Happy Wednesday Loves!! Today’s post is all about my recent Euro trip with my husband Vlad! We decided to take a last minute Euro trip /second Honeymoon to visit some of our favorite cities. After a few days of planning different routes around Europe, we decided we would visit: London, Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Bolzano, and Venice. We booked our flights and all our hotels last minute using Expedia.ca got a great deal on our flight with Air Transat. I definitely recommend using Expedia to plan and book your next trip!
Our Euro trip began with a direct overnight flight to London, where we completely fell in love with the city and all of it’s history. It was so exciting walking down the streets, passing by so many famous places like Big Ben, London Bridge and of course Buckingham Palace. If you’re a Harry Potter fan like me you’ll find loads of exciting things to see in London. Our hotel, Urban Villa, was located 25 minutes outside London in the city of Brentford. It was a really great place to stay, with apartment style rooms, a full kitchen and a grocery store right next store open until 11 p.m. Most days we went into London and would use our Visitor Oyster cards to get around the city with the underground and their famous double decker busses. One of our favourite days in England was our visit to Windsor Castle. The town of Windsor is on the River Thames so we took the Windsor Duck Tour that takes you all around the historical sights of the city of Windsor then into the River for a unique view of the castle. Our advice for anyone visiting Windsor is to book your Duck Tour in the morning, have lunch in town, then visit Windsor Castle when its much less busy in the afternoon. After seeing London it was time to take the Eurostar to Pairs. Another piece of advise is to book your train tickets ASAP! We looked at the tickets before leaving, thinking the price wouldn’t change too much but we were so wrong. The prices almost tripled when we booked them a few days before leaving England. So book your Eurostar tickets early or just fly as sometimes tickets can be cheaper then the train!
Paris was such a gorgeous city, a definite a must see when your taking a Euro trip. We were so lucky to have booked our hotel in the heart of the city. We stayed at the Hotel Providence, it is the cutest boutique hotel with a classic Parisian style rooms that are so beautiful and elegant. It was exactly how I pictured Pairs, the hotel was also steps away from amazing restaurants, a grocery store and great shopping. We ate fresh bread and cheese most morning as explored the streets then hoped on the Paris Metro to get around see the sights. We purchased a 3 day Paris Visite Pass which was great for getting around, it’s fairly easy to use the Metro and we had no problem finding our way to all of the famous sights. We saw the Arc De Triomphe which is on the western end of the Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame and the Louvre all in one day. Our first night in Paris we went to see the spectacular Eiffel Tower, we decided to climb the 1700 steps to the top to get the best view of of Paris. It was such an incredible view of the city, you can see everything from up there… even at night. The tower also lights up at night, twinkling & sparkling over the city for a few minutes. It was so magical and romantic to be at the top of the Effile Tower with Vlad, it’s something I’ll never forget. In anticipation of the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 the Effile Tower had a huge soccer ball hanging in the middle because France was the host country of the 2016 tournament. Our next stop on the Euro trip was in Munich, Germany, we took the train again but this time we got to use our Eurail passes.
The Arc De Triomphe
Eurail Train Pass
For the second half of our trip we decided to booked a 4 day, 4 country Eurail pass. Since neither of us had ever traveled by train before we thought it would be a great way to see Europe. The Eurail pass allowed us to travel to 4 countries for one price without having to worry about booking all our trips individually. The pass was also flexible allowing us to pick and choose which days we wanted to travel. After reading the information package they sent we realized a few days before leaving was that most of the international trains required a seat reservation. This ensured you were guaranteed a seat on a train and did not ever need to stand. We reserved all our trains on the Eurail website and received the actual paper tickets a few days later by mail, which made for a nice souvenir or keep sake. We were so proud of ourselves for not never missing a train or getting lost, but we did come really close once.
Our first stop with our Eurail pass was in Munich, Germany and it was one of our favorite cities we visited. We arrived in Germany just in time to watch the national team play their first soccer game in the UEFA Euro Cup against Ukraine. The whole country was buzzing in anticipation of the game and they ended up winning 2-0, it was such an amazing memory. The atmosphere was unreal, there was cheering and excited fans everywhere. I jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a scarf when we visited Olympiaparkam and I’m now officially cheering for Deutschland to win the Euro Cup!! While we were in Germany Vlad took me to visit my first Beer Garden, the Chinesischen Turm located in the lush English Garden. I ate a pretzel bigger then my head and we enjoyed a large cold beer together. It was so much fun I wish we had them in Canada. We stayed at the Sheraton Munich Westpark while we were in Munich which was steps away from the U-Bahn made getting around the city very easy. It took 10 minutes to get to Marienplatz the main city square in the middle of Munich, where we did some shopping and had lunch. To get the best view of the city and Marienplatz we visited the beautiful St. Peter’s Church. We climbed the tower stairs to get an amazing view of Marienplatz. It’s where you can take the famous photo looking out over Marienplatz. After a lot of delicious pretzels it was time to use our Eurail passes and head to Salzburg, Austria because no Euro trip is complete without visiting The Sound of Music.
Olympiaparkam where the 1972 Summer Olympics were held
St. Peter’s Church
We spent 24 hours in Salzburg, Austria. It was just enough time to appreciate how beautiful the old city is and see a few of the notorious Sound of Music filming sites. We wanted to see as much as possible while we were in Salzburg so we stated our walking tour with Hohensalzburg Castle, the castle above the city. For $9 we rode the castle lift to the top of the mountain where you can explore the castle. The view of the city and mountains is breathtaking from the top, I was so excited to see the mountains for the first time. Next we walked to the Nonnberg Convent, Maria’s abbey in The Sound of Music and Pegasus Fountain where is slaps the water on her way to the Von Trapp family. Our last stop of the day was Petersfriedhof or St. Peter’s graveyard the inspiration for,where the family hid before fleeing Austria. To finish off our Sound of Music tour the next day we visited Mirabell Gardens, where they filmed Maria and the children singing the song “Do-Re-Mi”. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie and I spent most of our visit singing the famous song. We thought we would keep the singing going and be “chillin at the Holiday Inn” but it turned out to be our biggest regret when it came to hotels. We made the best of the situation but I suggest skipping it and staying somewhere else. Once 24 hours was up we hopped on the train with our Eurail passes and were off to Italy!
Petersfriedhof or St. Peter’s graveyard
Our first stop in Italy was in the northern region in a city called Bolzano. It’s the gateway to the Dolomites mountain range in the Italian Alps and has breathtaking views and a lot of hiking trails to explore. There are three cable cars in the city that take you up the mountain, we took one of them up 1400 meters to Soprabolzano Oberbozen. We explored one of the trails to the world famous earth Pyramids of Ritten to take some pictures and enjoy the amazing views. Then went into a small the town to refuel and found my two favourite things: Pizza & Vodka! One thing we would have done differently in this city was stay at a hotel on top of the mountain, the views were amazing and the pizza was fantastic. We definitely want to go back in the winter so we can check out the slopes with our snowboards! On our last day in Bolzano we spent our time immersed in the city and interesting history of Bolzano. We took another walking trail that overlooked the entire city before we headed to the train station for out last train ride to Venice.
The earth pyramids of Ritten
Man vs. Map vs. Google!!
I always say “overpack, it’s why bags have wheels”
The last stop of our Euro Trip was in the beautiful city of Venice. After doing some research on the hotels we decided to stay on the main land at the Elite Hotel. It was a short bus ride from the train station and also close to the tram, which takes about 10 minutes to reach Historical Venice. The water buses area great way to get around the city, we would take one into the city then spend the day walking the narrow alley ways and over the world famous bridges. While we were in Venice we really wanted to take a gondola ride though the waterways and beautiful canals. It was such a fascinating way to see the city, the ride was wonderful and gave us a unique view of Venice. I definitely recommend taking a gondola ride through the enchanting city when you visit, it was an experience we will never forget. Since Italy was our last stop of the Euro Trip we made sure indulge in Italian pizza and pasta. We ate authentic Italian food on the island and it was seriously so good and the best pizza I’ve had in my entire life. We spent the rest of the day exploring and taking pictures of Venice until the high tides starting rolling in. This was a bit of a surprise to us, you hear the saying “Venice is sinking” but we didn’t really know what “they” meant until we stepped off the water bus one evening. The ally way was completely flooded in ankle deep water and the only way to make it though was to walk. Vlad took his shoes off and I hoped on his back for about 100m to dry ground. When we got on a main street we noticed that a lot of people were wearing these colorful booties over their shoes. After walking another few hundred meters we quickly realized why. In any direction we wanted to go the streets were starting to flood with the high tide water and there was no way around the water. We quickly decided that we needed to buy these booties and found a street vendor selling two pairs for 16euro. We bought one pink one pair for me and Vlad got a yellow pair and spent our last night splashing around Venice. We spent most of the morning packing our bags and heading to the airport for our flight back home.
Stay tuned for some more travel posts this summer and leave me a comment below of your fav city in Europe to visit or somewhere you are dying to travel too? And you want to see more pictures from my trip check out my Instagram!