If you’re already planning a trip to europe, this cruise guide around scandinavia, russia, & the Batic is for you. This is also the perfect guide if you’re a craft beer addict and looking to bar hop through the best craft beer bars in Copenhagen, Tallin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Stockholm, Prague, Brussels, and Bruges.
I recently went on a 3 week vacation. It started off in NYC with my boyfriend and then I went on to a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines around Scandinavia, Russia, and the Baltic for 9 days with my family. We went on Getaway Cruise. booked.We then stayed a 2 days in Copenhagen, flew out to Prague and finished our trip with a few days in Belgium.
It was an experience I will never forget and hope to relive. If you’re wondering how in the hell I made it to that many places, it was all thanks for Norwegian Cruise Line. People tend to get mixed feelings about cruises but I want to share my personal experience and why I’d do it again.
I’ve been on two cruises around Europe before and truthfully, the reason I keep going back is because it takes a ton of the stress off from traveling with a big group of people. We were 7 in total. Traveling from country to county with that many family members is fucking stressful, to say the least. The luggages, transportation, hotels, even finding a restaurant that everyone enjoys can be hell.
On a cruise you don’t need to worry about any of that. There’s restaurant for everyone, they take care of bringing your bags, you can plan your excursions and transportation directly with them. See? No. Damn. Stress.
DINING EXPERIENCE & DAYS AT SEA
There are a ton of complimentary restaurants but we went for two of the specialty dining options: a french bistro (Le Bistro) and a churrascaria (Moderno) both of which were delicious. I spent my nights at sea either at the casino, at a bar, or watching the shows. It was pretty damn spectacular.
Also, I refuse to share my pictures from my nights drinking on the cruise because they’re a little embarrassing and my dance moves are too lame for anyone to see.
Our first stop was Berlin. We were about 1 hour away from the city so we rented a car. Personally, I would have skipped out on all the tourist destinations and gone bar hopping but it was 6 against 1.
CRAFT BEER BERLIN, GERMANY
Particularly, Stone Berlin
Tallinn was by far my favorite town. Everything was so close and just the cutest city to get lost in. There are a ton of taxis at the port. We payed a van to drive us around the city which was cheaper than what the boat offered (200 euros in total). He stopped and waited for us at every stop so we could walk around and take pictures. He even waited for us while we had lunch and went bar hopping. Technically, it was just me bar hopping. Don’t judge me. It was great.
CRAFT BEER IN TALLIN, ESTONIA
Drink bar & grill
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Our stay in Russia lasted two days. St. Petersburg is weird. The buildings are nice, the luxury, the cathedrals, and the museums are nice. There was a ton to see in and you would definitely need two days to see it. The first day was killer. We went to a museum, the spilled blood cathedral, and the Hemritage. The second day we went to Catherine’s palace. Don’t go. The garden is beautiful but I’d much rather be drinking a beer instead of going inside the actual palace.
My sister, dad, and I sneaked away before heading back to the boat to visit a craft beer bottle shop I wanted to visit. They have a tiny bar and a ton of local craft beers. Tip: Uber. There aren’t too many around but they are by far cheaper than any other taxi service.
CRAFT BEER IN ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Craft Beer Shop
Brasserie de Metropole
I would have probably fallen in love with Helsinki if I hadn’t dropped my cellphone overboard. Everything was fine and dandy. I bought strawberries at the market, accidentally wore the same outfit as my sister, and enjoyed a nice beer around town. It was great. Recommendations: Don’t ride the ferry and don’t try to take a picture of a stupid swan.
CRAFT BEER IN HELSINKI, FINLAND
We had a few hours in Stockholm and we had to take a train out to the city because our port changed last minute. Stockholm is beautiful but if you only have a few hours to kill you should definitely stay in the town (Nynashamn) around the port or spend your day in Old Town (possibly the prettiest part of the city)
CRAFT BEER IN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
If not for the million tourist around us, Prague could possibly be on the top of my list. We didn’t visit any museums or any of the cathedrals but instead we decided to get lost, drink lots of beer, and walk around the city.
CRAFT BEER PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
The Lenon Wall
Food and Beer at the Town Square
The best decision we made was to rent a car for Brussels. We drove out to the countryside: Leffe, Dinant, and Bruges while we were there. It was magnificent.
CRAFT BEER IN BRUSSELS & BRUGES, BELGIUM
Le Trappiste (bruges)
The BeerWall (bruges)
I spent more time in Copenhagen than any other city. I celebrated my birthday, I drank tons of beer, ran face first into a glass door. It was great. I had ramen, I drank more beer, I got to see how the town celebrates before a big game. And then I drank some more beer.
CRAFT BEER IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK