Where I have been (Cities)

This is a list of all the cities I have been to (not including the US). If you are visiting any of these, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Total: 117 cities

North America

Canada (1)

  1. Vancouver
  2. Whistler

Mexico (1)

  1. Puerta Vallarta

Europe

Albania (1)

  1. Shkodër

Austria (2)

  1. Salzburg
  2. Vienna

Belgium (5)

  1. Brussels
  2. Waterloo
  3. Brugge
  4. Knokke Beach
  5. Leuven

Croatia (5)

  1. Zagreb
  2. Plitvice National Park
  3. Zadar
  4. Split
  5. Dubrovnik

Czech Republic (1)

  1. Prague

Denmark (1)

  1. Copenhagen

England (11)

  1. London
  2. Milton Keynes
  3. Salisbury
  4. Worcester
  5. Stratford-on-Avon
  6. London Southend On Sea
  7. Reigate
  8. Brighton
  9. Bath
  10. Bradford-on-Avon
  11. Cambridge

Estonia (1)

  1. Tallinn

Finland (2)

  1. Helsinki
  2. Porvoo

France (6)

  1. Provence
  2. Chamonix
  3. Paris
  4. Loire valley
  5. Versailles
  6. St. Malo

Germany (5)

  1. Munich
  2. Hamburg
  3. Bad Oldesloe
  4. Berlin
  5. Stuttgart

Greece (5)

  1. Mykonos Town
  2. Fira
  3. OÍa
  4. Kamira
  5. Athens

Hungary (1)

  1. Budapest

Iceland (1)

  1. Reykjavik

Ireland (5)

  1. Dublin
  2. Galway
  3. Tralee
  4. Single
  5. Killarney

Italy (11)

  1. Lake Garda
  2. Sestri Levante
  3. Santa Margherita
  4. Cinque Terre
  5. Lake Como
  6. San Gimignano
  7. Siena
  8. Florence
  9. Naples
  10. Ischia
  11. Rome

Latvia (1)

  1. Riga

Luxembourg (1)

  1. Luxembourg City

Montenegro (4)

  1. Kotor
  2. Cetinje
  3. Budva
  4. Ulcinj

Morocco (3)

  1. Chefchouan
  2. Tangier
  3. Tetouan

Norway (2)

  1. Oslo
  2. Bergen

Poland (2)

  1. Warsaw
  2. Krakow

Portugal (1)

  1. Porto

Scotland (2)

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Loch Ness

Slovakia (1)

  1. Bratislava

Slovenia (5)

  1. Ljubljana
  2. Škofja Loka
  3. Piran
  4. Bled
  5. Lake Bohinj

Spain (19)

  1. Barcelona
  2. Madrid
  3. San Sebastián
  4. Sitges
  5. Montserrat
  6. Mallorca
  7. Seville
  8. Valencia
  9. Granada
  10. Alicante
  11. Cadaqués
  12. Villanova de Arousa
  13. Villagarcia de Arousa
  14. Pontevedra
  15. Vilassar de Dalt
  16. Vilassar de Mar
  17. Cábrils
  18. Mátaro
  19. Girona

Sweden (2)

  1. Stockholm
  2. Värmdö

Switzerland (5)

  1. Geneva
  2. Verbier
  3. Le Chable
  4. Lausanne
  5. Lutry

The Netherlands (2)

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Utrecht

The Vatican (1)

  1. The Vatican

Wales (1)

  1. Cardiff

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Austin, Texas

Austin was my first solo trip since getting back from Europe, and it was awesome! What a cool city.

CITY: AUSTIN

HOW LONG: 4 NIGHTS

ACCOMMODATION:

I stayed at my first hostel in the States! Drifter Jack’s was located near UT Austin and about a 10 min bus ride to downtown Austin, which was perfect. The hostel, while not my favorite, was overall pretty good. It was fairly easy to meet people in kitchen, common room, or the pool table outside. There was no free breakfast, but there were lockers in the room (although mine was hard to reach because I had the one on top unfortunately). The rooms were spacious and clean. Overall would stay here again.

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One of the walls within the hostel

WHERE TO EAT:

WOWOWOW Austin has some amazing places to eat. I was here for four days and felt like four weeks wouldn’t be enough time to try all the places I wanted to try. I started with Waltons Fancy and Staple, a yummy, clearly popular, brunch spot. I tried a biscuit sandwich, which had eggs, smoked cheddar, bacon, and an aioli. It was delicious.

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My biscuit sandwich

I couldn’t go to Texas without trying BBQ so with the group of British guys I met at my hostel, we visited Freedmen’s Bar. I ordered a barbecue benedict and was not disappointed. Meanwhile the guys ordered one pound of meat each and ate every last bite.

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The Brits enjoying the BBQ

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BBQ Benedict

Voodoo Doughnuts, made famous in Portland, OR, also has a location on 6th street in Austin. In my time in Austin, I tried 3 doughnuts: Maple Bacon Bar (Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top), Old Dirty Bastard (Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo cookies, and peanut butter), and Blueberry Cake (Blueberry cake doughnut with a glaze). Hands down the best one is the Maple Bacon Bar. After the pub crawl we can came here and the Brits were asking which one to get and I told them to get the Maple Bacon Bar. They were skeptical going in, but after trying it they couldn’t stop talking about how unbelievably good it was. ALSO it’s a great spot for pictures!

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Inside Voodoo

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The long line for DOUGHNUTS

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Maple Bacon Bar

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Old Dirty Bastard

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For a quick and easy breakfast, Blenders and Bowls is perfect. I ended up eating there twice it was so good. Both times I had the O.G. acai bowl and added spinach.

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O.G. Acari Bowl

I was delighted to spot a Modern Market while in Austin as I used to eat there probably 3 times a week when I lived in Boulder! They have great, healthy, fresh food with plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options. I ate a yummy truffle potato pizza and side of sweet potato mash.

Last, but not least, was The Grove Bar and Kitchen. The reason I went was to try the Impossible Burger, but I ended up having the best bruschetta I’ve ever had (outside of Italy of course!). But honestly it was so good!!

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The Impossible Burger!

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I tried three: Heirloom tomato, garlic, basil, & mozzarella. Avocado, bacon, tomato, arugula, & aged balsamic. Apple, fig chutney, & brie. I can’t even pick a favorite because they were all delicious in different ways.

WHAT TO DO:

Austin has so much to do! You definitely need more than 4 days to do it all. The first day I was there I spent the day walking around the city. I probably walked for over 8 miles. Highlights include walking along the Colorado River, which runs through Austin. I would walk for a bit then stop at a bench and read my book. I also ended up walking through the capital building which was a highlight.

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Walking along the Colorado River

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View of Austin

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Capital building

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Hinges in the Capital building

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View of looking up at the dome

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Underneath the Capital building

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Austin

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View from the Congress bridge

6th street is famous for its great bars and nightlife and it didn’t let us down. I went on the pub crawl through the hostel and was headed straight for this spot on Saturday night. Among our crew was four Americans, one Australian, and five Brits so I knew it would be a fun group. Essentially 6th street becomes a city sponsored block party every weekend starting at 11pm as they shut down access to pedestrians only. Such a cool idea and it ends up being one big party in downtown Austin. We had a great time going from bar to bar.

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6th Street

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Enjoying the live music

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Friday night

Rainey Street is one of the coolest spots in Austin. Each building houses a different and unique bar with cool food options (some restaurants and some food trucks). It definitely has a more laid back vibe compared to 6th street, which houses more club-like bars. I was here with the Brits and we spent our night at a bar that a grassy, backyard space with giant jenga, picnic tables, and cornhole. They had never played cornhole before so it was a blast teaching them!

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Backyard at one of the bars on Rainey Street

Anther great activity is watching the bats at dusk. Over 1.5 million bats roost under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. This makes it the largest urban bat colony in the world. Crazy right?!

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Waiting for the bats to come out

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I really liked Austin! There were so many cool things to do, and I can’t wait to come back when it’s a little warmer to explore all the water activities Austin has to offer between the lake and the river! There is such a young, hip vibe to Austin and I think it’s only going to get cooler. Other than the blistering heat during the summer, Austin seems like an amazing place to visit and live. No wonder so many start-ups have started to move to this incredible city!

 

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Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

My time in Mostar 🙂

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The famous bridge in Mostar

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Walking around Mostar

City: Mostar

How Long: 3 nights

Accommodation:

I stayed at Hostel Miran and it was incredible!! The host, Miran, was an incredibly nice man who was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the region, as he had grown up there and actually lived through and fought in the Bosnian War. I learned so much from him. The hostel had small lockers in each room to store valuables but not big enough to store your whole bag, but I found everyone at the hostel to be very friendly and nice so I wasn’t worried about anyone stealing stuff from my bag. There was free breakfast and often at night Miran would BBQ so there was a free dinner sometimes. They also offered a great tour of the region. Highly recommend this place!!

Where to eat:

This place had free breakfast and sometimes free dinner so I mostly utilized that, BUT the hostel did recommend Hindin Han and I ended up going twice! Once just with Sam, and then once with Sam and three Germans we met on Miran’s tour (more on that in the next section!). Hindin Han was in the middle of the city center overlooking a small stream and was very cheap! Awesome food and alcohol selection.

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Accidentally ordered Rakia, which is a rum made in the Balkans. Ranges from 40% alcohol to 90% alcohol. It was quite strong!

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SO MUCH FOOD

What to do:

Number one thing you should do is go on Miran’s tour! (even if you don’t stay at his hostel I’m pretty sure you can still go on it!) Miran lived through and fought during the Bosnian War and had some incredible stories for us. The tour took us to an abandoned aircraft hanger utilized during communist occupation in Bosnia, two quaint cities (Blagaj & Pochitelj) and lastly, Kravice waterfalls. Each was uniquely beautiful, but the waterfalls were my favorite because we got to swim!! As we made our way back to Mostar, we were told many stories about the realities of living in Mostar during the Bosnian War. The damage from the war is still very visible in Mostar today.

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Entering the abandoned airport hangar

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From the inside

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Blagaj

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Blagaj

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Drinking the fresh water

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Where two rivers meet

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View from the fort of Pochitelj

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Up in the old fort

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Pochitelj

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Kravica Waterfalls

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Our new German friend smoked his pipe and read while the rest of us swam in the water 🙂

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The aftermath of the Bosnian War

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Buildings still in disarray

 

 

The other thing that is fun to see while in Mostar is someone jump off the famous Stari Most bridge which is 24 meters (~78 feet) tall! The professional divers will jump once they have collected enough money from tourists 🙂 If you are a tourist, you pay around 20 euros for an hour-long lesson from the professionals and then you can jump! Only around 2,300 people have done it and Miran said they were mostly Aussie or Kiwi.

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Someone about to jump!

Overall thoughts:

Mostar was such a pleasant surprise. I honestly had such little knowledge about this region and was thrilled to learn all that I did. Highly recommend visiting this richly historic, beautiful city.

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Nighttime views of the bridge

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Vienna (+ Bratislava)

City: Vienna

How Long: 4 nights

Accommodation:

I stayed at Hostel Ruthensteiner Vienna while I was here. The hostel itself is great. Tons of fun people, and there’s a bar within the hostel. There’s a guest kitchen and a 4.5 euro breakfast option. Good security lockers in the room and comfy beds. However, unfortunately it is fairly far from the city center so it takes 40 minutes to get anywhere (walking). I just find that I prefer to be able to walk right from the hostel to where I want to go without using public transit.

Where to Eat:

I ate a delicious traditional Polish dish at a restaurant called Mozart’s Restaurant. It was almost like pasta/dumpling combo with scrambled eggs. Sounds weird, but it was awesome. Otherwise, I chose to buy groceries and cook in the community kitchen with some friends I made.

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While I didn’t eat here, Mozart + Beethoven did! In fact, Mozart’s last performance was here. This place has been opened for over 200 years. Pretty incredible.

What to do:

I visited the Easter markets here as well, but they weren’t as fun as the ones in Krakow I found. I also did a free walking tour with some friends, where we saw some of the old government buildings and some cool churches. I also met two other Americans staying at my hostel and ended up going out on a pub crawl with them which was fun!

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Painted eggs at the Easter Markets!

Unfortunately the next day it rained and even hailed a bit. I chose to spend the day inside and catch up on reading, writing, and editing some videos. While it was nice to have a relaxing day, it meant that I did not get to see the palace or the gardens which I have heard are amazing.

On my last day in Vienna I did a day trip to Bratislava, which is the capital of Slovakia. I took a 5 euro bus ride there in the morning, early enough to catch the free walking tour. I really enjoyed learning about this tiny country that most American’s probably don’t know much about if they have even heard of it. Bratislava looks like it was torn out of the pages of a fairytale. In fact, the famous fairytale writer from Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen, spent time here. He famously said to the citizens of Bratislava, “If you want a fairy tale, look at your city.”

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View of Bratislava from the Castle

We walked around most of the city in about 2.5 hours, as the city is fairly small. We saw the grand castle (although technically a fortress), a blue Church, and adorable cobblestone streets. I learned that Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capitals in all of Europe, at just 34 miles apart. After spending just 5 hours in this city, I wish I had spent a few days here instead of staying in Vienna. Definitely don’t skip visiting Bratislava, even if it just for a day from Vienna or Budapest.

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Main square in Bratislava

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The Blue Church!

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Bratislava Castle

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Bratislava Castle

Overall Thoughts:

Vienna did not wow me. I am not exactly sure why, but overall it was not my favorite. The city is huge and I have learned that I tend to prefer more manageable cities. It’s also more expensive than some of the other cities I am visiting right now. I wish I had stayed in Bratislava and done a day trip to Vienna, instead of the other way around. I can certainly see why so many people love Vienna (amazing food, beautiful architecture, top-notch museums) but I just don’t think it’s for me.

 

Rome

CITY: Rome

HOW LONG: 2 NIGHTS

ACCOMMODATION:

I stayed at Hostel Alessandro Downtown and it was not my favorite, but only because it was very big, which means it is difficult to meet people. The kitchen was only available after breakfast. The common room was too big so people ended up sitting alone at different tables instead of all close together. The rooms were big, but the lockers were a little janky. Some worked and some did so I was a little paranoid that it would be easy to break the locks (luckily no one did). Anyway, I wouldn’t stay here again.

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WHERE TO EAT:

I was only in Rome for 2 nights, 1 day so it was quick! I did eat some delicious pasta and pizza, but surprising it is easy to find pasta and pizza 🙂 I did eat some delicious gelato at Venchi!

WHAT TO DO:

Because I only had one day I decided to walk around Rome and see the sights, but not take the time to go inside anything. I know I will be back and hopefully with more money, so it made sense to just visit the outside of all the incredible sites. I started with the Colosseum the first night I arrived because that was the closest to my hostel. I caught it right at sunset and it was incredible!

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Perfect timing!

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My one full day started with a visit to the Vatican, where I managed to see the Pope speak. What a unique experience.

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St. Peter’s Basilica

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The Pope!

After meandering through the smallest country in the world I headed to Castel Sant’ Angelo, Piazza Navona, then the Pantheon.

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Castel Sant’ Angelo

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Piazza Navona

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Pantheon

After a quick gelato break I arrived at the Trevi fountain, where I just sat and watched all the tourists get their selfie/boomerang of them throwing a coin in the water! Pretty funny stuff.

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Next up was the Spanish steps before heading to the ruins. The ruins were probably my favorite part because it made you think about all the people who came before those of us living today, and how they built an entire city. It’s crazy how much is left standing after all these years!

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Spanish Steps

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I’m guessing this is kinda old?

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Walking around Rome

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Streets of Rome

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Ruins

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More Ruins

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EVEN MORE RUINS

Finally after miles and miles of walking I turned back to the hostel to pack up before getting up at 3:45 to catch a flight to Greece!

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I went in with such low expectations of Rome because I am not into museums or religion… so I wasn’t sure what I would do in Rome, BUT I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed my day exploring the city. However, I wouldn’t say Rome is the best city for solo travelers. Like Paris, I think Rome is better with someone, whether it be a parent, sibling, friend or S.O.

 

Ciao for now 🙂