map of europe

I’ve been living in Europe for almost a full year now (yes it’s possible even with just a USA passport!) but I’m almost ashamed to admit how little travel I’ve done in Europe.

When I first arrived in Berlin last summer, I had all sorts of ideas in my head—get a job in London, live like a hipster in Berlin, go home to America and grow up. In the end, I kind of mixed it all together but just stayed in Berlin, really. I hardly did any travel except with a few short trips during the winter. Pretty different from my original plan (which wasn’t really a plan):

I’ve been looking at cheap holiday offers, specifically in Eastern Europe where I was originally planning to visit (but never made it to because plans change). I’m arriving in Berlin and want to spend some time there to get a good feel of the city (which I hear is very hipster). A million other cities have popped into my mind, all destinations from Berlin. But I can’t honestly say which direction I’ll go.

—Me in June 2011, Going on a Eurotrip

Whether for monetary reasons (I wanted to build up a small savings again) or because I’m just lazy, I actually haven’t been to much of Europe. The number of countries I’ve visited in Europe in my lifetime I can count on two hands: Iceland, Ireland, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Austria & Czech Republic. And almost all of those I didn’t visit for more than a handful of days.

There’s so much I want to see in Europe; it’s why I wanted to live in Europe for so much of my life. But when push comes to shove, it turns out I’m a homebody. Who knew?!

I’ve loved being able to live in Berlin—to have a city I call home. With so many wonderful friends, my favorite local restaurants and hotspots, Berlin has somehow made a way into my life. But I know my time in Europe will be limited and I better start taking advantage of it while I’m here.

There are lots of places I want to visit in Europe, but these 5 European tourist hotspots are ones I really should have seen by now. They’ll be on my mind the most this summer as I make my future travel plans.

1. Greece

Lots of people book all-inclusive holidays to Greece. Some friends here in Berlin flew there last autumn to support the Greek economy. An interesting way of mixing politics and traveling.

2. Amsterdam

My friend Cheryl continuously raves about Amsterdam (as do most people). I skipped a visit to the city when I studied abroad in London years ago but now it’s a city I want to see more than most. For all its street art & quirky tourist sites (like this cat boat)!

3. Italy

When I first wrote a tentative itinerary for my RTW trip, Italy was going to be the first country I visited. At the last minute, I changed it for Spain. My love affair with Italian food, culture and men has never ceased and I’m happy to say I’ll be visiting the country for the first time next week. And then again in June! You have no idea how excited I am!

4. Munich

Yes, I’ve been living in Germany for almost a year and I haven’t seen the country’s most popular tourist destination. Oops! With its famous beer halls and a travel blogger friend of mine living nearby, I know I could have a lot of fun in the city. While Berlin is pretty and nice in its own special way, Munich is (allegedly) actually pretty. And, hey, I just learned that drinking beer makes you clever!

5. Turkey

Turkey was one of the countries I originally planned to visit on my RTW trip but ended up skipping for a longer stay in Israel. Turkey is high on my travel bucket-list no just for the food but for the beaches and the culture, too.

Sometimes I really can’t believe there are countries that I’ve dreamed of visiting for so long that I still haven’t seen. It’s funny how life works out like that. The best way to knock them all off my list would be an epic road trip, but that’s unlikely because of the high cost of fuel, getting European breakdown cover as an American, and the hassle of, you know…getting a car!

Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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  1. Pingback: Hipster Amsterdam | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world

  2. Pingback: "europe will always be there" — excuses for avoiding europe | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world

  3. As we sit here in Istanbul ;-0 (shameless gloat) we must say that you have drawn up an awfully small list! Run amuck we say and see all you can.. Europe is amazing… and you know what happens to those things you put off till tomorrow…. you will only regret wont you didn’t do in your dotage! Carpe diem!

    • Adam

      Hey Ted & Dani,

      Fair enough. There’s lots I want to see in Europe still but I’m starting small :)

  4. Hey Adam

    Good choices for the independant traveller. Have only skimmed a few of them myself. Amsterdam is gorgeous though – if you get nice weather (it’s a bit like Scotland in that way!)

    • Note To Self: Must get travel blog up and running soonest to avoid situations were my “last post” is a work-related tweet. #Doh!

    • Adam

      Hey Liam, Thanks! I think Amsterdam would be nicest with good weather. I hear it’s really easy (and popular) to have a bike there, so that’s something I’d definitely want to do.

      (and that’s quite the tweet!! ha!)

  5. Some good ones to cover! I find that I tend to revisit a lot of the same European cities because of friends that are based there, so I haven’t covered much ground….

    • Adam

      Hey Audrey,
      I do the same thing! Always revisiting places because they’re more familiar and I tend to know people there. Hoping to cover new ground in the upcoming months, though…

  6. You chose such unworthy spots to visit that If I were you I wouldn’t go to anyone of them! Well I’m actually joking! I’ve been to Amsterdam and Italy and want to go to Turkey, so I beat you to Turkey :)

    • Adam

      Awww do you really think so Vincent?!

      They’re popular and touristic places for sure, but ones I know I want to see. I can name a hundred other places in Europe I’d also like to visit, but it’s still important to visit the big cities, too :)

  7. Berlin would be a great place to be stuck in!

    In any case, Amsterdam is really not far away via train – I’ve doen that journey a few times, it’s easy and fast. Obviously, totally different from Berlin, I would go there for sure!

    Apart from Munich, it’s the easiest place on your list to get to, from Berlin.

    • Adam

      Hey Nate,

      I know a few people here in Berlin who’ve gone to Amsterdam via train. Though I think some still can find cheaper deals on airfare (which sucks, because I like to be a little more eco-friendly than that…)

      But I know I’ll definitely make it there this summer because it’s easy regardless… and I’ve been waiting to go for so long!

  8. Have fun in Italy! One of my most favorite museums ever is the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice – so jealous that she lived in that palazzo with all that AMAZING art.

    • Adam

      I’m so excited to finally make it to Italy, Ashley, you have no idea!!! I’m afraid I might get stuck there and never return, though…. So many museums to see!

  9. Savannah

    This is a great list! Italy is wonderful, and the others I’ve never been to! :)
    Excited to read on and see where you end up in your travels!

    • Adam

      Thanks Savannah!

      I’m definitely going to be traveling a lot more in the coming month. Already have trips to Spain, Italy and Poland planned and working on a few more as well :)

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  11. It’s easy to get stuck in one place. Happened to me when I lived in Prague a few years ago. Hey, I *might* be in Berlin this summer.

    • Adam

      Hey Roy… yeah, I’ve definitely felt stuck here. And that’s awesome that you might be in Berlin this summer!

  12. Adam

    Hahaha! You win the prize on that one. Enjoy Turkey – I’m jealous!

  13. Ah! At least I’m beating you to Turkey! I’m leaving tomorrow! :))

    And, well, technically I beated you to Italy too, I guess…

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