Innsbruck was not in my original trip itinerary and I’m SO glad I worked it in. It’s truly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, with magnificent mountain views everywhere you look. In a matter of minutes, you can take the funicular and cable cars up into the mountains for endless hiking trails. I couldn’t believe that people actually get to live there!
My point is that if you’re type A and like to maximize your time in a destination with lots of activities, this blog post is for you. If you’re more go with the flow, take it with a grain of salt and hopefully you’ll still walk away with a few handy tips.
Geneva has an airport that’s relatively cheap and easy to fly in and out of. However, it’s also on the Golden Pass panoramic train route. The panoramic trains feel like a destination in and of themselves, offering gigantic windows that extend into the ceiling of the train and stunning views. I highly recommend planning your trip to include this mini-adventure.
People seem to have strong reactions when I tell them I stay in hostels on my travels abroad. Some folks envision scenes from “On the Road,” while others are just plain horrified. It’s true that staying in hostels requires a few concessions, but it can also be an amazing way to travel. Follow these tips to make the most of your experience.
Basel is in Northern Switzerland, situated near the borders of France and Germany. It’s known for its culture, museums, and annual carnival. Even though it’s the third largest city in Switzerland, I found it to be quaint and with a nice leisurely pace.
For those traveling to Switzerland, Zurich is one of the easier and most affordable locations to fly in and out of. My fellow traveler, Alicia, and I spent three nights in Zurich, making it one of the longer legs of our Switzerland trip. Here were some of the highlights!
Switzerland is known for being a particularly expensive travel destination. I met many people making a stop in Switzerland for a few days as they traveled throughout Europe, who would complain about the high costs of food and attractions. This is understandable, as you can easily drop CHF 35 on a casual dinner or CHF 15-20 on a mojito (yes, I actually saw this happening). However, with a combination of the Swiss Travel Pass, shopping for groceries rather than going out to eat, and staying at hostels, suddenly this beautiful and jaw-dropping destination actually feels do-able.
Oban (pronounced “oh-bin”) is a sleepy little resort town on the western coast of Scotland. My travel companion and I were drawn here primarily for the tours of a few nearby Scottish Islands but found a few gems that made me glad we stayed a couple nights. To make it nearly impossible to get lost, pretty much everything is on Breadalbane Street.
A top priority for us was making sure to see Edinburgh Castle, one of the most popular sites in the city (and for good reason). Particularly if you’re traveling peak season, I recommend going early to beat the crowd and make sure you have plenty of time to explore. The castle opens at 9:30am; we went around 9:15 and there was already a large crowd, though the line went quickly. Tickets cost about 16 pounds apiece, which includes an optional guided tour, viewing of the royal Scottish jewels (lower your expectations if you’ve seen the jewels in London), and seeing a cannon dating back to 1861 fire at 1:00 to inform ships of the local time.