was really nice and we got two coupons to use in the hotel’s restaurant for 140 Swedish Crowns. That was super nice of them.

In our room

We got a nice, cozy room in the 3rd floor. The place was small, but for our stay it was more than enough. There were no toiletries in the room as conditioner or body care, so do not forget to take yours with you. In the bathroom you will find only liquid soap/shampoo dispensers hanged onto the wall. It is environmentally friendly, but I like to have something extra to care about my skin and hair.

The only issue with the hotel was the noise from nearby restaurants and clubs during night throughout all of our staying (It was Thursday to Saturday). The windows are not soundproof at all. However, if you can sleep with earplugs, the hotel provides them for free and you can find them in your room. For longer stays the noise, as well as lack of wardrobe, could be an issue.

Breakfast and service

We had breakfast twice there and, in my opinion, it was a good breakfast. Not the best in my life, but for a 3-star hotel standard it was more than enough. They had a variety of tasty and fresh bread, pancakes, fruits, hams, cheese, cereal and more. I think that everyone could find something appealing to eat.

I really love that they have a big variety of teas and those super cute teapots, where you can brew your morning beverage. As a tea lover, I really appreciate it. If you have any allergies you can choose this hotel, because like most hotels in Sweden, Best Western Linköping also offers a lactose-free and gluten-free variants on their food and beverages.

I can highly recommend this hotel but remember to take into consideration the noise before booking your room. As I mentioned before, I booked it through Hotels.com and we paid 757 Swedish Crowns (around 70 €) per night for a double room. I think that for Swedish price levels and the good service that we got in the hotel, it was a good price.

Check my other hotels reviews here!

See you on the road,


Once Upon a Road review

General Rate

8 places to visit in Costa del Sol

8 places to visit in Costa del Sol

Are you ready for the next package of useful information about the Málaga region? Previously, I told you about how to go around Málaga and where to see a traditional flamenco show. If you did not have a chance to read it before, click here! Today I would like to tell you a little bit more about Málaga surroundings and what I have visited there. 

Fuengirola – the city of 100 faces

Let’s start my story with the small town where I had the pleasure to stay and work for three months. Fuengirola is a small town located next to a beautiful sandy beach. This town offers everything that you need to enjoy a sunny holiday in Spain. You can find there a beach with all kind of water attractions (mostly during summer season), plenty of good restaurants and pubs (from typical tapas bar to Irish pubs), and other attractions for the whole family like Bio Park or fan parks. In this post, you can read about the places and events in Fuengirola that, in my opinion, are worth visiting.

Fruit market on Tuesdays

Every Tuesday many tourists and locals visit a famous fruits and vegetables market in Fuengirola. According to the Berlitz’s pocket guide about Andalucía, it is the biggest of this type of market in the area.

I just loved this place. It is full of colors and local products. It is nothing better than different types of fruits and vegetables from local producers and with lower prices than in the supermarkets around.

The address where you can find this market is: Calle Recinto Ferial, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain

When: Every Tuesday between 9 a.m and 2 p.m

Read more about local markets here!

Flea Market on Saturdays

You can find a flea market on Saturdays in the same place where the fruit market takes place on Tuesdays. Who does not like to visit those places where you can find different types of treasures as well as trashy souvenirs?

In Fuengirola you can really find everything and anything. From old clothes, books and toys through old posters, instruments and up to even furniture and antiques. I heard and read a lot about this place before visiting it, but still, I got surprised and even overwhelmed with the greatness of it.

Feria de Pueblos (April)

For one week at the end of April, the marketplace changes for a big international fair called Feria de Los Pueblos. It is a place where different countries promote their cuisine, culture, and music. This fair is a perfect place to go with friends/family for dinner (street-type food), drinks or for a long dancing night.  In addition to eating and drinking, you can also buy local products, jewels or ride the carousel.

If you visit Fuengirola at the end of April, be sure to visit Feria de Los Pueblos. You will not have  problems finding the place. You only need to follow the people from Los Boliches train station. At this time almost everyone is going to the fair.


Another City located in Costa del Sol that is nice to visit is Benalmádena. The city is divided in two parts: Benalmádena Costa and Benalmádena Pueblos. It is located 13 km from Málaga Airport, and the same distance from Fuengirola. You can reach it easily by train, which goes between Fuengirola and Málaga. Benalmádena has many things that are worth visiting.


Let’s start first with Benalmádena Pueblo:

Looking to the mountain direction from Carvajal Beach you can see a big white building. It made me curious the first time I saw it. I checked the Berlitz Guidebook and I found out that it is The Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa.

The Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmádena is the biggest of this type of building in whole Europe. Here people can come to meditate. According to the girl who works there and the Buddhism believes, it is a place of unlimited energy source. You can read more about the history of Stupa here.

For me it was a nice opportunity to learn more about Buddhism and the history of Buddha. The guide inside was knowledgeable and friendly, so the visit was even more interesting. During summer you can join different types of activities there, like for example yoga classes, meditation sessions or even lectures about Buddhism.

How to go there


When I found out what it was, I decided to visit it. One sunny Sunday I took my backpack, a bottle of water, and started my walk up the mountains. From Carvajal it took me around 1 hour and 15 minutes, with stops for pictures, to reach my destination. Walking was mostly on local roads and mostly without a proper sidewalk, so be careful when walking there. However, it was worth doing it.

After 3.5 km walking up the hill, I finally reached the Stupa. It was worth every drop of sweat and pain in the legs. The view from up there is stunning. You can see almost the whole Costa del Sol. I recommend visiting the Stupa early in the morning so you can enjoy it without a crowd of tourists. 

By bus:

You can also reach there by taking the bus M- 121 and M- 103 from Benalmádena. You need to take the bus at the bus stop called: Arroyo de La Miel, in direction to Estupa Tibetana.

From Fuengirola there is no direct bus to Stupa (according to google maps), so you will need to go first to Benalmádena by bus M – 120 or by commuter train C1 and then switch to bus M-121.


Colomares Monument - Castillo Monumento Colomares

On my way back from Benalmádena Pueblo I took another way down. As an explorer type of traveller, I try to not take the same path twice 😊. That was a very good idea. While walking down the hill I saw a beautiful castle that to me it resembled a Disney Castle. As a big fan of Disney Movies, that was the first association in my head.

When I came closer, of course, I realized that this building does not have anything to do with the famous Disney castle. This monument was created to commemorate the discovery of the new world misnamed America by Columbus and was ready for visitors in 1994. The building is a mix of different styles and you can find there a ship that represents the discovery, the crown of Castile and his Queen Elizabeth who supported Columbus when no one believed him, as well as his mausoleum.

On this day I did not enter the Colomares Monument because of lack of time and an empty stomach. The entrance ticket costs around 4€ and you can buy it at the entrance.

Benalmádena Costa has also a lot to offer to its visitors. From a romantic walk next to the sea, through beautiful views from the peak of the mountain, up to nice beaches with plenty of restaurants and pubs.  I will not write here about all the attractions that you can find there. My idea is to share with you my experience and show you the places that I have visited.

Benalmádena Car Cable – Teleférico de Benalmádena and Falconry Show

Teleférico is one of the not-so-many paid attractions that I visited in Costa del Sol. However, it was worth every penny to go there. The easiest way to reach the Teleférico Cable Car from Malága is to take the commuter train C1 in direction to Fuengirola and get out in Benalmádena Arroyo de La Miel stop. From the station, you will need to walk around 200 m and you will get there.

The cable car will take you to the highest point in Costa del Sol. There you will find a small restaurant with tasty coffee, a falconry show, and the most important: a stunning view over the whole coast. When the weather is great you can even see the African Continent.

Falconry Show

Twice per day, you can see a falconry presentation up in the mountain. Shows are at 1 p.m and 5 p.m. They have a big variety of different types of birds, so you can learn many interesting facts about them.

I have mixed feelings after attending this show. The first thing that I saw was a beautiful falcon chained to the ground in a short chain so he could only sit and look pretty for tourists. Is it ok for this amazing bird to be chained as a prisoner? I do not think so.

The second doubt I got when at the end of the show, one of the employees took a basket with newly born falcons, and let people touch them and take pictures. When I asked him if their mom will not be refusing them after it, the answer was that they are taken from their parents immediately after birth, so they can be prepared for shows.

I am against all tourist attractions where animals are imprisoned. There are so many ways to learn about animals and we do not need to harm them. Build a sanctuary, teach people how to act in balance with nature. Do not make a show where people will eat popcorn and applause for a trick that caused pain to an animal.

Summarising I can highly recommend the cable car, but not the show. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and sun protector when going there. You can walk around the top and see the views from different balconies.

Benalmádena Port and Passeo de Maritimo

After the cable car, I decided to go see the famous Benalmádena port and walk through a path by the coast line. I got positively surprised. Compared to Fuengirola, this Paseo de Maritimo is way more beautiful. It is located between the sea and buildings, where you can find many small restaurants, shops and pubs. I think it is place that you should visit being in Benalmádena.

Park de la Paloma

On the way from the cable car to the harbour, I found a great place for green–area lovers. Parque de la Paloma is a big green area with a small lake in the middle. You can meet there mostly local people and free roosters 😊. It was nice to see how Spanish people spend free time with family, making picnics, barbeques, or taking a nice family walk by the lake. I am sure that I will come back there and explore more one day.

That would be everything for today. If you have any questions about the locations that I put on my list worth to visit leave a comment or write to me at info@onceuponaroad.net.

See you on the road,


Malaga – the 6th biggest city in Spain that has stolen my heart

Malaga – The City that has stolen my heart!!!

Spending three months during my internship in Costa del Sol has given me plenty of opportunities to explore its surroundings.  After Gibraltar, Fuengirola and Benalmadena, I decided to visit the capital of this region and the 6th biggest city in Spain – Malaga.

From the first moment I fell in love with it. The city is a perfect mix of old and new, as well as it has everything that you need to live comfortably and have easy access to  green areas.

Going around Malaga

Malaga is not really a big city, so it is easy to walk around and get to the main attractions without any problems. To those places that are farther away you can reach using  local buses. Remember! This is Andalusia in Spain, so the bus will show up when it will show up 😉.

We (Me and my parents) went to Malaga from Fuengirola by commuter train, costs around €2.50 per person one way (if you plan to stay longer in Málaga municipality it is cheaper when you buy a 10-trip ticket that costs around €20). After we reached the city, my Dad decided that we should take a Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off buss that took us to all the attractions that are worth to visit in this City. 

Hop On Hop Off Bus

I have always been skeptical about this type of city tours. In most cities it does not offer much with the ticket. However, Malaga has a well-designed package.  I chose  24-hour tickets that cost 29€ per person.  With this ticket I could use buses with guide (they offer guided tours in 8 languages) that are stopping next to every important attraction and are running every 20 minutes (in April).

This ticket also gives you access to museums:

  • Casa y Fundación Picasso (The house of Pablo Picasso)
  • Museo de la Música (Interactive Music Museum – if you like music you should visit it)
  • Museo Alborania de Aula del Mar
  • Museo Carmen Thyssen
  • Museo Revello de Toro
  • Museo Málaga C.F.
  • Museo Picasso
  • Museo del Automóvil
  • Cuevas del Tesoro

Isn´t it amazing? And you know what? This is still not everything that you are getting. In the price it is also included a boat tour around the bay (if the weather is good), free tapas with a glass of wine (specific hours), and a Flamenco Show. I think that buying this ticket was one of the best decisions we have made (Big kiss and thank you to my Daddy 😊).

There is also a 48-hour ticket, so if you would like to see everything and fully use the ticket, I would recommend this option instead. It costs 49€ per person

You can buy tickets in advance on the Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off website, through your travel agency or easily buy it from  company personnel next to the bus stops, and on the main train stations.

Flamenco Show and birthday´s dinner

My parents came to visit me one week before my 29th birthday, so I decided to book a Flamenco Show with dinner included to celebrate it.  I got a recommendation from a friend to visit Cal Y Canto Restaurant which offers Flamenco & Dinner packages.

They have the show twice per day: one at 8 p.m and one at 10 p.m. You can choose between 3 different price options:

1.       The show + 1 drink + 1 appetizer – costs €22 per person

2.       The show + 1 drink + tasting of 4 tapas – costs €36

3.       The show + 1 drink + 3-course meal – costs €49

I decided that we should had a big celebration with dinner. The food was amazingly tasty, and we could try typical Andalusian cuisine. However, no one told us that the portions are huuge, so we should not have had eaten anything in the whole day 😊.


As a starter the restaurant served a dish called Russian Salad – it is basically potatoes salad with mayonnaise – it was tasty as well as the well-known Spanish croquette with Iberian ham. 

After this it was time for the main dish. Here we could choose between meat and fish. My Mum and I took tuna fillet, and my Dad went with the meat dish. All the dishes were really tasty, but for my taste they were missing fresh vegetables on the side.

After those dishes and some glasses of wine it was time for desserts. As you probably already know, I am the type of person that loves sweets and everything that has chocolate included. So, you can imagine how happy I was when we got a big portion of chocolate brownie in the end 😊. Even though I was already full after the starter and the main dish, I ate the whole cake. 

That would be everything for today. I am planning to go back to Malaga before I return to Sweden. Come back soon and read more about what to visit in Malaga.


See you on the road,