I love travelling. I knew from the very beginning that travelling would be an essential part of my uni life and studying in London has given me way more opportunities to travel around Europe than I had expected. If there is something I have not regretted throughout my year at LSE, it is travelling – staying in someone else’s place for 3 or 4 nights, immersing myself in a completely different environment, with just one backpack.
Below is a list of how I managed to fit Europe into my LSE timetable, and hopefully it can give you some travelling inspirations!
The Netherlands, Amsterdam / September 2018
Must-see: Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, A’DAM Lookout…
A city with more bicycles than people. There’s a never-ending selection of things to do in Amsterdam regardless of the weather, with many of the most rewarding experiences to be found when you step out of the tourist paths of the city centre. From its picturesque canal network, Dutch-style flea markets to the vibrant cultural scene in Museumplein, the capital of The Netherlands is one of the world’s most unique city destinations and one of my favourite capitals in Europe.
The Netherlands, The Hague / September 2018
Must-see: Scheveningen Beach, Peace Palace (International Court of Justice)…
The city of peace and justice, the cosmopolitan and the beach! The vibe of the city is very different from that of Amsterdam. If touristic Amsterdam is not your thing, perhaps The Hague would be the city that remains dear to your heart after your visit. Peace Palace is definitely a must. If you study International Relations or Politics (or not too!), make sure you admire the most photographed building in The Hague and appreciate The International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration which are based here.
Austria, Vienna / December 2018
Must-see: Schönbrunn Palace, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Schönbrunn Gardens…
The city of music and dreams. With its cosy cafés and a plethora of Christmas markets dotted around the city, Vienna definitely comes into its own in December. Simply taking a leisurely stroll or zipping around on your bicycle, you can feel the spirit of music and art in Vienna. In the winter, the Schönbrunn Palace should definitely be at the top of your list as the gardens covered with snow are just breathtaking.
Austria, Hallstatt / December 2018
Must-see: The Hallstätter See, Hallstatt’s Old Town and Market Square…
The most beautiful example of the many quaint traditional villages in Upper Austria. Linked by road to Salzburg, Hallstatt’s beauty is matched by that of its lake. Search “the best photo spot in Hallstatt” in your Google Maps and I am sure you will get some stunning photos like this.
Czech Republic, Český Krumlov / December 2018
Must-see: Český Krumlov Castle, Old Town Centre, Vltava River…
The fairy tale town in the South Bohemian Region. From medieval churches and castles to riverside fun, there is something for everyone in this small town. You get the panoramic view of the town from the top of the castle (highly recommended). Be sure to stop by for one night or two after Prague or Salzburg.
Czech Republic, Prague / December 2018 – January 2019
Must-see: Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square…
A city with an eclectic mix of history, culture, and nightlife. From the stunning views of Prague Castle to the historic stones of the gorgeous Charles Bridge, the capital of the Czech Republic has a lot to offer for visitors. Taking a stroll in the Old Town Square, you will find some delicate stalls that will amaze you.
Iceland, Reykjavik / March 2019
Must-see: Hallgrimskirkja Church, Sun Voyager, THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!
Travel to Iceland at the end of September or mid-March as you will stand a high chance of seeing the Northern Lights! Even if you don’t see the Northern Lights, for those who like natural sceneries and adventures, I am 100% certain that you will enjoy Iceland as much as I did. Read my previous post for my aurora hunting tips.
Italy, Milan / March 2019
Must-see: Milan Cathedral, Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo…
The city of high-end fashion and beauty. I went there during my Easter break and it acted well as a perfect pre-exam destress destination. I was absolutely amazed by the Italian food, Italian gelatos, and almost Italian everything. Visit the Navigli District for some good food and drinks along the canal and grab as much as you want.
Italy, Como / March 2019
Must-see: Lake Como, Bellagio, Varenna
One of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Lombardy. The majestic Lake Como stretches from the northern edge of the city. We took a day trip from Milan and it was absolutely worth it. If you’ve only got one day, my best advice would be:
Milan to Como (Train)
Como to Bellagio (Bus)
Bellagio to Varenna (Boat: highly recommend seeing the sunset on the boat)
Switzerland, Lugano / April 2019
The city of idyllic sceneries and a laid back lifestyle. It’s also a perfect day trip from Milan and you can find cheap flixbus roundtrip rides. Lake Lugano, a glacial lake situated on the border between Italy and Switzerland, is the main attraction of Lugano. Try boating and just sit back and enjoy the view, as this was what we did in Lugano’s spring.
So far, I’ve covered the first half of my year. Stay tuned and come back for my next six exciting European countries! Feel free to share any other destinations you’ve got in your mind with me in the comment section below!