Tag archives for Spotted By Locals

Sheilla Safra Maler was raised in northern Israel, but always longed to return to her birthplace, Tel Aviv. Now that she’s made that dream a reality, Sheilla’s passion for the “White City” has only increased—so much so that she is currently in training to become a tour guide on top of her day job at a high-tech company. Here are a few of her favorite things about Tel Aviv.

I Heart My City: Tim’s Cologne

Tim Steins is no stranger to Cologne. Born 30 kilometers north of this German city, he spent his childhood exploring Cologne on the weekends with friends in tow. He now channels his hometown pride into the Spotted by Locals blog while working for a media analysis agency. Though he’s lived in numerous places around Europe, Tim recognizes the “heart-warming spirit” of his current home: “Cologne is not a city, it’s a feeling.”

Magda Przedmojska delights in sharing her city with the rest of the world—that’s why she’s a regular contributor to Spotted By Locals Warsaw. Though this avid traveler has lived elsewhere—from Aberdeen to Berlin—the Polish capital has her heart. “Warsaw is still the place to be because of my friends and family—the most important people in my life,” she says. Here are some of the reasons Magda describes her hometown as “quite a nice melting point to visit.”

Maranta Vego is a Sarajevo local through and through. After spending a few years in Croatia, the avid couch surfer knew it was time to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s beloved capital city. Now Maranta enjoys sharing her hometown pride on Spotted by Locals: Sarajevo, encouraging travelers to look past her city’s war-torn past to see its shine. Here are a few of Maranta’s favorite things about this Balkan beauty.

Irena Schlosserová is a Prague local, through and through (she’s only spent nine months outside of her beloved Czech capital). While she admits that there are many tourist traps in Prague, she urges visitors to get off the beaten path and into the real heart of the City of a Hundred Spires. Read on to be off to a good start.

Marta Macedo was born and raised in Porto and came to realize just how much she loved her city while she was studying abroad. “People may live their lives trying to figure out where their home is,” she says. “Being away made me realize that Porto truly is home for me.” After traveling the world, Marta returned to her beloved port city and started sharing her hometown pride on Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of her favorite things about Portugal’s second largest city.

Kathrin Deter moved to Helsinki from Luxembourg in 2010 for what she thought would be a short exchange program. But the Finnish capital stole her heart, and the move quickly became permanent. Not one to look back, Kathrin now she spends her days writing about her newly adopted city for Spotted by Locals, and on her personal blog, Luminoucity. Here are a few of Kathrin’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

Though born in Budapest, András Barta has called Geneva home since he was just a baby. This Jack-of-all-trades couch-surfing enthusiast–who has worked as a bookseller, financial advisor, bartender, and flight attendant–is now helping to lead a small business while writing for Spotted by Locals in his spare time. “I discover Geneva a bit more every day,” he says, “and I love every minute of it!” Here are a few of András’s favorite things about the cultural capital of French-speaking Switzerland.

Oliver Weiss is a born and bred Frankfurter. And though he’s a fervent traveler, he’s always happy to return to his home base–which he describes as a village with a “touch of city.” In fact, Oliver has so much love for his hometown that he’s willing to share his insider intel with the world for Spotted by Locals. Here are some of Oliver’s favorite things about this German gem.

Marina Popjakova might not be a native of Bratislava, but she certainly feels like one after having lived there for so long. She thinks Slovakia’s capital deserves more attention than it gets–and shares her enthusiasm for her adopted city with the world as a volunteer for Spotted by Locals. Here are some of Marina’s favorite things about the “Beauty on the Danube.”

Russian national Elena Kozlova relocated to St. Petersburg in 2006 to pursue higher education, but her love for the city made her stick around after she claimed her degree. The Spotted By Locals blogger says living in Russia’s former imperial capital gives “the rare feeling of living in a museum under the open air surrounded by water,” and she likes it that way. Here are a few of Elena’s favorite things about the charming port city she calls home.

Comments Off on I Heart My City: Boban’s Skopje

An engineer by day, Skopje native Boban Talevski, a professed “foodie who never sleeps,” shares his insider insights on Spotted By Locals in his spare time. He loves that the Macedonian capital has “the buzz of some big metropolis, but in essence is still a very small city.” Here are some of his recommendations for travelers visiting the place he calls home.

After a decade of “intercontinental hopping,” German national Ute Kreitz returned to the “fatherland” in 2007, settling on Hamburg as her new home base. Having heard many people over the years call Hamburg Germany’s most beautiful city, she was skeptical, but after moving there, she couldn’t agree more. Here are a few of Ute’s favorite things about the city she describes as having “a small town feel and a cosmopolitan touch.”

Sofia native Ana Blagova spends her time running a small non-profit dedicated to promoting art in urban spaces and sharing her insider insight with the world as a Spotted By Locals contributor. Bulgaria’s capital city has been attracting more visitors each year, a trend Ana welcomes. As she says: “The more people, the more fun.” Here are some of Ana’s favorite things about her hometown.

I Heart My City: Martins’s Riga

Martins Veidemanis has lived in Riga for close to two decades. He fell in love with the city because of the architecture, its unique “vibe,” and the memories he’s shared there with his wife. Here are a few of his favorite things about the Latvian capital.

Arianna Malacrida hails from a small town just outside Milan, but decided to make the move to the big city while studying media and communications. After spending a lot of time couch surfing, she settled in to a flat in the Porta Genova neighborhood and started sharing her insider intelligence about Milan with the world via Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of her favorite things about Italy’s second-largest city.

Glasgow native Julia Forrest loves where she lives. “The shopping, nightlife, and the beautiful walkways make this city a great place to live in,” she says. “I couldn’t see myself happier anywhere else!” Here are a few of Julia’s favorite things about Scotland’s largest metropolis.

Karina Vabson is a Tallinn, Estonia native with a thirst for world exploration. So, after living in Spain, Iceland, and Denmark, her home city’s history and architecture called her back to where her journey began. Check out a few of Karina’s favorite things about Tallinn, then add your own two cents.

Comments Off on I Heart My City: Martijn’s Rotterdam

Martijn Hordijk has lived in Rotterdam for more than three years. In addition to working a job that regularly takes him to Aberdeen, Antwerp, and Paris, he shares insider insight about his home base as a blogger for Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of Martijn’s favorite things about the port city that’s been called “the Gateway to Europe.”

I Heart My City: Emily’s Munich

When Emily Rasch fell in love with a German exchange student in the U.S., she knew she couldn’t give him up. So, after two years of dating an ocean apart, they decided to move to Munich. That was six years ago. Here are a few of Emily’s favorite things about the city that’s become her second love.

I Heart My City: Marko’s Ljubljana

Marko Orel has studied abroad in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic, but his heart will always belong to Slovenia and its small-but-beautiful capital city, Ljubljana. Check out his guide to making the most of his hometown, then add your two cents.

I Heart My City: Ewelina’s Krakow

For Ewelina Tłuczek, a writer for Spotted By Locals, Krakow is the perfect fit: not too big, not too small — a place where “you can do everything you want.” Check out Ewelina’s insider tips, then add your own recommendations for the city she hearts.

I Heart My City: Sandra’s Ghent

Sandra de Lobel moved to Ghent to study and fell in love. She’s currently renting an old but cozy apartment near the city center and loves living where everything is in arm’s reach. Check out Sandra’s insider tips for what to see and do in the Belgian city she describes as “not too big and not too small.”

I Heart My City: Yamina’s Brussels

Comments Off on I Heart My City: Yamina’s Brussels

Yamina el Atlass was born and raised in Brussels, and returned home in the 90s, when the city was coming into its own. She says she loves her home town because even though it’s Belgium’s capital city and the de facto capital of the European Union, it has the charm of a small town. Check out Yamina’s recommendations for the city she hearts: Brussels.

Maja Simov, an environmental consultant and a “spotter” for Spotted by Locals, was born and raised in Belgrade. Maja says she loves her home city because of the contrasts borne from its long, unique history. If you’re traveling to Serbia’s capital city, you should probably read this first.