It’s been 3 years since I left my past life in Europe and lately it’s been calling out to me. I miss the simple pleasure of having coffee at an outdoor café while the outside world passed me by. I miss walking the cobblestone steps and gazing out to the courtyard of fantastically built churches that seem ancient and absolute. This year is probably the best time to come back. I have selected five European cities well worth making the time to visit in 2012.


There’s never a dull moment in this Scottish capital. Every year starts and ends in style with the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations. Another highlight of the cultural calendar takes places in August when the Fringe Festival attracts visitors from all parts of the world. When it comes to accommodations, there are and affordable hotels in Edinburgh to fit every budget. Ibis hotel Edinburgh is one such place that provides comfort and service for a price that might surprise you for a central location. I would love to visit the Edinburgh Castle and witness the daily gun salute at 1pm as well as the National Museum of Scotland.

London Bridge (Tower Bridge) : Reflection on the River Thames
Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul

The eyes of the world will be on London later this year when the city hosts the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Countless venues across London will stage a variety of events, from archery to wrestling - and I wish to be part of it all. It doesn’t matter if I purchase tickets or just witness the festivities along one of the designated fan parks. Either way, I’ll be able to watch all the action unfold on giant screens. Another event I’m keeping an eye on this year is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. London has an array of attractions to head to and luckily for smart travellers like myself, many are free to enter like the Tate Modern all year round.

Photo Credit: Moyan_Brenn (I'm Back)


When you think of Spain, you immediately set your heart on going to Barcelona. But after meeting a lovely lady from Spain after a recent trip to Florida, I’ve realized Madrid is well worth a visit. The city centre is made up of a labyrinth of streets lined with shops, restaurants and bars and because I’m always in search of a little culture. I’m looking forward to visiting the Museo del Prado to see works of Picasso. The Royal Palace of Madrid is another attraction I look forward to checking ou. And I wouldn’t miss an interesting tour of the Santiago Bernabeu, home to Real Madrid, one of the most successful sporting teams.

Maribor in snow  .:: HDR ::.
Photo Credit: Boris Mitendorfer Photography

Mari-where? Did you know that Maribor along with Guimarães in Portugal is the 2012 European capital of culture? The Slovenian city is bracing itself for a whirlwind next 12 months as it prepares to welcome an influx of tourists keen to learn more about this often overlooked part of Europe. There’s stunning architecture to marvel at in the form of a Franciscan Church and the picturesque Rotovski trg square in the old town.

Oktoberfest 2007
Photo Credit: Cassio Rogério


Back when I was living in Germany, there was an essential German experience I missed: Oktoberfest! And you know what they say, if you come to Germany and never get to experience this tradition in Munich, it’s like you’ve never been there at all. Oktoberfest is something I should experience at least once in my lifetime along with a trip to the Hofbrauhaus, which is thought to be the world’s largest pub. I’ve been told that the beer served here is unlike anything I’ll ever taste anywhere else. While the food lovers in me is saying I should make a pilgrimage to Viktualienmarkt, the daily food market serving up all manner of tasty treats. I’m missing curry wurst already!

What's on YOUR Euro wishlist?

Dreaming of more travels in 2012,
Sole Sister Lois

main photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (I'm Back)
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24 Responses so far.

  1. me, I want to go to Vatican, Milan and Paris... :)

  2. Regin says:

    My experience in Munich was awesome. You should really visit that place.

  3. PossiblyPinay says:

    Curry-wurst! I hated those with a passion but I understand that they are everywhere! I couldn't escape them in Germany too! Italy is on my list. I missed out on Spain the last time I was there though and though I really wanted to - things just got... messed up. 

  4. i want to see the whole darn continent :)

  5. dong ho says:

    amazing list for a europe trip in 2012. i also have my list but definitely not yet in 2012. im looking at toulose, bolognia, berlin, madrid and istanbul.

  6. markyramonego says:

    Anywhere in Europe I'm in and eager to get lost, but these cities are on top of my list.

  7. carms batoon says:

    Ljubljana,Slovenia...ever since I read a book with Ljubljana as the backdrop that got me googling (how on earth do I pronounce that) "Ljubljana" and I got seriously hooked and would do we searches even during work hours (which I'm doing now hahaahhaa). I would daydream of walking around a fairytale like town and don't get me started on Lake Bled (o.O)..got my fingers crossed that God willing soon I'll be able to say "Once upon a time a cubicle dweller got lost in this fairytale land..."

  8. Upper says:

    For some reason, I've always fancied Barcelona, any place in Norway (for the northern lights), Prague and Verona. <3

  9. I would love to visit 21 European countries..probably 2016. Barcelona, Madrid, Bruges, London,Prague, Stockholm,Istanbul, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan,Santorini..and the list goes on.Ang dami!! Tska sana libre rin kagaya ng pag-stay ko dito sa NY.:)

  10. My top 5 would be Athens, Sarajevo, Budapest, Barcelona and Dubrovnik. My biggest obstacle is time though... wish I had more of it to take a long break

  11. Angela says:

    I would certainly recommend Rome, Paris, Florence, Barcelona.. Just to begin with, Europe is all to be discovered, and don't underestimate smaller places ;)

  12. Lois says:

    Love your selection!

  13. Lois says:

    Yes, I'll visit that on my next trip to Germany. 

  14. Lois says:

    Hope we both get to go to Spain and Italy in the near future Eileen! I'm sooo excited!

  15. Lois says:

    Let's go!

  16. Lois says:

    Super love your selection Dong! Pasama kahit ibang leg lang ng trip ;-)

  17. Solesisters Weare says:

    Getting lost is half the fun Marky! Especially in Europe!

  18. Solesisters Weare says:

    I pray this fairy tale will not stay fairy tale for long for you carms! It's happening :)

  19. Solesisters Weare says:

    Gow for it Upper! awesome selection!

  20. Solesisters Weare says:

    That's proof that the more you travel- the more you want to keep traveling!

  21. Solesisters Weare says:

    Hope you are able to make it to those beautiful places AC!

  22. Solesisters Weare says:

    I totally agree Angela about the small places :-)

  23. rain_fourth says:

    Hi Lois and Chichi,

    I need your help in having an affordable itinerary for London and Scotland. Me and my wife would be travelling there by May. Hoping for your response.


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