The 5 Best Spots for Weekend Travel When Studying Abroad in Europe

For the past three months, I spent my fall semester studying abroad in Antwerp, Belgium. You may ask yourself, where tf is Antwerp? Well, it's in the northern part of Belgium in the Dutch-speaking part of the country. Location wise, Antwerp was a great city for studying because Belgium is in the heart of Europe and Antwerp was only a quick 45-minute bus ride away from Brussels International Airport. Not only did I have amazing memories while studying abroad in Antwerp, but I had an equally amazing time free traveling on the weekends. Here are the top places that I traveled to while abroad in Europe.

 

1. Paris, France

Paris is an absolute dream! It’s the city of love and romance, and it lived up to its amazing landmarks and cafe expectations. With only a quick 2-hour train ride from Antwerp, Paris was the ideal spot to travel to for a quick, easy getaway. My friends and I stayed at a hostel close to the Eiffel Tower and got to sit in the gorgeous lawn at night while drinking a whole bottle of wine to ourselves then watching the tower glisten every hour. We also did a wine tasting one night, and let me tell you, WINE TASTINGS DON’T DISAPPOINT! We got to try amazing French wine, and learn all about how it is made, and the perfect way to taste it. If you ever go to Paris, I highly recommend a wine tasting. Like I said, Paris was absolutely amazing! Although you might hear the common groan here and there that Paris is “dirty” and “dangerous.” Well, you can tell that person to shut it, because if you expect to enter a city that doesn’t have a few grunge parts, then you are delusional. All and all, Paris was an amazing weekend getaway, and I hope someday to return!

2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Although this city is known for its infamous red-light district and legality of marijuana, Amsterdam is absolutely breathtaking. It’s also very fun if ya know what I mean? Amsterdam is a city full of endless gorgeous canals, and cobbled streets with bikers flying by fast. It’s hard not to go to Amsterdam and envision yourself living there by riding a bike to work, and eating dutch pancakes everyday while taking an afternoon stroll on the canal. I sure did. Not only is Amsterdam gorgeous, but it has an amazing nightlife. Indulge in the coffeeshops, which are actually just weed shops. Or take a walk through the red light district. It’s definitely NSFW, but with it being legal, seeing a woman in a window coaxing you to come inside is truly a sight to see. I ended up going to Amsterdam twice because it was only a quick 2-hour train ride from Antwerp. I HIGHLY recommend going to Amsterdam! P.S. if your a fan of The Fault in Our Stars, take a picture at the famous bench where Gus and Hazel sat!

 

3. Munich, Germany

Munich is one of the most fun places I’d ever been to. Not only is it the location of Oktoberfest, but it’s also just an absolutely gorgeous city! I went to Munich for Oktoberfest, which was one of the coolest experiences I’d ever had. Attending one of the biggest drinking events is truly a sight to see. If you find yourself studying abroad in the Fall, I highly recommend going to Oktoberfest!

 

4. Interlaken, Switzerland

This location may not be quite as recognizable as the previous places, although don’t count it out. Interlaken was one of my FAVORITE weekends while studying abroad. Being right in the Swiss alps, surrounded on the sides with breathtakingly beautiful blue water, Interlaken is like a scene from a National Geographic film. During my weekend there, we ventured up the mountain, and drank beer and took pictures with the gorgeous alps behind us. I also went paragliding that weekend, which is basically running off a mountain with an instructor, then gliding down to the ground. Switzerland was one of the most gorgeous and exciting places I have ever been too, and if you want to go to Switzerland I absolutely recommend Interlaken. P.S. eat the Swiss chocolate, it is so freaking good!

 

5. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is one of my favorite places ever! I had previously been to Dublin as a freshman in high school, but I had to return because I loved it so much! Also because I wanted to be able to drink Guinness in its hometown. Regardless, Dublin is a gorgeous city with a fun day and nightlife. I spent the day doing a little shopping on Henry St, and ventured over to the Temple Bar before doing a tour of the Guinness Factory. Dublin was truly a magical experience, and especially me being Irish, I loved seeing the traditional trinkets in the shops. Dublin is an unforgettable place, and P.S. if you have extra time, take a bus tour and explore the outer parts of Ireland like the Cliffs of Moher!