It’s hard to believe that four months ago we were exploring all that London, Paris, Vienna, Venice, and Rome had to offer. Sometimes it feels like a dream. I often find myself missing the cleanliness and ease of riding the Tube throughout London. I long for the freshly baked pain au chocolats that I devoured daily while walking the streets in Paris. Vienna, a city that I fell hard for, always calls me back with its friendly people and delicious food. Don’t even get me started on Italy. My mouth is already watering just reminiscing about the best lasagna I’ve had in my entire life. It was also stuffed with so much history that I wish we had spent an entire month in the country alone.
We found ourselves extremely busy when we returned that we never got the time to truly reflect on our GoWithOh European invasion. It wasn’t until recently that we were able to reflect on our favorite parts of our trip and what surprised us about the cities that we visited. We wanted to share our findings with you.
What we loved.
What’s not to love about Europe? As it was my first time on the continent, I couldn’t contain my excitement as we deplaned in London. What made our trip so special was that we stayed in apartment rentals the entire time. I don’t think we could’ve had a more authentic experience if we had stayed in hotels. I enjoyed walking to our various apartments, keys in hand, pretending that I was a local, or at least an American transplant who had decided to call Europe home. We also took public transportation everywhere we went. I’m trying to recall any time that we ended up taking a cab, but even then, the bus or metro was much cheaper and usually more convenient.
As always, the food was a definite highlight of our trip. We were treated to two different high teas and a legit Sunday roast in London. Paris met us with baguettes, creamy cheeses, and pastries out our ears. Strudel might have been on our radar in Vienna, but the true jewel was the weiner schnitzel. I could eat crispy fried piece of gold every day. And let’s not forget about Italy. Everything that I ate was scrumptious. If we didn’t walk everywhere while in Venice and Rome I probably would have gained twenty pounds. At least all the food is fresh and usually home grown.
Another thing we loved about our 30 days in Europe was our Eurail pass. The continent was our oyster and if we had more time we would have taken full advantage of our pass. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get from country to country. All of the trains we rode on were clean, comfortable, and surprisingly spacious. I think I might prefer European train travel to air.
I’m going to get real. The one city that I was the most excited for was Paris. It was a place that I had dreamed of visiting since I sat down in my very first French class in 7th grade. I don’t know if it’s because we arrived in the thralls of winter, or if I truly hadn’t done my research, but Paris kind of let me down. It didn’t help that we found ourselves in between paychecks and running low on dough after expensive London. I was also a little put off by how dirty it was. The streets were littered with dog poop and the freshly fallen snow had turned to slush, making puddles of runny dog muck an extreme walking hazard. Le gross.
Surprisingly enough, the Eiffel Tower was more beautiful and even larger than I had imagined. I know that some people think it’s an eye sore, but I thought it was lovely. Also, the best wifi I found in Paris was from the top of the Eiffel Tower- a score for any blogger! I also have to give it to the city, they had plenty of posh places to stay. I might have booked our tickets a day early (sorry Captain) leaving us stranded in the city of lights needing a place to stay in Paris. Luckily we did find something for the first night, right next to a quaint little boulangerie-pâtisserie. Not to mention it was right next to a subway stop.
I was caught off guard by how much I loved Vienna, Austria. It was one of Chris’ picks. I had chosen Paris and London as my two cities and let Chris choose his top picks. I think I was drawn to Vienna by the beauty and friendliness of its locals. A darling elderly couple escorted a very lost Chris and me to our apartment on the night that we arrived. They barely spoke a lick of English but were adamant about making sure that we found our accommodations okay. We also met Doris, the amazing photographer behind Midnight Sun Photography. She was gracious enough to show us around her hometown, indulge us in some of the best food imaginable, and even take our engagement pictures.
Needless to say, Chris and I really enjoyed Europe. So much so that we are already planning a trip back this fall. The only question is where should we go next? We want to circle back around and spend more time in each of the cities that we visited with GoWithOh, but we’re also looking into other fall hot spots. We’d love to hear any of your suggestions in the comment section below!
All of our apartment rentals in Europe were sponsored by GoWithOh. Eurail graciously offered us Eurail passes in exchange for our honest opinions on our experience.