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Italian Summer Vacation Series: 1 Day Itinerary for Milan

pinmilan1

After a little break, today we are moving eastward through Italy and giving you an amazing and jam packed one day itinerary for sight seeing in Milan. Milan is a beautiful metropolitan city full of beautiful architecture, delicious espresso, and amazing shopping. The major sights can easily be seen in a one day walking route but, there are also city buses that can easily get you around from place to place.

MORNING:
Getting an early start for Milan sight seeing has its advantages. The place that all the tourists want to see is Piazza del duomo where the Milan Cathedral is. This means as of noon, this place is packed!

Cathedral duomo MilanDSCN3575 2Near the Cathedral is the Victor Emanuel Gallery (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II) which is a beautiful sight to walk through and is lined with luxury shopping the whole way through. DSCN3582Victor Emanuel Gallery MilanGiorgio Armani MilanDSCN3589Once out on the other side, you’ll come to the monument of Leonardo da Vinci which is an amazing sight in itself to see. Leonardo da Vinci sculpture milanAFTERNOON:
After taking a lunch break, the best place to walk to is the Sforza Castle. You can take a leisurely walk through the whole grounds and also see some classic artworks and sculptures. Once through, you’ll be in the Parco Sempione, the largest city park in Milan. We had a beautiful sunny day so spending time here was the perfect way to use the afternoon. At the other end, you’ll come to the famous arch, Arco della Place which is a perfect spot for a few nice photos.Sforza Castle MilanArco della Place MilanDSCN3634EVENING:
Before heading off to dinner, take a stroll through the shopping district and indulge a bit or just browse the windows. The best part is walking through all the narrow side streets in awe of how beautiful they can be. There are also some larger architectural sights to be seen in this area as well. Narrow street MilanGenerali BuildingJust to give you a map view of where this full day route takes you, starting from the Cathedral(duomo) walking through the park and then back through the shopping district, you will only have to walk a total of one hour. Wednesday we’ll be heading south and making a stop at the historical ruins of Pompeii! Check back to find out all about spending a day exploring this amazing site.

If you missed the latest articles about the islands of Venice, find them here!
Italian Summer Vacation Series: Island of Murano
Italian Summer Vacation Series: Island of Burano

 

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 🙂 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 🙂

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. 🙂
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

Lübeck
Lubeck Germany

Also in the north but over on the East Sea coast, is the beautiful city of Lübeck. 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 Beautiful Sights of Lyon, France

Happy Monday! This week I want to share my favorite photos of the best spots in Lyon, France. Last summer I was there for three days and this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city that was never before on my radar, quickly became one of my top choices for sightseeing in France. It has the perfect combination of old world European charm and modern amenities. The colors, relaxed atmosphere, food, and not to mention great shopping make this city worthy of any European travel bucket list. So, to start your Monday off right, or to give you a reason to procrastinate starting your week, here are some of the amazing sights in Lyon 🙂

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Lyon CathedralLyon Old Town

Lyon is nestled between two rivers, the Saône and the Rhône. In the middle is the main hub and city center where all the shopping is, and on the opposite side of the Saône is where the Old Town UNESCO site is. This is where you’ll find the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere. Although with its pristine positioning up atop the hill side, you’ll be able to see it still from the opposite side of the river.

Vieux Lyon (Old Town)
Lyon old townLyon France RestaurantLyon France Goat cheese Salad restaurantmussels lyoncreme brûlée lyon

A walk through the Old Town quarters of Lyon, also known as Vieux Lyon, will give you a great feel for just how much character this city truly has. The area dates back to the Renaissance times and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sights to see here include Saint Johns Catherdral, the Exchange Square, and Rue Saint Jean which is the main and most popular street in the old town. Its also the perfect area to sit back and enjoy a drink or a nice dinner. If you love seafood, France is known for its Mussels and fries (Moules et Frites) which was my favorite dinner. An entire pot of mussels in a delicious white wine sauce just for me! And no trip to Lyon or any city in France for that matter is complete without Creme Brûlée :).

City Hall Lyon town hall

Can we just take a minute to talk about the architecture here!? It is stunning! I don’t know about you but growing up, our city halls were usually ugly square brown brick buildings from the 60’s or 70’s. This is what you get when you come to Lyon. The most intricate of details you’ll find throughout this and every building there. Place de Jacobins (below) is also a great spot to admire the traditional European style buildings and architecture.

Lyon city center fountainNational Opera HouseLyon Theater

Place Bellecour
Place Bellecour Lyon

If you are looking for a great location to stay in while visiting Lyon, Place Bellecour is the perfect central location to get everywhere you would like easily by foot. The shopping district, city center, and Old Town are all only with 15-20 min walking from there.

Have other suggestions for what to see in Lyon or more beautiful photos? Share below!!

Save this post for later when its time to plan that dream trip 😉

Pinterest Lyon France

 

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 😉
  • 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 🙂

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!!

 

7 Spots in Paris to Photograph at Night

Paris is a city that is on most of our bucket lists. Why is that? It could be the Eiffel Tower, or the delicious macaroons, or maybe just the feeling of being in such a fashionable city.  The first time I was in Paris, everything I had always imagined didn’t even begin to compare to seeing it all in real life.  The buildings, the statues, the colors, and of course, the croissants. I came to realize though, that my favorite part was actually all the lights of Paris at night.

1.View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Some people are against doing anything touristy in a new city but I’m all for it. There is a reason so many people want to see these things. So my first stop of the evening was heading up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. (And bonus if you are a resident of the EU and under 26 you can get a discount ticket). First thing I will say is that I didn’t realize I had a fear of  heights until I was in the glass elevator heading to the very top. Its much taller than it looks from below. But I pushed through so that I could watch the sunset from the best view in the city. Best decision ever.

eiffel tower view

paris eiffel tower view

2. Eiffel Tower Light Show

Back at the bottom, after the sun was officially gone for the evening, the Eiffel Tower light show began. At the top of every hour the tower glitters and sparkles and lights up the whole city.

Paris

eiffel tower

3. Moulin Rouge

The next stop was the neighborhood of Montmarte. While I didn’t go in for a show, the iconic Moulin Rouge was still a gorgeous building to photograph.

moulin rouge paris

4. Sacre Coeur Basillica

The Basillica, Sacre Coeur, sits at the very top of the neighborhood, plus a few more flights of stairs up to the entrance. While a photo of it is indeed beautiful, I don’t think it does justice to how enormous and majestic it is in real life!

sacre couer paris

5. Metro Signs

No where else that I have been has such unique Metro signs. These were all over Paris. I think you could have a photo shoot of just interesting Metro signs you can find throughout the city.

metro sign paris

6. Hotel Le Meurice

Near the Louvre museum, the Hotel Le Meurice lights up the street in a bright pinkish purple.

Hotel paris

7.The Louvre Museum

And finally I spot the pyramid at the Louvre!

Louvre museum paris

Whether its day or night, Paris is the perfect city to up your photography skills because I don’t think you can turn a corner without finding a view worth photographing. I hope to return for a longer time (and maybe in summer) on my next visit to really scour the streets for the hidden gems of Paris. For a first visit, the touristy spots in Paris are actually a must in my opinion because of well, just how plain awesome they are. Night time makes for a fun atmosphere and the lights of the city turn it into a glittering, colorful masterpiece.

Where else have you taken photos of Paris at night? Share below!

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Bildschirmfoto 2017-01-24 um 21.02.10

5 Favorite things about Miami + FREE Beach Packing List Download!

Mmmmm, the sight of the bright turquoise waters after 9 hours in flight from a gray and gloomy winter was enough to wake me right up and put a big smile on my face. In just a few minutes, I would be landing in Miami for the second time in my life. 

That first step out of the airport and I can already smell the salty water in the warm air. Right after the holidays and all the decor and cheer is gone but the weather is still getting colder and the evenings still dark, we can sometimes fall into a post-holiday slump. I know this happens to me. That means its time to pack up the sunblock and flip flops, throw on a bikini and head south for a bit of  sun therapy. If you’re still looking for reasons to ditch the snow boots for a week and grab a daiquiri in the sunshine state instead, here are my 5 favorite things about Miami Beach (plus bonus… free Beach packing list download at the end of this post!)

1.  The “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” stands

My favorite part about the beaches in Miami are the “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” stands. Each is unique and colorful just like Miami.

2. Morning Beach Walks

Because of my 6 hour time difference going to Miami, getting up at 6:30am was no problem for me. This is the perfect time to head out for a low tide walk along the beach. Check out the runners or fishermen, collect shells, take some photos, or just enjoy the sunrise.

3. Shopping

Sometimes a bit of retail therapy can also help beat the winter blues and Miami is the perfect place for that. Walking up and down Lincoln Blvd and Collins street and you’ll find every store you can think of plus, all the pastel colored buildings

4. Pool time

And if after all that shopping you’re in need of a wind down, just about every hotel on the beach also has a relaxing pool. Grab a chair and lounge away!

5. Palm Tree heaven

Its hard to feel unhappy when walking through a place like this. The tropical feeling follows you everywhere.

If you’re looking for more ideas of what to do in Miami, check out my earlier post, A Trip to the Sunshine State. Heading out to the everglades for some alligator spotting and an air boat tour is another great adventure a bit off the beach.

Check out Gator Park for an awesome everglade experience

What are your favorite things to do in Miami? Or favorite beaches! I love to hear from you 🙂

As promised, here is your free downloadable packing list for a beach vacation!

Beach Vacation packing list

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this post!

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