After I graduated from college in the Spring, I decided that the first thing I wanted to do was travel. So I took off a couple of weeks later and headed to Europe to travel with EF College Break! I had heard a ton of goods things about this company through friends who had traveled with them, so my good friend Lauren and I decided to book their European Road Trip which involved visiting 7 countries in just two weeks! It sounded like a crazy trip, but we wanted to see as much as possible so we went for it and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I really recommend traveling with EF, and I would go on another trip with them in a heartbeat! So here are all the places we adventured around and some pictures I took along the way!
Our first stop was Amsterdam, and I immediately fell in love with this city! The only things that came to mind when I thought of Amsterdam prior were the Red Light District and the fact that weed is legal there, so my expectations weren’t too high going in. But boy, was I wrong! Firstly, the Dutch are the nicest people I’ve met out of all the places I’ve traveled. We were perpetually lost yet we constantly had strangers come up to us and say “you look like you’re a little lost! Can I offer you some help?” And since I come from one of the least friendly cities on the planet (Miami, FL) it was such a pleasant surprise!
Amsterdam is also the most bike-friendly city I’ve ever visited. There are literally more bikes than people. The locals ride their bikes everywhere and it’s great because people spend more time outside and around other people, they get more exercise, save tons of money, and help the environment. Only problem is the roads are shared by vehicles, bikes, and people all at once – so be very careful if you decide to rent a bike!
One of the other wonderful things about Amsterdam is the city is very modern and artistic, so there are tons of local restaurants and shops that are impeccably designed and so unique! I have a huge appreciation for creative business and good design, so I was in heaven. I’ll do another blogpost soon on all the best spots I found while I was there. And if you hate nice people, cute shops, and good food, then you will still fall in love with the incredible canals and waterways that run through the city!
The next two stops on the list were Frankfurt and Munich. I really loved Munich’s ancient architecture and how fashionable everyone in the city was. And since I’m a huge lover of craft beer, I was so excited to finally experience a German biergarten! Hello, beautiful.
My favorite part about Munich was exploring their U-Bahn subway line, which is one of of the most artistically design subway systems in the world. Getting off on each stop felt like transporting into another world.
On our way to Switzerland, we stopped for lunch in Innsbruck, Austria. The Inn River runs through the city and pastel colored houses line the water. It was such a peaceful mountain town and made our afternoon in Austria so relaxing.
Next we made our way to Switzerland and I was soooo excited! We spent the morning in Lucerne which is an incredibly beautiful and clean city. The Reuss River runs through the city (apparently Europe has a thing with building cities near rivers and I like it) and it also sat right next to Lake Lucerne. But be prepared – Switzerland is SO EXPENSIVE. No joke, an apple is about $6. But walking through this beautiful town is priceless!
After a couple of hours, we took a ferry across Lake Lucerne to head up into the Apls! Traveling across the lake along was an absolute dream. Once we were on the other side, we took a little train up to the top and the views going up were out of this world!
Then we made it to the top of Mt. Rigi! I think we were actually in the Sound of Music. This was hands down one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been.
And then we took a cable car down from the top. Totally casual. Switzerland, you rock.
Then we drove through the Swiss and Italian Alps and made our way to Italy! I had been to Rome and Florence already so I was really excited to finally see Venice. I had high hopes for Venice already, and it honestly exceeded my expectations; it’s pure magic. If you avoid the insane crowds at mid-day and spend most of your time in the early morning and evenings, you’ll have way more fun wandering its beautiful streets.
In the afternoon, we took a ferry to an island 40 minutes away called Burano. I had heard that this island was filled with little neon-painted houses and I knew I had to go! Once we stepped off the boat, we instantly fell in love with the island and it was probably my favorite part of the entire trip!
I may be biased because I’m Italian, but Italy is definitely my favorite country in Europe. The people, the pasta, pizza… and don’t forget gelato with every meal!
I had a lot of people warn me before going to Paris not to get my hopes up and that it’s not as magical as movies make it seem. But the second we arrived in Paris, I knew those people were totally wrong! From start to finish, I was so impressed with the city and thought it was absolutely incredible. We didn’t get a lot of time here which was a bummer, but thankfully I got to do almost everything I was hoping to!
My favorite part of the day was going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for sunset. This view of the city is absolutely breathtaking and offers and amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, for just 7 euro. J’aime Paris!
Our last stop of the trip was London! This city is filled with history and culture. The locals were very friendly and the London Underground is very easy to navigate. Not to mention, all the museums are free which is a win!
My favorite spot in London was this famous local pub called Churchill Arms. The outside is covered in flowers and is probably the coolest exterior of any building ever. The inside is just as cool and has interesting items and objects hanging from all of the walls and the ceiling.
And I should put it out there – authentic London scones with clotted cream and jam are a million times better than scones in the States. Can’t wait to go back just to eat them!
Which of these countries have you visited and are your favorites? Comment below and on social media!