This was my second visit to the “City of Lights” and AK’s first. Although it didn’t leave a great impression the first time around, I decided to give it another chance, since AK had never been. Paris is one of those places that everyone has to go to at least once, and after being twice, I have concluded – Paris is not for me. There’s something about the over-romanticized image portrayed by media that left Paris very underwhelming for me (however, I did enjoy Montmartre). But, this is all personal opinion and I know many people that would easily rank Paris amongst their favourite cities in the world.
From Lisbon to Paris, it was an easy 2.5 hours flight. If you are on a budget, compare flights on Momondo to find the best value. We ended up going with Easyjet. You can also choose to travel via train or bus, which both take over 20 hours.
Lisbon wasn’t originally part of our itinerary, but when we checked our map we realised it wasn’t far from Madrid, so we added it last minute. It turned out to be a great decision as it was such a beautiful city.
From Madrid to Lisbon it was a short 1 hour 15 minutes flight. If you are on a budget, compare flights on Momondo to find the best value. We ended up going with TAP Portugal Airlines. If you want to save one night accommodation you can choose to catch a sleeper train from Madrid to Lisbon instead.
Once in Lisbon, we caught the Aerobus into the city centre for €3.15.
Barcelona was full of architectural wonder and, although we had some delicious meals, the food was even more impressive in Madrid. If you are a foodie, Madrid is the place to go.
Madrid has a much slower and relaxed pace in comparison to the super crowded and busy streets of Barcelona. There were moments when we felt like we were the only tourists around, which was pretty much impossible to experience in Barcelona. In terms of architecture, however, Madrid is a little less impressive, in fact we had to leave our walking tour halfway because we were so bored (sorry, Madrid, I blame the tour guide).
After a quick visit to Nice, Monaco and St Paul de Vence, we hopped on a plane to Barcelona, Spain. From Nice, it was a short 1 hour 20 minutes flight. If you are on a budget, compare flights on Momondo to find the best value. We ended up going with EasyJet.
If you know you will be catching the train 10 times, do get a T10 Transport Ticket…
Once we arrived in Barcelona, we caught an Aerobus from outside the airport to Placa Catalunya. A return ticket cost 10.20€ (valid for 15 days) and the ride took roughly 35 minutes. Placa Catalunya is the Main train station, so from there you can find connecting transportation to other parts of Barcelona.
This Last year (Happy New Year!), we took a half day trip to St Paul De Vence from Nice. Most visitors to Nice use Nice as a base for exploring the French Riviera as it has good access to accommodation, food and transportation (refer to my Nice blog post for more information on visiting Nice). Even if you’ve never been to Nice, I’m sure you would have heard of the neighbouring cities of Monte Carlo (check out my Monaco blog post) and Cannes, but have you ever heard of St Paul De Vence?
At the end of our Europe trip through 21 different cities across Europe, I discussed with my boyfriend and sister which places we enjoyed the most. We came to a consensus that St Paul De Vence was one of the most memorable.
I first heard of St Paul De Vence on Fodors, where it was highly recommended. The romantic-sounding mountaintop village, filled with cobblestones and art sounded like something from a fairytale. Best of all, it is easily accessible via public bus (Yay!).
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (only 2.02 km2), so it doesn’t take long to explore. We only needed half a day to go sightseeing at a comfortable pace. BUT, of course, if you plan to do any activities, you will need to plan ahead and allocate more time.
July this year we swapped the
gloomy winter in Sydney for a Mediterranean summer in Nice.
We spent roughly 48 hours in the city seeing and eating as much as we could before we moved on to our next destination. After 26.5 hours of travel time from Sydney to Nice, it was totally worth it!