As I mention fairly often, in 2008 I backpacked through Europe with a good friend of mine.
Now that I am older and have more financial resources (aka a job), I thought it’d be fun to dream about how I would do it differently. Here we go:
Then: Air India in Economy to London
Now: Focus more of air miles since I’m all about those points! I’d also consider flying Icelandair for a free layover in Iceland. Economy Comfort (or Business) would be preferred since even from the US East Coast it’s still a bit of a flight
Transportation between cities
Then: A mixture of trains, planes, and buses
Now: The same – Europe has a great rail system and many budget airlines
Then: Hostel near Piccadilly Circus
Now: A hotel in a less touristy area. There are tons of good options from old school to modern and trendy. The Mondrian London looks groovy and their award winning Danelyan cocktail bar has many drinks I’d love to try.
Then: Walking tours, seeing a show on the West End
Now: London is a great city to walk around. I’d love to see another show on the West End (maybe something about to hit Broadway) as well as the Globe. The British Museum is supposed to be incredible – and the Tate Modern and National Gallery could be great stops as well.
Then: A visit to the adorable town of Bristol, which is where Bristol University is and a friend of Jill’s sister, which is how we ended up there
Now: Check out another part of England – Bath or Brighton, perhaps?
Then: A stay in a hostel with bed bugs (yikes!)
Now: We have friends who live outside of Dublin so we’d stay with them or in a hotel in Dublin and travel to visit them
Then: The Guinness Storehouse and lots of drinking
Now: The same. We both have fond memories of the Guinness Storehouse. Adam also talks about the most delicious Guinness he’s ever had at a bar near the Storehouse so we would adventure to find it!
Tour of Ireland – Blarney Stone, Cliffs of Moher
Then: Shamrocker Adventures tour of Southern Ireland
Now: The Ireland tour was GORGEOUS but I’d love to see Scotland, where my cousin lives in Glasgow. Renting a car and doing a tour that includes Edinburgh would be scenic and fun.
Then: Hostel in Montmartre
Now: Paris is one of my favorite cities. I love the architecture, the atmosphere, the food. I’d love to stay in Montmartre again – a hilly neighborhood once inhabited by artists or a hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Then: Day trip to Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre-Coeur
Now: I’d add a tour of the Catacombs to the list as well as many delicious dinners and wine. Perhaps a trip to Champagne, France as well?
Then: Food tour filled with frites, waffles, chocolate and beer
Now: Brussels was a bit disappointing to me. Next time I’d go to Bruges, Ghent or even Spa – where spas were invented!
Then: Enjoying the coffee shops, as well as learning about the city through walking tours and the Anne Frank Museum.
Now: I’d love to go when the tulips are in bloom (generally March-May), as well as get out of the city a bit. In Amsterdam, I’d love to do a canal boat cruise and learn more about the architecture.
Then: A stay with a relative of Jill’s
Now: Hamburg is a very nice city but I’d love to check out other areas of Germany – perhaps Frankfurt
Then: Bike tour and lots of learning about the history of Berlin and Germany
Now: Berlin is an incredible city to me – constantly changing and reinventing itself. I’d love to see how it’s changed and learn more about what the city went through during WWII
Prague, Czech Republic
Then: Gorgeous architecture, a black light show and a bar crawl
Now: Another stunning city. I’d take in more of the architecture. The Prague Castle is supposed to have gorgeous views of the city.
Then: A weird museum and not much else I remember – I didn’t particularly like Vienna
Now: I’d go to Salzburg or to Switzerland
Then: A quick day while waiting for the next train.
Now: I’d love to spend more time in this canal filled city. It can be quite touristy so I’d try to venture out of those areas.
Then: A stay outside of the city with gorgeous views. A wine tasting, delicious gelato, shopping and art.
Now: I’d probably stay inside the city so I could see more of it. The Hotel Villa Cora is stunning – it looks like the Palace of Versailles. Lots of gelato is a must (Grom is famous for it), as well as pasta and all the other delicious Italian food.
Then: All the famous sites, a tour of the Vatican and smelly subway rides
Now: This time I’d go inside the Coliseum and I’d do a guided tour to learn more about all the history
Then: One of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. At the time, it was starting to become a popular tourist destination mostly with Europeans but also with celebrities.
Now: I would go back for sure or over to Greece which is also quite beautiful
Places I’d Add:
Spain, for sure. I’ve heard amazing things about Barcelona and would love to check out the country, which we missed the last time.
Nice, France and Southern France would be another place to add.
Cinque Terre – I’ve heard is quite touristy now but is supposed to be gorgeous
Where would you recommend?