Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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To See or Not to See: Denmark’s Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle Chapel, Helsingør, DenmarkThe decision is easy: yes, see it. But why the modified Shakespearean reference? Kronborg Castle, in the city of Helsingør, Denmark, is the setting for Hamlet. Although both the castle and the city capitalize on that distinction, it’s not true: Fictional Hamlet and his friends and enemies didn’t act out their tragic storylines here. Nevertheless, you can get your fill of their tale here as well as an abundance of history and architecture that has nothing to do with the prince of Denmark. Read more >


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Top 5 Buildings in Nuremberg, Germany

Church of Our Lady, Nuremberg, GermanyI was spending the second day of my weeklong jaunt through the Christmas markets of Germany in Nuremberg, a city long associated with the trials of Nazi war criminals in the mid-1940s. But this wonderfully charming city with a very deep history has so much more to offer than the notoriety of that brief period, including some very impressive architecture. Read about the top five buildings in Nuremberg >


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Turku Castle Reigns Supreme

Turku Castle, Turku, FinlandFinland’s oldest city and its former capital, Turku is located about two hours by train from where I was staying in Helsinki, the superior Hotel Kämp. The country’s sixth-largest city has plenty to see for a full day trip, from its 700-year-old cathedral to a fantastic museum built over a 14th-century archaeological site, but Turku’s most famous landmark is the one I wanted to visit most — the largest castle in Finland. Read more >


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A Danish Royal Palace for — and of — the Ages

Christiansborg Slot, Copenhagen, DenmarkFor nearly a millennium, the center of Danish government — whether it was headed by an autocratic monarch or a multi-party Parliament — has been located in the same spot in Copenhagen, but most definitely not in the same building. Through centuries of fires, demolition, and construction, Christiansborg Slot has risen, fallen, and returned multiple times. Now in its fifth incarnation, the castle offers a comprehensive look at the way the government of Denmark operates within its lush interior, as well as how the Danes manage to keep such a tremendous place shipshape, despite the 500,000 visitors who pass through it every year. Read more >