I've never fallen so fast for a place. As soon as I stepped out of the airport and breathed in the cool crisp air of Longyearbyen, that was it. I was in love. One of the world's most northerly towns happens to also be one of the most colourful. Taking the sting out of harsh winters you'll discover a surprising amount of brightly painted houses and buildings to break up a landscape devoid of trees and little greenery. A splash of colour adds warmth to an archipelago that's 60% covered by glacier and a known stomping ground for Polar bears.
Norway's 3rd largest city has a vibrant café culture, and the best way to enjoy it is by parking up at Bakklandet, Trondheim's colourful old quarter that lies on the eastern side of the Nidelva River. The streets are packed with history, which is what you would expect from a city that used to be the former ancient capital city of Norway. No visit to Trondheim is complete without taking a look inside the imposing Nidaros Cathedral, the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world.
You don't have to walk far to get an idea of how colourful Copenhagen is, but for the biggest splashes of colour head over to Nyhvan, a 17th-Century waterfront filled to the brim with cafes, restaurants and boats. It does get busy there so if you're looking to escape the crowds and see a different side to Copenhagen, cross over the bridge and visit Freetown Christiania, known commonly as a hippy commune filled with vibrant houses and wall murals.
The main sight is the gigantic Kronborg Slot, made famous as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare's Hamlet, but for me, the colourful medieval character, best appreciated by strolling through the narrow cobbled streets between the harbour and the bustling centre is what I enjoyed the most. It's also ideally situated to catch the 30-minute ferry ride to Helsingborg in South Sweden which I highly recommend.
Stockholm's old town, Gamla Stan is certainly a sight for sore eyes, here the Swedish royal family's palace, Stockholm Cathedral and the Nobel Museum are all within a few minutes walk of each other. However, what I really, really, really love about Stockholm is its underground art exhibition spanning over 90 of Stockholm's 100 underground stations.
During the summer, holiday goers and locals alike flock to Western Harbour to relax on the boardwalk and take in the glistening views of the Oresund. To see Malmo at its prettiest explore the old town with its cobbled streets, colourful houses and leafy parks. It's cool to know that you're only a 25-minute train ride away from Copenhagen too.