Istanbul : Megastad at extra price
Istanbul has rarely been as cheap as now. Swing, Turkish currency means sensationally advantageous prices for those who arrive in the company of a Swedish wallet. With 15 million inhabitants, Istanbul is also a sea-going concoction of two continents and two seas. Timeless and persistent with the Bosphorus beaches empire mosques and Byzantine churches. Fair search and changing with the skyscrapers Maslak and a newly-opened giant airport, although we would rather take the train here on the classic Orientexpress railway.
Enjoy culinary delights at the restaurant Mikla with staggering views of the Golden Horn or go on a kebab-laden street food safari in Karaköy. Also, explore the relaxed Cihangir’s cafes and bars or stroll through the Çukurcuma, an eastern Portobello Road. And take the boat to the pedestrian pedestrian Büyükada and walk along old, atmospheric wooden beams and shady pine. Eat lunch at the small serving next to Agios Georgios Monastery.
Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot, Poland
Heavy history and summer cafe rattle. Take the train or the ferry to Gdansk or Gdynia and you are offered an intensive course in European history, but also three cities which in many ways sum up our continent. Here began the Second World War. Here, the trade union Solidarity began the dismantling of the iron curtain. Here, Shakespeare theater awaits, elegant pastry shops and liqueur Goldwasser with small flakes of 23-carat gold.
During the war Gdansk’s predecessor Danzig ended up in the eye of the fire. Stan was bombed to gravel, but rebuilt after peace bit by bit. Today, magnificent gable houses follow the old town’s squares, alleys and canals. In the neighborhood of Sopot, sophisticated bathing life and evening mingling also await the Riviera.
Mikael’s best tip: Vidsynt war museum
The light and freedom as the tower against the sky. Violence and evil nerd driven in underground basement darkness. In Gdansk you must visit the Museum of the Second World War which tells the history of war both forward and backward in time.
Malaga, Spain: Culture in cubic and food in square
Not so many years ago, Málaga was a place with noisy car traffic and rough quarters that you quickly left for Marbella, Nerja and other gems on the Costa del Sol. Today everything is so different. Today we stay in Málaga. The dark harbor areas have been transformed into a wide, light beach promenade with shops, bars and taverns. The old town has been made car free. And all the great art museums popping up – Carmen Thyssen, the Picasso Museum and Center Pompidou and others – together with all the flamenco bars and the Moorish castle Alcazaba, make Málaga surpass most European capitals in cultural capital.
With European dimensions, it is cheap to live well here. A glass of vino fino (dry white sherry) and a barrel of anchovy-filled olives and then plenty of tapas, which are enjoyed with a dark red Spanish red wine, make you only marginally poorer
Northern Thailand: Lush mountains & strong flavors
Talk to monks and hike in the jungle. Ship the sea to the south and instead jump on the train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station to equally modern, but smaller and more genuine, Chiang Mai to the north. Also easy with night train that takes 12 hours and offers first class ticket in recliner for only 200 SEK (book in time). Wake up in a crowded city surrounded by lush mountains and rippling water. Challenge the taste buds in the night markets or treat yourself to a chat with the monks in one of the city’s many temples. A win-win exchange that gives you new insights while the monks get to practice their English.
But don’t leave Chiang Mai without exploring the jungle paths around with orchids, waterfalls, river bamboo rafting, rice fields and friendly souls in remote mountain villages. Alongside the rails back to Bangkok, there are plenty of relatively unexplored nature areas and cities which in the near future are predicted to be destinations for travelers who hunt the unexploited.
Pernilla’s best tip: Get massaged by ex-prisoners
In Chiang Mai there are several massage centers where female ex-prisoners take care of the treatments and thus help back out into working life. An odd budget alternative with an extra dimension that benefits the purchase. Learn more at dignitynetwork.org and chiangmaithaimassage.com.
Peru: South American cap
A three course for a few crowns, a hotel room for a hundred. Peru is a budget mecca with cultural treasures in abundance. Yes, that is, if you discover the country on the locals’ way. If, on the other hand, you choose to hike the classic Inkaleden, fly helicopters over the spectacular Nazcale lines and stay at a luxury hotel in Lima, it costs a real deal.
Alongside the backpacker-dense Cusco and mythical Machu Picchu there is a desert-like coastal plain and unknown mountain peaks in the Andes. Along the 100-mile-long coast, adrenaline-minded surfers and ceviche-sucking food lovers gather, and to the north lies the Amazon’s isolated jungle world, almost untouched. Peru is a great adventure wrapped in a fascinating and rich history. Swim in Mancora, chill in Lima and admire Lake Titicaca in Llachón. Let the journey take time. Peru is worth it.