One of my favorite actresses Audrey Hepburn once said “Paris is always a good idea.” I am taking it one step further to say “Europe is always a good idea“.
Last summer, Europe and I had a whirlwind love affair for one month and I savored Spain, was enraptured by England, and frolicked in France. I knew that my fling with the continent of Europe would not be a one-time thing and I vowed to return again in the near future.
That near future is this summer. I will return to Europe this time to explore 7 of its countries and to see, taste, hear, smell, and feel all that the continent has to offer. Bearing that all goes expected to my detailed plans, this is my Euro-trip itinerary for the summer of 2014:
Country #1 – The Netherlands
Amsterdam by Moyan Brenn (CC)
After flying into Brussels, the first stop on my journey will be to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam and I will have a brief three days together but I plan to make the most of it. I intend to take a couple of tours, bike around the city, take a boat down the canals, see some windmills, eat some cheese, and dance in some clogs. I also hope to get a bit off the beaten path, to venture outside of the city into the countryside, and to see some street art.
Country #2 – Czech Republic
My second stop on my Euro-Trip will be to the Czech Republic.
I will spend one week in Prague staying at a Go With Oh rental near the city center. I will also take in the sites and sounds of the city coined ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’ by Czech writer Josef Hormayer.
There will be no shortage of feasting as I explore the Czech culinary scene and bring my adventures to you through Instagram. I will also be taking various tours there including a city bike tour and river cruise tour.
Country #3 – Germany
Munich by John Morgan (CC)
The third stop on my journey will be to Munich, Germany where I will experience all that the lovely city has in store for me. Along with doing the regular sightseeing things around the city and sampling German beers, I will also be visiting the former concentration camp Dachau with Sandemans. I got a lot of great recommendations from both the Tourism Council and local bloggers, so I am really excited to see the country that I have heard so much about.
At the end of my trip, I will have a 9-hour layover in Frankfurt and I will be leaving the airport to go explore the city.
Country #4 – Austria
Austria actually had not been in my radar until I saw pictures of the Grüner See (Green Lake) and immediately wanted to see this mysterious place. My first stop will be to Salzburg, which is quite well-known for being the filming location of the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I will not only partake in the Sound of Music Tour and hear classic music from Mozart, but I will also highlight some of the other things that the city has to offer.
After visiting Salzburg for a couple of days, I will make my way to the city of Vienna, where famous people such as Mozart, Freud, Beethoven, Brahms, and Marie Antoinette resided. The city is full of rich history and culture and I plan to see palaces, explore vineyards, eat traditional Austrian food, and discover how to travel around Vienna without breaking the bank.
Country #5 – Greece
Visiting Greece has been HIGH on my bucket list ever since I saw it featured in the movie ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’. I wanted to dip in the beautiful blue ocean, eat fresh Mediterranean food, and to gaze at gorgeous Greek men (after all, there is a reason the ‘gods’ are Greek… but I digress…)
I will be visiting the lovely island of Santorini and outside of the activities listed above, I will also be sampling Greek wines and scuba diving by Caldera Beach. I really look forward to getting out of major cities for about one week to spend time near the water.
After leaving Santorini, I will spend a couple of days sightseeing in Athens seeing both the typical tourist attractions as well as doing some off-the-beaten-path type exploring recommended by local and international travel bloggers.
Country #6 – Italy
A trip back to Europe this year would be incomplete without visiting Italy, and this is the country in which I will be spending the majority of my time, although I will barely be denting the surface of places to explore.
I will be starting my explorations in Rome and making my way up to Milan while passing through Florence, Pisa, Castiglioncello, Cinque Terre, and Genoa. I may take a detour here and there based on recommendations of places I hear of on the road or more places I discover while reading.
Country #7 – Belgium
My trip will end in Brussels, where I will be spending about 24 hours exploring the city, eating Belgian chocolate, and seeing what quirky things I can find in the city. I wish I had scheduled in more time to see Belgium, so it looks like it might be on my list during my next Euro-Trip.
Planning this trip was actually not as easy as I imagined that it would have been. Between trying to find the cheapest options from getting from city-to-city and country-to-country, my bookings have taken months to do, and I am still not completely finished as some countries only allow bookings within a 60-day time period.
Last summer when I was in Europe I traveled between countries primarily by plane, but this year I wanted to do more train travel, as it is how many Europeans like to travel.
I am beyond excited for my second Euro-Trip and I am sure that I will be in love with the continent this time around as much as I was the first time I visited. I will keep you updated constantly through both my blog and social media. I have established a number of partnerships throughout Europe that I am excited to share with you over the upcoming months and I hope to hold some contests over the summer as well!