Some peoples idea of a holiday is laying on the beach soaking up the sun whilst other peoples are flying around the globe visiting great wonders of the world whereas my ideal holiday personally is a road trip. Risks are everywhere, though, so when you’re planning a trip to Europe, check out these most common mistakes that people make:
A road trip can be done anywhere in the world and all you need is a set of wheels, enough cash for fuel, food and a tent or you could just find accommodation when you arrive after your long days drive. My favorite place that I’ve done a road trip is definitely Europe, with unfortunately not-so-cheap fuel but with amazing foods, and awesome scenery, not to mention camp-sites everywhere plus with Europe vacation rentals you will never be without a place to put your head down.
Europe is a big continent but not massive and can easily be done in a couple of weeks. When I went on one of my road trips, I drove from Cambridge in England to Valmiera in Latvia going through eight different countries, it took only three days to get there and I loved every second of it, I loved the change in scenery to the change of faces to the change of foods. When I drove from Cambridge to Barcelona in Spain it was very different from diving to Latvia as again the faces, foods, the scenery is vastly different but only took me one and a half days.
Going on road trips its a great way to do what you want and go where you want. When I had enjoyed the flavors of London, I drove from Cambridge to St. Tropez in the south of France and it was fantastic. On the way, I popped by the Nurburgring and the Moselle Valley in Germany as I had no deadline and no one to could tell me I’m not allowed.
My next road trip adventure in Europe would definitely be more of an around the continent trip where I would go through as many countries as possible by going to Spain (check out this post about backpacking in Spain) and then Italy and working my way in Eastern Europe up to Estonia and hopefully getting across the Baltic Sea to Sweden and Norway to get another ferry to Scotland to just drive back down-home where that may be. This would be the best way in my opinion to Experience all of the different cultures that Europe holds, I can’t wait!
Living History in Vienna
Vienna was once the capital of one of the most important empires in the world, which is something you cannot fail to notice as soon as you enter the incredibly ornate first district. You can easily spend hours walking through the cobblestone streets, bumping into marble statues and spectacular fountains, or strolling through parks designed to impress royalty from across Europe.
Vienna is the capital of Austria, home to almost two million people and remains a hugely popular destination for tourists due to its unrivaled architecture and associations with opera and romanticism. While the opera may not be to everyone’s tastes, there are enough sights and activities in Vienna to keep all kinds of visitors occupied. Traveling around the city is quite simple.
Definitely worth seeing are the Stephensdom (considered the center point of the city), the Rathaus (city hall) and the Austrian National Library, perhaps the most spectacular photo opportunity in town. Nearby is the Museumsquartier, a huge complex containing different museums, including the Museum of Modern Art which sits dramatically in the center.
Vienna is very proud of its slow pace compared with other, more hectic cities, and nowhere is this more evident than in the many coffee houses that cover the city. For truly regal service, seek out a baroque coffee house in the first district and allow yourself to be treated as one of the high society, even if just for half an hour.
If you’re getting hungry, it could be time to visit one of the many sausage stands and try a Kaesekrainer (sausage filled with melted cheese), or if you’re after something more substantial, how about a Wiener Schnitzel, which goes down great with an Austrian beer. Budgeting for your travels is important, especially when it come to food but here, dumplings are popular, either as a side dish with boiled beef, or stuffed with fruit for a delicious and filling dessert. For mid-range and budget eateries, be sure to check out the Naschmarkt area, which is hugely popular with hungry Austrians.
5 Alternative European Cities
Planning to tour Europe? Or maybe you’re there and have already browsed the Louvre in Paris, seen the ruins of Rome and climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Either way, if you’re burning to see a different side to the continent, you might want to check out cheap flights to the following, more off-the-beaten-track fascinating, cities:
The capital of Hungary gives you a taste of all four European corners in one package. Split down the middle by the river Danube, the various districts have a mix of architecture and ambiance to suit everyone. Visit the vast Buda Castle complex on the Buda side, or head over the Széchenyi Bridge for the Parliament buildings, the chic young professional area, or the historic Jewish Quarter.
The great thing about Lisbon is that it has all of the elements of a vibrant Mediterranean destination – great weather, good food, and quaint cobbled streets – but it’s also relatively cheap so you easily can make the most of your money in Europe here. Whether you want to see the sights of the Chiado area or wander the streets of leafy Belém, you’re guaranteed to find two things: azulejos tiling, and breathtaking views.
The Czech capital has managed to preserve many of its impressive monuments, despite the twentieth-century war. Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Petřín hill are all worth a visit. And if you’re in search of a bargain, there are some good flea markets, such as the one along the river bank.
Warsaw is known as the Phoenix city, and not for nothing, as the Polish capital was successfully rebuilt and reborn after the destruction of World War II. The cityscape is a mixture of architectural styles, sporting many skyscrapers, but you will still find beautiful old palaces, mansions, and churches, such as the neoclassical Łazienki Palace and park, or the reconstructed Royal Castle.
Ok, so technically, this destination is half European. It’s the only city in the world to span two continents, either side of the Bosporus straight. But it is this unique combination of East and West that makes Istanbul so exciting.
The skyline is punctured by church spires and mosque domes alike. Browse a spice market, or go to a French patisserie, all within the same metropolis. But the views from and of the Golden Horn natural harbor are really something else.
All these destinations are just as interesting as the more well-known European cities, but when you travel to the above, you’re likely to see fewer tourists, as well as save a few pennies.