My top 5 European destinations

Over the last 8,5 years of living in the UK my hubby and I have been fortunate to travel to a few places around Europe. The convenience of living in the UK is that there are so many wonderful European cities to visit easily within a 1-3 hours flight. This post is about my top 5 favourite European destinations.

1. Rome
Rome is like an open air museum. It is mind blowing how much history the city has. There is so much to see and do. It’s a fantastic weekend destination but if you’d prefer to pace yourself and stop to soak it all in then you could easily spend 5-7 days here. Check out the many churches, historical buildings, ruins, museums and definitely stop for some yummy gelato!


2. Venice
For me Venice is one of the most romantic cities I’ve ever been to. To this day I laugh about all the methods of transportation it took to get to Venice. From London we took a train to the airport, a plane to Venice, a bus from Venice airport to the city centre and then finally a boat to the hotel πŸ™‚ Being in this amazing city surrounded by water felt almost surreal. It was definitely a dream come true visiting Venice. It’s worth getting up early in the morning if you want to get photos without too many tourists around and to experience the rare calmness of the city. We didn’t experience any “bad smells” from the water which apparently puts people off going to Venice. This may be because we went to Venice in September rather than at the height of summer…


3. Bruges
Bruges is also known as the Venice of the North. It is another pretty and romantic city distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. We visited Bruges over New Year. It was a beautiful time of the year to visit with the fresh crispness of the winter weather and Christmassey atmosphere. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again but next time I’d like to experience it in summer.


4. Santorini
Santorini was always one of my bucket list travel destinations. Growing up I used to admire pictures of the blue roof tops until last year we finally visited the island. Watching the unbelievable sunsets and seeing the stunning postcard scenery was worth the chaotic airport, millions of tourists and disorganized bus station πŸ˜‰


5. Porto
Porto is another great weekend destination. Some highlights for me was the great food, the many cafes and restaurants along the Douro river, the beautiful train station with tile panels depicting the history of Portugal and the famous Lello book store where JK Rowling was inspired to write her Harry Potter books.

For now these are my top 5 favourite European destinations. I’d love to hear if you’ve been to any of these destinations? What are your top 5 European destinations? Please feel free to leave me a comment below.

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  1. charisse
    26th April 2016 / 8:51 AM

    Lucky you, hopefully in the next few years i’ll have ticked off a few on my list πŸ™‚

    • 26th April 2016 / 10:57 AM

      I’m sure you will! Lots of exciting places to look forward to πŸ™‚

  2. Angela Yee Loong
    26th April 2016 / 9:26 PM

    Beautiful photos Nats. I also loved Venice.
    One of my favorites was Dubrovnik Croatia.
    A hidden gem back in 2003 when we visited but now Croatia is a hot tourist destination. And yes Santorini definitely a favorite.

    St. Petersburg was the highlight of our Baltic Cruise. The palaces were breathtaking. Moscow St. Basil’s the colorful domes.

    Hoi Ann in Vietnam was another of my favorite stops. The colorful lanterns.

    You’ve really got me thinking of the lovely cities we’ve visited. Hmmm now that would be a great projectπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    • 27th April 2016 / 5:26 AM

      Thank you for sharing some of your favourite places Aunty Angie!

    • 27th April 2016 / 5:27 AM

      Dubrovnik is on the list! πŸ˜‰ And I have been wondering whether Moscow is worth a visit too. And definitely need to still see the Far East πŸ™‚

  3. 2nd May 2016 / 9:58 AM

    Ooh I’ve just booked my trip to Rome for the first time! Great tips, I feel very excited now : ) x

    • 2nd May 2016 / 10:31 AM

      Ah that’s brilliant!! Have a fantastic time. I look forward to hearing about it on your blog πŸ˜‰

  4. Lee Blackwell
    17th May 2016 / 8:11 AM

    Try Olhao in Portugal! Its not quite Santorini but the light and the gorgeous old town is so lovely – and there are strangely quite a few south africans plus the best seafood! Only 15 minutes from Faro

    • 17th May 2016 / 8:23 PM

      Oooh that sounds lovely! I think I have read that Olhao is another lovely town in Portugal. I must definitely check it out. Thanks for reading and for commenting πŸ™‚

  5. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries
    2nd June 2016 / 3:18 PM

    There are so many great destinations in Europe – I loved Rome and Venice. Bruge, Santorini and Porto are still on my list of places to see!

    • 2nd June 2016 / 3:22 PM

      You definitely need to visit those 3! But it looks like you’ve been to many amazing places yourself πŸ™‚

  6. 2nd July 2016 / 5:26 PM

    The beauty of living in the UK.You can travel easily in out of Europe. I would love to visit Santorini πŸ™‚

  7. 2nd July 2016 / 10:21 PM

    Rome and Venice are on my list. I have been wondering if I should add Santonrini. It does seem like it might be perfect for a quaint quiet holiday.

    • 3rd July 2016 / 6:39 AM

      Santorini is absolutely amazing but I warn you though – it’s not a quiet place. It is a big tourist spot as a lot of cruise liners stop there for the day. It also depends on what side of the island you go to. We did do a few things to try to miss the millions of tourists where possible though πŸ˜‰

  8. 3rd July 2016 / 4:15 PM

    Bruges looks so much like greece. You’ve been to magical places and after reading this I just want to jet of to Rome haha. Awesome

    • 3rd July 2016 / 5:25 PM

      Yes I am incredibly thankful for the travel opportunities I’ve had to far πŸ™‚

  9. 12th March 2017 / 8:14 AM

    I love your top five! I adored Venice and Bruge. I haven’t being in England long enough to have a top 5 for Europe but absolutely adored the Cinque Terre region! I look forward to putting Rome, Porto and Santorini on my list!

    • whatudidntknow
      13th March 2017 / 4:51 PM

      Hi Kimberley, thank you! Thanks for commenting. Cinqueterre region is on my list! πŸ™‚

  10. 11th December 2017 / 1:53 PM

    That’s a great list. I have covered other side of Europe. Hopefully will be able to travel to the places on your list.

    • whatudidntknow
      14th December 2017 / 10:27 PM

      Hi there, thanks for commenting. I hope you do get to see the places I’ve mentioned πŸ™‚

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