During the Europe Train Challenge we found many European Cities we would like to visit a second time, but perhaps not that particular city again. Often when you have seen a city for 3-4 days, you feel like you have seen most of it, and would be OK with not going there again.
But there are some places that you can just never get sick of, places you want to go back to again and again without ever getting bored.
Here are a few European cities we feel that way about, and why we can’t let go of them:
Barcelona – All In One
Barcelona often surprises people with the abundance of things to see and do, and those traveling around Europe often find Barcelona one of their absolute favorite cities to visit.
This is a city we have returned to several times, and wouldn’t hesitate to visit again. Every time you visit, Barcelona shows a different side. It has great shopping, amazing culture, good food, awesome nightlife and even beaches. What more could you really want?
The only downside is that during the summertime the place gets pretty crowded, and the locals escape to the countryside, so I would recommend visiting during the off season.
Another great thing about this city is that it’s surrounded by so many great small towns perfect for day trips. A 20 minute train ride away and you have fantastic beaches and some really nice towns showing a different Spain from the Barcelona-version.
Amsterdam – The Vibe
Amsterdam is another favorite European city – it has a very relaxed vibe, and personally I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The many small canals and streets, the tall, narrow and colorful buildings lined along the water makes this city very picturesque.
The best way to enjoy this city is to hire a bike for the day and bike around town.
What makes Amsterdam so interesting is how it completely changes from day and night.
During the day it’s a calm city full of gorgeous cafes, boutiques, museums and parks, and when the sun is starting to set, the parks fill up with people bringing picnic blankets, food and beer and at night there are often parties with music in Vondelpark.
In the evening the bars and clubs go crazy, and the streets of the Red Light District fill up with people coming there for simply curiosity or to have a “good time”.
It’s a very different city after dark, but equally interesting…
Rome – The History
Rome, the city where people live and work among 2000 year old buildings, where you can spend all day going between ice cream parlors in the quest of finding the best Italian ice cream, and where there is an “entire” country (Vatican City) within the city, where you can find the Sistine chapel and its incredible frescoes by Michelangelo.
There is simply no ending – the history of Rome is everywhere and for everyone to enjoy.
A weekend here is not enough, which is why people come back several times to check out what they missed the previous time. And for those who are not interested in the history, there are crazy nightclubs and amazing shopping.
If you go to Rome in the summertime, there are beaches not far away where the party goes on all night and where the party goers finally end up sleeping on the sun beds the rest of the day.
It’s been a while since I was there, so we have planned to go there again later this year, can’t wait!
London – The Action
Second only to Paris, London is the most visited city in the world – and for a good reason too.
London is a good place to be if you want a calendar full of events and concerts, it is where all comedians and musicians make sure to stop on every Europe tour.
Paris might be the fashion city, but London still has that cool vibe, the feeling that anything could and does happen around any corner.
One of the things that makes London so lovable is that it often doesn’t feel like a big cosmopolitan capital.
The people are friendly, polite and very helpful, and walking through many streets and neighborhoods you feel as though you are in a small picturesque British town.
We have seriously been thinking of moving there for a while but accommodation in London seems pretty hard to find, and the only downside to the city is that fewer working class people can afford living in the city.
Where you stay also plays a big role in how you experience a city.
London is known for having some really scruffy places, and I think you need to be very picky when it comes to this city. If you get bed bugs, you will definitely like the city less even though it’s the hotel’s fault and not the city’s…
When my parents went there last year they decided to spend a little more money than usual and stayed at the wonderful Canary Wharf apartments.
They really have a crush on London in general, but I could tell that this made a huge difference to their stay, especially since they actually went there again just a couple of weeks ago and stayed in the Mayfair apartments.