If you’re stuck for travel inspiration this Summer, then check out this top notch guide from Rhian Westbury on the best European destinations who is guest posting on my blog today.
While we’d all dream of laying on the beaches in far away destinations or exploring the colourful streets in Thailand, long-haul holidays aren’t always possible. With so many amazing places right on our doorstep in Europe it’s easy to get a short break away and explore another culture without the need to spend more than a few hours on a plane.
If you’re looking for a great combination of relaxation/ sunshine and exploring then Crete is the place for you. I headed there in May and managed to get a tan while visiting some pretty beaches but also complete a full day Gorge trek. There’s a lot to see and do in Crete but much like other Greek Islands it’s warm a lot of year round and is great if all you want to do is swim, sunbathe and eat out.
I would have to admit that Copenhagen is one of my favourite places in the world. Firstly Copenhagen is so cheap to fly to, on Sky scanner it’s forever the cheapest place to get a flight to. I’ve heard a lot of people say the city is expensive when you arrive but living in London I don’t find this and as long as you’re not going to eat a la carte every night you can still do it on a budget. Copenhagen has the iconic Little Mermaid statue housed here, Northern Europe’s largest aquarium, one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to, a theme park/ gardens in the city centre (yes you read right) and it’s the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen who wrote a lot of those fairy tales you remember from a kid. There is honestly so much to do here you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Rome is my other joint favourite city in Europe. There is so much history here and I love the stories of the Roman times so this is the perfect city for me. Not only do you have the colosseum and the ruins with plenty of amazing stories, you have beautiful views from the top of the Spanish steps, the iconic Trevi fountain and you can even tick off another country on your visit if you head to The Vatican. Plus you can’t go wrong with all the fresh, authentic pizza and pasta you can eat.
I’ve got to start with one of my favourite European cities; Budapest. I’ve been to the city twice, both within September when it was very warm both times. Budapest itself is absolutely stunning with one of my favourite buildings there; the Parliament. Budapest is usually pretty cheap to fly to and everything is reasonably priced and much cheaper than a lot of Euro based countries. There’s a lot of interesting history within the city which is split into Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube river and a variety of stunning bridges. There’s plenty to explore in the city but with so many natural hot springs you can spend a day relaxing in the warm waters and getting a massage.
Paris is a little bit of a cliché city when it comes to trips away but if you don’t want to head too far away then this is the perfect place to hit up. And there is so much more to do here than just going up the Eiffel Tower. There are plenty of monuments you can scale including The Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur, plus the Louvre is possibly one of the most famous museums in the world, although it isn’t all about the Mona Lisa. You can spend days just wandering around Paris and never getting bored with it’s gothic architecture and abundance of pastries and macaroons.
Famed for it’s Red Light District and the legality of cannabis the city is actually so much more than that with interesting museums all over the city and some beautiful spots. You can take a relaxing canal boat tour of the city or just hire a bike and explore yourself, again the city is pretty small in regards to the main things you’d want to see and we only took one train which was to go to a live show in the city. Having been twice during the colder month’s of the year I really want to head back and go a bit further out to see the more traditional windmills and the tulip fields.
If you’re looking for something on the cheaper end of the spectrum when it comes to holidays then look no further than Krakow in Poland. Beer is typically cheaper than water and a three course meal can set you back under a tenner. Not only can you eat and drink your way through Krakow you can visit the stunning salt mines where everything is carved and sculpted out of salt (people even get married down there), and you can visit the moving Auschwitz concentration camps, but make sure you have your tissues ready.
Don’t even fancy heading out of the United Kingdom? Then never fear as Edinburgh has so much to do then 50 minute flight is worth every second. With the iconic Edinburgh Castle, the Queen’s’ residence Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Zoo home to the country’s only Panda’s, the Royal Britannia Yacht which serve some of the best smoked salmon in the city and enough fudge to keep you on a sugar high for life you’ll never get bored. If drinking is more your thing then you’re in luck with a Gin Distillery and so many whisky shops you might get drunk just walking in. Edinburgh is a city like no other and one you’ll never want to leave.