adventure

Italian Summer Vacation Series: Intro

Buongiorno!! I am so excited to share this next series with you as traveling through Italy was my favorite summer trip last year. It was so amazing, that we are going back this year for double the time and road tripping through all new cities! But to start off, over the next eight weeks I’m going to get you all ready for your own Italian vacation. From planning and prepping, to destinations, delicious dishes, sightseeing and adventure activities, we’ve got it all! Italy is perfect for a summer destination, a place to show off a bit of your beach bikini style as well as fashion city style! It is also a very relaxed country in general which makes travel easy to enjoy.

Here is a preview of whats to come in the next weeks:

Venice
veniceBurano, Murano
burano italianMilan
Milan Italian adventureAmalfi Coast
Amalfi coast italian adventurePositano
Positano italian adventureCapri
Capri Italian adventuresPompeii
pompeii italian adventureRome
Rome italian adventure

So get excited! We’ll also be sharing favorite summer travel accessories, must have items for your Italian trip, plus amazing photos to inspire some serious wanderlust ūüôā And as a bonus we have created a Perfect Packing List specifically for Italy for you to download and use. Look for it in the travel prep article coming out Wednesday. But the best part, at the end of the series, we’ll be doing a GIVEAWAY that will include the Italian Summer Vacation Series: Part 1 Ebook! Then later this summer we’ll be jetting off (or rather driving the German Autobahn) towards that next Italian Roadtrip to create Italian Vacation Series Part 2 just for you!!

Stay tuned on Mondays and Wednesdays! The adventure is about to begin ūüôā

And don’t forget to share this article to get your girls or man in on a summer vacay to Italy!

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Best of Germany

Welcome to the first Wanderlust Wednesday! The first Wednesday of every month, I am going to be posting a Wanderlust Wednesday article to inspire you to travel somewhere new and as a way for us all to grow our travel bucket lists. ūüôā
This week, I’m starting off with an easy one for me. I have been living in Germany for the past year and a half now, and have discovered so many wonderful places! While I still feel like I have so many more to visit, here are the “best of” photos from each city or event in Germany that you won’t want to miss when planning that next Euro Trip!

Idar-Oberstein

Idar Oberstein Germany

In the very west of Germany is Idar Oberstein, a lesser known and smaller German  town but, with so much charm and character. It is not very touristy which makes a visit there quite relaxing. The best sight of all, the church built into the rocks.  The legend goes that there were once two brothers who lived in the castle above the rock. They both fell for the same girl but she only loved one of them. The other learned of this and threw his brother out the window where he plummeted to his death on the rocks below. Immediately filled with remorse, he confessed what he had done, and to have this forgiven, he was to build a church at the site of where his brother had died.
Today, you can still visit the church and the castle above. The castle is well worth it if you want to get the best view over the city.
Idar Oberstein is also known for its gemstones. If you are looking for something to take back with you, a gemstone souvenir would be just the thing. Idar Oberstein Germany

Heidelberg

HeidelbergHeidelberg lies in the southwest side of Germany and is known for its unique and very large Renaissance era castle that stands up on the hilltop and looks down over the colorful buildings within the city.
Heidelberg GermanyHeidelberg Germany

Bremen
Bremen germany

Towards the north is the city of Bremen. Last year we visited for a fall festival. In Germany, that means lots of grilled meat, sweets and treats, and festival rides galore!
Bremen germany

Hamburg
Hamburg Germany

Right on the North Sea coast is Hamburg, a thriving and large city full of tourism. The Town Hall (Rathaus) is the most spectacular looking building in my opinion and the best thing to do on a sunny day is take a boat tour to see the whole city from the water!

Hamburg

L√ľbeck
Lubeck Germany

Also in the north but over on the East Sea coast, is the beautiful city of¬†L√ľbeck. This is the perfect summer vacation spot. White sand beaches spread far and wide with the iconic wicker beach chairs all along the way only 15 minutes from the city center. Even in August the water tends to be a bit chilly but, if the weather is warm enough, its perfect for a quick dip and then relaxing on shore. The biggest and best sight in the city is the Holstentor which is a large gate that marked the city border after it was built in 1464.
Lubeck Germany

Berlin
Berlin Germany

To the east we have Berlin, the largest and capital city of Germany. Berlin has some amazing sights such as the world clock (above) and the Brandenburg Gate (below). It is also the best place to learn about the history of Germany with so many museums, monuments, and memorials throughout the city.

See my full Berlin Itinerary here: Berlin Complete Travel Guide
Berlin GermanyBerlin Germany

Christmas Markets
Braunschweig Christmas Markets

The Christmas markets are found all throughout Germany from the end of November until Christmas. It is worth booking your trip during this time just to see them! Drink some hot chocolate with amaretto or hot mulled wine and walk through all of the pretty lights and stands!

See more sparkly photos here: Germany’s Christmas Markets

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Germany

The Neuschwanstein castle is about an hour outside of Munich and makes for a great day trip. This is the real castle that the Disney castle was designed after!! So its like being a real disney princess when visiting ;).

Read more here: Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle

Munich
Munich Germany

In the heart of Bavaria is Munich. Good beer, meat, and tradition is everywhere here. The best sight is in Marienplatz in the city center. At 11am, as well as 12pm and 5pm in summer, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, or Town Hall Clock performance, occurs while the bells ring and the puppets come out to perform. This is one of the top tourist attractions in all of Munich.

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest Germany

The very top attraction in Munich in September and October however, is Oktoberfest. Three weeks of drinking liters of beer, consuming a lifetimes worth of soft pretzels, and dancing around in Lederhosen or a Dirndl is what Oktoberfest is all about.

Read more about Oktoberfest in my other article here: Cheers to Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest pretzel OktoberfestOktoberfest GermanyOktoberfest Germany

Already been to Germany?? Where was your favorite place? Share below!

Don’t forget to pin this post for later and follow along on Pinterest!

The Fairytale Towns in the Harz of Germany

Happy Monday! Today I want to share just a short intro to the Harz region and why its one of my favorite areas in all of Germany!! All of the quaint little¬†towns throughout the area remind me of something straight out of a storybook ūüôā And considering many of our childhood fairy tales originate ¬†in Germany (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty) I imagine these towns to be the setting for most of them. Beautiful castles set high up on the hill sides and the houses down in the villages full of character are the main attractions for all of these towns.

WERNIGERODE

My personal favorite for castles¬†to tour and explore is in Wernigerode. This one has been there since the 12th century and if seeing the hundreds of years old tower isn’t enough, the view from it will make all landscape and panorama enthusiasts smile with delight.

castle harz germanycastle harz germany

QUEDLINBURGHarz Germanycheesecake harz germany

The next town over in the Harz, Quedlinburg, also has a large castle on the hill top but, my favorite part was actually Vincent’s Cheesecake Cafe.¬†This was by far, the best I have tried¬†yet while in Germany. I would plan a visit back to this city just to eat more cheesecake (Doesn’t help that I happen to be a cheesecake fanatic). But besides the yummy desserts, the town is picture perfect and an excellent spot for a spring or summer afternoon stroll¬†to see all¬†the traditional German architecture and laid back city center.

Cheesecake Harz Germany

 GOSLAR
Goslar Harz panorama view

Goslar’s charm is undeniable. This quaint town is hard not to love. Just take a walk through all the streets to experience the relaxed lifestyle here. And like most towns here, Goslar also has a unique castle to explore.

Goslar Harz castle

Ok one Castle Selfie ūüėČ

Goslar castleThe city center is also a great place to grab an ice cream or cappuccino and sit outdoors. You’ll feel just like one of the locals enjoying the perks of small town living in one of the most beautiful regions of Germany.
Goslar city center

Have you visited any other towns in the Harz? Share below!

And don’t forget to pin this article for later ūüôā
pinterest harz

5 Helpful Resources for Moving to Europe

The dream of going to cooking school in France, learning to paint in Italy, or relaxing on the beaches in Spain, has many people wanting to drop everything and move abroad to Europe. Maybe you have already taken a big step and said “I’m packing my bags and buying a one-way flight” or maybe its still just a thought you have after a stressful day at work. Either way, moving abroad to Europe can be one of the most memorable and exciting experiences to have in a life time. After living in Europe myself now for 1 and a half years, my suggestion is don’t hold back and just do it! You will thank yourself when you could be walking through some place like here on a daily basis
Germany Europe
However, the dream of sipping lattes daily in a Parisian cafe may need  to come with a  disclaimer. Your experience may not be all crumpets and scones and will come with a bit of work. There are some important factors to consider but with the right resources it is not at all impossible and more than 100% worth it!

First, there is the paperwork side of moving abroad. This can be the stressful part figuring out what type of Visa will allow you to stay in Europe and enjoy all it has to offer for more than three months. Then comes multiple visits to the foreigners office and filling out paperwork that may not be in English.

If you are looking for finding ways to get a European Visa, this article from one of my favorite bloggers, The Savvy Backpacker, lists out really nicely lots of different ways to stay in Europe for more than 90 days.

But besides all the paperwork, there is a European life to be lived!! The amazing things include so many wonderful cities to see and all easily accessible by train, bus, or a short flight, food that will make you never want to stop eating, and landscapes that will literally take your breath away (In my case this was the view from the highest point in Tyrol in the Austrian Alps) However, people living abroad might also¬†have to deal with loneliness, feeling isolated especially if you don’t fluently speak the new language, and struggling with every day tasks that,¬†at home, we didn’t have to think twice about (like say not knowing you have to weigh your produce items at many German grocery stores and then not understanding the cashier when she’s telling you to go weigh it before you can check out). Its all new and while its dreamy and wonderful, it can also be overwhelming. Today I want to focus on the social side of moving abroad. Here are my best suggestions to make your new life as happy as possible!

Expat.com

Living in Germany
My first suggestion is to sign up right away for expat.com!!
They have handy tools to help you with finding a place to live, health insurance, and even getting a job! It is pretty much your one-stop-shop for everything moving abroad. The really awesome feature though is the community of members they have. You can register with where you are from and what country you now live in and connect with others who are dealing with those same daily struggles and maybe learn something from them or even make a friend. They have over 1 million members so chances are you’ll find someone else in the same city as you.

Tandem App

Another great way to meet people and maybe start to learn or improve on your 2nd language skills is the App Tandem. It allows you to meet locals in your area who would like to work on their 2nd language as well. Being able to speak English is a huge plus because most Europeans are always looking for ways to better their English. You can meet with them at a coffee shop or restaurant and spend time speaking first in English and then in their language. Great way to meet locals which is half of the experience and make your time easier by learning a bit of the language.

Meetup.com

Meetup¬† allows you to select hobbies or topics that interest you and find groups of people in your area who will meet up to do these hobbies together! In to running? Find yourself a running club. Photography? Politics? Whatever you can think of there is probably a group already started just waiting for you to join. You don’t have to let go of the things that make you you just because you moved somewhere new. Lots of these groups are very international as well and you will meet people from everywhere!

Time Out

Time Out App is great if you want to find out what fun events are happening in your city. It will also recommend things to do, where to eat, and customize it all to you. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get out and explore your new city and make it feel like your city. It took me a few months before I had this feeling but, once you do, its no longer overwhelming and actually fun to go out and find new things to do ūüôā

Tourlina and Backpackr

While living in Europe, you’ll probably want to do some exploring. Solo travel can be very rewarding but it can me more fun and more comfortable to travel with someone. A fun new app for females (available for iPhone and next month for Android) is Tourlina. It is set up like a dating app but is to help you meet another female travel buddy heading to the same cities as you and sharing the same interests.¬†Backpackr¬†is another app which allows you to meet other travelers by entering a city and date of when you’ll be there. This one is also great for budget travelers with advice on where to get good eats for cheap, local pub crawls, hostel deals, and free events in the area.

 

Have any other awesome recommendations that you’ve found? Share below!!

And don’t forget to pin this article for later!

pinterest moving abroad resources

 

 

10 Must Have Experiences in London

Ahh day dreaming of London while sipping on tea and nibbling down shortbread. It had always been a dream of mine to visit this English city. Explore the culture, see the sights, talk to some locals, and get the full London experience. But where do you start, how do you go about immersing yourself into  such a place with only a few days time? On my first trip to London I scoured for the best sights, used our local friends as recourses for what to do, and came up with my top ten must have London experiences. Half of your planning for your own first London adventure will be covered just by reading this! Get out your itinerary and prepare to fill it up!

SEE BUCKINGHAM PALACEBuckingham Palace london

Number 1 one the list…visit the Queen! Ok she might not be available for afternoon tea with her schedule but a must have experience in London is to see Buckingham Palace where she and all the previous royalty of England have resided. A tour inside to see the Royal Collection will cost¬†¬£10.00 or you can just view from the outside with all the other admirers for free. However, if you are planning your trip for this summer, 2017, the Palace is being opened for a special exhibition full tour for¬†¬£23 per person. Details here!

SEE BIG BEN AND WESTMINSTER ABBEYBig Ben london

Westminster abbey London

Get your cameras and selfie sticks out! Time to get your prime shot of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. It’s hard not to find them, they are enormous. But no matter how many photos you take, it won’t do justice to what you’ll see and experience in person. I don’t think I have to convince anyone that this is not to be missed!

Big ben london

VISIT A TRADITIONAL PUB

My favorite part about all of the London Pubs is all of the flowers that deck the outsides. No other city comes close to creating such an atmosphere that the pubs here achieve. Step inside and you’ll feel the tradition and elegance that has been a part of this city for hundreds of years. The Red Lion¬†is known for its award winning traditional London meat and potato pies which is also a must when deciding what to eat when in London.

EAT FISH AND CHIPSfish and chips london

And speaking of what to eat, when in London, eat fish and chips. For anyone who doesn’t know, chips is the word for fries in the UK. Get yourself to a pub and try some delicious fried fish with crispy hot chips. Looking for a pub? I’ve got you covered. Here is a list of restaurants in all different areas of London all with delicious fish and chips:

Near the Highbury and Islington Underground station in this hip neighborhood is a fresh and yummy Fish and chips choice:
Sea Fish Restaurant

Not too far from London Tower and the Liverpool street station is this classic choice:
Poppies Fish and Chips

Near the Generator Hostel and Harry Potters King Cross Station is this sophisticated and nautical choice for fish and chips:
North Sea Fish

In the shopping Mayfair district you’ll find this nice Fish and Chips restaurant:
Mayfair Chippy

Right in the heart of all the biggest London attractions, this fun diner style Fish and chips restaurant is right next to the London Eye:
Great British Fish and Chips

WALK THROUGH CHINA TOWN

I must admit, before I went to London, I did not even know it had a China Town. We suddenly turned a corner and came to this view. the entire street is filled with Asian supermarkets and restaurants. If you are in London for a few days and have already tried the traditional foods, I highly recommend getting a meal here. We were so stuffed after our lunch, it was a good thing we planned to keep walking the rest of the day. The great part about the asian restaurants is that the food is served communally at your table so everyone can try a bit of everything. Try this restaurant out if you are not sure which one to choose: Gerrard’s Corner Restaurant

How to find Chinatown? Take the underground to¬†Piccadilly Circus Station¬†and walk down Coventry Street until you reach the M&M store. Turn left and you will see the entrance ūüôā

 RIDE A DOUBLE DECKER BUS

Whether you decide to go the tour route and get a day ticket to an open top bus or just ride the normal city buses, this is one of the most iconic experiences in London. The big red buses are everywhere and a lot of the normal city buses run along the same paths as the tour buses. Download the Live London Bus Tracker app for your trip to make it easy to find out which bus to take. You can also find bus routes by clicking the photo below:

VISIT CAMDEN MARKET

Camden Market¬†on London’s east side is the best foodie experience. Street food vendors from every ethnicity food you can think of! Go hungry so that you can try a few different dishes. We had a hard time just choosing a few! Its hard to even recommend a few because everything looked and smelled so good. But if I had to choose, get some truffle mac and cheese from The Mac Factory, and a wrap from Roti House Pakistani food stand.

Check out The Ultimate Foodie Markets in London to find out more!

Camden Market London

SEE LONDON AT NIGHT

The lights of London at night are a sight not to be missed. The colors alone light up the city with life and reflect off the Thames river. Head over to the Westminster Bridge for the best view of Big Ben and the London Eye.

London at night

GET A PHOTO OF THE ICONIC TELEPHONE BOOTHS

TAKE A THAMES RIVER CRUISE

One of the most relaxed ways to see all the major sights of London is to hop on board a ship and take river cruise. If you also want to take the hop on hop off bus tour, Big Bus tours offers 24 hour tickets which includes a river cruise for only £30.

If you are looking for a little more like say an afternoon tea cruise or dinner cruise, City Cruises offers lots of options.

Save this post for later when planning your trip to London!

London pinterest 10 experiences

 

Have more London experiences you absolutely love? Leave a comment below and share this article!

Next week we’re hopping back over to Germany to share a bit about a beautiful region¬†near to me! Check back Monday¬†for more!

The Best Sights in Prague

Prague is such a charming city and is in my top favorites for European cities. The sights are stunning, the food fantastic, and the atmosphere is always up beat and fun. When planning your first trip, give 3 full days on your Itinerary for this gem. You won’t want to miss out on anything.

Charles bridge prague night view

night view prague

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

First, we all need to know a few basics about a new destination to make travel as¬†stress free and pleasant as possible. So I’m sharing a few things that will help on your first trip to Prague.

  • Bring your walking shoes! Your 5 inch stilettos won’t help you much over the cobblestone roads. Plus Prague is the perfect size city to see everything by foot.
  • Signs with WC on them¬†are your friend. That means bathroom ūüėČ
  • Prague can be known to be party city at night. If you go to the center at night, just know there might be some rowdy party folks. If this is your scene, just remember to always use the buddy system.
  • Prague has amazing beer. Try it.
  • Do not leave without eating a Trdelnik (Where to find the best eats in Prague)
  • 1 US dollar is about 25.7 Czech Krones
  • Prague is an inexpensive city. That means you don’t have to make it rain dolla’ bills to have a good time(unless of course that is your plan) making it the perfect European city for the student or broke graduate ūüôā

As for what to see and do in Prague, here are all the musts you can add to your Itinerary.

OLD TOWN SQUAREOld town square prague

old town square prague

The Old Town Square is a great place to start your tour because it puts you right in the heart of the city. From there, everything is easy to reach. The best and most colorful buildings surround the square and it is usually filled with people, food stands, and entertainment.


ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK

Astronommical clock prague

Astrnomical clock prague

The sight you may have heard the most about is the Astronomical clock directly in the Old Town Square. People hover around it every hour to hear it chime and watch it perform its 600 year old tradition. The history of the clock is pretty interesting and Czech Tourism gives more info about it here

JOHN LENNON WALLJon Lennon wall prague

john lennon wall prague

The John Lennon wall is not only amazing because of its message and history but, it also looks awesome and is so colorful, its the perfect spot for your Instagram photo op.

CHARLES BRIDGECharles bridge prague

The Charles bridge is a massive pedestrian bridge. Normally filled with tourists, caricature artists, musicians, and street performers, it is one of the most lively bridges you’ll ever encounter.

charles bridge prague

charles bridge

PRAGUE CASTLEprague castle

Once you cross over the bridge coming from the Old Town Square, you can start to make your way up to where the Prague castle stands. The cool thing about this castle is that they do the changing of the guards ceremony every day just like in London. It is also completely free to walk around it.

Prague castle

Oh and it is probably not a bad idea to pack an umbrella for Prauge, one day we had sunshine and blue skies, the next on and off rain. Checking out the Basilica at the castle was a good way escape the rain drops for a few minutes.

PADDLE BOATS IN THE VLTAVA RIVERvltava river prague

And when it is sunny, my absolute FAVORITE activity while in Prague was paddle boating along the Vltava river. You can paddle boat right up to the Charles Bridge and see it from a whole different perspective. Its also a great way to just relax on a summers day after walking the last 6 hours and take in the sights along the banks. You may even get to ride around in one of the nifty car paddle boats!

paddle boating Vltava river

 THE PETRIN TOWER


And if you like to see cities from above, the Petrin Tower should be number one on your list. You can get a full 360 view of all the red tin roofs and the river between from the highest lookout point in Prague. Check out my article on the Petrin Tower to find out more if this is a must for your itinerary!

HOSTELS
hostel prague

If you are looking for a budget place to stay in Prague, there are a ton of great hostels all over the city. We chose a very relaxed one a little outside of the city center but still right next to lots of great cafes, close access to the Petrin Tower, and just a short walk to paddle boating.

Adam and Eva hostel felt just like home, they even had the same bedding as we have! The atmosphere was very relaxed and the staff was always there to help, plus it was securely locked. Just check out Hostelworld and you’ll find tons of great budget hostels to stay in no matter if you’re looking for the party vibe or private relaxed vibe.

prague hostel

Prague Hostel

Want to know more about traveling to Prague? Check out these other articles on the blog:
Where to find the best eats in Prague
Where to find the best view of Prague

Save this post for later when you are planning your own trip!

best sights prague pinterest

What else did you see or do on a trip to Prague? Leave a comment below! Can’t wait to share with you next weeks article, we’re jetting off from Prague to LONDON!!

 

Where to find the best view in Prague

I have so much I can say about Prague I can’t fit it all into one article! So for the next two weeks I’m going to share with you everything you need to know to have an awesome experience in Prague, and as always, on a budget. ūüôā

To start off, we’re headed up to the top. Thats right, all the way up the hill side and then climbing the Petrin Tower to get to the best view over the entire city of Prague.

GETTING TO THE TOP

To get to the top of the hill where the Petrin Lookout Tower is, you have two options, walk the path the entire way up or take the funicular¬†(Its basically an uphill rail car if you’re not familiar with that). We were there in summer and a lovely stroll up the hill through the gardens sounded like a better (and free) way to get to the top (especially considering the line for the funicular looked about an hour long). There are also benches along the path if you want to relax and take in the view half way up. There is also a¬†restaurant there if you are looking for a spot to grab a coffee or better yet beer. It took us just under an hour from the base of the hill up to the top where the tower stands to casually stroll up there. No rush on a beautiful summers day in Prague.

COST

The tower does cost a few bucks to go up to the lookout deck. $4.80 US dollars for an adult or if you have a student ID its only half the price! And it is a bit taller than than it looks once you start heading up the stairs. But don’t worry, just look ahead and keep going, the top is sooo worth it!

view of prague

prague castle

My best suggestion is to head up to the Petrin tower after an amazing breakfast at a cafe (which will be the topic of next weeks article!) because well 1, after a big meal it always feels good to walk a bit, and 2, the earlier you go the less crowded it will be. Regardless of what time of year you visit, but especially in summer, be sure to bring a water bottle!! We picked one up at a little corner store beforehand and it saved us!

Next week more on one of my favorite European cities and where to get the best eats!!

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prague view pinterest

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