Ever since I started my international travels, Europe was one of the continents which I always wanted to visit. But as a third-world country passport holder, I needed to have a visa before I can enter Europe. The visa we need to be able to enter Europe is called the ‘Schengen Visa’- which is basically one of the hardest visas to obtain, especially if your country has a really bad reputation of overstaying in another territory. Fortunately, when I applied for a Schengen Visa, I was granted one. Hence, the moment I received my passport back with a Schengen-Visa stamped on it, I instantly planned my itinerary and came up with this.
It was around February when I flew from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam. I always travel solo, but since It’s my first time to travel to Europe, this was one of the most nerve-racking trip I took. The flight took roughly seven hours. After landing and going through passport-control I went straight to the bus station to catch my bus to the city center.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Two of the major languages of the Netherlands are Dutch and English. I stayed for a total of four days in this beautiful city. As a budget traveler, I always try to stay in cheap accommodations so basically I stayed in a youth hostel, located in Amsterdam’s Ledseplein District.
Amsterdam is famous for tulips, picturesque canals and being the home of some of the greatest artists ever lived. Marijuana and prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, but despite this, this Dutch country ranks as one of the happiest and safest countries to live in. I guess, it makes a huge difference when people have discipline.
There are tons of things to do in Amsterdam. For me, I just wandered around, and there, I was able to discover some hidden gems in the city.
When you visit Amsterdam, just keep in mind that coffee shops there are unlike any other coffee shops in the world. So if you are craving for a coffee, just go to Starbucks haha.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium as well as being the capital of the European Union. French is one of the official languages of Belgium, hence most people speak French here. But the same with in the Netherlands, people here are so fluent in English. So you don’t have to worry about any language barriers when you intend to visit Belgium.
I arrived in Brussels from Amsterdam through train. The train ride took around two and a half hours which is not bad. I booked my train ride through OMIO.COM (Formerly GoEuro). Top Tip: Book your train in advance to avail further discount!
The Belgian Capital of Brussels is famous for its gothic structures. My favorite place is the Grand Palace, it is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city’s Town Hall, and the King’s House or Breadhouse. Definitely one of the best places to visit and photograph in this city.
Brussels or Belgium in general is also famous for its beers, waffles and chocolates. So whenever you are in Belgium, don’t ever forget to try all of it.- trust me, I tasted the best waffle and chocolates here!
Paris is the capital of France, it is also dubbed as the City of Love, Light and Fashion. Well, obviously, the official language is French. Unlike Amsterdam and Brussels, people here doesn’t like to speak english that much, not because they don’t know how to speak the language but they just don’t want to for some reason, and I don’t know why.
I arrived in Paris from Brussels through Flixbus. The bus ride took around four-hours, which is endurable. The bus has several stops, so you don’t have to worry about sitting for four hours straight. Most couch also has bathrooms inside so you don’t have to worry when you feel like you need to use the bathroom along the way.
Paris is home to some of the biggest brands in Fashion. Louis Vuitton and Chanel are just some of the few. But overall, Paris is famous for its historic landmarks; the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, The louvre, Versailles palace and many more.
Paris is one of the easiest city to explore- thanks to its very organized train lines. When in Paris, don’t forget to try their local food, their cuisines are to die for!
London is basically one of my favorite stops in this itinerary. This city is huge! But thank goodness, you can pretty much go everywhere using their subways. I arrived in London from Paris through FlixBus. The trip took almost 8-hours! Quite long but I was able to befriend my seat mate on the bus, so we killed time together talking about life.
Arthur, my seat mate on the bus.
Please note that some Passports need a separate visa for the United Kingdom. So basically, I was holding two visas, one for Schengen and one for the UK. Make sure to see if you need one or not, just to avoid some conflict when going through passport control at the border.
I stayed for a total of four days in this English City. But for me, I think it is ideal to spend more than four days if we intend to see all sites this city has to offer. So far, I was able to visit most of it during my stay.
Make sure to try an authentic English breakfast- I tasted a lot of English Breakfast elsewhere, but tasting it in its origin is totally different! You can pretty much taste authenticity!
When we think about London, we think of the Tower Bridge, the Big Ben and of course The Royal Family! But there is so much more that this city can offer aside from the ones mentioned above. For that I can’t wait to visit London again and explore more of the city!
Thanks for reading!