Ohh holidays how I love you, colder weather, sweaters and lots of food. I strive to truly enjoy each holiday season, because the older I get the quicker they come and go. This year was no exception, so I decided to spend my holidays solo in Europe. Yes you heard me right, I celebrated Christmas and rung in the New Year by myself but in some amazing cities! I had the opportunity to visit four countries and each one was amazing in its own way.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a well known travel destination and over the years has only continued to grow in popularity. They are known for having serious building eye candy. All of their buildings transport you to a fairy tale, each one made with care and individualism. One trip won’t even cover everything there is to see and do in Prague. I was lucky enough to visit for Christmas Eve and Christmas, meaning I was able to experience the infamous Christmas Markets. That was truly an amazing experience and something I would surely repeat. Though the holidays are meant to be spent with family, I never felt alone in Prague for Christmas. I was able to mark off some huge bucket list items. I truly enjoyed seeing the city in winter, though there was no snow it was cold and crisp. I wandered the streets, drank mulled wine and enjoyed chimney cakes. I do however wish I would have had time to see some of the holiday productions, that just means I have to go back! I loved seeing Charles Bridge, the Castle, Parliament and the parks. There was so much to see and do and the holidays just added a festive cheer to it all.
My next stop on my holiday adventure was Budapest Hungary. Some argue that Budapest is more scenic then Prague, for me I have to say Prague was my favorite, but Budapest was a close second. Walking the streets of Budapest was amazing I strolled around Hero’s Square during sunrise and felt like I had been transported to the Disney Hercules movie. It was gorgeous and I couldn’t get enough of all the monuments. They represented war, peace, knowledge and glory. Every statue and monument screamed history and passion, nothing was just put up it all represented something bigger. While exploring I came across a beautiful statue of a man sitting and gazing out over the Danbue, he looked lost in a deep though. I later found out the statue was of Attila Jozsef, a young poet of the 20th century. His work was very controversial and even lead to him being expelled from school. It was an amazing time to visit the city because I was lucky enough to experience the Budapest Christmas Markets as well. It was somewhat similar to Prague’s, with a variation of cuisine, but beautiful non the less.
Although I only spent 1 1/2 days in Romania, during my holiday trip it was still an amazing country. I would love to go back and see more. I briefly explored Bucharest and found it rich in history. My main reason for visiting the country was to see Dracula’s Castle. The city was covered in lights and trees and even though I wasn’t in my home country, I could still feel the excitement of Christmas and New Years.
My last and final stop of the trip was Vienna, Austria and did I go out with a bang. I decided to spend New Years in the city of art, because I was going to a ball in a palace. The city was very alive with the excitement of the holidays especially for New Years. New Years Eve serves as the opening of the ball season in Vienna which is a huge deal. I was lucky enough to see the debutantes at the Hofburg Ball, it was breathtaking. I had the chance to speak to a local and the way he spoke about ball season I could tell that was a highlight for everyone’s social calendars. Though I wish I could have attend another ball or even see a production, I was so happy to attend the opening night.
Although spending the holiday without my family was sad, I still had a truly amazing experience. I did things I never thought I would do, I visited four countries in the span of two weeks. I pushed my comfort level on travelling solo and walked away all the better. Being abroad for the holidays is something everyone should attempt to do at least once. Other counties have such amazing culture and traditions to experience for the holiday season, it would truly be shame to miss it.
Keep a wandering spirit my friends and thanks for following along!