[originally published on 1st February 2017]
You would not believe how excited I am putting together this post!
This is going to be my very first year of traveling and I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of where I wanted to go.
…And by posting it online, it also means that I am more likely to stick to it.
I want to be as economical and as cost-effective as possible, so to start, I am concentrating on countries within Europe.
Since I am based in the United Kingdom, this just makes logical sense. The flights are going to be cheaper and shorter, and it’s an easy way for me to start traveling. I haven’t done much of it up to now, so it’s baby steps for me.
Related Read: Getting Ready For My First Solo Trip
I plan to visit a new country each month, starting in February. This hopefully means that by the end of 2017 I should be able to tick off 11 new countries.
Traveling like this also gives me a bit of flexibility. For example, if one month I am unable to go anywhere, then I can always travel to two places the following month since countries in Europe are close together.
I have already been to London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Paris, therefore, even though these are fantastic cities to visit, they are not on my list.
This post is updated each time I cross a new place off my list.
1) Budapest, Hungary – visited in March 2017
Known as the backpackers Vienna, I have always had a soft-spot for Budapest.
This city was stunningly beautiful with amazing architecture and an abundance of hot springs.
Home to one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe, I was looking forward to sampling a little bit more than Hungarian goulash – but only after my Turkish bath!
Blog posts from my time in Budapest:
- Best of Budapest: 13 Stops That You NEED To Make When Visiting Budapest
- Visiting Budapest on a Budget: Less Than $15 Per Night All-In
- My Budapest Story – First Time Travelling Solo
2) Rome, Itlay – Visited in June 2017
Art, architecture, culture, and good food – what more could I ask for?
I visited the Colosseum and got lost as I explore the tangled lanes of this historic city. Followed by lunch consisting of a thin, crispy, real Italian pizza with some must-try gelato for dessert.
Blog posts from my time in Rome:
- Top Tourist Sights That You Would Be Mad To Miss When Visiting Rome
- My Rome Story – Dirty, Crowded & Feeling Unsafe
3) Berlin, Germany – Visited in April 2017
Standing in the room where the Holocaust was planned, paying my respects at the Murdered Jews Memorial, and walking what is left of the Berlin Wall.
A city swept with history at every turn, reminding us of its turbulent 20th century. I learned a lot from this trip.
Blog posts from my time in Berlin:
- Top 9 Tourist Attractions in Berlin That You Cannot Miss! (With Handy Walking Route)
- My Berlin Story – Graffiti, Parking and Hostel Life
4) Barcelona, Spain – Visited in June 2017
Fun Fact: Thanks to Antonio Gaudi’s famous architecture, I got an A for my art GCSE.
I am enjoyed viewing Gaudi’s quirky buildings up close, sampling rich paella, and putting my 6 months of learning Spanish to good use.
I can certainly see why it was named as one of Europe’s most captivating cities.
Blog posts from my time in Barcelona:
- Tourist Guide: The Best Things to Do in Barcelona – With Handy Google Map
- My Barcelona Story – Airports, Beaches, and Boobs
5) Prague, Czech Republic – Still to visit
Prague is an up and coming city, attracting more tourists than ever.
It’s more affordable than some of its European neighbors, making this a perfect choice for my first year of travel.
On the must-do list is to visit the hauntingly beautiful, Prague Castle.
Cobbled streets, ancient chapels, and cute cafes help to make Prague one to look forward to.
6) Reykjavik, Iceland – Still to visit
Dramatic landscapes and geothermal spas.
My to-do-list includes touring the Golden Circle, visiting The Blue Lagoon, and venturing out into the ocean for a spot of whale watching.
Depending on the time of year, a huge bucket-list-tick would be to see the Northern Lights – that would be an awesome cherry on the cake.
7) Dublin, Ireland – Visited in August 2017
Video coming soon
The largest city in Ireland known for its traditions, fine literature, folklore, customary music and dance, and of course Guinness.
Not too far from my home in the United Kingdom, this was an easy visit for me and a simple one to tick off the list.
Blog posts from my time in Dublin:
- 15 Tourist Stops That You Don’t Want to Miss When Visiting Dublin
- My Dublin Story- Breakfast, Hammocks & Bicycles
8) Vienna, Austria – Visited March 2017
A bit of a curveball on my list – I didn’t know where Vienna was until I Googled it.
I enjoyed a cultural escape with music, Mozart, and coffee-house culture.
Blog posts from my time in Vienna:
- Don’t Miss These 9 Tourist Sights When Visiting Vienna
- My Vienna Story – Traffic Lights & Smelly Socks
9) Athens, Greece – Still to visit
After visiting the ancient attractions and indulging in a Greek Meze, I have my heart set on leaving the capital to take part in a day’s kayaking exploring the caves.
I have no idea why, but kayaking in Greece is always something that I have wanted to do. If I make it to Greece, I cannot pass up that opportunity.
10) Bergen, Norway – Still to visit
Technically Norway is not in the EU, but I really want to go hiking through the Fjords, and it’s not that far away from me here in the UK.
However, Norway is known for being one of the more expensive countries to visit, so I’ll have to start saving my pennies and be ready to work to a budget.
P.S. Seeing the Northern Lights would also be a super cool bonus. Seeing them twice in 2017 would just be awesome!
11) Bruges, Belgium – Visited in October 2017
Video coming soon
Chocolate! Need I say more? I’m a huge fan of Gillian Belgian Chocolate Seashells, meaning that Belgium had to be on my list.
With medieval buildings and cobblestones, this charming city was one of my favorites.
…plus, I can’t forget about the waffles!
Blog posts from my time in Bruges:
As we are making our way through 2017 and I am ticking off places from this bucket list, I have also managed to visit a few extra places as added bonuses!
BONUS 1: Florence & Pisa, Italy – Visited June 2017
I couldn’t visit Florence without taking a day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
My time in Florence was spent wandering quiet Italian streets, eating lots of pasta, and enjoying one of the best views that I have seen in Italy.
Blog posts from my time in Florence & Pisa:
BONUS 2: Venice, Italy – Visited June 2017
Of all the cities I visited in Italy, Venice was my firm favorite.
The place felt magical with its narrow streets, canals, and small boutique shops.
Blog posts from my time in Venice:
BONUS 3: Zadar, Croatia – Visited July 2017
Video coming soon
Another curveball on my list. I always wanted to visit Croatia and when I was in Venice, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of traveling south to Zadar.
Not many people have heard of this place, but it was crowned The Best European Destination 2016.
Blog posts from my time in Zadar:
I’m writing this section on 23rd December 2017. With just 8 days left of 2017, sadly, I haven’t managed to cross off every destination on my travel bucket list.
…but I have made a pretty decent dent!
I aimed to visit 11 countries in 2017. Instead, I ended up visiting 11 cities in 8 countries.
I do still intend to visit the four remaining cities from my list; Athens, Bergen, Prague, and Reykjavik, and I’ll update this post as soon as I do.
Right now, I’m looking forward to 2018 and planning my new travel bucket list.
What are your travel plans? Let me know in the comments below.
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