I’ve been looking back recently on my travels, and thought it would be fun to share some of my recommendations of places to see.
This is part 1, from the time I spent living in Europe (2014 to 2016) and where I traveled at that point.
Karlstejn is a small village a short train ride from Prague. I spent many of my free days there, wandering the streets and window shopping in all the quaint stores, enjoying a lunch at one of the many cafes, walking up the hill to the castle to enjoy the views, and having picnics by the river. It’s a perfect day trip from Prague without the hustle and bustle of Prague. And the view from the castle is amazing!
I went to Vienna a couple of times during my time in Europe. The first was a rushed trip to do the paperwork for the work visa in the Czech Republic. There wasn’t a lot of time to sightsee. The second time there, I had the chance to figure out the tram system, which let me spend more time wandering around, walking around the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, enjoying a delicious coffee and pastry, and checking out the Prater Amusement Park. It’s a delightful place to wander around and if I had more time, I would have liked to spend a night there to see even more!
- Dresden Christmas Market
Two of my classmates and I headed to the Dresden Christmas market a few days before Christmas 2014. We took the Student Agency Bus and spent the day wandering around both sides of the river. We discovered a lovely artsy area which had some unique outdoor art (watering cans attached to the walls to make wind chimes for example).
We waited until early evening to head to the main Christmas market so we could enjoy the lights on the tree and the multitude of decorations. We even had a ride on the carousel! We sampled some delicious food as well as some of the many delectable sweets that were available at the market.
I loved the markets in Prague, but I found the market in Dresden was quite unique compared to Prague’s. Highly recommend going to Dresden at Christmastime.
- Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, Paris
I could not make a Top 5 list and not include this area of Paris. It was the one place that I instantly fell in love with. To begin with, the church is spectacular on the outside and inside. I took a few moments to go in and sit in the pews and look around in wonder at the church.
Montmartre is a great area, narrow cobblestone streets with some of the most amazingly smelling cafes I’ve encountered. It is an artsy area. It has some great stores to wander in. You can pick yourself up a lunch at one of the cafes, head to the grounds in front of the church, find a spot and have a lovely picnic overlooking the absolutely amazing city of Paris.
- Prague Castle at night
Prague Castle is amazing to see any time, but I always found the best time to go was in the evening. Shortly after dusk, when the tourists would wander off to a restaurant or bar, the grounds would slowly empty and there were times I had it all to myself (except for the guards of course). The view looking down on the city with it’s lights shining, and the spectacular view of the Vltava from above was breathtaking.
Walking through the castle grounds, by St. Vitus Cathedral, and the gardens when it was empty and quiet was relaxing. I never worried about my safety – in fact I never worried about my safety at all when I was in Prague. One of the safest cities to be in the world, even more reason to visit.