3 days in Norway

Norway is best known for its scenic beauty- in tall, strapping men as well as magnificent fjords, mountains and waterfalls. While travelers can easily spend weeks exploring Norway’s natural wonders and pristine cities, for those of us short on time, here’s a jam packed Norway itinerary to get the most out of your visit.

Day 1: Oslo

Arrive in the capital city of Oslo in the morning on an overnight flight from the U.S. Norwegian Air offers low cost no frills air to Norway and has non stop flights from JFK and Boston to Oslo. Oslo airport has direct train service to downtown Oslo and runs frequently. The “official” airport train is double the price of the local train, so if you don’t mind waiting, jump on the local train which is just as fast, but not as frequent. Book a place to stay near the Oslo train station so you can dump your bags and explore Oslo on foot. Walk over the iconic bridge near the train station and head towards the Oslo Opera House. Continue to walk along the water until you arrive at Akershus Fortress.

Sunset at Oslo Opera House
Sunset at Oslo Opera House

Oslo, Norway

Also known as Akershus Castle, it was built to protect Oslo and was also used as a prison. Finally head towards the Palace Park to get a view of the Parliament building. While prices in Norway are far more expensive than most countries in Europe, New Yorkers will feel right at home spending an arm and leg for fine dining.

Day 2: Norway fjords

Wake up uncomfortably early and catch the first train to Myrdal. The journey is close to 5 hours so don’t worry you can sleep for the first few hours. The scenery doesn’t start to pick up until the last two hours of the train ride.

Norway train

Once in Myrdal, transfer to the Flam Railway. Known to be one of the most scenic train journey’s in the world, the train travels on the edge of the mountain for 20 km and takes about 1 hour. Grab a seat with a window that opens so you can take unobstructed pictures (and selfies). The train will also make a stop so you can get off and take pictures outside a stunning waterfall.

Norway Flam Railway waterfall

Flam Railway Scenes

The train will put you in Flam, where you will board a fjord cruise (which will blow your mind). Weather onboard the fjord cruise will be about ten degrees colder, so pack layers. It is also very windy so hold on tight to your phones and cameras while taking photos and videos.

Norway Fjords

Norway Fjords

Following the cruise, hop on a bus to Voss and finally take the Bergen Railway from Voss to Bergen. Arrival into Bergen is close to 7 pm. The best way to book this journey is through the company Norway in a Nutshell. The most efficient option is traveling from Oslo to the city of Bergen via Myrdal, Flam, and finally Voss. The tour, around $250, has places to store your luggage on each train ride, boat ride and bus ride, plus it doubles as your transportation to the city of Bergen on Norway’s west coast. Purchasing the package through Norway in a Nutshell provides all your transfers and is the most scenic way to travel from Oslo to Bergen. Remember to pick up the tickets from the train station in Oslo when you arrive from the airport.

Day 3:Bergen

Spend the morning in Bergen exploring the scenic wharf area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and wandering the streets. The city of Bergen is set on the side of a mountain so the views from the wharf of the houses is very picturesque. You can wander up the streets, gaining elevation and views as you go or take the funicular up.

Bergen Norway

Bergen, Norway

Read more about Bergen here. Bergen is not that big and can be easily explored in half a day. Norwegian air offers evening non stop flights from Bergen to JFK which will allow New Yorkers to make the the most of their day and head back to the U.S. in the evening.

Norway Travel Tips

While beautiful, Norway has the potential to get very cold. The temperature can vary greatly during the day depending on the elevation so pack layers and water resistant jackets. Bring snacks with you while traveling, and don’t be afraid to drink the water. Also the bathrooms, even in the train, are very clean so have no fear! Almost every establishment accepts credit card so do not convert too much cash before traveling. If you have more time to spare, fly to Stavanger to hike to Pulpit Rock or, if you have the guts, make the challenging trek to iconic Trolltunga. City lovers can fly direct from Bergen to Copenhagen or Stockholm to continue exploring this fantastic and pristine part of the world.

Weekend Guide to Montreal

Just a quick 6 hour drive from New York City, Montreal is a cultural and culinary playground just across the Canadian border. Escape the muggy heat in NYC, and head to cooler pastures in our friendly neighbor to the north. We made our drive a little longer and drove through the scenic Adirondacks, rather than sticking to highway driving. Aside from eating late night poutine and feeling bad about yourself, reasons to escape to Montreal in the summer are (1) Everything is cheaper in Canada! (2) It’s been called a poor man’s Paris (3) You are a poor man and can’t take your girl to Paris… yet. (4) Everything is cheaper in Canada! and finally (5) There’s a rumor that Canadians are nicer than us.  Here’s a quick guide to exploring the city in a long weekend. Remember to bring your passport!

Day 1

Old Montreal

Start where the city itself began, exploring a mix of cobbled streets, cozy restaurants and boutiques that make Old Montreal a stroller’s paradise. Station Place-d’Armes is the closest metro station to the area; the district lies east and is focused around Place Jacques Cartier.

Old Montreal

Notre Dame

Built in 1656, this is Montreal’s oldest church and a key Old Montreal landmark. Inside, the blaze of carvings, sculptures and stained glass may be a little gaudy for some tastes, but they’re certainly impressive and unmissable. This Gothic Revival basilica is one of the Montreal’s most remarkable sights. It is decorated with beautiful wood carvings.

Notre Dame Montreal

Chateau Ramezay

It was a home of French governors in the 18th century. Nowadays it is a repository of Québec history, there are over 20 thousand pieces of art and furniture.

Montreal City Hall

This building is built in the Second Empire style. It is famous for Charles de Gaulle’s speech from its balcony. Admission is free!

Walk along Vieux Port

 The old port experienced the pinnacle of its glory days in the 19th century as one of the most important inland harbors in North America, but its importance declined throughout the 20th century. By the end of the 1980’s, however, it experienced a breath of new life as it was transformed into a recreational area. Now, whether it’s the cycling in the summer or skating on rinks in the winter, the old port’s 12.5 km of waterside walkways adds to the charm of this popular district of Montreal.

Day 2

Pointe-a-Calliere Archeology Museum

This has to be one of the most interesting museums that we have ever been to, and if we go back to Montreal, it would be worth checking out a second time! Built on top of excavated building foundations and water systems from the 17th century, this setting makes the perfect setting for learning about Montreal’s fascinating history and the role it has played in Canada’s history as a whole. Just don’t visit on Monday- they are closed.

Shopping and lunch at Underground Street

A glorified mall to some but a refuge from severe weather for many, Montreal’s Underground City is a 30 kilometer labyrinth of climate-controlled subterranean passages. They are replete with restaurants, shops, cinemas, museums and metro stations.

Parc du Mont Royal

This mountain park offers wonderful view of the city of Montreal. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park.

St. Joseph’s Oratory

This magnificent oratory is dedicated to St. Joseph who is Canada’s patron saint. It is built in the Italian Renaissance style.


Evening at Crescent Street

This busy street of pubs and restaurants intersects with Sainte-Catherine at the southern end of Downtown and is well worth a visit at the end of the day for food, drinks and people- watching. Unwind here before making the drive back to New York City!


Top 5 Sites to see in Zagreb, Croatia

Often overlooked as a major city, Zagreb (the capital of Croatia) is an up and coming must see destination. While the county is often known for it’s quaint coastal cities, the inland city of Zagreb has a charm of its own. The city has a combination of Austro-Hungarian and socialist architecture, which give it a unique personality. Zagreb is the perfect destination for anyone looking to stroll through cobblestone streets, spend an afternoon at a café, explore museums, or dine at unique restaurants.

Zagreb City landscape

Zagreb View from the Upper Town

When to Visit Zagreb

If you plan to make your way from Zagreb to the coastal cities of Dubrovonik and Split, it is best to visit Croatia in the summer. The summer months are incredibly sunny with temperatures averaging about 21C/70F. Spring and fall are also good seasons as there are less tourists during this time and it is great for experiencing the parks and buzzing markets. We visited Zagreb in the middle of March, which during the daytime was pleasant with temperatures about 10C/50F, however, the evenings were cold.

What to Bring to Zagreb

Dress according to the season and carry layers. With all the outdoor walking and activities, sunglasses are advisable, especially in the summer time. Most places take both cash or credit card, but it’s better to keep both just because smaller restaurants and shops may only take cash. Free Wi-Fi is easy to find throughout the city, so bring a tablet or phone with wifi connectivity.

How to Get to Zagreb

Non stop flights to Zagreb (ZAG) can be found from London (LHR), Munich (MUC), Istanbul (IST), Amsterdam (AMS), and Copenhagen (CPH). If traveling to Zagreb from within Croatia, the most efficient means of travel would be by bus. If comfortable with it, another option would be to rent a car and drive from city to city. The inter-city highways are some of the best I’ve ever seen as they are well maintained and fairly easy to drive on.

Top 5 Things to Do in Zagreb

  1. St. Mark’s Church is a popular landmark in Zagreb as it is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is easily recognizable amongst the other buildings due to use uniquely colorful roof. If visiting between April and May, a changing of the guards’ ceremony can be seen outside the church at noon on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.
  2. Explore Tkalčićeva Street. This street is lively with many shops and places to eat and drink. At night, the street is beautifully lit up and perfect for an evening stroll.
  3. Visit the local markets. One of the most famous markets in the city is Dolac market, which can be found right in the city center. The market is so colorful and full of fresh locally grown produce, definitely something worth seeing. It’s a great way to immerse yourself into the local culture.
  4. Catch a show at the ostentatious National Theatre in Zagreb.
  5. Take a trip to Mirogoj. It may seem strange that a local cemetery is a tourist destination, but this Austro-Hungarian style cemetery has beautiful archways and lush greenery. Mirogoj is also much more than a cemetery, throughout the memorial park lie sculptures designed by local Croatian artists.
Tkalčićeva Street in Zagreb
Tkalčićeva Street in Zagreb
Zagreb national theater
National Theatre in Zagreb


Being the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb is very cosmopolitan and has a wide variety of cuisines—expanding from the local Croatian food, seafood, Italian, and Asian. We recommend:

The Wine Bar– The Wine Bar is a trendy and classy bar located just outside the main square in the city center. What caught our attention was the distinctive outdoor seating. Outside the restaurant are two individual glass box rooms, candlelit, with high rise tables. The wine bar has a wonderful selection of wines and cheeses.

Boban– Located in the city center, Boban is a chic Italian restaurant and bar. On one side is a cozy bar/lounge and on the other is the restaurant. The décor is eclectic with dim lighting and chalkboards. The menu is extensive with something for everyone. The soups and homemade pasta were really good.


Thanks to Nikitha for sharing her travel tips on Zagreb! Follow her on Instagram @_pairofpassports

Top 5 Things to Do in Split, Croatia

Along the coastline of Croatia lies Split, the country’s second largest city. Full of character, it is the perfect combination of both history and modernity. Within the old city walls are mazes, small alleys filled with quaint shops, restaurants and bars. An outdoor promenade lined with restaurants faces the sea, where you can get a glimpse of the turquoise water. It is the perfect place to enjoy a lovely lunch on the edge of old town, with a view of the sailboats, cruise ships, and locals walking by.

Split, Croatia

Just like the rest of Croatia, the best time to visit Split would be during tourist season, May- September, when the weather is warm (highs in 80’s, lows in 60’s Fahrenheit). However, to avoid crowds, mid to late April is a good time as well. Split does have its own airport (Airport Code: SPU), with flights coming in from London, Munich, Vienna, Rome and other major European cities. Flying into Zagreb or Dubrovnic and driving along the coast is another option as well. There are various bus tours that stop in Split as part of the itinerary, however we chose a private car. We had a great experience driving from Dubrovnik to Split with Blue Bay Excursions, a local family run company.

Split, Croatia

Here are the top 5 things to do while in Split:

Diocletian’s Palace

The main attraction in Split is Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman Emperor’s residence in which he lived after retirement until he died in 313 AD. Although the most of the palace had been destroyed, remnants lie throughout the old city. You can spend time walking through and looking around, and even stop by a restaurant to break for a drink. There is no entrance ticket for just the palace view, however if you wish to tour the basement halls it is 40 KN adult/20 KN child.

Diocletian's Palace Split Croatia

St. Dominus Cathedral and Bell Tower

This was originally the mausoleum of Diocletian, as it lies within the palace boundaries. To climb up the bell tower it is 25 KN, and to enter the cathedral it is 25 KN. After climbing to the top of the bell tower, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole city of Split and the sea as well.

Marjan Forest Park

This site is said the be the “lungs of the city.” If the weather is nice, take a quick break and hike up to Marjan.  Not only will you get a breath of fresh air but lovely views of the city as well. There are trails running through the forest in which you can choose to hike or you can bike along the seafront (bikes can be rented from the northern entrance for about 15 KN/hour).


Gallery of Fine Arts: Located very close to the palace, this building was once the city’s first hospital. Here you can see a mix of ancient and modern Croatian art pieces. Entrance tickets are 20 KN adult/10 KN child.

Archaeological Museum: A ten minute walk from the town center, here you can see excavations from the Roman and early Christian periods. Tickets are 20 KN adult/10 KN child.

Ethnographic Museum: Get a glimpse into the old life and culture of Dalmatia.  You can see old photos, costumes and other pieces important to the citizens. Tickets are 15 KN adult/10 KN child.


There is a large selection of restaurants, mostly local Croatian, seafood, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. There is a variety of small casual mom and pop type places, as well as modern/trendy places.

Recommended restaurants (at the time of this post):

Bokeria- Located in the old town. More on the trendy side, great variety on the menu, and presentation and atmosphere are fantastic. Lovely selection of wine and drinks as well.

Galija- Hidden gem, located inside old town. Well lit outdoor seating covered in Christmas lights.  Pizza was really good, staff was really friendly, and everything is reasonably priced.

Brasserie on 7- Located right on the promenade (Split Riva). We stopped here for a coffee break, lovely hot chocolate!  Very homey feeling, decorated in shades of aqua and sand. Gives you the feeling of being on the ocean.  Their lunch and dinner menu consists of a mix of seafood, burgers, and more.

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

Thanks to Anisha, a senior at Syracuse University, for sharing her travel tips on Split, Croatia. Follow her on instagram @_pairofpassports
Thanks to Anisha, a senior at Syracuse University, for sharing her travel tips on Split, Croatia. Follow her on instagram @_pairofpassports