My travel planning series continues with the Europe Travel Bucket List. Depending on how the dreaded Brexit goes, I want to get in at least one European city break next year. If Brexit goes badly, this plan might go awry but lets plan for the best outcome. If I end up having to apply for a visa to go to Paris, I’m going to be p*ssed off and shall be sending the bill to Theresa May and her cronies.
Politics aside, there’s so much of Europe that I haven’t even begun to explore. I’ve been lucky enough to see a few places in France, Spain, and to Rome in Italy but there’s so much more to see! We have the blessing of living in London and having 5 airports less than an hour away so travelling to Europe is pretty quick, easy and affordable.
So where is on my 2019 Europe Travel Bucket List?
Croatia is up first. This is another one that’s been all over every Facebook and Instagram over the last few years, and rightly so. With Split & Dubrovnik offering rich history, rustic scenery and boasting some great hotels, Croatia has various options for a city break. I often search for images of Plitvice Lakes National Park and imagine how in awe I would be strolling through its lush greenery and steep waterfalls. Croatia also has the island break option down with places like Mljet and Solta making me reach for my swimming costume and oversize sunhat.
Next up is Romania. I have the pleasure of working with some really lovely Romanian people. I’ll admit that before I got to know them, Romania had never been in my travel plans. Seeing pictures of where they grew up, and where they spend their family holidays when they go home always has me straight on Google. One of the gents I work with recently had an operation back home and went out to the monasteries in the mountains to recuperate. Whilst they may be a haven for Christians who need to recover from the pressures of life, you don’t have to be religious to be able to enjoy these retreats. They offer rest, relaxation and reflection – all surrounded by scenery straight out of the Sound of Music.
Like England, Germany has a rich history. The unmentionable aside, Germany ticks all my boxes: food, museums, architecture. If you’re looking for a weekend city break, Germany has so many options. Most cities are less than 2 hours’ flight from London and average about £100 – the price and time you’d spend getting a train to another city in the UK from London!
Berlin is the obvious choice, with the spectrum of architecture from the iconic TV Tower to the 800 year old St Nicholas Church transitioning from ultra historic to ultra modern.
Frankfurt hits my list, purely for my love of sausages. The Sachsenhausen area has all us foodies covered, with the concentration camp offering a more sobering choice for the historians among us.
Fussen isn’t quite a city but it has to make the list! Close to the Austrian border, the scenery is Sound of Music meets Frozen. A true princess a heart, I love a good castle and the areas surrounding Fussen offers a multitude of regal residences, including the Neuschwanstein Castle – supposedly the model for the design of the Disney Castle!
Being the closest to England, France makes the most sense for us Brits to travel to. You can fly, get a train, get a boat – some have even swum there! I visited Paris a couple of years ago with my girls, to celebrate us turning 30. I absolutely fell in love with the architecture and the food. More bread and cheese than you can shake a selfie stick at? Yes please!
The Loire Valley is on my list, and not just because we’re heading there next year with M’s family! 800 square kilometres of greenery, rivers, castles and wine lands – I was sold before they mentioned the Chateau we’ll be staying in!
I’d love to travel to Normandy and visit Mont St-Michel. I vaguely remember going there as a kid but the memories are hazy and mostly of us moaning about how much walking we had to do. I want to explore the markets and play the race against the tide for the road again.
Nice is also high on the list. We all love a good beach from time to time and the Promenade des Anglais offers 7km of coastline to stroll, run or cycle through, as if one were in the Victorian aristocracy. Nice is also home to a variety of Jazz clubs offering food and music to make your soul happy. From cobbled market streets to the Three Cornices, Nice can satisfy the most eager or relaxed of travellers.
Of course, the list doesn’t end there!
Unless we have a lottery windfall, there’s no chance we’ll even get to try all of the above but in the event we do hit the big numbers, there’s so much more I want to see! I want to eat brownies and cycle round Amsterdam, experience the truest form of tacky in Benidorm, consume pasta in Florence until I burst and see just how much cold I can handle in Iceland.
Where have you travelled in Europe? What recommendations do you have?