Prague

I’m Heading Back to Europe Next Week!

In Europe, Travel by Katelyn4 Comments

Europe Trip

I’m so excited! Next Wednesday I’m heading back to Europe for 18 days! I’ve haven’t been to mainland Europe in over 7 years so this trip is long over due. My timing couldn’t be any better either as the exchange rate is high (although the dollar has fallen slightly) making Europe a bit more affordable for this budget backpacker. I originally booked this trip last November and I have changed it slightly over the months. I knew the main highlight of the trip was going to be Greece, but after that I was completely up in the air about my second week of travel. As someone who wants to go everywhere it’s hard for me to make choices and pinpoint my next destination at times. Paris? Stockholm? London? Prague? Yes to all!

My original plan was to spend a week in Greece and then fly to Paris and then work my way up to Amsterdam and fly out of AMS on June 7th. But that all changed about two months ago and I have since changed my flight to fly out of Brussels to ensure I have enough time to eat all the chocolate and drink all the glorious Belgian beer, which happens to be my favorite type of beer! I’m pretty sure I’m going to gain about 20 pounds on this trip! So without further ado, here’s my Summer 2015 Europe Trip:

Greece

Back when I left Italy over 7 years ago, I told myself the next time I go back to Europe it was going to be Greece. I’m not 100% why I was so fascinated by Greece at the time, but I’m sure it had something to do with its history, architecture, and the Greek isles. I find it ironic that 7 years later as I return to mainland Europe for the second time, I am heading to Greece. Although I did “cheat” on Greece by going to Portugal last November. I’ll be spending a couple days around Athens taking in all the sights and filling up my tummy with amazing Greek food on a Athens Walking Food Tour with Tinggly.

Athens Greece

By K beard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

After Athens, I will be sailing the Sardonic Islands of Greece with Med Sailors on a 7-day sailing tour and I cannot wait! I used to do some sailing back in high school and post-college, but haven’t been back on a boat in years. I’ve yearned to feel the wind in my hair, the salty water kiss my skin, and the feeling of pure happiness while being at the helm. Over seven days we’ll be stopping in Perdika, Ermioni, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Agistri, and finally back to Athens.

Once back in port, I’ll be making a beeline to the train station to hop a 4-hour train (or possibly bus if I miss the train) to Kalambaka to see the monasteries of Meteora. I followed a few travel bloggers last year as they spent a few days in the area and I knew that I HAD to go here while in Greece. In fact, I planned the rest of my European adventures around these 48 hours I’ll be in central Greece. Once my time is up here I’ll be catching a very early train back to Athens and flying into my next destination…. Budapest, Hungary!

Bloggers that inspire my travels:

The Magical Monasteries of Meteora – Journey of Wonders

Meteora: Greece’s Best Kept Secret (And Why You Should Go Now) – Curiosity Travels

All Aboard for Athens – Alex in Wanderland

Budapest, Hungary
Budapest

By Dirk Beyer (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve heard fabulous things about Budapest and I’m excited to explore Eastern Europe for the first time. I plan on doing a walking tour of the city and explore its history and architecture. I’d also love to hit up a few of Budapest’s infamous ruin bars and soak in one of the many thermal pools. And you can bet that I will take about 5,000 photos of the Parliament building. I mean… how stunning is it?!

Bloggers that inspire my travels:

48 Hours in Budapest – A Dangerous Business

The Ruin Bars of Budapest – Nomadic Matt

Budapest: The Low-Down – The Road Forks

Vienna, Austria and/or Bratislava, Slovakia
Ultimately I am working my way up to Prague. Depending on how much I love or dislike Budapest, I might stop in either Vienna, Bratislava, or both if the time allows. I’m really interested in Bratislava so I will most likely stop in for at least an afternoon. These cities are tentative and will be quick stopovers if the time allows. I know I will have to return someday to fully enjoy everything the cities have to offer.

Bloggers that inspire my travels:

Alternative Vienna: The Imperial City Through Hundertwasser’s Eyes – Girl vs. Globe

A Day Trip to Charming Bratislava, Slovakia – Travel Addicts

Vienna is for Architecture Lovers – Adventurous Kate

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague

By Valerii Tkachenko [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Many friends and travel bloggers have raved about Prague. The city looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale and I hear the beer is some of the best in the world. Not to mention it is far cheaper than Paris. Sign me up! I plan on seeing Prague Castle and if time allows I would love to see the famous Sedlec Ossuary (bone church) in Kutna Hora. And of course, I plan to drink lots of beer!

Bloggers that inspire my travels:

How to Spend Four Days in Prague – Nomadic Matt

Prague in One Day – Home is Where Your Bag Is

Things to Do in Prague – yTravel Blog

Brussels, Belgian
Brussels

By Wouter Hagens (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

After Eastern Europe, I’ll be flying from Prague to Brussels to spend a few days before flying back home. I’m sure I will be completely exhausted by time I reach Brussels as I’m very much the type of traveler who likes to jam-pack her days and then pass out at a reasonable hour. I get bored very easily. Generally, I’m always the first one up at hostels. The early bird catches the worm, right? I love Belgian beer and will definitely be doing a beer tasting and I plan on going to Delirium Bar to try at least one of its 3,000+ beers. I would also like to taste all the chocolate (I better bring a lot of money!) and spend an afternoon in Bruges, which is considered to be the Venice of northern Europe.

Bloggers that inspire my travels:

Brussels Hipster City Guide – Travels of Adam

8 Hours in Brussels: Ready, Set.. Eat and Drink! – Farsickness

7 Must-See Highlights in Brussels – A Luxury Travel Blog

As you can see, my 2.5 weeks are going to be very busy, which is how I like to travel. As much as I am excited about sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, I’m also a wee bit nervous as I have a hard time relaxing. At least I’ll be prepared with several books and podcasts. I can’t wait to come back with new stories of my adventures and about a million photos! Keep up with my travels in real-time via my Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram!

Have you been to any of these places? What should I see?

Comments

  1. Bratislava over Vienna. We spent a week in Vienna which was about 6 1/2 days too much and only 1 day in Bratislava, which was about 4 days too little. Although, to be honest, we were there in the middle of the winter. I think our experience in Vienna might have been a little better if we could have spent more time in the parks and gardens. Enjoy your trip. Look forward to reading about your journey.
    Lance recently posted…Reflections After The Nepal EarthquakeMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Lance! That’s what I’m leaning towards so I’m glad to get your opinion. 🙂

  2. Your trip sounds like it’ll be so much fun!! I’m leaving for Europe soon too with my best friend (we’re both originally from Maine, too) and we’ll be hitting a lot of the same places as you!
    Budget-wise, I’d stay away from Vienna and explore more of Bratislava and Budapest. There’s a crazy price difference between them for being so near each other!
    From one Mainer to another, have a great trip! 🙂
    http://www.saraseestheworld.com

    1. Author

      Hi Sara! Yay for another Mainer! Especially one that loves to travel too! Thanks for the advice on Vienna. I’m definitely leaning more towards Bratislava so I’m glad my instincts have been confirmed. Safe travels to you and your friend!

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