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I Heart My City: Lars’s Stockholm

Lars Linderoth, who moved to Stockholm in 2000, credits his natural curiosity with helping him to uncover the Swedish capital’s local secrets. “[I] never stop exploring—not on the road, not when I’m in my hometown,” he says. “There is always something to see.” Now a full-blown local, but no less thrilled with his home base, Lars shares his love for Stockholm by blogging about his favorite finds on Spotted by Locals. Here are some of the highlights.

I Heart My City: Martina’s Thessaloniki

“Even if it’s not really your cup of tea, Thessaloniki won’t bore you—not for a single second—because it never ever sleeps,” says local Martina Papaiaioannou. Here’s a look at Greece’s second largest city through her unique lens.

I Heart My City: Sheilla’s Tel Aviv

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.”

I Heart My City: Magda’s Warsaw

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.”

I Heart My City: Maranta’s Sarajevo

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.

I Heart My City: Irena’s Prague

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.

I Heart My City: Marta’s Porto

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.

I Heart My City: Kathrin’s Helsinki

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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.

I Heart My City: András’s Geneva

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.

I Heart My City: Oliver’s Frankfurt

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.

I Heart My City: Marina’s Bratislava

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.”