Adventures · Bulgaria · Germany · Lithuania · Romania · Solo Travel · Time Management · Tips & Tricks · UK

10 places in Europe to visit in 2017

 

2017-europe

You’re probably caught up in the Christmas rush at the moment and finding that time is disappearing in a blur. Where did 2016 go? So, my suggestion is that you distract yourself from the mayhem and start planning your New Year adventures now.

For the last two years I’ve been exploring my way through Europe one long weekend at a time. As this year draws to a close I will have been to over 40 countries in the continent and want to share my recommendations for places you must see in 2017.


January – Vilnius, Lithuania

January is always a tight month for the budget so you need to go somewhere cheap but 10313473_10156421811545068_8271503744558946991_ncheerful. I recommend Vilnius, Lithuania. If you’re like me and you’re just not ready for Christmas to be over yet, you’ll find yourself in your very own Winter Wonderland here

A few quick recommendations if you do decide to visit – Go to Trakai Castle, try the local food (highly recommend the sausages and dumplings!) and bring thermals as when I visited it was a bitter -17 degrees, so make sure you’re prepared for it!

I’ve written a full post on Lithuania if this takes your fancy, check it out.


February – Carnevale di Venezia

One of my most memorable trips was to Venice Carnival. The city comes alive with colour (yes, even more so than usual!) and it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss. The festival runs in February and ends on Shove Tuesday each year. If travel planning is a bit overwhelming for you then I suggest you check out Busabout as they run excellent 4 day tours to the festival and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with them.

Make sure you join in with the festivities by buying a some confetti and celebrating in the street. Everywhere you turn there will be masks for sale but I suggest you get one from a shop if you want it to be slightly better quality.


March – Belfast, Northern Ireland

I completely fell head over heels in love with Giant’s Causeway when I visited earlier this year. Photographs just do not do this place justice! However, if you’re going to Giant’s 12Causeway you are probably also going to be spending some time in Belfast. I personally thought Belfast was an urban beauty and would definitely return in the near future. The Titanic museum was an extremely interesting way to spend a few hours and I’ve heard raving reviews about Crumlin Road Prison although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit myself (that just means I have to go back again!)

I can highly recommend the black cab tours as they are run by local cabbies and give you a personalised tour of the city, including the murals and Belfast’s recent dark history.


April – Sofia, Bulgaria

I loved Bulgaria so much I went twice in the space of a few weeks! Sofia is the capital and is the perfect base to explore the rest of the country. My personal highlight was a day trip to Rila Monastery (photographed below). This picturesque beauty is located in the mountains, just under 2 hours away from the city. I’ve written a list of things to see and do in Sofia if you do decide to visit.

IMG_8184


May – Amalfi Coast, Italy

Pizza, sunshine, oh and more pizza. What’s not to love about Italy? Seriously, my stomach is rumbling just thinking about the Amalfi Coast. This beautiful 50km stretch of coastline runs along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula and is one not to miss. The Coast includes Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento and my personal favourite – Capri.

May is the ideal time to go as children are still at school and the beaches actually have space for you to sunbathe! My suggestion is that you try deep fried pizza in Naples (don’t judge, it tastes so good!) and drink homemade lemonade slushie in Capri.


June – Krakow, Poland

Krakow is such an interesting and beautiful city. You won’t be short of things to do over a 1795591_10206181720357735_2719581271685275930_nweekend trip! The obvious choices are day trips to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz. Both trips take a day, which means you have the night time to … DRINK VODKA!

There is a tiny bar, simply named Wodka Cafe-Bar, in the town centre where they sell a ridiculous amount of flavoured vodkas for you to try. As you can see from this photo of us the next day with dark sunglasses – we certainly tried a lot of flavours!


July – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is adorable in the summer months, just watch out for the mosquitoes! Popular with British Stag Do’s for being a cheap and cheerful place it can feel a bit like you’re on a 11738028_10155820485835068_2104567791803891634_npermanent pub crawl – but you can escape this! After all, the drunken yobs don’t want to hike up the the television tower or take photographs from the castle, so you can easily shake them off as soon as you leave the main square.

The John Lennon Wall is fantastic and there is a brilliant John Lennon themed pub just around the corner, complete with red phone boxes and records hanging on the wall.

I recommend hiring a pedalo and taking an hour or so to see the city from the water.

 


August – Bath, England

Recently I have been thinking about exploring England a bit more and my first stop was to Bath. Talk about setting the bar really high – Bath is beautiful! I spent hours exploring The Roman Baths and could easily do it all over again. If you’re visiting London there are loads of organised day trips you can join or just hop on a train and explore on your own!


September – Munich, Germany

When I tell people Oktoberfest is in September I always get one person trying to be smart by telling me it’s in October – but the majority of the event isn’t! This 16-18 day festival 12108263_10156117712020068_5619179765718208311_nruns from mid-September to the first weekend in October. It’s also something that should be on everyone’s bucket list!

I went by myself, so there are no excuses if you’re friends don’t want to go – you can easily go alone! I made so many friends and fully got in the swing of things by dressing up and singing along to the German songs (you have to learn Ein Prosit Der Gemulichkeit if you go!) I won’t lie, it isn’t the cheapest time to visit Munich but experiences are so much more important than money, right? Book early, have a plan and save up – you won’t regret it!

 


October – Transylvania, Romania

I can’t think of a better place to visit for Halloween than the home of Dracula. Romania is a fascinating and underrated country, not to mention extremely cheap. There are regular,
cheap flights to Romania from London – although it’s cheaper to fly to Bucharest then make your way via car/ bus to Transylvania rather than flying there directly. Once you’re there you don’t need a lot of money at all to enjoy yourself, which makes it the perfect place to visit in the run up to the festive months.


November – Lake Bled, Slovenia

I can honestly say, hand on heart, I have never seen anywhere as beautiful as Slovenia. Ljubljana is the quietest and cleanest capital city in Europe, it’s no wonder it’s won the 14702319_10157611825190068_2755331355804167371_nGreen Capital 2016 award. With how frequently I travel I am always looking for ways to save money and snag a bargain and I managed to get my flight to Slovenia for £1.45 + tax. Yes, you read that correctly, £1.45!! It’s my cheapest flight to date and I am still gobsmacked that I managed it. One day I will reveal my secret to getting this bargain, but for now make sure you book your flights and go! Tours to Lake Bled leave from Ljubljana several times a day, but if you really want to see the Slovenian countryside then hire a car and make your own way there. There are so many beautiful places to stop along the way!


December – Riga, Latvia

By December, the Christmas rush is well underway and you probably want to escape it all for a few days. Riga is the perfect destination to get away from all of this chaos. Latvia is a Baltic country so make sure you wrap up warmly as temperatures drop quickly as night closes in. If you’re looking for a nice Christmas market where you can get a mulled wine that isn’t ridiculously overpriced then look no further. Latvians are friendly, nothing is overly expensive and the city is just beautiful. Also, if you go in December there is a high chance you’ll get the White Christmas so many people crave….

12289580_10156283101975068_3462143417085224654_n


Thanks for reading this post. Have you been to any of the above destinations? Are you planning on seeing any next year? Or do you suggest somewhere else? Let me know in the comments below…

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “10 places in Europe to visit in 2017

  1. Loved this post! We’re remodeling this year and I’m definitely looking for places to go! Thanks for these great ideas…

    Like

  2. I’ve been to a few on this list: Bath, Prague, Bugaria, Romania – oh, wait … I think I’ve been to most of them. And they’re great suggestions – I agree that Rila Monastery was a real highlight.

    Like

  3. We just moved to London and that’s the perfect place to be to visit all of your locations. I think I might just add these to my list for the year. I can’t wait to do more traveling around Europe, and you’ve covered so many good ones.

    Like

  4. Love love all your recommendations! Europe is kinda our favorite playground but we have to control our bursts given not so cheap flights from US 😦

    Definitely have a strong urge to visit the Baltics sometime soon!

    Like

  5. These are great and off the beaten path locations in Europe. I’d love to check out Lake Bled on your list as well as Sofia. Thanks for including cheap alternatives on how to get the destinations. Looking forward to continued travels in 2017!!

    Like

  6. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Interesting selection. There are so many amazing places in Europe that, ultimately, it comes down to personal choices (i.e. my list would be different). I understand your point about visiting Vilnius in January: budgeting issues are important to consider. I would argue, however, that Lithuanian capital, along with Riga too, are most beautiful in late spring. Flowers and bright green new leaves make them so festive under the cheerful sun. I love Sofia too. For wine lovers, coming there in Autumn (late September or October when the heat is over) to taste excellent Bulgarian wines would be a treat too. Happy travels!

    Like

  7. I agree, January can be really budget heavy, so cheaper is always better. Slovenia really does look beautiful. Thanks for the suggestions, I will have to add them to my every growing list. When will it ever stop? (Hopefully never, right?)

    Like

  8. What an awesome list. I’ve been to to Prague, Munich and Naples this year. I visited Sorrento but still need to visit the rest of the Almafi coast. Belfast looks awesome and Sofia reminds me of Belgrade a little. Fascinating

    Like

  9. So glad you liked your trips to Bulgaria and so envious of all your travels. From the U.S., such travel is truly impossible, but I look forward to living again in Bulgaria one day and following your inspiring example.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s