For the past three months, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to study abroad. I’ve seen some amazing places, met amazing people, and learned so much about different cultures. While being abroad for an extended amount of time can be challenging, studying abroad in Luxembourg has given me the opportunity to travel somewhere different in Europe every weekend. Here are five of the favorite places I have visited so far, in no particular order. (The list might change when I go to Madrid and Dublin!)
1, Strasbourg, France
My friend and I went to Strasbourg early in the semester during one of the first few weeks we were here. One of my family members had been there before and recommended that I go to a certain restaurant, but other than that I was unsure of what Strasbourg held. Once we got there, though, and explored Little France, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite trips. Strasbourg is a quaint city but still full of things to do, from going on a boat tour to walking around and eating lunch by the river. As someone who likes smaller cities in general, Strasbourg was the perfect place to start my travels.
2. Berlin, Germany
Although Berlin is a bit different from the cities that I have included on this list, it’s definitely a special place. I spent a week in Berlin for one of my classes and was able to explore this city a lot more than I had anywhere else. Berlin has an abundance of history and culture, from the Brandenburg Gate to Museum Island to the Eastside Gallery to Checkpoint Charlie.
While in Berlin, I ate a different culture’s cuisine each night — from Vietnamese, to Russian , to Ethiopian, to Georgian to, of course, German. Being able to try something and see something new every day made me more continuously curious about the city’s present and past. Berlin’s public transportation is also the favorite that I’ve used, which is a really important factor in the ranking of big cities. I was also able to get into the Berghain (first try), something that I will never stop talking about.
3. Venice, Italy
Obviously, everyone who goes to Italy loves it, but I didn’t know why until I spent spring break there. My friend and I spent about three days in Venice and I adored the small walking streets that, if you weren’t paying attention, could lead you straight into a river channel. With restaurants along the river, a gondola ride in the afternoon with a 5th generation gondolier, and a day trip to Murano lugging our carry-ons through the city at midnight after a long day of flights was definitely worth it.
4. Bruges, Belgium
Also one of my first trips in Europe, I appreciated the small city vibes that Bruges had to offer. One of my favorite things we did was attend a chocolate-making class and although I was a bit intimated by our uptight instructor, I left with some delicious chocolate that I ate right away. Considering Bruges is known as the “Venice of the North,” I guess there's a bit of consistency in this list. Bruges is the perfect city for a day trip as you’re able to enjoy the main square as well as other landmarks scattered around the city.
5. Salzburg, Austria
Keeping with the smaller city trend, Salzburg was a great experience for me. Not necessarily because of "The Sound of Music", but because of everything I was able to experience in just one day there. From an impromptu, free horse-drawn carriage ride into the city, to visiting Mozart’s house, to walking through the Easter and Christmas markets, the city was full of a quiet but passionate atmosphere. To end that great day, my friends and I went to dinner with a live performance of Mozart opera and orchestra (dressed in costume), which was, safe to say, iconic.