To date, I’ve visited the following European countries: Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K.
Although I’ve done a fair bit of traveling within Europe, I still feel like I’ve only yet scratched the surface. There’s so much to do and see and I’m always looking for my next adventure! That being said, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite spots that I’ve traveled to thus far.
1.) Budapest, Hungary
Budapest was truly a hidden treasure for me. Quite embarrassingly, I didn’t know where Budapest even was prior to visiting. In the summer of 2014, my flatmate (at the time) and I took a bus from Prague to Budapest for a weekend trip. And wow! It’s safe to say that the city exceeded our expectations. We didn’t have an extensive amount of knowledge on the city, so we just walked around and explored for the majority of the trip. During our travels, we found a random stone stairway and aimlessly climbed to the top to find the most beautiful view!
We also visited Kiraly Baths, one of the many thermal spas in Budapest. We spent our time in the spa hopping between the sauna and one of the cold baths and sunbathing outside. That night, we also joined a free pub crawl and had the best time. We got drunk off Hungarian liquor and sat around bullshitting with the locals. This city rivals Prague, in my opinion. I was blown away by the beautiful architecture, the thermal baths, and the overall relaxed ambience. I’m determined to make my way back to Budapest.
2.) Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov is a city about 2.5 hours from Prague. I took a weekend trip with my local friend to explore this enchanting city that I had heard so much about. Well, let me tell you, it definitely lived up to the hype. Cesky Krumlov is often referred to as a “pocket-sized Prague”, and I concur. It has all the “fairytale-esque” qualities of Prague, yet nowhere near the overwhelming amount of tourists. Walking through the cobblestone streets made me feel as though I had been transported back in time. My friend and I took a tour of the Former Cesky Krumlov Brewery and also indulged in some authentic Czech cuisine.
Although the nightlife in Cesky Krumlov is scarce, we managed to find a pub open late (can’t remember the name, sorry!) and enjoyed our Czech pivo over a game of foosball. Overall, it was the perfect getaway. The city is easily accessible by bus from Prague, which makes it an ideal weekend trip. It was so nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of Prague and enjoy some peace and tranquility.
3.) Dubrovnik, Croatia
Oh, Dubrovnik. Where do I even begin? I had the good fortune of visiting Dubrovnik two times last year. Once on a solo trip through the country and another time on a trip with my mom and family friend. Both times, the city managed to absolutely hypnotize me with its splendor.
If you’re visiting Dubrovnik, I highly recommend you take a tour of the Ancient City Walls and make a trip on the cable car (amazing view of the entire city). Also, I strongly recommend a stop at Buza Bar. It’s a little bar located in the city walls. The views are stunning. I enjoyed a beer (or two) here on my 25th birthday while watching the waves crash onto the rocks below. There were even some people jumping off the rocks into the water. You can take a walk down to to get closer view of the beautiful water.
Dubrovnik has stolen my heart. And I can’t wait to go back.
4.) Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona was just as lovely as I imagined it’d be. During my trip, I visited Park Guell was not disappointed. It’s a large city park with pathways, a large spire house, and many other quirks that make it truly unique. Also a must: Sagrada Familia. This beautiful basilica took my breath away with its sheer size and gorgeous stained glass windows. Take the optional tour; you won’t be disappointed. After a few days of exploring churches and parks, I got to settle down on the beach and sip mojitos. Talk about a perfect ending!
5.) Aegina Island, Greece
My travel buddies and I took a boat from Athens (I believe it took around 40 min.) to reach the small island of Aegina. We stayed on the island only one night because we were unsure of all it had to offer. Well, let me tell you…I would’ve stayed on that island forever if you’d let me! It was my own little version of paradise. We stayed at a lovely family-run hostel called the Seaside Village Rooms. The hostel had a walking path right down to the rocks where you could jump off into the sea. Most of the time, it was just my travel buddies and I down at the rock. Occasionally, another guest from the hostel would come and join, but for the most part it felt like our own private part of the world (yes, skinny-dipping ensued).
We rented ATVS and mopeds for a day and circled around the entire island. This was the highlight of the trip for me. We stopped along the way to take pictures of the sea, reveling in its beauty. It was the perfect way to see the whole island!
Although my stay in Aegina was short lived, I’ll always remember it as my own little piece of paradise.
These are just a few of the places that I’ve visited that have really stood out to me. What are some of your favorite European spots? I’d love to know!