When I first set out on my 3 month digital nomad/travel excursion we had just planned on staying in Germany for about 3 weeks, but that turned into 2 months! Whoops. And during that time I really fell in love with Germany – it’s such a lovely country!
I’d been before – to Berlin for a couple of days and then Starnberg and Munich for Oktoberfest. But this visit was the first time I’d really spent an extended amount of time in one country, and in one city no less!
We were in Hamburg the bulk of the time and Berlin for 10 days, but I was also able to squeeze in some day trips and visit the Saxony region for a weekend, too. Here’s what surprised me most about the country itself:
We LOVED Switzerland. Like, I would go back there in a heartbeat. Except for the stupid stupid expensive sad prices 🙁
But everything else – the nature, the beautiful cities, the food (aka cheese)…We loved (and ate) it all.
We had our Switzerland itinerary written out, which was made up of the typical tourist places: Interlaken, Bern, Zurich, St Gallen, and Lucerne.
We booked a private room in Basel on AirBnb (which is pretty much the cheapest place in Switzerland that we could find for accommodation) and hit it off with our hosts. They showered us in chocolate and beer our first night there, and even invited us to go dancing with them!
They asked what we had planned, and I proudly announced our chosen destinations. Our hosts looked at each other, shook their heads, and were like nahhh we have MUCH BETTER IDEAS FOR YOU.
So, here are the best places to go in Switzerland in winter according to 2 Swiss locals!
Like pretty much every other human out there, I LOVE FOOD. And when I’m in a new country the first thing I want to do is, well, try ALL of it (the vegetarian options, that is).
Because I don’t have a bottomless pit for a stomach, I haven’t had EVERY veggie option out there, but these are the things I’ve tried and liked and felt compelled to share. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share! I’m always looking for new things to stuff into my stomach.
Okay, so sue me – I am really not a huge fan of Paris. And I really don’t find it very romantic LOL. But Lyon won a place in my heart! My bf was also on the same page as me, and enjoyed Lyon a lot more. I know, I know, don’t hate me, but here’s why I preferred Lyon over Paris:
Full disclaimer: I don’t know if this will ALWAYS be a cheaper option, but for us it was! Plus, ima be honest, I really just wanted to stay OUT OF THE CITY since we had just come from a couple days in Paris and a few in Lyon.
But I digress – for us, it was the cheaper (and prettier, in my opinon) option!
So – STARNBERG.
That’s right. You heard me. STARN. BERG.
It’s a pretty little town with and here’s why I loved it so:
Belgium is SUCH an underrated and unique country! I wish I’d had more time to explore – lots of beautiful scenery and lovely architecture. If you do make it over to Belgium, promise me you’ll try to put more in your itinerary than just Brussels!! (I wasn’t the bigggggest fan of Brussels – but then again, I’m not a huge city person, so…).
Admittedly, I don’t think I really went to the “off-the-beaten track” destinations in Belgium, but maybe I did compared to the average tourist? I’d love to go back and explore more of the countryside – my train rides to Dinant and Durbuy were absolutely beautiful. And I did do some unusual and unique things (read below!!).
And the food is GOOD. Between the chocolate, waffles, fries, pastries, and sandwiches (they have so many specific types of sandwiches there! They’re usually in long baguettes, and have a very specific yummy flavor – one of the chains is Panos, and their sandwiches are actually pretty good quality), I was happy happy happy.
Ahhhh Stockholm. To be honest, it wasn’t really on my radar of “dying-to-see” destinations like Abisko and Copenhagen were. And Stockholm in winter? What was I thinking???
And I kind of only went because we found cheap tickets (you can find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner! You can often find prices as low as $300 round trip from many major US airports in winter – ours were about $440 but we paid extra to choose our seats and bought flights only about a month in advance).
But I came away loving Stockholm! I’ll be honest, I liked Copenhagen a bit better, but I also feel like we didn’t get to see as much of Stockholm as we did Copenhagen.
Stockholm was at the beginning and end of our trip, so at first we were too jetlagged to do much (we were there for a day and a half before heading to Abisko), and then at the end we were pretty tired from a week and a half of non-stop (cold) travel. But, I did enjoy it, and would love to see it in the summer (especially to explore the Archipelago!!!).
Okay, so – WHY exactly would I want to go to Sweden in the dead of winter (with minimal daylight) and call it a “vacation”?
Well, the main reason: stupid stupid cheap tickets. Like $440 round trip cheap from San Francisco to Stockholm. Not too bad, eh?
So, we went to Abisko at the end of January, and I was real worried that the lack of light would leave us bored to tears (when I looked online, it said it would only be light out from like 10AM-1PM), but I thought it was fine! It actually ended up being light outside from 9AM-2PMish. Plus we just had so much fun hanging out in our hostel, and met so many cool people!
It’s also not that bad walking around in the dark though, as long as you have a head lamp. However, if you still want to see the northern lights but want longer days, go during February!
This’ll be my last Greece post…BUT OH MAN you should 10000000% go to Meteora if you’re in Greece.
I don’t care how out of the way it is for you (It’s about a 5 hour bus/train ride from Athens), or how little time you have – YOU. NEED. TO. GO. Like stop what you’re doing right now, buy a ticket to Greece, and go to Meteora. Then probably an island, because it wouldn’t be a trip to Greece without going to one.
Okay, actually, maybe read this guide first – THEN buy your ticket.