Out of all the continents, Europe is the one that I have travelled the most (living in Scotland helps! What doesn’t help is the fact I have to take at least 2 planes to get anywhere…). I’ve decided to make a list of my Top 20 European Destinations. Some of these I’ve been to, some I’m desperate to visit but I hope you enjoy my list!
Just a head’s up, this list isn’t in order of how much I like the destinations, as they’re too amazing to put in order!
20. Dubrovnik, Croatia telegraph.co.uk
If you wanna pretend you’re in Game of Thrones (although, you’ll probably end up killed off like the rest of the characters…), then this is the destination for you! Dubrovnik is a beautiful, old town, full of amazing history and museums.
19. Saas-Fee, Switzerland
I need to go back here. Saas-Fee is amazing for skiing. Only electric cars are allowed in the town, which is full of cute buildings and amazing shops (and hot chocolate!)
18. Monaco hotel-r.net
The world’s second smallest country (after the Vatican), Monaco is one of the glitziest places in the world and I badly want to visit it. It’s very expensive, though!
17. Barcelona, Spain timeout.com
I’m desperate to visit Barcelona and see the Sagrada Familia, get lost in the alleys, and enjoy everything Gaudi!
16. Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, Prague is full of amazing architecture, history and everything is so cheap! And you need to try a trdelnik – they’re so good!
15. Amsterdam, Netherlands digital.fespa.com
Full of brilliant museums, Amsterdam is also famous for its biking, culture and history.
14. Edinburgh, Scotland
I lived here for 4 years, so Edinburgh will always have a special place in my heart. Make sure you visit the many museums and the castle (and palace!). And you must get lost in the small back streets! (The above photo is the street I lived on – isn’t it gorgeous?!)
13. Budapest, Hungary lvs.luxury
Budapest is probably up there for culture and architecture. And I’ve heard it’s a good place to travel to if you’re on a budget.
12. Verona, Italy
I love Verona. It’s so small, cute, rustic and full of history – and it’s so easy to get away from the crowds as well!
11. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic czechtourism.com
Another small, cute town, Cesky Krumlov reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel (one of my favourite films!)
10. Athens, Greece lonelyplanet.com
I love anything to do with Ancient Greece, so what better place than Athens?
9. Lisbon, Portugal worldwanderista.com
Lisbon is up there as one of the places I’m probably going to visit soon (fingers crossed!). This beautiful city is full of amazing culture, great food, and gorgeous, tiny streets.
8. Colmar, France thousandwonders.net
Probably the cutest town in France – how can you resist all of those gorgeous, brightly coloured houses! And they’re next to a river! Can’t go wrong there 🙂
7. Ronda, Spain malagatogo.com
I badly want to visit this cliffside village – imagine the views! And the history of the place is amazing.
6. Paris, France
The romantic City of Lights, there’s so much to do in Paris – amazing nightlife, culture and food, to name a few!
5. Dordogne Region, France leseyzies-tourist.info
So many castles! I need to go here!
4. Santorini, Greece foundtheworld.com
You’ll recognise the pictures – the gorgeous, white buildings with blue roofs. I’ve also heard the sunsets are amazing.
3. Venice, Italy
I love Venice. It’s so unique and unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. It’s impossible to walk over a bridge and not take a photo of the canals.
2. Seville, Spain telegraph.co.uk
As well as the history and the amazing architecture, Seville is also famous for tapas, flamenco and sangria.
1. Cinque Terre, Italy
Five gorgeous, small towns by the coast. Hike or catch the train between each town. Be prepared, though – there’s not a flat area anywhere. It’s all hills or stairs.
Prague is amazing! All the buildings are gorgeous and everything is surprisingly cheap! It was wonderful!
15. Wenceslas Square
Admittedly, my friend and I took a while to realise we were actually in the square. It’s not so much a square, as the end of a big road.
14. See David Cerny’s baby statues
In the garden next to the Museum Kampa are three giant (creepy) baby statues, that look like someone has pushed their faces in with a boot. My friend and I were not expecting to see them, but they highly amused us!
13. Kafka Museum
This museum about Kafka’s life was interesting but I think I would have been more interested if it wasn’t so packed! I couldn’t get moved, it was so busy. Make sure to check out another David Cerny statue outside – this is the famous one of two men peeing into a pond shaped like the Czech Republic.
12. Petrin Tower
I don’t think I’ll ever forget what my friend said to me as we stood in front of the Tower – I’m not going to repeat it here, as it wasn’t very nice. It made me laugh, though! This tower isn’t as big as I thought it would be, but it still gives incredible views from the top!
11. St George’s Basilica
This was a nice building to wander around – it wasn’t that big, though, and everyone was continuously moving, so it was impossible to stop and get a proper look at things!
10. ‘Hanging Out’
Another David Cerny statue! My friend and I stumbled upon the statue of Sigmund Freud ‘hanging out’ on the top of a building. It’s so unusual – I loved it!
9. Jewish Quarter
The style of buildings here is lovely. I would have loved to have seen the old Jewish cemetery, but the queue was huge and we were only there for a few days, so we went and explored elsewhere. It gives me an (unneeded) excuse to go back, though!
8. Old Royal Palace
Compared to other palaces that I’ve been in, this one was a bit plain but I loved that. It gave it a sort of uniqueness. Make sure to check out Vladislav Hall – the ceiling is incredible!
7. Hemingway Bar
The best cocktail bar that I have ever been in. We were seated just like we would be at a restaurant (in the non-smoking area upstairs) and we were lucky enough to be seated at the bar. There’s something mesmerising about watching someone expertly make a cocktail.
6. Old Town Square
Probably the most famous square in Prague. It was beautiful – and so busy!
5. Astronomical Clock Tower
This was beautiful – and it’s the oldest astronomical clock tower in the world that’s still in use!
4. Charles Bridge
A trip to Prague is not complete without crossing over the Charles Bridge. The oldest bridge in Prague and definitely (in my opinion) the most beautiful.
3. Golden Lane
Situated in the Castle Complex, this little shopping street was so cute! It’s where I started my cool (read: sad) tiny plate collection!
2. St Vitus Cathedral
This is very impressive. It’s one of those cathedrals that dominates over all of the other buildings surrounding it and I love dark, Gothicy architecture.
1. Petrin Hill
Definitely spend at least half a day here. It’s huge and my friend and I wandered for ages. I’m so glad we caught the funicular to the top, as going downhill was so steep! The locals are probably used to it – we got overtaken by a woman with a pram, as we were going so slowly, trying not to trip over our feet!
Honourable Mention: Trdelnik
Eat a trdelnik! I’ve still no idea how to pronounce this (even though I think I asked every time I bought one). It’s basically a pastry that has been grilled over hot coals and sprinkled in sugar and it is delicious.
I know it’s sad to admit this but, before this trip, the only holidays I’d had with friends were school ski trips. But they don’t really count, do they, as you’re surrounded by teachers?
So I was thrilled for this trip. It was only for four days, but I think four days is a good amount of time for a city-break.
Unfortunately, the trip didn’t start off so well. The flight was fine but, as soon as we landed, I had to run to a bathroom and literally just made it before I was sick. I felt better after that, so thought everything was fine.
Boy, was I wrong! We got to the hotel and I started feeling a bit sicky again, so asked where the bathroom was while my friend checked us in. The receptionist told me, and off I went.
I couldn’t find the bathroom. I ended up in the hotel courtyard, being sick into a drain. I don’t think I’ve ever been so embarrassed in my life. Thankfully, the receptionist was lovely about it, she got me water and even upgraded our room (which was lovely) but I still felt super embarrassed and awkward. And thankfully(!) that was the end of my mysterious sickness.
The rest of the trip was lovely. We expected to spend the first day mainly in the castle complex and we managed to get that done. We also managed to walk all over Prague and see the astronomical clock tower and the Jewish cemetery and get all the touristy stuff out of the way. Seriously, you look at something and think ‘that’s about a twenty minute walk away’ and five minutes later, you’re there. Which was quite a novelty for us, as we’d lived in Edinburgh for four years and when you look somewhere and think ‘that’s about a ten minute walk away’, you’re still walking there half an hour later.
Moving on from all the touristy stuff, everything is really cheap. Beer is cheaper than juice – no joke. I took out about £200 pounds worth of Czech Koruna and still had about half of it left over at the end of my trip. Our last night in Prague, my friend and I decided we’d eat somewhere expensive to try and use up our Koruna. We found a nice (if a little bit touristy) restaurant on a boat. We got a delicious starter, main, pudding and a few glasses of Prosecco and it still only came to about £20 each.
I loved it there. I’d definitely go back, and maybe get a day trip to Cesky Krumlov. That place looks like it’s right out of a fairytale 🙂