Europe

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Ever have a day off and don’t really know what to do with yourself? You don’t feel like cleaning the house, there’s no real need to go shopping and sitting on the sofa to just watch Netflix isn’t exciting at all. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t really do things alone it can be a little daunting to have a day out exploring but London is one of the best cities for doing your own thing and rocking it in style.

If you ever find yourself in a pickle of what to do by yourself in London and want a day that’s more exciting than just going to the movies, then here are some great things you can do in London by yourself.

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Play Arcade Games

Is there anything better than trying to beat your high square at Pac-Man? How about playing Pac-Man on an original machine, drinking a fancy beer and having some chilli cheese fries. The Four Quarters down on Rye Lane right in the heart of Peckham is a bar set up like a retro style arcade with classic games and a lively atmosphere for anyone going solo. Who knows, you could make a friend while playing Time Crisis 2?

Get a Massage

Any day that’s stress-free is a day well spent and the perfect solo activity is a spa day, especially if you can take a few hours to be away from your phone and tune the world out. Getting a massage in London is easy with sites dedicated to helping you find a spa based on your current location and places like the Walk-in Backrub at Covent Garden helping you get a massage whenever you want.

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Be Greedy At Borough Market

Forget about Camden (tourist trap) and Greenwich Markets, get a few quid from an ATM and then head to Borough Market for brekkie or lunch and get something a million times better than a pre-packed sandwich.

Borough Market not only has stalls where you can buy fresh produce for your dinner, but has merchants who make all sorts of goodies on site. There are a few I can vouch for that you should check out; Balkan Bites does traditional Balkan cuisine that isn’t very well-known in the UK like filo based pastries with hummus, and Scotchtails who made incredible vegetarian beetroot & lentil scotch eggs.

Be Your Own Tour Guide

This is a great way to see other sides of London without having to spend money on a tour guide to do this.  Rather than being stuck in a tour with a bunch of tourists who spend more time holding their iPads up to take photos than actually seeing the sights, you can download apps that have self-guided tours around town. Two I’ve used before are Movie Map London which shows where a bunch of films and TV shows have been made and the Britain Audio Tour app which has great audio tours of Westminster, St.Pauls, the British Museum & the British Library.

Get a dog for a day

When you’re not busy and other people are, you can become a dog owner for a day. A service called Borrow My Dog will let you sign up and find dogs nearby that you can take out and look after for the day. The site matches you (just like a dating site) with dogs that you like and then finds owners nearby who need their pooch looked after for a few hours.

It’s a nice way of turning a walk around the park in to a game of fetch.

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If you have made the decision to head over to Scandinavia to spend some time in Sweden, you are in for a treat. Most people when they think of Sweden think of IKEA and ABBA and while there is nothing wrong with a bit of “Knowing Me Knowing You” or self-assembly furniture; there is more to Sweden than meets the eye. In this post you learn some important and interesting things you really should know before you arrive.

There Is Only One Alcohol Store

It might be a good idea to make sure you stock up on alcohol for your holiday at the duty free before arriving at Sweden, because local stores and gas stations are not allowed to sell hard alcohol and wine. As a method for keeping control over the alcohol consumption of the country, the Swedish government installed Systembolaget stores during 1955.

This is the only place you can buy alcohol outside of restaurants and bars and you have to be 20 years or older to buy it from a Systembolaget. In most towns there is at least one, while in cities they have a few – the only problem is finding them.

Pickled Herrings Are More Than a Delicacy

Everyone has food that they really love. Lots of us love chocolate, while the Swedes love pickled herring. We don’t say that they love pickled herring lightly as no family or social gathering is complete without a reasonable supply of the smelly fish. The herring is available infused with a wide variety of different flavours and is generally served with potatoes or crisp bread, sour cream and chives.

Swedish People Love to Fika

Instead of beer gardens, the Swedes have cake gardens. The fika is a vital part of Swedish culture and is used as a noun or verb that roughly translates as “pause” or “coffee break” and while you are enjoying pastries, cakes and coffee with your family and friends, you will have many chances to fika!

There are many great fika cafes throughout Sweden. If you are heading to the Northwest Skane, the fika we insist that you visit is Flickorna Lundgren which was opened in 1938 by 2 sisters. It has a beautiful garden and is just as popular for the relaxing surroundings as it is for the pastries.

Swedes Take Glass Blowing Very Seriously

In Smaland in the south of Sweden, you will find Glasriket, also known as the Kingdom of Crystal and is the home of a total of 13 glassworks including the famous brands Orrefors and Kosta Boda. You are allowed to watch the very skilled and experienced craftsmen as they work with glass, blowing the molten material into beautiful works of art or crystal. As an added bonus you don’t have to just settle for watching the experts at work, because at the Kingdom of Crystal you are allowed to have a try at blowing your own piece of glassware which you can paint and engrave to take home with you as a souvenir.