During my Spring visit to Europe, I travelled to 3 gorgeous cities within a week. Although my visit to each place was brief, I made to sure to max out every single minute possible.
Without much further ado, here’s a quick guide on each of the places I visited:
- Sagrada Familia – if you were only going to pick one Gaudi piece of work to explore in depth, I would suggest the Sagrada Familia! The entrance ticket is about 16 euros for a student and I think 18 euros for adults. After exploring this piece of work with a great audio guide (and ice cream), I have come to really appreciate Gaudi’s work of combining baroque architecture with his inspiration from nature, which results in such a unique look! Those entrance tickets can really rack up quite quickly but you can always still admire beautiful architecture (including the Gaudi House) and Barcelonian architecture along the streets.
- The Mercado de San José de la Boquería – often simply referred to as La Boquería, is a large public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona. It’s got great vibes and incredibly cheap fresh food – from empanadas to fresh juices!
- Park Guell is another great place to visit – to simply explore and walk around the park – there are areas that can be accessed for free, and another area that you’ll need to pay to enter (more Gaudi works here). Even from the free areas, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some Gaudi works too.
- W Hotel – for a spot of fancy, head over to the W Hotel at the end of the beach strip, get a cocktail or two and watch the sunset!
- Beach life – nothing better than ice cream and just chilling on the beach. And also for all you party-goers, there are some great clubs by the beach which means after a night of dancing on your feet you can walk out of the club and chill on the beach!
- TIP – Spanish time means late meals, including a normal dinner time being at 9pm – make the most of living a relaxed culture by sleeping in late, strolling around town, having snacks throughout the day (so you’re not starving by the time dinner rolls around), and be prepared for a dinner at around 9-10pm!
I actually have now been to Prague twice; the second visit was with my sister on our Winter 3 months adventure. It is such a gorgeous city and I mean that in all senses of the word. The city really has a very unique vibe compared to the other European countries I’ve visited and it really stands out with its artistic persona. No doubt, I would definitely head back there again!
- Hostels – the hostels are pretty cheap and so many of them have great facilities (as well as amazing art!), I really loved staying in hostels in Prague and I think that is an experience in itself! The two I stayed at – both of which I would recommend: Mosaic Hostel which has cool and interesting art, a club on the ground floor, alcoves with pianos that you can play in, and pretty modern fitout. Also, Art Hole Hostel which includes breakfast and a really cool breakfast room.
- Free walking tour – I joined a free walking tour with SANDEMANs and the tour guide was amazing – I had a really fun time learning about the culture, folk lore (e.g. about Golem), Franz Kafka, the history (e.g. the velvet revolution), and the city. It’s a really great way to see the city and plus you can to try local cuisine at your lunch stop!
- The main square in Prague is absolutely gorgeous – you should watch a few buskers in the area and check out the astronomical clock, which is astoundingly beautiful – legend has it that the clockmaker was blinded by his commissioners because they didn’t want him to make another beautiful clock for anyone else!
- Prague castle is the only area that you don’t get to go on during the walking tour – it’s up the hill and my word, the view from there is amazing. The cathedral in the castle complex is also beautiful. Also, since you’re in the area here’s a TIP – have lunch at Loveg (a vegan/vegetarian restaurant serving up traditional czech food) which comes with an amazing view of Prague and a cool balcony area!
- Wandering around Prague city is an amazing experience in itself – historical city centre, Charles Bridge, and just the architecture around the city is gorgeous – from gothic to art deco to unconventional designs, Prague’s got it all. Also make sure you have a Use It Map (available at hostels) when you’re wondering around – they’re super great with cool local tips.
- I’m not the biggest fan of traditional Czech food but I do enjoy trying new cuisines! I checked out Svejk, which is a traditional restaurant in the main centre of town (with also really cute merchandise of the mascot Svejk). Also, great European food and cakes at Cafe Colore.
- TIP – for a good souvenir that’s just absolutely gorgeous (and not too expensive either!) – check out Czech’s Manufaktura for some unique and beautiful products.
- Wanderings – you never know what you might find when wandering around. In our wanders, we accidentally walked into kroeBurg market which is a cool hipster market in a park (which feels like a forest) in the middle of the city. In the same area, we stopped by at a nice place for lunch called the kuchenkaiser. The apfelstrudel here was the best apple strudel I’ve ever tried!
- Free walking tour – there are many free walking tours in the popular cities in Europe. I went to the SANDEMANs’ free walking tour in Berlin and it was a really amazing experience. The tour took us around all the main spots of Berlin, which turns out is a very walkable city. We went to St Hedwig’s Cathedrawl and Babelplatz (the site where the young Nazis burnt books), the Jewish memorial, and the site where Hitler’s underground bunker was. We also went to many other famous sites such as the Brandenburg gate, Check Point Charlie and so much more. The tour guide was great and was really knowledgeable – it was a great history lesson and it makes your trip to a place like Berlin that much more meaningful.
- The East Wall Gallery – if you love art and taking those instagram photos, I would recommend going to this separately in your own time!
- A hipster thing to do is to take photos with your travel companions at the automat machines!
- So many great bakeries – even the chain bakery stores are great – the bread and the pastries are just mmh-mmh-mmmmmh!! And also the perfect snack for when you do the walking tour!
- Concentration camp visit – this is pretty much a whole day trip so set aside a day for this – I went with a branch of the SANDEMANs tour – you only need to pay for your train ticket as well as the entry fee (which are both relatively cheap) and of course tip your guide at the end! The experience was really unforgettable and sobering experience. So many places in Berlin really makes you think, and it is really important that we learn as much as we can, reflect, and apply what we’ve learned – as George Santayana once said “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat their mistakes”!