EUROPE TRIP - AUSTRIA -CROATIA - SLOVENIA
VIENNA - AUSTRIA
Oohh Vienna, I miss you already. I loved this city. It is completely full of all walks of life and nobodies judging you for being you. The history and architecture alone will steal your heart and unless you stay for more than a week or are a true hustler you will never get to it all (even though I wish we could have. The city is full of experiences from food and drinks, music, and events on every corner.
WHERE TO STAY: We chose the 25 Hour Hotel for our time in Vienna because it is literally amazing and a little bit crazy (which is just how we like it.) The atmosphere is fun and kind of reminds me of a modern Alice in Wonderland when it comes to aesthetic. They have the prettiest rooftop bar with delicious cocktails, a great lounging area, and their breakfast is so good I'd go back just for that!
There are a few must see's like the gorgeous Palmenhouse Brasserie for a nice brunch or cafe latte' (top middle photo) and the gorgeous St. Stephens Cathedral (bottom left) that has a beautiful view if you don't mind the tiny stairwell to the top. I absolutely loved visiting the Schonbrunn Garten (bottom right) in the afternooon for it's beauty, my only regret is not getting their earlier to go to the Vienna Zoo!
We didn't have a single bad food experience while in Vienna but it was definitely a difference from what we see in American, however Pasta was always my go to. A few of my favorite spots include Vapiano Osterrieich but prepare to wait if you want pasta because it's a hot spot for lunches. So. Vienna was delicious for happy hour and you truly can't beat the gorgeous view but make reservations if you actually want to eat because it will be packed! The Fishrestaraunt Nautiulus was delicious for food and wine and very "date night" material, they have fresh seafood which I hate but my husband loves! Plus you can eat ice cream at any time of day and that might be reason enough to move to Vienna!
* If I could have spent longer here I would have also gone to Hallstatt and visited several other museum and garden locations further outside of Vienna!
PLITVICE LAKES - CROATIA
I couldn't have loved this stop more. The town itself is a home away from home! The moment of our arrival our host brought out his homemade and locally sourced honey whiskey and we got to know each other and I am telling you the entire town is this way! We got to explore the beautiful lakes and waterfalls but loved adventuring around the swimming quarry (which was crystal clear), zip lining, and historical hiking! The trails are endless and the remains of so many buildings are worth walking around!
The town itself only has a few restaurants and my favorites are next to one another but the food was beyond delicious so we kept going back. I have to say the hours of work are a bit odd, you won't find anything open before 8:30/9 and almost all stores are closed by 4! Lucky them! So if you need something like a bottle of wine, snacks, or a charger you'd better go when you have the chance!
One thing I will say is that while trying to plan this trip I had no idea whether to stay at the lakes, outside of them, how to get tickets closer to the date..etc and I have to say it's way easier than I realized by being a newbie to the town. YOU CAN GET TICKETS THAT DAY, in case you completely forget to purchase them before. All you have to do is get there at the opening because they will only sell 300 or so per day at the box office and I promise you 300 people will be in line by 7 am! But i also promise it's 100% worth the early morning.
In fact, all of our mornings here were early and we loved it. We chose to stay at an airbnb and it was on a small honey farm (hence the owners homemade whiskey!) The farm was beautiful and picturesque. We wanted something a little more relaxed for this part of our stay so this was perfect. HOWEVER they do not provide food or anything so you need to make sure you are prepared if you choose this route!
PULA - CROATIA
This was one of those spots where the options are truly endless. There are tons and tons of beaches and we tried out several of them because we had no idea what each would be like. To our surprise 90% of the beaches are all rock which is completely different from what we were used to. In some parts it was nice because I was more active and in the water vs. just laying out but if you prefer to relax they have awesome beach beds available at every single one ( don't worry they are about $2 USD for the day)!
Don't forget to stop at some of the cities most beautiful architectural and historical spots like the Pula Colliseium (seen below) and the Arch of Sergi!
Our top beaches in Croatia
Verudela Beach was our first beach and it was close, i'd recommend this to people wanting to stop by for the views or to grab dinner nearby. It didn't strike me as a hang out all day kinda spot. I will say there is a HUGE cliff jumping area across from this that would be beautiful for scenery, photos, or just amazing jumping!
stoja beach was a fun spot for families. It had a lot of extra activities to do or rentals for everyone. This was also another closer beach that we had originally went to for cave kayaking but we ended up missing our time (still kicking myself for this one). If you have time you should absolutely schedule cave kayaking or a guided kayaking tour but prepare for a trek of about 4-6 hours of exploration and workout.
Fort Punta was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE beach spot because it was more of a locals vs tourist spot not too far from another location we had found. It had giant rocks and bridges and the cutest local owned bar with tiki huts and $1 beers and the water is crystal clear you could swim fearlessly. IF you do go here i'd suggest bringing snacks. Remember when you go to this location it's not easy, you make your way thru a camper park, past the original Fort Punta building (which is now used for concerts, i'd go if you can) and then you'll find a few trails and just keep veering right and I promise you'll run into it in about 20 minutes. There is no real direction or signs (hopefully I am not giving this secret spot away too much haha!
Beach Bar Pacino was the closest beach we found with sand, it has a bunch of tiny rocks/sand! It had several dunes in the water so you could walk out further, this was one of my favorite spots for swimming and relaxing in the warm sand and it wasn't too overcrowded.
This city was full of life at all hours of the day and I loved it. Singing and dancing in the streets, ice cream cones all day long, and the people were very kind. We met a couple of our uber drivers when we knew we may have a few cocktails and they helped us maneuver the island so well and find all of the best kept secrets!
We stayed at the most darling boutique hotel called the Villa Brandestini that had gorgeous and quaint rooms. You could tell they put a lot of love into each area of the villas and a rooftop for the perfect morning caffe latte or evening glass of wine. Speaking of wine they serve it at room temperature everywhere in these countries so don't expect anything chilled. (Honestly, most places wont offer ice even when asked, just another thing I wish I knew so I am letting you know!) Our room had the beautiful balcony (seen below). I loved that this spot was in the middle of the city, as you can tell on a busy street with tons of local shops, food, beverage, and culture!
**If we could have stayed in Croatia longer I would have loved to go
Hrvatska, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar!
PREDJAMA - SLOVENIA
Oooh how I wish we could have spent longer in Slovenia. I wanted to stop at every single darling town because they were all so picturesque. I'm talking flower beds in every window, beautiful rolling green hills, and to say that prices were cheap is a huge understatement. I almost felt bad paying as little as they ask for.
We chose this spot because they have the beautiful Predjama Castle and caves that you can explore. The castle was full of history and beauty and the caves were freezing and full of bats, but still super fun!
We stayed at the Gostilna Pozar and they do not have heat or AC and the bed is on the floor and the cooks is also the host for the hotel and also the waiter and it was still absolutely perfect..for one night at least! I loved how sweet the people were and it was truly a fun and stunning place to be. Just be wary of the weather/clothing options for the hotel and caves!
** If we could have stayed longer I would have loved to go to Triglavski Narodni park and
DON'T FORGET TO TAKE
-amazing luggage, we chose AWAY, and have used them on several trips and had no issues!
-international chargers, we didn't even consider this and woah were they hard to find while traveling! If this is your first int. trip their outlets are different!
-TILES, this is one thing I didn't want to leave without because I knew losing our items or having them stollen could be an option. I put one in all of our luggage, wallets, and on our phone cases!
-bring a bag for emergencies. I added things like ibuprofen, tums, band-aids, gum..etc anything in case of an issue because depending where you are it can be hard to find these.
one thing I forgot was tampons and I went to 5 stores and asked multiple people for help in finding these because it is known as a luxury item in Europe, meaning they're pricey and only sold at PINK stores (yes that's what they're called)!
If we could have stayed longer in all of these countries I would have explored so much more. I also would go back in a heartbeat with my kids because they were all so family friendly. IF you have more time to travel I would suggest hopping over to Italy, we literally drove right next to it but had zero time to go enjoy the country. I will go back and when I do, I will be sure to share. In the meantime if you want more tips, tricks or more of my experience don't hesitate to check out my story highlights on my Instagram or message me directly!
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