I have always counted myself amongst the lucky few who have had the opportunity and funds to travel. I remember working my ass off through university (and working part time) only to look forward to the summer so I could treat myself to 2 months of greek island hopping.
From then on I got the travel bug so to speak but as much as I have enjoyed and encourage traveling on your own (its the best way to get to know yourself). I have found my travel partner in mon mari- now we all know you can tell a lot about someone once you – Travel, Live or get stuck in an elevator with (the later never happened fingers crossed).
We both have the same criteria when it comes to travelling –
- Have a budget on flights and hotels.
- Spurge on food as we both are foodies.
- Make a rule not to take too many taxis as we want to see the city from a locals point of you.
- Have an itinerary before we leave, yes we are one of those people who need an agenda and usually this is done on google docs and shared, edited a number of times before its printed and kept in a plastic folder with our passports…. hey its good to have a plan especially when you are taking a quick weekend away.
So I would go as far as to say that we have managed to conquer quite a bit of Europe over the past few years.
This is another thing that a lot of my Non- European friends have serious envy over – we are so lucky to hop on a plane with very little visa requirements and go to any country within Europe with no border issues (I will not be mentioning BREXIT on this post but needless to say its not good whats happening).
I have never counted so far how many cities we have been to but I think its close to over 50 mark but amongst these the below are my favorite cities that I have visited in Europe:
Hotel- Hyatt Regency
City Info- We visited Amsterdam at the end of 2018 and it was a very last minute trip we seen flights for under £150 for both of us and took advantage of it. The city itself is tourist friendly, convenient to get around with trams and above all you will hear everyone speaking English so there is no language barrier. The food and coffee scene is amazing in fact we found too many options and not enough time to visit all. I would say this was one of the most inexpensive cities we visited.
MUST CHECK OUT- Bagels & Beans for breakfast, The Uptown Meat Club for the best Carpaccio and burgers and Taiko Restaurant for something special.
Hotel- Mama Shelter
City Info- Summer 2016 was when we had visited and it could not have been a perfect time to go the sun was shining and the city was buzzing from France being close to winning the Euro Cup Football. In Bordeaux you will find great food (seafood especially), cute french streets covered with the aroma of coffee, cheese and french baguette. While in Bordeaux take advantage and take a quick trip to the small town of St Emillion and a train ride to see the biggest sand dunes in Europe in Archechon Bay. The one thing I would note is that a little french goes a long way so brush up on your basic french.
MUST CHECK OUT- Le Entrecôte for unlimited steak and french fries, West Coast Burgers for the best burgers in town, Le 7 Restaurant Panoramique for lunch and great views of the city.
Hotel- Caro Hotel
City Info- We visited in January 2017, the weather was cold yet crisp and the city was small yet quaint. Valencia is full of great restaurants and wonderful boutique shops. Like most Spanish cities it was cheap and yet the quality of food was unbelievble. The city is very walkable and very safe. We had some of the best Tapas here and the Paella which the city is famous for was fresh and yummy. The other great thing about Valencia and why I would recommend it was how quiet it was compared to other Spanish cities.
MUST CHECK OUT- Caro Hotel, this hotel holds a very special place in our hearts due to a number of reasons. From the customer service to the facilities to the the fact that every detail of our trip was made with a great deal of attention and love. I actually can’t recommend this place enough for your stay.
Flight- No plane rides here as we drove from Portugal. The drive was 3 hrs in total.
Hotel- EME Catedral
City Info- Last year we took a road trip to Seville while we were in Portugal. I had read that driving between the two countries was doable and very easy. Originally we had planned to visit Seville for the day, but once we arrived we fell in love with the city. We decided to book a last minute hotel and stayed for one night (we usually are not so spontaneous). Seville is different to any other Spanish city I have visited it has a great mix of cultures from Roman and Islamic influences and you cam see that in the architecture. We managed to visit Real Alcatraz and the Cathedral which was located close to our hotel, both are a must.
MUST CHECK OUT- Uno De Delicious, we had our last Spanish meal here and its was perfect. A great relaxed tapas restaurant, I recommend the Patatas Bravas.
Flight-No plane rides here as we drove 3 hrs from Faro.
Hotel- Day trip
City Info- Lisbon will always remain on my list of “I wish we had spent more time there” kind of place. We arrived in Lisbon around lunchtime and then spent most of the day with a friend who lived there. So he showed us around his busy city. Lisbon is a hilly city (so wear your trainers if you intend to walk everywhere). There is so much to see, do and eat so a day was not enough. Our first meal was at Noobai, a sea view rooftop restaurant serving fresh, delicious mix of tapas style food.
MUST CHECK OUT- Agua Pela Barba is a very small but popular restaurant that prides itself on fresh locally produced cuisine. Its recommend that you get a a few dishes to share to get the f[ull experience of the menu. The food is well presented and tasty, we especially remember the fish tacos and scallops. A tip go early as they don’t take bookings and the table are limited.
These are just some of the euorpean cities that I have enjoyed going to and thought to share, incase any of you had no idea which ones are great for a quick trip.
Have any of you visited any of these cities? Do you have any fav European cities?