It looks like my readers love my travel posts and my point of view and descriptions of places I have visited.
That Is why I am coming out with this post to tell you about places in Europe that has left the best memories and impression on me. There are few cliche places and some which you probably have not heard of! Before starting, I want to let you know that these cities are in mixed order, and does not portray my most or least loved city. I love them all the same way and want to return to each one of them.
Let’s have a travel around the most beautiful cities around the Europe, shall we?
How it started? The story of how I went to Rome is very spontaneous and interesting, and the reasoning behind it is so “me”. One month before the trip I was not thinking of Rome and was not planning anything about Rome or Italy in that matter.
All started as a joke when I was talking with my friend how I need and want a new daily bag, but a good quality and brand bag but in Latvia bags are so expensive. So she joked: I will go to Rome in a month, there is this huge outlet store (city) where can choose from all price points and brands. We were laughing and joking about this idea, until it became reality. I collected money, asked some from my family as a birthday gift, bought tickets and booked very cosy family hotel (Hotel Luxemburgo) near by Colosseum and in less than a month me and my friend were up in a sky flying to Rome!
Obviously, first night- Colosseum! (and almost all the other days). I have seen pyramids and I can tell you- this was more magical and breathtaking! The first time I visited the Colosseum were in the golden hour, I wish I was an instagrammer and blogger then because then I would have taken so much more photos and went to so many places for the amazing photos. Colosseum looks even more breath taking in the golden hour when sunlight falls onto the walls of it. Looks magic! The inside of Colosseum is something magic too, I had to stand in a large queue but it is worth it, also worth the money!
All the information about tickets and Colosseum HERE. P.S. with the same tickets you can enter Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. I was there (so worth the walk, it is that kind of walk where you get the atmosphere of the city and history), if the day is sunny I suggest to wear a hat or scarf around the head, I did not and had very awful headache for the rest of the afternoon and night.
Orange tree garden. 15. min. walk from the Colosseum is the orange garden or Savello park which not many travel guides talk about. It is worth to visit because it is located a bit up in the hill and can have a great view over the river and Vatican!
Other places. The whole city is like a history museum. You can walk around the town and turn around corner and there will be sudden ruins of Ancient roman times or architecture piece or monument. Trevi fountain is beautiful but so many people. When I go to Rome next time, I will go in the morning to fountain hoping that there are less people to do some shots. Obviously Pantheon with its interesting roof with a hole in it. Vatican is interesting to see (even though you are not allowed in the city, but only basilica and the square in front of it.
Shopping. Obviously center is full with all kind of stores and brands but the famous outlet “town” / ghetto were I bought 2 bags and much more, is called Castel Romano Designer outlet.
Accommodation. Hotel Luxemburgo, Very cozy hotel near train station and Colosseum. Family owned business, reasonable prices and tasty breakfast included!
Food. Our favourite spot was American style restaurant near Colosseum called La Base. The interior is American style but food is very Italian. The restaurant has the biggest pizza and the most tasty Lasagna!
Mérida is one of the first cities I ever visited in Spain, since then I have visited a lot of places in Spain (Well, in that matter, now I live in Spain). But Mérida still is one of my favourite cities in Spain and I wanted to include it in this list as one of the cities not many talk about but is one of the gems of Spain.
If you like history and beautiful, smaller cities, then Mérida is just for you. It has one of the biggest and prettiest Roman Amphitheater I have seen. The price is not small but to be completely honest, it is so worth it because there is so much to see, so many impressions and shots to take and the views are breath taking. Then I suggest you to walk around the city and visit souvenir stores and cross the Roman time bridge (which is literally in every city of Spain).
Where to eat? Mérida is famous of a good quality meat and wine! (Well, the whole region of Extremadura is). The most popular restaurant in the whole Spain (I am not afraid to say that), is the restaurant Nico Jimenez. The restaurant has a world Guiness record of the tiniest sliced Jamon, and the best jamon and wine (I know, because I was there). The prices are pretty reasonable for the fame and good customer service and portions that they serve). It has been a year since I was there, and I am ready to go back! The sad news are, the owner of the restaurant died this year.
I am trying to not talk and mention a lot the big and popular cities which the whole world knows already. Just because that is not interesting for me and there is enough information the city already! But Barcelona is different. I am not sure if I would want to live there, but I am sure that I want to visit it as much as possible, go shopping there as well as would not be mad to get invitation for some fashion shows or collaborations.
The city is worth visit because of the artistic touch of architecture which I have no seen anywhere else, and it is basically on every corner. This is one of those places where one week is not enough to see everything.
In Barcelona you can go swim and sunbath in the beach, visit Gaudi architecture all around the city ( Casa Milá, Casa Batlló and others). Or you can go to the other side of city and take Instagram photos next to Sagrada Familia which is the famous basilica that they have been building for decades but has not been finished yet. Will it be finished in our lifetime? To be honest- I do not think so! Not to mention the modern side of the city and its architecture. I was in Barcelona only for two days, fell in love and I want to go back because I believe that I saw only 1% of the city!
Central market. I believe that you can tell a lot about the city, country and the culture by visiting local markets. The Central market in Barcelona is an art itself, is huge, the building is very beautiful and you can buy every fish, meat and fruit possible in here. It is also possible to eat here right ahead or have a take-away. Next to the market is S*x museum (if you interested in things like that- no judging). From the market you can see the windows of museum and Merylin Monroe sending kisses from it!
Sports and drinks? Visit NHL bar and take a picture with cardboard Porziņģis! (as a Latvian I had to say that). And obviously take a drink, have some snacks and watch some NHL game.
This will not be only about the Strasbourg, the whole region (Alsace) is something different, the atmosphere there is marvellous. Colmar, Strasbourg, Riquewihr etc.- you name it. All of them has great food, lovely and beautiful houses to take picture of.
I like the cities with atmosphere and soul in it. Strasbourg and Colmar are one of those cities. The cities where you cannot really name places to visit because the whole city is like a museum worth to see. Strasbourg is just the city you need to visit and have a one day walk around the city, eating waffles with Nutella and taking pictures. It is just one of those cities.
For those who does not know, Strasbourg is also known to be Brussels of France because of the European Parlament located there. I can proudly said that I have been inside of Parlament house when I was 17 years old and had an event for students where my school won and I had this luck to go there for free.
The city is known for its sandstone gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. The Place Gutenberg with statue of Gutenberg and Carousel is also worth visit for some aesthetic photo. Strasbourg is also known as the owner of one of the most beautiful Christmas markets (R.I.P. to all the victims of tragic event that happened last year).
Bavaria (Neuschwanstein) (Germany)
Bavaria is one of the most picturesque regions of Bavaria. The region where you need to travel using car of bicycle to see all its glory. The beautiful meadows, mountains and then suddenly magnifique castle raise above one of them. That is the story about Neuschwanstein castle in Germany as well.
I did not know about this castle and the interesting facts about it before my mom told me about it and I found out that it has been a dream of my mom to see it (happy that she reached her dream). Neuschwanstein castle or “The castle of New swans” is the actual Disney castle! SHOCKING! I know! The famous Disney castle that you see as opening of all the Disney movies and in Disneypark is inspired by Neuschwanstein castle, and Disney could not have chosen better castle for that.
The castle is worth to see from far away to see its whole glory but it is one of those rare castles which you will not regret to see from the inside as well. You can not go solo inside because it is allowed to only join guided tours which are planned every hour or so, but that is much better because the castle and interior makes much more sense with guided tour and I really appreciated the effort they did to create the tours! Tells the whole story how it was built, why, why the owner of it was obsessed with swans and the tragic story of it.
Accommodations. Campings- only and always. The beautiful views to mountains you wake up to in the campings- cannot buy for any money!
I have been to Tallinn more than I can remember. For the ones who are bad in geography. Tallin is the capital of Estonia. Estonia is one of the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Estonia is located between Scandinavia, Finland, Russia and Poland. Now, let’s continue!
Tallinn is one of the hidden gems just as Latvia. It has beautiful medieval style old town. I advice you to climb up in the hill where you will have a nice view over the city and towers of old town! I would say Riga really miss a hill with a view like that!
Food. If you are about to treat yourself and have a full experience, go to Goodwin restaurant. The customer service there is from another planet, meat and wine is the best I have tasted in the whole country. But the prices are high so- do not say I did not warn you!
Accommodations. Hestia Hotel Maestro is the one we stayed at. Situated in the center of old town, great prices for the location, tasty breakfast and beautiful hotel.
Prague (Czech Republic)
Prague again is the city of great atmosphere and city with soul. Wonderful people, beautiful historical locations and tasty food and beer. Czech Republic just as Germany and Latvia has very tasty beer and they love to eat good!
What to visit? Charles bridge is the first sightseeing I would advice you to visit located in the heard of city, and get drowned in the magnifique views, musicians and artists of the bridge. A little tip for you! Try to visit the Charles bridge around 8-9’o clock in the morning. This is the hour when the city is still sleeping including Chinese tourists so the bridge is so quiet and ready for beautiful photo shoots. I was so shocked to see this famous place without any soul on it- so beautiful and different feelings from when it is full with people!
What more? Castle of Prague, dated back to 9th of century. Prague astronomical clock- that is huge and so impressive looking. The gothic powder tower looks very impressive as well, I am real fan of gothic architecture. I just read that Prague zoo is selected by Forbes as the 7th best zoo in the world. There are so much I could list. Prague- city where one week is definitely not enough! Prague is the city to return more and more.
My hometown! How could I not include my hometown in this article, more over that it has actually been called as one of the hidden gems of Europe by American newspapers and many tourists who have visited the beautiful city.
Riga is known by the beautiful Old town which hides small, cozy stores, restaurants and bars. Old town is part of Unesco as well which only adds its value. The city is also known by Art Nouveau buildings (you can see them on Alberta street). To have the beautiful view of city, you can either go up in Radisson Latvia restaurant, new beautiful library across the river which is worth to see itself or bar which is hidden in the tower of Central station or the bar on the terrace of Forum Cinema- You have options here.
Riga is worth to visit during summer when in August it is anniversary of Riga and many events and concerts happen around the city or in the winter when many, beautiful Christmas markets are located around the town. The Christmas market of Riga are usually in the Tops as one of the most valuable but good priced to visit (including hotels, transport and products of market it self). See you next Christmas?
Food and drinks. Latvia is famous for its beer- that is for sure and no doubt for that. In May you can visit beer festival located in Vermaņa park. Latvian beers worth to taste are- Brenguļu, Tērvetes, Mežpils and Valmiermuižas. Latvian traditional food are all kind of soups, we love to have a good soup in cold winter day. Or “Šašliks” which comes from Georgia but is our traditional food as well especially in BBQ season in summer.
Places worth to visit are folkklubs Ala (delicious and affordable food and beer, have traditional and local folk music). Ezītis miglā is great for hanging out, chatting, drinks and snack (but snacks that fill your stomach good- try chicken and potatoes, oh my!). In Līvu laukums (square) is located summer terrace named Egle– tasty, affordable food and drinks and has great atmosphere as well as live music.
I know, I know! Paris- France? Could I not mention city more cliche?! Most likely not, but I am beauty and fashion blogger, how will I not mention the capital of France? I will stop explain myself, but I need to mention that I have been to Paris for around 4 times and I want to go more and more. I would never want to live there because the craziness of people and city there is not for me.
At the same time the city does have this magic power and soul that I love, and feel every time I see Eiffel tower. Every time I step into the city I smile like a crazy person and cannot stop (the last time I visited Paris was for one day exactly and I literally did not stop smiling the entire time-ask my mom). This moment I am literally at the point that I could probably guide you through the city without using map.
Places to see in Paris? I will be short and just mention few and in order I would visit them. Let’s start with iconic and gothic Notre Dame (It most likely does not look the same, but it is building and will recover). From Notre Dame have a walk through the gardens of Luxembourg and go to the Eiffel Tower, because how can you not visit Eiffel Tower if you are in Paris? From Eiffel Tower move to Arc de Triomphe- the beautiful monument of Napeleon. Have a walk through the Elysee and luxurious stores (literally dream of mine to shop there) and walk towards the Museum of Louvre. Museum of Louvre you can spend the whole day and still not see all of it, I have not seen bigger museum but quiet honestly if you are not lover of art or you have not a lot of time, it is enough to take some pictures outside and move to another location. Then move to Pompidou center (museum of art Nouveau) and have some lunch in Family restaurant Flunch right next to it. I was there long time ago and the idea was that you only pay for meat, and you can fill the plate with so many potatoes, rice or salads as you want later on.
As culmination point- Moulin Rouge and region of Monmartre with famous basilica at the top of the mountain! I cannot decide which is my favourite- Eiffel or Monmartre because I have very great memories from this region from the 2nd time I visited Paris with my school friends. Monmartre is located up in hill and takes a bit of strength to climb there. The region is known for its art, small streets and shops around it as well as Basilica de Saint-Coeur. The view over the city and Eiffel Tower is amazing and for free! As blogger now I would so need a few days to visit all of these places and plan beautiful and creative photos to take each of it!
Places around city. If you visit Paris with family or just want some fun, obviously you need to visit Disneyland which is located outside of the city. Versailles castle is also worth the visit once in a lifetime.
With beautiful Paris I will conclude this article. I only wanted to do a disclaimer that there are so many beautiful cities and places yet I have not visited. These are only from the places I visited that are my TOP but at the same time, there are so many I would love to include but I felt that then I would need to write a book and the article would be too large OR some places I did not see so much or for so long time (like Lisbon) to include in this article, I do not feel that I know the place as good to suggest to others and write about it!
Discussion. Let me know if you want me to do article of some of these places or cities in details because I tried this time to write it in general otherwise the article would be a book, haha. Any other travel related article requests or questions? Comment down below!
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