My favourite places in Scotland was so popular that I decided to write a post about Europe. For the purposes of this blog post I have not included anywhere in Scotland because I would be going over the same places.
For context, I have visited Germany, Croatia, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Andorra, Ireland and England. I loved a lot of these places but in some cases I was just too young.
I would love to visit Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Austria, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechia, Romania and Ukraine. If anyone has any suggestions for places to visit, please feel free to leave a comment.
#5 – Eze, France
At the end of university, I visited here on holiday with friends. We were staying in Nice and traveled by bus to Eze Village. Eze is an ancient village centered around a castle and has stunning views of the coast. Inside the castle there are artisan shops and cafes. We spent the day wandering around and taking pictures. For lunch we had crepes which were made by a vendor on the street. I preferred Eze to Nice and Monaco (where we also went on that holiday) because it was slightly cooler and had many interesting things to see.
#4 – Florence, Italy
Last year we went on a multi-stop holiday to Rome and Venice. While researching the trip I realised that we could stop over in Florence on our way to Venice for 3 euros extra. I’m so glad we did. Rome had been hot and sticky and full of tourists. Florence felt a bit more authentic. We ate carbonara in a cafe beside the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The architecture in Florence is amazing. Everywhere you go there is a beautiful church or museum. We wandered down towards the river and spied statues of famous artists and scientists then looked out of the Ponte Vechio (a medieval stone bridge) onto kayakers on the river. I wish we had spent more time there and would absolutely go again.
#3 – Santa Cruz, Tenerife
I used to work in Tenerife and while I didn’t enjoy the heavy tourist areas of Las Americas and Los Cristianos, I loved taking a bus up to Santa Cruz (the capital). Buses take an hour from Las Americas and cost 12 euros at the time. Compared to the other places, Santa Cruz is relaxed and quiet. You can spend hours just walking around the city. Places to visit are Parque Municipal Garcia Sanabria for beautiful gardens, the natural history museum if you are interested in the sea life nearby, Auditorio de Tenerife Adan Martin (The auditorium and arts complex. Don’t bother going in but spend half an hour watching the waves and people fishing), and Parque Maritimo Santa Cruz which is a public salt water swimming and recreation area (they sometimes do salsa classes in the water). If you are going to Tenerife, you should stay here.
#2 – Barcelona, Spain
I have been fortunate to have visited Barcelona a number of times in my life and I’m hoping to go again in the near future. No trip here is complete without visiting Sagrada Familia, Antonio Gaudi’s church which is still being built more than 150 years later due to the intricate designs. I took a bus to Park Guelle which was also designed by Gaudi for a wander and great views. Take a walk down La Ramblas (careful of your bags) and then have seafood down beside the harbour. I have also been to the football stadium (meh) and the nearby theme park Port Aventura (awesome). Eat late and get lots of tapas.
#1 – Venice, Italy
Venice is my favourite place in Europe because I have so many fond memories here. Vince and I have been twice now and I think it’s really romantic. You don’t need to pay to do anything if you’re broke because the city is so beautiful most would be happy to wander around. My tip for Venice? Get lost. Just start walking in a direction and see where you end up. I’ve always felt pretty safe here because you are never alone. Highlights include taking a water bus to Murano (the island where they make Murano glass), visiting Palazzo Ducale for some history and going to the food markets in the morning. You can either stay within Venice (we got a youth hostel in Campo San Geremia and it was lovely) or you can stay on the mainland and get a bus in every day. The best thing about Venice is having a wander around (with a gelato) then grabbing a beer in a cafe and watching the world go by. I wouldn’t spend more than 4 days at a time here, but you could be exploring the city your whole life.