Hello hello hello, how are you guys? I hope you are doing well!
This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but deciding a top ten out of all the breathtaking destinations that compose the unparalleled historical cesspool that is Europe was too much of a feat. However, I’ve managed to finally pry out some of the cities that are less of a personal goal for me! My hope is to take a gap year after high school and go to as many of these (and other) places as possible! I also tried to pick places that are scattered throughout the constellation of a continent, rather than too many clusters. So a quick lil personal disclaimer: there are loads more cities and monuments and things I want to go and see and experience (a part two may eventually appear…), but I had to narrow it down the best I could!
Now without further ado, let’s get into my top ten travel destinations, Europe edition!
Pro tip: listen to George Ezra’s Wanted on Voyage album while reading this!!
Disclaimer #2: images are not mine
So there are manyyy reasons why I want to go to Amsterdam (look at the photos, my gosh, why wouldn’t you want to), but here are a few: the famous cycling trails, the canals (apparently there are actually more canals than in Venice, but whether that’s calculated by size or by number I’m not sure), and just it’s suuuch a beautiful city (yes you will hear variations of this sentence constantly, sorry but I’m not really sorry look at the photos again can you blame me?!). I’ve also heard a lot of interesting stories associated with Amsterdam, and honestly it seems like such an incredible place for making memories! In addition to all of those lovely things, there’s the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh museum (random side note, if you’ve never seen Starry Night over the Rhone, you mustttt), and Vondelpark (I love parks built in the middle of cities, where you can be in the heart of metropolitan pandemonium and be in complete serenity.). For my darling bookworms out there, there’s also the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (on top of being filled to the brim with books, this place apparently has city views from the top floor, which I adoreeee)!
First and foremost, Barcelona has some of the most beautiful architecture and art in the world! Anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with architecture, and riding the metro between different Gaudi buildings would be an absolute dream! If you haven’t heard of Antoni Gaudi, he was an architect, google him, check out his stuff (prime examples of his work are the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Mila), he’s amazing. I also want to check out the Gothic Quarter and La Boqueria (which is a market that sells tons and tons of stuff)! Aaaand of course if I ever got the chance I’d also love to go to a Barça game at some point!
So the main reason for my newfound obsession with Budapest is actually kinda of funny. A friend of a friend was talking about her trip to Prague and Budapest, and in addition to constantly reminding us of the correct pronunciation of Budapest (Boo-da-PESHT), she also insisted at great length that she disagreed with Prague being titled the most beautiful city in the world. According to her, Prague was interesting and cool and pretty, but Budapest was absolutely breathtaking! She said that she thinks the latter should be crowned with the aforementioned title, because it’s been almost a year since her trip and she still can’t get over how stunning the city is! And for me, when someone I know is talking about their own adventures and experiences, I find it much more persuasive than just seeing photos or seeing someone I don’t know talking about it, it’s just so much more personal. Bonus points if you’re listening to Budapest by George Ezra while reading this
and if you’re not, what’re you even doing.
Okay so Edinburgh is somewhat of a new love of mine, I’ve heard people like the lovely Sasha Alsberg (author of Zenith, @sashaalsberg on insta, @abookutopia on yt, incredible human) talk about Scotland in such an incredible light and it just makes me want to go! Scotland has so many castles and it just seems like such a cool cultural and historical destination! I would love to wander through Edinburgh’s Old Town, and walk down the Royal Mile, and just meander through taking photos and checking out all the old buildings (apparently there are some Reformation-era ones in and around that area)! Also, my boyfriend’s family comes from Scotland, and I know he’d love to go!
Ok so Florence is one of the places I would most love to visit, and I’m not even going to lie, a solid 90% of that reasoning is because of how flipping gorgeous it is!! It’s one of those places where mere photos make my jaw drop, and I just can’t wait to visit it! In addition to possibly being one of the most picture perfect cities in the world, I’d love to visit the Florence cathedral and the Uffizi galleries, and shop along the Ponte Vecchio and check out the Basilica and the Piazza del Duomo and just see it all!
“Florence is a corridor, through which the beauty and finery of the world have passed . . . Florentine art has always been an art of form, of delicate but precise outline, and the shape of the city, of its bridges and palaces, is of severe elegance”
I mean if you’ve seen London you can probably already think of a solid like twelve reasons but I’ll give you some more. First of all, Ozone. According to We Are Travel Girls, Ozone if a cafe that has “undoubtedly one of the best-tasting coffees in London,” and if that’s not enough of a reason to travel to England I don’t know what is. However, if you do need more encouragement, you can also check out a West End show (which I’ve been looking into ever since Holly Gabrielle mentioned working in Billy Elliot on the West End), you can go shopping among the plethora of boutiques, can tour the Thames, check out the views from the London Eye, and exploring the many fine museums that litter the streets!
p.s. check out Holly’s Instagram though, she’s a sweetheart @veganhollyg
Okay I think Manarola is for real my dream vacation spot, and definitely my dream vacation home spot! It’s just such a picturesque, colourful, vibrant place and I absolutely love the whole vibe. I seems like such a serene, sweet place to just wind down and enjoy. Any one of the Cinque Terre towns would be incredible to pay a visit, but for some reason Manarola (and possibly Riomaggiore) just caught my eye and I’d love to go! Speaking of Riomaggiore, I’d love to walk the length of the Via dell’Amore (or The Way of Love, which is adorable), which is a street that connects the two towns!!
Also, I just saw that Lee Ann (@greykins) is in Manarola and I am so so so so jealous! Not only is her feed absolutely stunning but she’s in manAROLA omigod (also I believe she’s from Berlin, which is definitely a runner-up to this list). Check out her insta because look at it!
So ever since I was little, I’ve been dying to go to Paris! I was in French Immersion for 9 years, and in learning the language I’ve developed a bit of a yearning for France and to be immersed in the culture. There are loads of other places in France I’d like to visit and I’d love to see some of the vineyards and some other sights, but Paris is at the top of my list. La Paris est connue comme la ville lumière et de l’amour, et pour cause. Translation? Paris is known as the city of light and of love, and for good reason. If you’re quesitoning the city of light part, look at the pictures and you’ll see enough of a reason (it’s actually because of its role in the Enlightenment and for being one of the first cities with gas street lighting but whatever). As for the et de l’amour, Paris is a common romantic getaway, and I think it would be a beautiful place to visit. With all of the cute shops and boutiques, as well as seeing landmarks like the Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and just ambling around the Louvre (there’s over 35 000 works there, so I may end up there for a few months but that’s fine), there seems like there will always be something to do there! Also, I need to visit Cuillère, which was again listed in that aforementioned post about European cafes (not only good coffee, but French pasTRIES!).
Also, another thing that has helped to convince me of the glory that is Paris, have you seen Clara (@thebookwormofnotredame)’s Instagram because oh my lord have you ever seen anything that perfect??
First of all, yes of course I want to go there for the history and for the architecture, especially because I’m a bit architecturally obsessed, but there’s another reason for my obsession with this gem of a city! To explain myself, let me include a quote here from Cities of Italy by Arthur Symons (this is how the book starts out): “The last sunset of the year had been stormy; the whole sky, as I saw it from the Pincio, blazed like a conflagration; fire caught the farthest roods of Rome, and seemed to sear the edges and outskirts of the city, like a great flame coming down from heaven.” From this point forward, Symons’ description of Rome just gets more and more appealing and compelling, until it became one of my top cities that I was dying to visit! A continuation of this quote for your pleasure:
“. . . This flame burnt with an unslackening ardency long after the sun had gone down below the horizon; then the darkness began to creep about it, and it grew sombre, drooping into purple, withering into brown, dwindling into a dull violet, and from that wandering into a fainter and fainter greyness, until the roofs, jutting like abrupt shadows into the night, seemed to go up like smoke all round the city, as if the great fire were smouldering out.”
Stating the obvious first: canals, canals, canal. Of couuurse, strolling down the Grand Canal would be an absolutely amazing experience, and I’ve always wanted to see it! But in addition to that wonder, St Mark’s Basilica is an absolute architectural marvel, as is the Square (Piazza San Marco), and I’d love to visit the assorted palazzi that adorn the Grand Canal. I would also love to attend the Carnival of Venice or the Venice Film Festival; I’ve always wanted to go to them! But honestly, a gondola ride down the beautiful streets of Venice in and of itself would be a dream come true (albeit an expensive one, over $100 for a 40 minute ride, although nevertheless worthwhile).
“Coming in the train from Milan, we seemed, for the last ten minutes, to be rushing straight into the sea. On each side was water, nothing but water, stretching out vaguely under the pale evening light; and at first there was not a sign of land ahead. Then a wavering line, with dark ships, and thin shafts of rigging, came out against the horizon, like the first glimpse of a island; the line broadened, lights began to leap, one after another, out of the darkness . . . We were in Venice.”
What do you think? Where would you like to go in Europe, if you were able to go wherever you wanted? Have you been to any of the places I mentioned?
Thanks for reading loves, and take care! Until next time,
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