Travel Bloggers, Favorite Destinations, Europe Edition
Travel Bloggers, Favorite Destinations, Europe Edition
- Sep 21, 2019
Courtesy/News Source: thecommontraveler.net
Ever wonder what places travel bloggers love? Me too! This article is the first in a series of collaborative posts about travel bloggers’ favorite destinations, featuring places in the Americas, Europe, and Asia and Oceania.
by Mikkel of Sometimes Home
The funny thing about one of my favorite places to visit is I despise the cold. Cold weather sucks and I would much rather vacation and live in warmer climates. But Tromso has so much to do and is so beautiful I’ve visited multiples times and each time during winter! It’s a city on the 69th parallel in Norway, in the Arctic Circle. It’s unique geographic location makes it a prime spot to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Because winter is an ideal time to visit to see the Northern Lights, it’s when I’ve visited. It’s so worth it! Other things to do include experiencing their native indigenous culture, the Samis, and their reindeer herding culture, visiting their beautiful and architecturally unique Polar Church, taking a Fjord cruise, walking through their historic town, and visiting regional museums. It’s a town built on a history of ocean expeditions but has developed into a thriving tourist destination. It’s also home to a university which draws nearly 1,000 new residents each year. They have an annual ice carving competition and Sami celebration each year too! Their festivals, sites and singular experiences make it worth the trip! The trick to beating the cold is to simply do as Norwegians do and dress in many layers of clothing! If you’re traveling to Tromso the best way to arrive is by plane so simply look up flights from Bergen or Oslo, major cities in Norway.
by Iris of Mind of a Hitchhiker
I had no clue what to expect from a summer trip to Belarus. Perhaps it would be something like Ukraine, or a bit like Russia… but I didn’t have a clear picture in my head. The 30-day visa was really expensive and not the easiest to get. Was traveling off to Belarus a big mistake?
Absolutely not! Belarus is by far the best surprise a destination can be: it’s cheap, it’s clean, the people are friendly, the weather was warm, the food is great, and it’s not touristy or crowded at all. In one word: Belarus is pleasant!
I was there in July and August of 2018 for 29 days. I started at the border with Poland in the city Brest, then traveled via some natural parks, villages, and the beautiful Mir castle to the capital city Minsk. After Minsk, I went to the northern city of Polatsk, and the two natural parks Braslaw and Narach before exiting to Lithuania.
My days were filled with eating machanka, drinking some refreshing kvass or Lidskaye wheat beer, snacking ripe plums from trees, appreciating brutalist architecture, kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking and hitchhiking from place to place. It was the first time I could practice my Russian with the locals, which improved quite a bit over the short month. I never once felt unsafe.
Initially, I thought my trip to Belarus would be a once-in-a-lifetime visit, but now I want to go back. Hopefully, the 30-day visa will be easier or cheaper to get in the future.
by Arzo of Arzo Travels
Any regular reader of my blog will probably know about my favorite place in the world: It is the tiny but breathtakingly beautiful Switzerland. And while I adore almost any part of the country, there is one region I love more than any other!
The region of Interlaken is so stunning that I keep coming back at least once each year – if Interlaken would not be so expensive (this is actually the only downside of the destination) I would probably stay a few months each time instead just a few weeks.
Without a doubt, the region of Interlaken is one of the most beautiful ones in the world – it is home to several astonishing lakes, including Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and world-famous mountain peaks like Jungfraujoch.
The scenery is one of a kind and even if you stay in Interlaken, a town in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, you are within a short time on a mountain peak (e.g.Harder Kulm, Niederhorn Mountain, Schynigge Plate) or on the water.
But it is not only the scenery which is one of a kind (I think, I forgot to mention great waterfalls like the Giessbach Waterfalls) but also cute towns and villages in the region.
It is so easy to do great day trips to towns like Thun and Montreux or cities like Lucerne. Saying, I just liked Interlaken would be a pure understatement – apart from my hometown, it is my favorite place to visit!
by Amber of With Husband In Tow
Located only 30 minutes north of Florence, Bologna is the capital city and heart of Italy’s best culinary region, Emilia Romagna. Referred to as the “Fat City” for the outstanding Italian food, Bologna offers travelers a lot to see and do during a quick city break or a week-long stay. Some of the best places to eat in Bologna serve up local specialities like Parmigiano Reggiano, mortadella, and of course traditional balsamic vinegar. You will not go hungry in Bologna. In between meals, Bologna is a safe and easy city to explore on foot. The train station is only a 15 minute walk to the main tourist area, Piazza Maggiore. The square includes the “Fontana di Nettuno,” or Fountain of Neptune, which stands guard over the city. Piazza Maggiore is also where you’ll find the most famous of all Bologna’s churches, the Basilica di San Petronio. If you are looking for a workout to burn off the calories from the rich cuisine, head over to the Le due Torri, “Two Towers,” located just off Piazza Maggiore. At over 97 meters or 300 plus feet, Torre degil Asinelli and its 498 steps provide travelers with quite a climb. The tower rewards climbers with 360-degree views of Bologna. If you are still hungry, hop on over to FICO Eataly World, the world’s first “Food Amusement Park” to explore a wide variety of culinary treats from around Italy. Once you’ve stuffed yourself again, explore the many beautiful porticos found throughout Bologna for a “passeggiata” or leisurely walk to explore quaint side streets and shops. While food is the main attraction in Bologna, the city itself is a picture postcard Italian city, which is a good alternative to the main tourist cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence.
by Or of My Path In the World
My biggest travel obsession is Spain, and Madrid is my most favorite city of all. The connection I feel to the local culture, language, people, and just everything about it always keeps me coming back for more. I spent two days in Madrid, two weeks, and even one month, and I still want to see more of it. There’s no other place that makes me feel so at home, yet never ceases to surprise and amaze me. Although it’s a big and vibrant city (the largest one in Spain), it feels cozy and not too hectic.
Madrid has some pretty important and impressive landmarks like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and the Prado Museum, but what I love to do in this city is wander through its streets and exploring it freely. While neighborhoods like La Latina are more traditional, Lavapies and Malasaña are considered hipster and edgy, and Salamanca is more luxurious.
Madrid is also known for interesting museums, beautiful parks, indoor food markets, and rooftop bars and restaurants. It’s also a base for a lot of incredible day trips like Toledo, Segovia, and Alcala de Henares.
All of these different elements and aspects are what makes Madrid such an exciting city and a perfect destination for every type of traveler.
by Dani of Live in 10 Countries
Got a taste for some salty sea air? With just two days in Whitstable, you can step back in time to the glory era of the English seaside. Think deck chairs, beach huts, and ice creams on the beach – it’s the best. Set on Kent’s coastline in the South East, it’s a haven of nostalgia and calm with a cute fishing port and beautiful shingle beach.
I could spend all day on that beach. Collecting shells by the waves is fantastic and it’s both secluded and very clean. On windy days you can fly a kite for miles and in the summer there are delicious beach stands selling tasty treats.
But that’s not all. Bring a hungry belly to Whitstable as it’s one of the most iconic locations for oysters – they are found plentifully in these waters. Oyster parlours are everywhere you go in the town, but you’ll find the very best of them right on the beach, served fresh and delicious with a slice of lemon.
What next? Walk the high street to find sweet vintage tea rooms and all the cute seaside knick knacks you could want. Why not stop and buy a souvenir for someone special. You’ll also love the occasional market, held in the fishing huts along the front.
by Maria & Rui of Two Find a Way
Warsaw is one of the most underrated European capitals. The truth is most people don’t truly consider Poland as a tourist destination, and even those who do tend to focus their time on visiting Krakow. Truth be told, we too ended up in Warsaw a bit by accident. We needed to choose a destination for our study abroad semester, and the Polish capital fit most of our conditions: classes in English, loads of history to learn about, and affordable prices. That’s how we ended up doing Erasmus in Warsaw, and the beginning of the story of how we fell in love with the city.
Warsaw is so much more than most people imagine. Yes, it’s grey and marked by some truly terrible history, but it’s also colorful, lively, and very much inspiring. It’s certainly full of contradictions, but that only makes us love the city even more. Warsaw has literally risen from the ashes to become a modern and welcoming city, with everything you would expect from a European capital, including plenty of attractions, museums, and a bustling food scene. With so many amazing things to do, it’s hard to recommend just a few, but even if you’re short on time don’t miss the Old Town, the Wilanow Palace, and the Palace of Culture and Science. Another thing that makes the city special is the number of green spaces. As you walk along Warsaw, you’ll see plenty of green spaces that serve as nature oasis in the middle of the city, from small gardens to huge parks. There are plenty of stunning parks to explore, but on your first time in the city, you really shouldn’t miss the iconic Lazienki Park.
by Michelle of The Wandering Queen
Iceland is one of my favorite countries I have ever visited. Everywhere you turn, the landscape is one of a kind. Whether you go in the summer or winter, Iceland is a great location to visit black sand beaches, tall standing mountains, beautiful waterfalls, and cute Icelandic horses. Road tripping through the country was simply magical. We stopped the car every thirty minutes to take pictures.
One of my favorite activities we did was visit some of the many ice caves. Ice caves can be dangerous in the summer, so they are only open in the winter time. Luckily, we went to Iceland at the end of November and got to experience the icicle wonderland. To visit an ice cave, you are required to go with a certified guide for safety purposes. We all met at Jökulsárlón Glacier and then rode an impressive offroad vehicle on the blue glacier. The ride was entertaining and fun. Once we got to the ice cave, we went inside with our headlamps and saw the fantastic blue shapes that the ice caves have become. It was a truly a unique and fun experience. We were even lucky enough to see two Ice Caves.
Visiting Iceland was my favorite destination. It made me want to come back and explore some more. A week is not just not enough in this wonderful country.
by Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Rome, Italy holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve visited more than 100 countries and countless cities, and yet Rome still remains my favorite.
What I love most about the city is the many different layers of history that are just waiting to be peeled back and discovered. Piazza Navona, for example, is a beautiful Baroque square filled with elaborately decorated fountains and churches, but it was also an ancient Roman stadium used for athletic competitions. Once you realize that the reason for the piazza’s elongated oval shape is because it was built on the foundations of the stadium seating, you appreciate the beauty and magic of the place even more.
Rome has so many secrets to uncover that you could live there a whole lifetime and still not see it all. I encourage you to explore beyond the main sights like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. While these places are certainly beautiful, they are also overrun with tourists.
Take the time to wander through the Jewish Ghetto or the Trastevere neighborhood on the other side of the Tiber River, both of which are famous for their amazing Roman restaurants. You don’t have to go very far to escape the crowds and discover a much more peaceful and authentic side of Rome.
by Manon of Visiting the Dutch Countryside
One of the most beautiful countries to visit is The Netherlands. While most people only are aware of the existence of the city of Amsterdam, there is more to the country than the capital of The Netherlands.
The Netherlands is a country that has many beautiful places to visit. From national parks to incredible beautiful Wadden islands. And from stunning villages to amazing offbeat places and cities.
Another wonderful thing to see and visit in The Netherlands are the beautiful tulip and flower fields that you can find throughout the country. From mid- April until the beginning of the first week of May, The Netherlands is one colourful country.
Three of my favourite places in The Netherlands are Middelburg, Hoorn and Amersfoort. These are all beautiful, medieval cities that are not often visited by foreigners who travel to The Netherlands. Here you will indulge in the Dutch culture as much as you possibly can.
One thing many cities in The Netherlands have in common is the atmosphere. When you’re wandering through the century-old cities and discover hidden alleys and courtyards, while people are enjoying a nice cup of coffee on one of the many terraces. Try visiting The Netherlands beyond the crowds and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
by Teresa of Brogan Abroad
I discovered one of my favourite European capital cities only last year and I totally fell in love with it. I spent two days in Ljubljana after some time in the region of Bela Krajina in Slovenia and it really caught me by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect, but the beautiful cobbled stones and pastel buildings really captured my imagination.
Ljubljana is very compact, so you can walk pretty much everywhere, or at the most you can cycle there. The Old Town is car free, so it’s very easy and safe to navigate on foot or on two wheels. Right in the centre you have Ljubljana Castle, perched on top of a hill overlooking the city. You can walk up through steep narrow alleyways or take the funicular. At the top you have some spectacular views of the city.
One of the things I loved doing in Ljubljana was hanging out around the Central Market. There are lots of stalls selling fresh produce as well as traditional Slovenian goodies. See if you can find the Ghee stall, which sells some delicious clarified butter from Bela Krajina. They have lots of amazing flavours but my favourite was the truffle one. Go to Prešernov Square and the Triple Bridge for some great people watching. And speaking of bridges – Ljubljana has plenty of really cool ones. Don’t miss the Dragon Bridge, Butchers Bridge and Cobblers Bridge. All very different from each other but equally beautiful.
Have you been inspired by some of these destinations? We are! If you enjoyed this collaboration, check out our posts about travel bloggers’ favorite destinations in the Americas and Asia and Oceania too!
Annick, The Common Traveler
Wondering about travel bloggers' favorite destinations in Europe? Find out where they choose to go to add to your bucket list. #travel #europe #travelbloggers #destinations
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