The first time my husband (boyfriend before the trip and proposed in Paris) and I travelled to Europe, we visited his twin brother, who was stationed in England, where we are actually now stationed. The planner that I am, made a complete itinerary full of activities for us to do and the destinations I wanted to visit. I will go into more detail on another blog post about the specifics but I will give you the general idea of where we went and a few things to do in each country.
We flew round trip from RDU (Raleigh, NC) to LHR (London) round trip for $900 a person from Tuesday, December 17th to Thursday, January 2nd and had a budget of $1,000 per person for additional expenses (we bought all of our Christmas gifts while we were there). This trip can definitely be done for a lot cheaper, but we thought we would never be travelling back to Europe so we splurged a lot!
Day 1: Stateside to England
Day 2: England
Day 3: Germany
Left England and drove to Germany. We planned to stop in Cologne on the way to Frankfurt but I got sick in the car so we decided to drive straight to Frankfurt. It ended up being about an 8 hour drive but we stopped a lot. When we arrived in Frankfurt, we checked into our hotel and ate dinner
Hotel Alleenhof in Frankfurt, Germany
Day 4: Germany
Main attractions: City Hall, Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, Main Tower, Christmas Markets
Day 5: Germany to Belgium
We checked out of our hotel and drove to Brussels, Belgium. We got to drive on the autobahn! It was definitely a terrifying situation. When we got to Brussels after the 4-hour car ride, we ate dinner and went to the Christmas Markets and walked around the City Centre.
Brussels City Centre Apartments
Day 6: Belgium
Main attractions: Musee Royal del’armee, Autoworld, Town Hall, Medieval Square
Day 7: Belgium to England
The drive from Brussels back to England took about 5 hours and we were able to stop at the Cliffs of Dover on the way back.
Day 8: England (Christmas Eve)
During the next 3 days, we just spent time visiting with family and friends and exploring the town we were in.
Day 9: England (Christmas)
Day 10: England – Day in Cambridge
Day 11: England to France
We took a 3-hour train ride from London St Pancreas to Pairs Gare Du Nord. We got the Paris Pass for the four days we would be there. We went to Montparnasse, Luxembourg Gardens, Pantheon, Latin Quarter, the Love Bridge, and Saint-Chappelle all in this day. It was very easy getting around.
De La Vallee Hotel in Paris, France
Day 12: France
Main attractions: Notre Dame, Orsay Museum, Opera, Grand Palais/Petit Palais, Alexander Bridge, Invalides, Rodin Museum.
We also had dinner reservations on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower which was magnificent! I highly recommend it. The food was absolutely amazing!
Day 13: France
Main attractions: Palais of Versailles, Eiffel Tower (we wanted to see it during the day), Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge
Day 14: France
Main attractions: Le Louvre, Palais Royal, Camps-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Christmas Market
Day 15: France to England
Took the train back to London St Pancras and went to Winter Wonderland (open from mid-December to a few days after New Years), London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey.
We were right next to Big Ben for the New Year’s Eve fireworks and that is definitely something I will never forget. I plan to go back again!
Day 16: England
New Year’s Day Parade, St. Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace
The Master Robert Hotel in Hounslow, England
Day 17: England back to the States
This was our first big vacation that taught us a lot about travelling. There are definitely better routes, but because of the holidays, we wanted to be in England for Christmas and New Years.
Ask me anything about my trip and check back to see more in-depth travel blogs that will also include Italy, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the many other countries I plan to go to this year!