.: Exploring Europe :.

Fancy exploring Europe or just revisiting old places? Need a bit of inspiration? Please find my collection below:

France

Belgium

Germany

Luxembourg

Switzerland

Austria

Hungary

Ireland

Denmark

For Portugal please visit the dedicated page here.
For UK please check here.


 

 

Highlights and Useful Information

Paris

I went to Paris for leisure two times so far, but I also went for work in 2011, the same year I’ve moved to London. Actually my first week working in London was spent in Paris 🙂

The more I visit Paris the more I love it.

Useful Information

  • There are 2 airports near Paris, Charles de Gaulle (which is the main one), and Paris Orly mostly for low cost airlines. The easiest way to get into Paris from Charles de Gaulle is to take a bus, it’s quite cheap! But I believe the last bus is at around 22h, so after that you may want to consider a Taxi.
  • Opera is the most central place in Paris, it’s perfect to take the train to Disneyland and also that’s where the majority of airport buses stop in the city. It’s also walkable distance to the Sienne and to the Louvre and it’s a gorgeous area on it’s own. There’s loads of hotels and restaurants in this area.
  • The view from Montparnasse is one of the best in Paris, if not the best! If you have a chance make sure you stop by. Stupidelly enough I used to stay in Montparnasse for work, but I’ve only discovered the tower after I was no longer travelling there.
  • The french (particularly in Paris) have been well know for being a bit rude and not making any effort to speak english. In fact if you try to speak a bit of french they will try to help you out. But make sure you check your bill before paying, as sometimes they try to put an extra rice or an extra water in your bill.
  • Like London, you can spend days in Paris and you will still have lots to see and do.
  • The underground smells like old lady living with 100 cats, it’s terrible smelly. I wonder if this is why perfume was invented, it’s just terrible! The major lines were being refurbished, but I would say if you have the chance to walk, then do!

For more pictures from Paris please click here.

Brussels

Brussels is a beautiful city, quite multicultural and with lots to offer. It’s the land of the waffles, Chocolates, Mussels and belgium beer!

For more photos from Brussels please click here.

Germany

I’ve worked 2 years and a half in Germany, but to be honest ended up never exploring that much as I could have. Cities I’ve visited:

Berlin

Berlin is quite a vibrant city, full of young people and quite cosmopolitan too. Totally recommend a boat tour, especially if it’s a sunny day, it’s quite enjoyable! The main spot is the wall, which still feels amazing after all this time. Also a visit to the Museum Island and just visiting all the nice coffee shops around. The famous currywurst is a disappointment! The best one I’ve ever had so far is the Bochum one! Recommend the berliners (which are quite famous in Portugal too)

For the full gallery click here.

Bochum

(This photo above was not taken by me)

Ah I’m sure you won’t see any Germany guide mentioning Bochum, but as I’ve worked here for 2 years and a half I actually found it quite charming. Tucked between Essen and Duisburg, it has it’s own university, beer (FIEGE) and a mining Museum.

My favourite part of it it’s really the christmas market (because the gluhwein is delicious here, and they have a medieval market). Also people are really nice and helpful. There’s loads of good restaurants in this area especially in the famous Bermudadreieck (Bermuda triangle). There’s a very good vietnamese, japanese, thai, italian, german restaurants and turkish as well. And ahh, Bochum has the best currywurst in Germany! Way better than the Berlin version.

If there’s any German reading my blog could you let me know what’s the best currywurst for you?

Fore more of Bochum please click here.

 

Hamburg

I’ve only been in Hamburg once in November which I have to admit wasn’t the most clever option. Hamburg is quite an interesting city, but in November it’s too cold! I couldn’t really explore the harbourside as much as I wanted, because I couldn’t stand outdoors.

But I’ve managed to visit the Miniature-Museum, totally recommended.

Useful Information:

  • I haven’t tried the airport so won’t be able to provide any tips here
  • Be mindful when going for dinner, in some places the kitchen closes at 21h! Also be mindful of the service in Hamburg, for people who are not used to it, it will be perceived as quite rude. We had a few funny situations, including when asking how long we would have to wait for the food (so we could decide if we wanted starters or not) we were told “this is not McDonalds”. We were speechless
  • Try to say a few german words maybe it will help

For more photos please click here.

Austria

I’ve only been in Vienna so far.

The city centre is quite gorgeous really! There’s also the so well known”Sissi Palace”. Tip, unless if you’re really into it I would actually just visit the gardens which are for free! Loads of good beer and coffee places.

For the full gallery please click here.

Luxemburg

Boring boring boring! This place is really cute, but in 2h you’ve seen the city and then there’s nothing else to do on a weekend because everyone is away from the city. Please make sure you only spend 1 afternoon in Luxemburg in your way to some place else, like Brussels.

For the full gallery please click here.

Switzerland

A gorgeous country that it would be a lot better without the rudeness! (I only know the German cities). Landscape wise it’s certainly the best in Europe.

Where I’ve been so far:

  • Zurich
  • Alps
  • Lucerne

Useful Information

  • Most cities in Switzerland are boring on a Sunday because everything is closed, so for example if you are in Switzerland the best option is for you to go to have a walk along the lake. Or just stay in bed all day.
  • The sunrise in the alps is breathtaking!
  • Currency CHF
  • Learn some basic German
  • Chocolates are really good

For more pictured please click here.

Budapest

Budapest is quite well know for the view from the Buda Castle into Peste and the Chain Bridge, but it’s much more than that! There’s also the decadent bars and all around the city is worth exploring.

Useful tips:

  • The most convenient way to travel from the airport to the city is by taking a taxi. Ideally you should book it online, but if you forget you can buy at the airport, follow the arrows that say Taxi and you will pay 13€ per person. They will give you a paper with a number and your taxi will deliver you and potentially more people into your destination in the city centre. I’ve used this service a few times and it’s pretty convenient. Last time because I was arriving 1a.m I did the booking in advance and had a very good service throughout. We’ve paid €25 for 2 people. If you take any regular taxi from outside they will charge you around €36. The journey to the city centre takes around 30m without traffic. In rush hours please consider 1h.
  • Currency Florins – Make sure you print a currency conversion table with the major amounts into your currency, otherwise it’s pretty confusing
  • The best way to circle around the city is by taking a tram. You need to buy the tickets in kioks or in hotels like the marriott city centre and they are quite cheap.

For more photos please click here.

Ireland

So far only visited Dublin, but can’t hardly wait to visit the beauty of the country.

From Dublin recommend the visit to the Guinness Factory and to Temple Bar. Dublin is overall quite a nice city, almost like a mini London.

Useful Information:

  • The airport is roughly 30m away from the city centre and there is a bus that will take you to the city centre for around 5€, which you can book in advance. I believe by taxi it will be around 40€.
  • Local currency EUR
  • Weather a bit colder than London and a bit more rainy too, so make sure you have an umbrella and a proper jumper

Please click here for more photos.

Overall Tips

  • Always check on the internet the best airport for your destination – depends where you want to go into the city you may have different options
  • Also check how to go from the airport to your hotel, sometimes taking a train can be pretty easy and cheap, other times it may be better to book a taxi online. These services are pretty reliable these days
  • Confirm with your hotel what’s the latest check in allowed. The last thing you want to do is to arrive into your destination and there’s no way you can get in!
  • Check how to explore the city. Normally they advertise travel cards with discounts for museums, but for me for example, because I don’t see many museums and I really like to walk there’s not much benefit.
  • Book museums | exhibitions online you really want to see in advance
  • Book trains in advance if you want to visit nearby cities. The last thing you want is to stress that you can’t buy the ticket you wanted. Normally the train websites allow you to buy an open ticket.
  • Check for local currency – you may want to make sure you have some local currency with you before reaching your destination
  • Define very clearly where you will carry your camera and your phone and where you will leave your documents. Most hotels have a safe locker. Also I use a scarf to try to hide my camera strap and I put the camera inside a ladies bag.
  • Don’t check your wallet in the middle of the street. I normally prefer to pay with my card even if I have to pay some taxes, or you may split the money in different pockets | wallets and make sure you only open your wallet when you need it.
  • Avoid crowds, or if you can’t avoid it make sure you pay extra care into your valuables. The classic scenario is having someone playing something in the street and while you are distracted, someone goes into your pockets and takes stuff away.
  • Travel light if you can, make wise decisions like light clothing, a proper jumper and really comfortable shoes.

 

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