So hopefully you guys were following along with me during my amazing trip to Europe on Instagram! I wanted to dive into all of the amazing details right here for those of you who asked! I have a few recs and tips for you guys when and if you decide to go the same places I went, because if you are like me, a personal tip is much much better than trying to trust a complete stranger, who may or may not have standards 🙂 So without further ado…
Our first stop on the trip was Amsterdam! Boy was it amazing. I was skeptical upon booking because I am not into drugs or seeing prostitution, as that is mostly what I have heard about the city, but it was far more than just that. It was beautiful, the scenery looked fake it was so pretty; the people were super friendly, the food was delicious and everyone rode bikes everywhere, which was so cool. If I went again, I would definitely stay in the 9 Streets area or near there along the canals if you can. If you do, you’ll be able to walk and bike wherever you want to go. That said, you must rent bikes – it seems stressful, but it was such a fun experience! Two great restaurants for dinner are Mazza and Envy. You also must have pancakes at the Pancake Bakery – it’s more like a crepe than pancake! One other foodie must-have is getting a beer and the best apple pie you have ever had at Winkel Cafe. The shopping is amazing as is the style of the locals. (I bought a few goodies that will make the blog this fall!) My last tip is to visit the Anne Frank house. It was something I always wanted to go because I read her book and took a Holocaust class in high school and it was inevitably sad, but it was also necessary to see in person.
Next stop was Berlin, and we got there by plane instead of train in order to save a little time. We stayed in the centrally located Sofitel Gendarmenmarkt and it was beyond lovely. The view from our room was insane because it is so close to a few cathedrals and other sites. I definitely recommend doing the Fat Tire Bike Tour while there as it is a fun and informative way to see the city. It was very interesting to see all of the WW11 spots and Hitler’s bunker. The best part of the tour though was the stop at this great Beer Garden deep in a beautiful park. If you are into shopping you must visit the “world’s largest mall” – or at least they told us it was. That’s where my husband bought me an early Christmas present…my Celine!!! Best night ever! Lastly, make sure you eat a typical German meal – we got weinerschnitzel at an authentic German restaurant and it was super tasty!
On to Munich – we only stayed one night here and not in the best area unfortunately (don’t stay near the central train station – really grimy), but we were able to do two important things during our visit. First, we went to Dachau Concentration Camp. It is still standing in much the same way that it was during the Holocaust and you can do an audio tour to learn about this horrific place (I recommend doing a guided tour, but if not then definitely the audio tour to understand what you are seeing since it is so big). It made me cry and was extremely disturbing, but it was also a must-see because we have to learn from past mistakes and understand the magnitude of the situation. That night we cheered ourselves up a bit by going to the huge Augustiner Beer Garden. We were there right before Oktoberfest started and it was a great atmosphere and time. Also, you must get the sausages! Sounds like a weird tip, but they are the best I have ever had!
We were really excited to get to Switzerland next. We were not just touring it on our own, but instead meeting some friends who live there and showed us an amazing time. We took a train from Munich and got to see a lot of the countryside and a bit of Zurich, which was super cute, before heading to a small 400 year old town called Fribourg. It was so quaint and picturesque with cobblestone streets and little shops and restaurants. We went to a great fondue dinner (it was the first time I have ever eaten fondue, don’t ask me why!) and it was one for the books! The cheese was so different and good! The next day we all drove out to this little mountain town called Gstaad that reminded me so much of Aspen. It was beyond gorgeous and now I get all of the fuss about the Swiss Alps. We rode the lift to the top for the most insane views and a lunch to rival the best. It was fabulous. Last we headed off to Geneva that night to explore the wealthy city and had Indian food that was to die for!
Our last stop on our incredible journey was the Cote D’Azur, otherwise known as the South of France or the French Riviera. We stayed at the Le Meridien in Nice since it was very central and took day trips by car and train to Monaco, St. Tropez and Antibes while we were there. It was super cool and the food was delicious. Monaco/Monte Carlo is much smaller than you would think, but St. Tropez is probably exactly how you would imagine – plus you must relax for a day at a beach club there. Hope you guys get a little use from this when you’re booking your dream getaway! Leave me a comment with what you think, if you have questions or recs for what to do differently next time!