I’ve experienced 2017 with a lot of trips around Europe. And the most frequently asked question I get about my travel is “what’s your favorite city to travel to?” I normally could not answer promptly since I’ve never really thought about it. However, today, on the last day of 2017, I’ve decided to get my top 5 cities in Europe in writing to reflect on my year of moves. This note is not my recommendation for the best cities to go, it’s basically a personal ranking of my favorite places I’ve been. Some of them I spent several months, while others I just visited for a short period, even a day trip.
I was lucky enough to not be a visitor in Paris, but to be a student living here for 5 months. The city of light has its ability to shine so brightly in my mind whenever I think of it. I loved the routine of getting on the metro line 7 every morning, then running to catch another line to get to school at 8 @@. I had walked along La Seine from Notre Dame to Eiffel more than 6 times, just to feel the vibe of this charming city. I’d never get bored, as Paris is endlessly romantic with series of arts and culture offers. Because of my love affair with France’s capital, ‘beautiful’ is definitely not good enough to describe my darling. It’s just too mediocre. I used to post the below quote of Ernest Hemingway, but again, Paris is totally worth it!
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
Cheesy, huh? Haha. Paris is real, but my Paris is so magical.
I came to Porto without any expectations on the 19 of May, even I had not planned to go there at first. I came to meet my girlfriend, traveling from the UK and it turned out a great trip. Porto is a small city with orange rooftops and spectacular bridges. We did not see many places rather than the city center with stunning churchy architecture. However, we spent most of my time to enjoy the sunny weather, walking along the Dom Luis I, eating good food and chatting with our awesome host. Still, Porto is a must-go when visiting beautiful Portugal.
#3 ANNECY – CHAMONIX
Two small towns in the eastern of France, nearby the Alps. These little cities only have a handful of streets, with its lovely canals that makes Annecy known as the Venice of France. Annecy is beautiful in every corner of the old town with colorful houses. Then the stunning Lac d’Annecy will impress you by its airy space, surrounded by majestic mountains.
Just 2 hours away, Chamonix is another charming town where the highest peak of Western Europe is located – Mont Blanc. I was totally moved by the world-class view when seeing these snow-capped mountains and climbing up to the top.
#4 VALENCIA – GRANADA
A third-largest city in Spain, with great architecture, greenie parks, sunny beach and awesome host. My experience here is exceptional when roaming around the city without being annoyed by overcrowded tourists as in Barcelona and Madrid.
In Granada, it was a different taste of mixture between Spanish and Morocco culture. I had a great time to discover many parts of the city, not just the old town with awesome friends.
An excluded island but full of history with Knights for Games of Thrones’ fans, marvelous cliffs and coastal views for nature lovers. My winter getaway from the coldness of Europe could not be achievable without Malta 🙂
#8 COTE D’AZURE
Travelling around Europe is expensive, however, it’s not as expensive as you assume, and I believe anyone could save for travel if it’s on the top of your priority. Additionally, there are so many experiences and tips have been shared by other fellow travelers, these could really help to budget for the trip in advance. Every city I have been to in 2017 is an important stop of my life, where I could visit the place, make new friends and discover myself and my companion. Goodbye 2017, you’ve been very nice to us, I’m moving on for the next journeys to Africa ahead!