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Go Big or Stay Home: Travel tips to three big cities


You probably returned from your summer holiday not too long ago with an urge to plan your next trip. Les Deux have teamed up with travel journalist and photographer Mads Severinsen to give you tips and tricks for three different big cities. 

You know the feeling. You’ve just returned to work after a vacation. You’re rested and ready for normal daily life to begin again. But hey, wait! There’s something in the air. Or no, it’s more like a feeling. You’re rested, but restless. Ready to go back, but ready to explore more. Yeah, you know it, right? It’s those damn travel blues. As a travel journalist and photographer, take my word for it: The only way to make them go away is to plan your next trip.

For me the travel experience starts way before I reach my destination. It begins with the research: reading about the destination, going through photos, and checking Instagram for inspiration. My very favourite way to get into somewhere new is seeking out and reading fiction set in the location.

So here’s to travel blues and new adventures. Happy planning!

New York, USA

The Big Apple is fantastic to visit in the fall. Typically, you’ll have rainy, windy and cold days in Denmark, but New York gives you nice temperatures (between 22 and 26 degrees), sunny days and almost no rain. The list of things to do is endless and if you’re a first-time visitor, you’ll definitely want to come back for more regardless of how much time you have. There’s no need to give you tips for restaurants and bars, simply just go with the flow and explore where looks interesting. So instead, here’s some options for starting out. First, stay across the water in Brooklyn. It’s cheaper than Manhattan and much more cool, young and urban. Both Williamsburg and Bushwick are full of small coffee shops, restaurants and design shops. Okay, I’ll give you one concrete tip: have pizza at Roberta’s! When you come to Manhattan, make sure to dig into the Chelsea neighbourhood, where you’ll find lots of art galleries, restaurants and of course the famous High Line. Don’t cheat yourself out of a trip uptown to Harlem. The restaurants and coffee shops may not be as hipster-ish and urban as in other areas, but Harlem is real to the bone! Great people to chat with, great communities and an overload of small concert venues. And oh! If you want to shop, bear in mind that sneakers are about 20 dollars cheaper here than Downtown Manhattan!

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has everything I search for in a big city. You have urban neighbourhoods where local subcultures thrive and differ from place to place. You’ve got great food to explore – from street markets to Michelin stars. There’s top class shopping, especially for vintage clothing and design. If you need new ink, some of Europe’s sharpest tattoo artists are based in Barcelona. And to top it all off: you have lively, beautiful beaches! Whenever I’m in the city, I never plan a whole lot. I just dig into a neighbourhood (Barrio as the locals say), see what’s up and have some nice tapas. In particular, I like Raval. It’s perhaps the most controversial area in the city with some grimy and disreputable parts, but there is so much character and personality too. For me, it’s the authentic Barcelona barrio. If you’re into architecture, you need to check out some of the beautiful churches. Sagrada Familia is hyped and expensive, but worth the visit. Otherwise, go to Basilica de Santa Maria. It’s smaller, less crowded and very impressive. Have tapas at Can Paixano if you can find the almost secret entrance at the harbour. And last tip: Go to as many rooftops as possible! The streets of Barcelona are built in square blocks making it a magnificent sight from above.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is the world’s biggest capital with almost 38 million inhabitants. But it’s not just the biggest city in the world. In my opinion, it’s also the greatest. If you’re into art, design, food, culture, architecture and fashion, it will be the greatest for you too! Straight to the tips: Go to the Tsukiji Fish Market in the morning – it’s the world’s biggest with more than two tons of fish being bought and sold every day. Around six in the morning, you can watch the tuna auctions. Go to the Metropolitan Tower from where you can view Tokyo from 202 meters above the ground (it’s cheaper than the Tokyo Skytree). You have various opportunities of neighbourhood to experience the big city part of Tokyo – Ginza, Shibuya, Asakusa and Shinjuku – and all that comes with it. However, there is something special about Harajuku, where you’ll find leading luxury fashion houses, such as Dior and Gucci, but at the same time the latest, strangest and craziest street style trends. On the other hand, escape the crowds by visiting the Koenji and Shimokitazawa areas to shop for vintage clothing, drink coffee and eat at cozy restaurants. Night owls should have drinks in Golden Gai. The area consists of six compact streets with a total of around 200 small bars – each hosting a maximum of ten guests. To get the full experience, you’ll of course go for a glass of Japanese whisky!