What’s this? Is 2014 nearly over?!
Crikey, I think it’s time to start thinking about where I want to gofer a weekend in Europe in 2015.
My 2014 travels has definitely been euro-centric and what’s more, they stoked my passion and determination to see more of the Old World. With forays into the small countries of Belgium and Luxembourg, an epic trip of proportions to the land of the midnight sun that is Iceland, a German affair in Dusseldorf, a backpacking journey across Croatia and a luxury stay in Basilicata of Italy, I’m even more determined to see more of the culture and delights that Europe has to offer.
So much so, that I’ve decided that I want to visit 15 European destinations in 2015 alone. Yes, you read right, from January onwards, I’ll be hitting up the places I’ve yearned to visit. After all, it’s apt as I will be turning 30 in 2015 and it’s a year I want to remember for the rest of my life.
So where will I be looking to go in Europe in 2015?
It’s guaranteed that I will be going to the Catalan region of Spain, primarily Barcelona. Why? I won a trip with Rainbow Barcelona Tours thanks to Two Bad Tourists‘ competition I entered last year and it’s a great and unique way to sightsee the city. With their very own airport, Barcelona makes it a perfect excuse for a long weekend getaway to sightsee La Sagrada Familia and many of the city attractions. Also, a bonus for me is that I get to see my favourite gay couple there. But what do you think about going to Barcelona in February time?
Update: Barcelona was visited in February 2015. Check out these posts for you:
Home of the Habsburg Court and the pinnacle of the Austrian-Hugarian Empire stretching across Central Europe, Vienna as the capital of Austria is the centre of European cultural learning, its old centre marked as an UNESCO World Heritage Centre. I intend this trip to be a glamorous occasion as I hear Vienna is gorgeous during Ball season. Perhaps I’ll be dancing to the Blue Danube in a tuxedo with the high society people and staying in a luxury Venere Hotel like this these on this website.
This capital of Hungary seemed to have been the most talked about destination in 2014. Everyone I know who went to Budapest absolutely loved this Eastern European city and consistently recommended that I should go there. Taking in traditional geothermal baths, a vibrant music scene and an eclectic hipster vibe, I’ve earmarked this destination to celebrate my 30th Birthday in style. Wanna join me?
Tallinn is my most missed opportunity of 2014. I was just two hours ferry ride away when I was in Helsinki and Porvoo earlier on this year. I opted to stay and explore Helsinki with Hiatus4Life instead. So, for 2015, I intend to visit Tallinn as my Christmas destination. Taking in the magical delights of the historical and medieval city will be absolutely perfect as I take in the snow-covered houses of this small capital filled to the brim of sightseeing opportunities. I’m already looking forward to next Christmas!
I’m prepared to visit Portugal again in 2015 after my disastrous visit to Lisbon in 2013 in which I ended up hating the city. Many people have said I should have gone to Porto instead in Northern Portugal. So checking out the bohemian vibes of this architecturally colourful city, Porto may just be the place where I can the place where I can grow to love Portugal on a Spring relaxing weekend.
Ever since the German National Tourist Office announced their new projects for 2015, I’ve been attracted to Nuremburg found in the south-west of Germany. A towering imperial castle overlooks the city that is filled with the smell of gingerbread and a romantic feast for the eyes of expectant tourists. The city also holds history in its cobblestone streets that will add to a fantastic all round weekend away in Germany.
Mamma Mia, you can surely guess the sole reason why I want to visit the capital of Sweden! Yes, it’s ABBA Mania as I am becoming a dancing queen amongst the many islands that make up the city connected by funky bridges. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a time of my life as I explore the Stockholm Archipelago, which would be perfect to visit on a hot summer’s day.
Stavanger may be the ‘Oil Capital of Norway,’ but its picturesque charm blasts the industrial preconception out of the water. Continuing with my Nordic love affair, I want to visit Norway at its most random in Stavanger discovering cobbled streets and fjords that lay nearby. It’ll be nature love at first sight as I hike up the awe-inspiring Preikestolen where you will be able to see Lysefjord 600 metres high. Plus, an added bonus is to see one of my fellow University student who lives here. Bed already sorted!
Poland’s sandy coast line will be a quirky beach getaway for the independent traveller looking for unique destinations particularly in the historic port city of Gdansk. With beautiful waterfronts and its scenic main royal way, Gdansk also offers a historical outlook to Eastern Europe history. I can’t make my mind up whether to go in late Spring or early Summer, what do you think?
As Switzerland’s most underrated city, Basel is truly a place where Carnival partying happens. With visitors coming from both France and Germany thanks to Basel’s strategic point in the ‘Three Countries’ corner. With Old Town attractions, Museums and events along the River Rhine, Basel will be a fantastic Swiss weekend getaway!
I’m heading over to Cork in green Ireland for the best arts and music scene in Europe thanks to its turn as European Capital of Culture in 2005. I can see myself drinking a pint of Guinness in the city’s snug pubs listening to live music sessions and bantering with the city’s residents. I know a lot of people who made Cork their home and I’m interested to see for myself the reasons why they call this place home.
Still on the Green Emerald Isle, I want to check out the other region of the United Kingdom that is Northern Ireland. It’s capital city, Belfast, has seen tourism boom since the Troubles finished and it’s not hard to see why. With the stunning Causeway Coast at its doorstep and Belfast’s reputation as a party town coupled with its historical heritage thanks to the Titanic ship and plentiful museums, sightseeing and cultural opportunities are endless.
Shooting back to Scandinavia to finish off my visits in this part of Europe is Denmark’s very own capital, Copenhagen! A thousand years of history is triumphantly celebrated in this royal city that has a strong regal legacy to rival Britain’s. As well as checking out the Little Mermaid statue, I rather fancy topping up my adrenaline thrill-seeker activities at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s theme park. This could be a wild weekend away!
During my much-loved mini-tour of Belgium this year that ended up checking out Bruges, Ghent and Brussels, I was extremely disappointed not to see Antwerp then. Belgium still excites me particularly in Flanders and what better way than to recapture that feeling by partying in Belgium’s second biggest city, renowned for delectable food and quirky European clubs.
Finally last but not least, The Netherlands is calling me back again and what better way to check another of the counter’s cities than Rotterdam. Only a short flight from my local Humberside Airport to Amsterdam, I can quickly grab a short train to the harbour city and explore its industrial and maritime origins. However, Rotterdam has a vibrant cafe culture and nightlife scene enough to rival Amsterdam. So much so that they utter ‘Amsterdam, Waar Lech Dat Dan?!’ (Amsterdam, Where the Hell is That?!) My humour exactly!
So here it is, my 15 European Weekend Destinations that I plan to go in 2015! What do you think? Dou you have another suggestion or do you have a unique tip for me to try out in one of these destinations?