For my birthday this year, I decided to take a trip to Europe on a much-needed vacation, to learn new things about other places, and some new things about myself. With plenty of coats packed, a new book for my flight, and two of my closest friends by my side, I was ready to begin another year of my life on a trip filled with new experiences. For my trip abroad I would be traveling to London, Paris and Copenhagen. Three beautiful, vibrant cities that are very cold this time of year. Aside from the chill, each city had its own appeal that kept me intrigued. I saw sites that I will remember for the rest of my life, learned new aspects of myself, and gained new traits that I’ve brought back with me. I loved every minute of it, even the moments where I felt unfamiliar with my surroundings. I am thrilled that I gave myself a gift that I will always cherish.
- London -
During my time in London I stayed at the Grosvenor House in Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a huge, gorgeous park that has lots of gardens and monuments. On my first night, we made our way to Westminster where The London Eye and Big Ben are two must see sites at night. Though it was cold out, walking up and down the city streets were well worth it for the view.
A walk through Hyde Park
The London Eye
Over the next couple of days I wanted to take in London and see all the sites that were recommended to me. We took a tour of Kensington Palace where we were able to walk through the Princess Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibit. The following day we walked through Notting Hill, famously known for its pastel homes. Then we strolled through Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus where there were amazing shopping opportunities.
Our last full day in London was on my birthday. We made reservations at a well known afternoon tea restaurant called sketch. There we had a traditional English afternoon tea with small finger sandwiches and champagne. Each room had a different theme. We sat in their pink room where compelling art fills the walls and every piece of furniture is pink. There was a violin band playing and unlimited tea flowing. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping, and in true birthday fashion, I wanted to treat myself to a nice dinner that I wouldn’t usually have. My birthday dinner was at none other than Nobu. With delicious food and an amazing environment, I could not have been happier with how I spent my birthday.
Afternoon tea at sketch
- Paris -
We took the Eurostar from London to Paris. The train ride itself was only two hours long and we were able to see the French countryside. At a chilly 30 degrees, Paris could not have looked dreamier under the blanket of fresh fallen snow. I think it's safe to say Paris is a city on most people's bucket list, and it didn't take long to see why. From the beautiful architecture to the exciting ambiance, Paris is a dream. We walked through the Arc de Triomphe and had the most incredible macaroons at Ladurée on Avenue des Champs-Élysées. We could not resist trying the Peruvian restaurant Mancora that had been recommended to us.There we had some of the best ceviche I have ever tried. We walked through history in the Louvre Museum and drank wine in the Café de Flore.
Snowy Parisian Wonderland
Arc de Triomphe
Macaroons at Ladurée
The Louvre Museum
Snowfall in Paris
On our final day in Paris, we did what any tourist in Paris would do. We went to see the Eiffel Tower in person. We had purchased tickets in advance to go to the top of the tower. Thankfully, it was reopened for tours after being closed for a few days due to the weather. I am not one for heights, but viewing this gorgeous city from the top of one of the world's most famous landmarks was an experience I will forever treasure. At the top, we drank champagne, ate more macaroons, and took photos of the scenery before our two hours were up. After dinner that night we made our way back to the Eiffel Tower to see the lights come on. A breathtaking site like this one was well worth standing in the snow for.
The Eiffel Tower
View from the top
Lit up at night
- Copenhagen -
The last leg of the trip was spent in Copenhagen, Denmark. We arrived on a sunny, snowy day and I was instantly taken aback by the picturesque, adorable city. The river that centers the city is aligned with bright, colorful buildings which is one of many reasons Copenhagen is so well known. We couldn't help ourselves but to enjoy a Joe & the Juice nearly everyday. Riding a bike was something that nearly everyone was doing, so we rented bikes and strolled through town. We rode waterside of the Langelinie Promenade where we saw some of Denmark's history and took in the many monuments. My personal favorite was the Statue of the Little Mermaid. Turns out this a real story by Carl Jacobsen that dates back to 1913.
The Little Mermaid Statue
Streets of Denmark
Strøget is one of Europe's longest streets for shopping. Here we spent some time shopping and eating. We choose the Tivoli Food Hall which was filled with so many delicious options. On our final Saturday night of the trip my friends and I couldn't think of a better way to see the city's nightlife other than a pub crawl. The pub crawl took us to four different bars. We drank, danced, and finished our night with famous churros that might have been the greatest I have ever had.
Delicious churro treats
The very last day of our trip we took a canal tour. We rode through the river under the snow falling and heard about Denmark's history and how Copenhagen came to be. The tour ended at the colorful harbor where we had an amazing lunch at Cap Horn. Our last night ended with a concert. We jumped at the opportunity to see Kygo at the Royal Arena and then continued our adventure with an unforgettable night of good drinks and lots of dancing. There could not of been a better ending to our amazing, memorable European experience.
Colorful buildings on the water