If you’re like me, this quarantine is making me daydream of all the places I’ve visited and the places I want to visit as soon as it’s over. One of my favorite trips was getting to tour Europe with my family for a couple of weeks. We got to visit some of the most beautiful destinations and experiences the continent has to offer!
In this guide, I’ll take you around the sites we visited which includes 8 countries namely Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France. Think of it as a virtual tour of Europe and I want you to imagine that you’re on the trip with me. So sit back, relax, and let your mind wander to the beautiful continent of Europe!
Day 1: Rome
Our virtual tour begins in the cobblestoned streets of Rome. It’s 9:00 in the morning, and your body is just starting to shake off the jetlag. You’d like to stay in bed, but you’re in Italy! There’s so much to explore! You take the line 492 bus in Plebescito heading to Vatican City. A short walk later, and you’ve passed by the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
From the Basilica, you walk towards the buses and take the line 64 bus heading to Piazza de Venezia. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, and the ever-iconic Fountain of Trevi. You toss a coin and make a wish at the fountain, and you know in your heart of hearts, it’ll come true.
Day 2: Assisi and Pisa
The next day, you take a train heading up to Assisi from Roma Termini. The ride takes a couple of hours but you spend the time reading about your next destination. Assisi is a hill town and the birthplace of St. Francis. You can also visit his tomb at the Upper and Lower Basilica. In fact, that’s exactly what you decide to do after the train ride. It’s only a 5-minute walk away according to Google Maps, so you decide to take a stroll and enjoy the partly cloudy day. After a few photos and purchasing souvenirs for your family, you decide to head to Pisa which is a few hours away by car.
In the afternoon, you finally arrive at the Leaning Tower and Pisa Cathedral. You ask a fellow tourist to take an iconic picture of you “pushing” against the tower. You buy a slice of pizza and make a couple of “Tower of Pizza” jokes. The mood is light, and the beauty of Italy has made you feel excited to see more. You decide to stay at Pisa for the night, and head to Venice the next day.
Day 3: Venice
You take a car heading to Venice first thing in the morning after checking out. Once there, you are told to take a boat to Venice Island. The sights are incredible! You walk around Piazza San Marco and take photos of St. Mark’s Basilica, the Clock Tower, and the Bridge of Sighs.
You spend about an hour just admiring Doge’s Palace. The photos turn out great, but you’re starting to consider if you should learn how to sketch and paint. The city is alive with art, and so are you! Before you head to your hotel, you watch a Murano Glass Blowing demonstration.
Day 4: Salzburg and Innsbruck
As much as it pains you, you realize that you’ve spent enough time in Italy and it’s about time you explore the rest of Europe. You take a 4-hour car ride heading to Salzburg, Austria. The past days went by so quickly and you let yourself indulge in the moments in-between places, appreciating the slowness, and being in the present.
As soon as you arrive in Salzburg, you head to the Mirabelle Palace and Gardens. As you walk and take photos, you realize you’re humming a little song to yourself. Of course, it’s the “Do Re Mi” song from The Sound of Music which was filmed in this very location.
Speaking of music, you realize there’s a place in Salzburg that you can’t miss before heading to Innsbruck! You take the Line 160 bus heading to Old Town where you can find the house of Mozart. You realize that today is a day of music, and you settle on a melody to play through your earphones while you walk around and learn about the history of the place.
You’d like to stay all day, alas, Innsbruck awaits! You head towards a rideshare station to save a bit of cash and enjoy the 2-hour drive humming along to your choice of music. Once there, you line up along with the rest of the tourists to take a photo at the iconic Golden Roof. After the wait, you start to head over to the Swarovski Crystal Gallery where you’ll talk yourself out of buying any of the crystal ornaments. You decide to sleep early tonight because tomorrow you’ll be heading to…
Day 5: Vaduz and Zurich
Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein! Now that you’re here, you’re really considering being a painter and just sit on the grass and paint the 12th-century castle on the hillside overlooking the town. After a few hours of sightseeing, you decide to cross the border to Zurich, Switzerland, and book a hotel there.
Day 6: Lucerne and Zurich
The next day, you decide to put on your winter wear and head up to Mt. Titlis. You drive to Lucerne and upon arrival, you’re told that you’ll be riding a Rotair cable car to go up the mountain. You have your camera at the ready and you take about fifty photos in the cable car alone, and fifty more once you’ve reached the top. You’re stunned by the view of the surrounding peaks and realize I doesn’t get any better than this.
You pull yourself away from the view and bribe yourself with thoughts of the Swiss chocolates you’re going to buy at Old Town. You consider buying a Swiss army knife or a Rolex watch while you’re there but decide on just buying more chocolates instead.
It’s been a long day, and you decide to head back to Zurich before the sun goes down. As soon as you arrive at the hotel, the sun casts a golden glow on everything. It was a long day, yes, but a wonderful one.
Day 7: Cologne
On your 6th day in Europe, you spend half the day on a train heading from Zurich to Cologne in Germany. The dullness of the ride fades as soon as you lay your eyes on the 13th Century Gothic Cathedral. From where you’re standing, you have to strain your neck up a little to see the twin spires. You wait for the crowd to thin out and start taking photos. The Cathedral isn’t just beautiful, it’s also the third-highest cathedral in the world. As much as you’d love to explore some more, the journey is starting to take its toll so you decide to stay in Cologne for the night and head to the Netherlands in the morning.
Day 8: Amsterdam
A trip to Europe isn’t complete without a trip to Amsterdam! It’s exactly as you pictured it: postcard-perfect in every angle! This morning, you head to Clara Maria, the Cheese and Clog Farm, to learn about the industry and enjoy the free cheese samples! You hail an Uber and head to the picturesque De Gooyer Windmill. After some time, you take the Line 316 bus going to Volendam to explore the fishing village. To cap off the day, you head back to Amsterdam and enjoy a Canal cruise to admire the houses on the banks!
Day 9: Brussels
From Amsterdam, you take a rideshare heading to Brussels in Belgium. You stop by Heysel District to take a photo at the Atomium before heading to the beautiful Grand Place (pictured above). You buy a danish at one of the many shops in the area, as you head to the Mannekin Pis, the symbol of the people of Brussels.
As much as you’d love to stay the night, being surrounded by people speaking French has got you pumped for the next and final leg of the tour. Later in the evening, you cross the French border on your way to Paris for dinner!
Day 10: Paris
Finally, on the last day of the tour, you finally get to explore the City of Light! You hire a coach for half the day to take you around the city and everything is as beautiful as you imagined! You get to see the River Seine, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, and Concorde Square. If that wasn’t enough, you also get to visit the Place Vendome, Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
To end the day tour on the sweetest of notes, you go on a River Seine Bateaux Mouche Cruise. The fun doesn’t stop there, however! You spend the rest of the day shopping, buying pastries (about a dozen macarons, mostly), and the proceeding to dinner.
And that concludes our virtual tour of Europe!
I hope you enjoyed the tour with just pictures and descriptions to help you with the imagery. I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing our Europe trip so that I could detail it for all of you!
If you want more “Travel With Me” blog posts, let me know in the comments + a destination you want to take a virtual tour of!
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