Bits of Victoria: Our Favorite European Cities

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I have been getting asked a TON of travel questions, so if you have any questions like that, now is the time! Leave your questions in the comments or email me and I'll put together a big post! :)

When hanging out with my family in England last week, I asked my well traveled cousin what his favorite European city is and he said Barcelona, then Edinburgh. This was extra exciting to us because we knew we were about to head to Barcelona. :) The question of course made me think about what my answer was, and then I had to go off to think about a ranking. Ben and I both immediately knew our absolute favorite, no questions.

By city I mean like BIG city.. there are so many other smaller ones that we love!

4. London, England
I think London gets knocked down for us because we've been several times and will probably continue to go lots of times, just because of the proximity to our family. I think that takes away a little bit of the sparkle. That being said, we LOVE London. There are so many fun neighborhoods that we love. Sweet pubs to pop into. I love the rich history of the British monarchy. Y'all know how I feel about Kate Middleton. London feels a little bit like an extension of home for us. This last trip we went on we stopped in London on the Eurostar from Brussels before hopping on another train down to Brighton where our family is. So we only saw the inside of St. Pancras. While crossing a bridge over the Thames we caught a glimpse of the Tower Bridge and some other parts of beautiful London and it made me remember how much we do love it and made me excited for the next time we will visit. Our favorite thing to do is walk alongside the Thames!

3. Lucerne, Switzerland
When we visited Lucerne, we both said we could imagine living there. It's just so charming and the weather is amazing and it's surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. It was the only bigger city we visited in Switzerland though, so I think this one really just means we love Switzerland. Because we did!

2. Paris, France
The city where I was born! We really and truly just love Paris. While we were on our most recent, seeing Paris on the boards at the train stations and airports makes me want to abandon our plans completely and head to France. There's just nothing comparable to the atmosphere of Paris. Like all cities (in my humble opinion) you need to do your research to get to have amazing and sweet experiences, as opposed to just picking your way through the touristy crowds.. and this is especially important in Paris as it's the most popular city for tourists. It's on our wishlist to return to Paris sometime in the fall, with a different climate and less friends from all over the world. :)

1. Rome, Italy
When we had this conversation, there was NO question for us that Rome is our favorite city in Europe. Maybe in the world! We LOVED our trip to Rome. I went in with low expectations because so many people had told me they liked Florence so much better. But Rome has such an incredibly rich history, there is SO much to explore and do. We aren't at all ones to just want to check things off the touristy list but the things in Rome that are like that are just so incredible that you want to leave and like, devote yourself to studying the history of the Roman Empire. On top of that, you have some of the friendliest, most wonderful people, and the BEST food! We loved our whole trip to Italy when we went but Rome is the place (along with Cinque Terre) that is cemented in our minds as somewhere we must return. I think it's a bucket list thing for us to go with high school/college aged Beau/other hopeful Strader babies and have a Christian tour guide so we can soak it all up from a Christian perspective. I actually get a lot of emails about Rome, and love sharing our experience! I could talk about Rome ALL day!

What are your favorite cities? I'd love to know what's on your bucket list too! 


  1. Okay I'm coming with y'all the next time you go to one of these cities! And I LOVE looking at my dad's photos from when he lived in Italy--the pictures of Rome are beautiful!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. This was so much fun to read! And I LOVED seeing that Rome is your number one--I still remember sending you a bunch of my favorite spots before your trip a few years ago and then copying and pasting from that email into my honeymoon recaps, haha! I think my top three in order would be Paris, Vienna, and Rome :)

  3. This came at the PERFECT time. We've started dreaming about our trip to celebrate paying off our college loans. Your recaps on Switzerland have put it at the top of my list! I would love to learn more about how you go about planning these trips. Do you use any specific organization? How do you plan where to stay or how to get around? We've been able to visit Copenhagen on work, and have done mini trips to Paris and London on a weekend but haven't planned a multi-city trip really before and I'd love to know how you go about planning these.

  4. Rome is my NUMBER 1 too. Hopefully we can go next year for our 5 year anniversary. We went for our honeymoon! I've been a few times and there is just so much to see and I feel like you can discover so much each time. I want to live there. hehehe

  5. I love your travel posts and reading about your favorite things! It's funny though, because I would put Rome at the bottom, bottom, bottom of any place I've ever been (in the world!) I had such a poor experience; I thought the city was dirty and the people were so rude. Haha! So I guess it's all about what you prefer and your experiences!

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  7. All your Europe posts just make me want to go so badly! Next vacation we are going on though is a Disney Cruise! Thanks for sharing! I'm definitely storing all the info you share away for one day when I do go! :)

  8. Hello! I'm stopping by from Whimsical September. I was so excited to read this post! We've been saving for a trip to Europe for years and finally reached our goal! Your pictures are so beautiful and make me want to go to all of the cities you listed!! I'll be trying to learn as much as I can from all of your info!

  9. Reading that Rome is your number one, further confirms that we did Rome totally wrong! I definitely plan on a do-over once our kid(s) are old enough to appreciate the history. I think it's a city where it's worth it to splurge on a nicer hotel in the best part of town.
    My top three favorite European cities would have to be Paris (FAVORITE!!), Vienna and London. That being said, I haven't been to Switzerland yet, and I think I would love it. If we're including other international cities, I absolutely loved Buenos Aires.. but then again, probably because parts of it reminded me of Paris (only much less expensive)!

  10. Pack me in your suitcase next time!! What gorgeous pictures, and how special that your son will have such a great baby book of memories! Lucerne looks straight out of a storybook.

  11. We love so many of these cities (especially Rome, Paris, and London!), but we also love Florence (bittersweet for you, I know), Prague, Budapest, Venice, Cinque Terre, Salzburg... I don't know that there are many places we have been that we don't enjoy. I think Vienna was the least enjoyable on both trips... and it wasn't bad, it just wasn't what we expected. (And it was SO expensive... Bratislava was more our speed on the expenses. ;) )


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