This list was SO hard to make-there were only a few places I really didn’t like so to compile my top 10 was super difficult. Don’t judge my super touristy picks; just because a place is full of tourists doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful, besides we’re all tourists anyway. There are also a few places which are off the beaten track and I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Berlin was the second stop on my trip so the whole travelling thing was still a little daunting and nerve wracking- Berlin completely made me feel at home. I fell in love with the cool, arty atmosphere of Berlin, ate my own bodyweight in the best vegan food around and completely immersed myself in this fantastic historic city.
* Make sure you get your photo taken in a 70’s booth. The only downside is it takes around 5 minutes to develop as it’s real film- be patient it’s worth it.
*Check out the night life- we had the best night in a vodka bar up some dodgy steps in an abandoned car park. Weird but fantastic
Slovenia really is a underrated country- especially to us Brits, Ljubljana is a place I wasn’t really looking forward to going to but the beautiful city completely changed my mind. The classic architecture, rich history, delicious food and friendly people meant it bought its way into my lovingly top 10.
Tip- Try and do the free walking tour if you have time. Our tour guide was really endearing and I learnt so many interesting stories about European history plus I got to try sauerkraut for the first time; Win Win.
Budapest is a capitol city where crazy things happen- One second you’re just another unsuspecting tourist and BANG! an exciting opportunity occurs. Do you want to go a free music festival inside the palace walls, drink more cider than you’ve ever drank before whilst doing the running man to Hungarian bands? Absolutely, yes! Do you want to go and eat spaghetti hummus that’s cold in the middle from a dodgy back street food vendor which will ultimately end in food poisoning? Probably not, but it still happened.
Get yourselves out of the touristy habits of Budapest and see what’s going on, this is the real city that never sleeps
7.Lake Bled- Slovenia
The ultimate hot spot for backpackers- but that doesn’t make it any less breath taking. The lake itself is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, but it’s not just about the lake. You can do cool water sports for probably the least amount of money you’ll ever spend on doing them or alternatively relax and reflect on your travelling life so far; it’s one of the most peaceful places you’ll ever be.
There’s also a really cool creek called Vintgar nearby, definitely check it out if you’re in the area.
I can’t speak highly enough of this place and everyone reading this HAS to put it on their next trip list. Just a short bus ride from Krakow will get you to Zakopane- one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is a place that is so easily missed by backpackers and trust me, you’ll regret it if you do. We stayed in a gorgeous log cabin where the other people staying there felt like family to us when we left and you can actually see a nights sky full of stars at night. Was the three hour climb up a mountain worth it? Well Joe loved it, and we got some great photographs so probably yes.
Architecture, hand painted tiles, marina and food (obviously) are just a few of the highlights of Porto. I found that Porto is the perfect city to simply wander, get lost and you’re sure to find some hidden gems on the way. In just a few days Porto quickly became one of my favourite places I’d ever been to, and it’s hard to describe why you just need to go and experience it for yourself.
I loved Venice so much more than I anticipated. People had told me it was a dirty, noisy, smelly city with fewer canals than Amsterdam. I found it to be none of those things (except that it has fewer canals than Amsterdam- that’s a fact). I relished getting lost around the corner of endless canals which streets all have the exact same name. We found silent streets where it felt like it was only us in the world and we had the most delicious pizza in a local takeaway shop. This place is truly unique- there’s nowhere like it anywhere else in the world. I mean this city is sinking and at some time in the future it will cease to exist, surely everyone has to see it while they can.
Split, and Croatia in general actually has the friendliest locals I’ve ever come across, which makes all the difference when you’re in a country foreign to your own. White marble adorns every building and walk way, Palm trees are dotted along the marina and mountains tower over the landscape- Split is magnificent. There is always something happening in Split, the night life is incomparable. We stumbled across countless free gigs in the back streets of this place as well as an actual music festival celebrating Split’s culture. A typical holiday place yes, but still one of my favourites.
Hidden in the deep south of Spain, Cadiz feels like you’re exploring a small town in Morocco. It’s early Arabic influences are extremely present which creates a truly unique and exciting place to visit. Cadiz offer the best Tapas I’ve ever tasted and locals flood onto the streets after dark to drink outside too small, uber cool bars who will give you free shots of Chilli Vodka if you say you like the food. I had one of the best times of my trip getting lost in Cadiz
1.Cesky Krumlov- Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov- my ultimate fave. When were first researching into where we would visit on our backpacking trip, instead of googling ‘Best places to go in Europe’ we would look at a map and say ‘Hmm, that place sounds cool’ and voila that is how we found Cesky Krumlov- and how happy am I that we did! I would live here if I could, it is the quaintest, most beautiful and unique place I’ve ever been. When you go here, and you most definitely should, you feel like you’re living in a medieval town. There’s a great castle with a story to match about a schizophrenic Prince who chopped up his Princess and threw her out of a window (lovely, I know), a lovely body of water and a forest protecting this place.
The cute, little shops are to die for and being me, I never forget the food. You HAVE to try a Trdelnik- a sweet pretzel like dough rolled in almonds and sugar and then filled with whatever your heart desires; Vegan too! I still dream about those beauties.
*All photos as always, taken by my unofficial photographer boyfriend Joe