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Visited Countries

Dark Grey: Countries I’ve Visited + Photo Essays | Grey: Visited | White: Not visited


Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, a picturesque city composed of 14 islands. Stockholm is one of the most beautiful, calm and vibrant cities in Europe. One of the highlights of my trip is when I visited Gamla-Stan, also known as the “Old City”. The architecture is simply overwhelming, with narrow cobbled streets and colorful buildings that looked straight out of a fairytale.


A short couple of days was all it took for Helsinki to steal my heart.The city’s innovative urban culture–meshing tradition and trends in its own special way and seamlessly combining cityscape with nature. The diverse landscapes of The Suomenlinna Fortress has many opportunities for exploration, while mainland Helsinki houses beautiful architecture gems.


Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. The country has become symbolic for its man-made islands, architectural marvels, largest shopping malls in the world and sky-rise buildings such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj al Arab.


The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is without a doubt a must-see when you visit Abu Dhabi. This iconic mosque was built in memory of Sheikh Zayed, the man who brought the United Arab Emirates together, spearheading its creation into the majestic nation it is today. The result is the largest and grandest mosque in the United Arab Emirates today. It’s a stunning building, one of the most beautiful I have seen in my life.


Senses are ablaze as my feet pound through Manhattan’s bustling mass of skyscrapers and sidewalks. I could spend weeks on this island and still not see all there is to see. Getting around New York City by foot, subway, yellow cab and helicopter made me discover what makes this concrete jungle truly astounding.


Visiting Paris is always a good idea, even when you only have one day to bask in its charms. Its rich history, architectural wonders, remarkable museums, and picturesque landscapes are sure to make it every traveler’s dream destination.


I spent a midweek in Moscow just wandering around, trying to get a sense of the city. It took me almost four days, but I think I’ve got it. I became fascinated by the unique mix of Renaissance Russian architecture and Soviet era Stalinist architecture. There’s still so much to explore—I wish I had an infinite supply of time here.


Saint Petersburg is chock full of palaces, canals, classical architecture and pastel colors. I find myself constantly walking backwards, bumping into fur-wrapped locals, as I try to get some perspective on the cultural jewels of Russia’s cultural heart.


Bali is magical. As probably the most famous island in Indonesia, Bali blends spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful sandy white beaches with warm and friendly people, a vibrant culture and filled with over 1000 temples. It is no wonder the island is often called ‘The Island of the Gods’.


I’ve dreamt of visiting Scandinavia for years and Copenhagen, the Danish capital, has always been the leader of the pack. Copenhagen is a compact city packed with historic buildings lining its narrow cobbled streets. Colourful waterside townhouses, boats on the canals and Scandinavian design everywhere, it’s no wonder this port city has consistently been known as one of the happiest places in the world.


Tallinn Old Town is one of the best preserved Hanseatic town centres in the world, and one of the oldest cities on the Baltic Sea. At the historical and medieval heart of the city is the hill of Toompea, covered in cobbled streets and filled with medieval limestone houses and alleyways. The best way to explore Tallinn was to get lost, finding myself drifting through centuries of history.


Budapest is one of my favourite cities in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian capital is in fact two cities, Buda and Pest, divided by the Danube river. The best way to enjoy the city is a walk along the Danube, with views of Castle Hill, Fisherman’s Bastion, and home to the parliament of Hungary: The Parliament building, one of the most iconic neo-gothic buildings in all of Europe.


Ever since I heard that it was possible to visit the Chernobyl power plant and its surrounding radioactive ghost town “Pripyat”, I knew this would be a trip I’d definitely have to make. It’s been on my bucket list forever, and it exceeded al my expectations.


Marrakech, a heady blend of labryinthal souks, colourful Medina streets, mysterious snake charmers performing at the Djemma El Fna and the enchanting sound of the call to prayer echoing around the medina. We continued our journey, through the High Atlas Region towards to the gateway of the Sahara: The ancient fortified ksar of Aït Ben Haddou.


Sofia is a city packed with ecletic monuments and buildings. The Bulgarian capital is built upon ancient foundations of culture and history. Standing among the striking Stalinist-era architecture are ancient Byzantine masterpieces, built during the 500 years of Ottoman rule, as well as ruins of a Roman metropolis from nearly 2000 years ago, when the city was called ‘Serdika’.


Plovdiv is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city and it is best loved for its enchanting old town, packed with cobbled streets and colourful 19th-century mansions. Plovdiv has a fair number of well-preserved Roman ruins, the most important of which is the Roman amphi theatre, built in the saddle between two hills overlooking the ancient city.

All content copyright 2018 Matthijs Kok
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