A while ago my dad and I went on an amazing trip to Europe. During my 2 weeks there I picked up a few helpful tips and some places to go.
We went to London, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Montpelier, and Barcelona.
We were only in London for a few hours but it felt like we got so much done. Our flight landed in the London Heathrow Airport. We took the Heathrow express to central London and after a few hours took the Eurostar to Paris.We bought a day ticket for the subway and were able to hustle around the city and see its main attractions. I would definitely plan on going back and staying longer to get the full London experience.
Big Ben~ This one is really obvious but I can’t not put this on here.
London Eye~ Although I was not able to ride the Ferris wheel it was really pretty. I’d make sure to ride it if you plan on going. You can get this cool shot from where the Big Ben is located as they both are really close.
London Bridge~ I so wish that we could’ve gotten to see this up close, sadly we were in a crunch for time. But even from a distance you can still see it’s amazing detail.
Buckingham Palace~ This place was huge and so beautiful. We also got lucky to see a cool parade with soldiers riding horses outside.
Kings Cross Station~ This had really pretty, old-fashioned architecture. It had these ginormous statues inside and in the parking lot I found this really cute colored car that I thought was pretty cool.
Platform 9 3/4~ Since I grew up a huge harry potter fan I could not leave London without coming here. I had been imagining that very moment since third grade when I first read the series. The line wasn’t too long so it isn’t too time consuming.
Walk around~ You can find the best places by just exploring the city. I found this really old telephone booth that I had to get a picture with. I’ve heard that getting on the city tour bus is really neat so I would recommend doing that if you are planning a trip.
This is what London looked like while on the train.
We were in Paris for 5 days and it was beautiful.
Eiffel Tower ~This ones a no brainier. It’s really amazing but the lines are long so make sure to book the tickets in advance. On the first floor of the tower there’s a restaurant. If you want to dine there make sure to book tickets online as well. The restaurant is called Le 58 tour Eiffel. We went to the very top of the Eiffel Tower and the view was amazing. Watch out for the people selling things outside the tower and throughout the entire city. The mini Eiffel Towers people sell outside are bad quality, plastic, and overly priced. You can find metal and better quality ones in stores or in the Eiffel Tower. I got mine at the top of the Arch de Triumph for the same price that the bad quality ones were selling for. While standing outside of the tower a man came up to me and shoved a rose into my hand, saying it was free. Next thing I know he’s asking 5 euros for it, he kept demanding I’d pay for it since I “touched it.” Basically it wasted about 10 minutes of our time. So here’s a tip, if you see a man coming up to you holding a bouquet of flowers don’t take them if their for “free” unless you actually want to buy them.
Louvre~ The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world and also my favorite. It is a must see. The museum is definitely an all day thing. If you want to see all of it, it could even be a 2 day thing, though 1 day was enough for me. Before going, make sure to do some research on what things to see. It has many famous historic artifacts, beautiful paintings, statues, and so much more. Of course Mona Lisa is a big reason why the Louvre receives so much attention. Just incase anyone is wondering, it’s true that Mona Lisa’s eyes look straight at you, wherever you stand. She pretty cool, so make sure you visit her. Ok so here’s the big tip about the Louvre, on how to skip the extremely long line to get into the museum. Make sure you book the tickets online beforehand, trust me you’ll save hours.
Notre Dame~ This cathedral is truly amazing and another must see. It may seem that there is a long line but don’t worry because it goes by fast. Behind the Notre Dame is a lock bridge, it’s not the real Love Lock Bridge because that one broke down but this one is pretty cool too. It’s a great spot to take pictures, especially with the Notre Dame in the background.
Ladure’e~ If you go to Paris you can’t leave without trying some macarons. This shop has been there since 1862 and has the best macarons ever. My favorites are the salted caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry candy “Guimauve”. Although, the Strawberry Candy one was a little bit overly sweet. This place is located near the Arc de Triomphe and many other shopping stores. They also have a type of hot chocolate there that you can’t miss. It is the original French hot chocolate and it is really thick. Warning; it is really rich (it’s basically chocolate melted). They also have a menu just incase you want to stop by for more than a macaron.
Arc de Triomphe~ This is a big tourist attraction so you probably already know to go here. It’s close to allot of shopping areas and the view from the top is beautiful (you can see the Eiffel Tower). As you can see in the bottom left corner there’s allot of steps going up.
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore~ This is for a bookworm, it’s a really cute bookstore located on the other side of the river from Notre Dame. It has a lot of old (and new) books including cookbooks, comics, etc…
Explore~ Just take a day to explore the city. We found this really cool restaurant by asking locals what their favorite places were, and thats were we ate that delicious dessert you see up there. Sadly I forgot the name of the place where we ate that (and no it’s not the restraunt on the napkin above). We saw this really cool building that looked like a box called the La Défense (it was right across from our hotel). There was a really pretty hotel with roses lining every window and the inside was beautiful, it had a huge harp and a really pretty staircase.
Brussels was probably one of my favorite places, I was only there for 2 days so I was not able to see everything this city has to offer. I would definitely go back and stay longer.
The Grand-Palace ~ This is such a pretty palace, when I came here they had a beautiful flower festival outside of the palace. This is something that you have to see at day and night. They have some really cute and delicious places to eat near the palace and it is located next to a lot of shops.
Manneken Pis~ Ok sure, this is a peeing boy but it was actually really cool to see. There’s some interesting stories behind this statue and it’s located really close to The Grand-Palace.
Royal Palace~ This is a pretty spot to take pictures and it has really gorgeous architecture.
There was some cool statues that I saw while exploring Brussels~ Since I grew up watching the Smurfs and reading Tintin comics it was cool to go to the birthplace of these ideas. Behind the Smurf statue was a smurf store and a little bit farther was the Tintin store.
Rue Neuve~ This is probably my favorite out of the two, I got most of my stuff from here. This street has so many stores it is like a mall.
Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert~ This is also good for shopping, though I didn’t get much from it.
Food you can’t miss
Fries~ You can not leave Belgium without trying some of their fries. “French” fries where actually made in Belgium, not France. The fries are so good and come with so many different sauces to try them with.
Chocolate~ While in Belgium my dad and I stopped by a chocolate store and the chocolate there is delicious. The chocolate fountain in the collage above is from that shop.
Belgium Waffles~ These waffles are heavenly. We found a place and the servers made the waffles right there in front of our face. There were so many toppings to choose from and just writing about this right now makes me crave them.
On one of the street a musician was playing the song “Tale as Old as Time” from Beauty and the Beast.
Just explore, we walked around and saw so many cool buildings, I thought this one was pretty cool.
We were only in Nice for 2 days, it was very touristy. Though, the beaches and water were amazing. Monaco was beautiful and located about 30 minutes away from Nice. Monaco was way less touristy and it was really beautiful. Also Cannes was another beautiful place off the Mediterranean coast, it was a little bit farther away but was a beautiful drive. Nice is nice (haha) but if you are looking for something less tourists I’d go for another town.
We were in Montpellier for 2 days as well and I really enjoyed it. When we first arrived I didn’t think I would like it much. As soon as we ventured further into the city, its’ beauty started to unravel. This was more of an exploring city, we arrived with nothing planned so we just walked around, shopped, and saw all the pretty architecture. Here are some photos of the places I encountered.
From Nice my dad and I rented a car and took a road trip to get to Montpellier. The drive was beautiful and we saw a whole new side of France.
Saint Clément Aqueduct.
The architecture was so pretty and there was so much detail.
I thought this was pretty cool <3 This is probably the best gelato I’ve ever had, I’m craving it right now.
We had dinner here and the pasta was really good. Inside they had a man playing a piano. It is located next to a bunch of other restaurants so there’s a lot of options.
Saint Pierre Cathedral
Porte du Peyrou.
I was in Barcelona for about 3 days and it was one of my favorites. Most people there were friendly and it was a great final stop. Like the last place we did a lot of walking around but I do have a couple places to recommend.
Park Guell was so beautiful!
Veiw from the top
Park Guell~ This was so fun and my favorite memory from the trip. It’s so big and there’s so much to do. While in the park we visited Antoni Gaudi’s real house that is located on the grounds. Antoni Gaudi is the architect for the park, his house was really beautiful and had a view of the park from the top.
La Sagrada Familia~ This cathedral was the extremely beautiful, the pictures just don’t do it justice. Inside they had rainbow glass stained windows and when the sun shines through them they reflect on the floors. Antoni Gaudi was also the architect for this project as well as many other unique buildings through out Barcelona. You definitely can’t leave Barcelona without going here. Also the line to get in wasn’t very long.
See traditional Spanish dances~ We went to a dance that also had dinner included. The dances included flamenco and tango and it was really cool to watch.
Gaudi Casa Calvet~ Barcelona has beautiful architecture all over the city, another similar building to see is the Gaudí’s Casa Batlló.
Just walk around~ Barcelona is a very beautiful city. It’s really clean and they have small touristy attractions everywhere.
I really loved Barcelona and will definitely plan to go back someday!
Hope you enjoyed my Europe tips!
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