A long overdue post I think. I’ve wanted to do a summary of my favourite places in Europe for so long! I seem to have a thing for smaller, culturally rich kind of places. I cannot promise you wont be swarmed by tourists, but I can promise you will enjoy your self in these little destinations.
So whether it’s for a day trip or weekend, lets talk about the places that you should be including on your bucket list (for Europe anyway!)
Just 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Brussels Central Station, Bruges is a far cry from the crazy tourist hub that is Brussels! Decorated with lots of chocolate shops and handmade goods, Bruges is a really great destination to visit for a weekend or even a day trip.
You can hop on one of the many boat rides or explore the handmade lace shops. Bruges is one of the few places that actually felt like I was in a Disney movie! It was truly a fairy tale town. You can read about my weekend there here.
Located just 20 minutes from Verona, this small town surrounding Lake Garda is such a dream! Desenzano is the perfect place to just relax for the day. A lot of tourists mistakenly head over to Sirmione instead (but that’s good for you!). You can spend your Sunday exploring the castles, walking along the harbour, eating outside in a miniature Venice or take in the view of the Alps. (Click here to read about my adventures in Desenzano)
With a 2 hour scenic train journey from Salzburg, Hallstatt is definitely worth the journey time and visit. Discovered back in in the 19th Century for it’s salt mines, Hallstatt has been popped on radar for tourists to visit ever since. After arriving at the train station, you will need to grab a boat over to the island. Take a view of the lake or eat in a restaurant in Old Town. Whatever takes your fancy, Hallstatt is a must see for a day trip at least. Admittedly Hallstatt is my favourite place in all of Europe so far but you can be the judge on whether it’s right for you!
You can have a look at a few photos of my experience * here *
Volendam and Edam
Technically two places but both neighbouring villages that you must see! Volendam, famous for fishing and locals still wearing traditional outfits and Edam, for…well.. you guessed it…Cheese! Both make great days out away from the crowds, Edam even more so. I didn’t see any tourists at all when I visited. There is a lot of local businesses in both towns and even a few cheese demonstrations. These places are great to have a walk around through the narrow streets and cute houses. (Read about my time here)
A town that I will talk about very soon in a blog! A town which took my breath away. Located on the coast of Portugal, just 45 minutes drive from Lisbon, Sintra is a destination that you might be familiar with if you’re on Instagram. Pena Palace is a multi coloured castle which is decorating everyone’s Instagram’s, but there is so much more to the town. Ill keep it brief for now but if you are not sure if you want beach, forest, mountains, local places to eat? Sintra has it all.
Have you been to any of these towns? What was your favourite?