As I mentioned in Part 1 of this post, I love travelling, if travelling was free, you’d never see me again. Part 2 is a continuation, so I’d suggest reading my previous post to see the first six countries I visited in the first half of the year. Hopefully, these posts will give you some travelling inspiration!
Denmark, Copenhagen / April 2019
Must-see: Little Mermaid Statue, Nyhavn, Christiania…
Copenhagen is definitely more than The Little Mermaid on the harbourside. The city itself is, in my opinion, very different from all other European cities. It has its own Danish identity, from the colourful tall painted houses in Nyhavn, to the unique Christiania which ‘does not belong to European Union’, as it claims. I would have fallen in love with the Danish capital if the city wasn’t such an expensive place to stay.
Slovakia, Bratislava / May 2019
Must-see: Bratislava Castle, UFO Tower, Devin Castle…
The capital is uniquely situated on the border of three countries. Bratislava is one of the smaller capitals in Europe but it is still worth visiting for a day or two. I still remember flying straight to Bratislava from London in the morning right after my stats exam and thinking the city is a lot more interesting than I initially thought. If you’ve got a bit more time, the Devin Castle near Bratislava is highly recommended! As a castle superpower, Slovakia definitely has abundant cultural and historical buildings that never disappoint its visitors.
Germany, Tübingen / May 2019
Must-see: Neckar River, St. George’s Collegiate Church…
In many ways, Tübingen in Germany resembles Oxford in England – both are home to a prestigious university and on a sunny day, people sail down the river in traditional punts. It is a small and lovely town which I really enjoyed. Unlike other big German cities like Berlin or Frankfurt, Tubingen is such a cosy town that remains dear to your heart. From the panoramic view on top of the St. George’s Collegiate Church, to punting on the Neckar River, this picturesque small town was the perfect post-exam retreat.
Tips: Bratislava to Vienna (less than 1 hour coach)
Vienna to Stuttgart (really cheap flight, eg £13)
Stuttgart to Tübingen (1 hour bus)
Greece, Athens / June 2019
Must-see: The Acropolis, Plaka Neighbourhood, Parthenon…
Athens is where ancient and modern mingle. Visiting post-June exam season is the perfect timing because of the good weather, but you might find the city a bit too touristic since it is the summer. The Acropolis is definitely a MUST! You see those ancient buildings from your history lectures right in front of you. The best thing: students studying in the EU go free! Just remember to bring your student ID and it opens the door of the Acropolis for you.
Greece, Santorini / June 2019
Must-see: Santorini Sunset in Oia, Red Sand Beach, Old port of Fira……
The island of blue and white. It is often referred to as the best place for a honeymoon. And it is so true because Santorini is like an island that only exists in fairy tales. With stunning views everywhere, be sure to bring a power bank for your phone as you will be taking pictures all the time. We went to Oia for sunset and I have to say it was one of the best in my life. From the crystal clear seawater to the blue roof churches here and there, this is exactly the place you want to go for a holiday.
Spain, Murcia / June 2019
Must-see: Murcia Cathedral, The BEACH!!!
You may not have necessarily heard of this city but it is indeed somewhere you can consider for a summer holiday! I was just there visiting my friend and the fact that there is a ‘tourist information centre’ at the airport did surprise me. The Spanish beaches, the Spanish food, the Spanish sun – I wish I could have stayed for a bit longer because four days was far too short!
Spain, Granada / June 2019
Must-see: The Alhambra, Generalife, Granada Cathedral…
Granada is a unique city with a Moorish heritage and a medieval vibe. Alhambra is what brings visitors from all over the globe here. Be sure you book the tickets in advance. By ‘in advance’, I mean three or four months in advance, as it is such a popular attraction in Granada. The palace itself is massive, and the delicate and intricate Arabic architecture kept me there for an entire afternoon. Pick a nice sunny day and let Alhambra impress you with its beauty.
Scotland, Edinburgh / June 2019
Must-see: Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral, Scott Monument…
My year ended perfectly with this iconic Scottish capital. A Scottish June is still a bit chilly so it is a great choice if you do not want to go straight into summer. As Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter, you can find the café in which JK Rowling wrote her novels (the Elephant House), and the street corners and small alleys that actually inspired her. It is a must for Harry Potter fans! You can even find the Harry Potter Tour in the city centre. Edinburgh undoubtedly has something for every visitor, from the traditional and well-preserved Scottish streets, castles and cathedrals, to the modern Princes Street.
And that’s a wrap!
My list could go on and on but I’ve only picked the best bits of the 18 cities. If there is something I have not regretted throughout my year at LSE, it is my travels throughout the year, staying in someone else’s place for 3 nights or 4, and immersing myself in a completely different environment. Studying in London has opened up so many doors for me to travel around Europe.
For my next year at LSE, there may be many uncertainties. But one thing is for sure: I will keep travelling, and keep seeing the world with my own eyes, with just one backpack.