2019 travel: 5 European destinations we’re excited to visit

Two boats in the river in front of view of buildings in Porto, Portugal

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2019 by doing what we do best… making travel plans. We want to keep (relatively) close to home as much as we can while we live here. We’re excited to continue exploring the Netherlands, and to get a bit further afield in Europe. We’ve got a few things on the books, and even more ideas brewing. But right now, these five European destinations top our 2019 travel list. If you’re looking for places to visit in Europe, hopefully our mini travel bucket list inspires you.

Featured image photo credit: Or Amir, My Path in the World.

Athens, Greece

Buildings in the foreground, the Parthenon and Acropolis in the background, Athens, Greece
Photo credit: Helen Rapp, Helen on her Holidays.

Justin has never been to Greece. The last time Sarah was in Greece was almost 20 years ago (and yes, just writing that makes us feel incredibly old). Sarah spent quite a bit of time there – first a summer based in northern Greece, and then three months exploring most of the country. Though we’ve always thought about doing a big Greek adventure including islands, the timing was never right and it always felt too daunting to plan. So this year, we’re just going for it and getting ourselves to Athens. Sarah needs to brush up on her knowledge of archaeology and history and Greek (ack!), but is incredibly excited to show Justin what she loved about the place.

Ancient buildings and ruins, the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Photo credit: Arthur Yeti, Unsplash.

Why we’re excited about Athens:

Archaeological gems just smack in the middle of a big, busy city. The (relatively new) Acropolis Museum.

Belgrade, Serbia

Close-up of under side of bridge leading to buildings on other side of river in Belgrade, Serbia
Photo credit: Mikele Designer, Pixabay.

Belgrade is a relatively new addition to our travel wish list. We keep reading about this incredibly cool sounding city. In pictures, the city looks both beautiful and a bit gritty – which is a combination we’ve grown to love. Although with its renowned party scene, hopefully it’s not entirely too cool for us! We also hope to visit the lovely looking Novi Sad.

Why we’re excited about Belgrade:

History, street art, interesting new food.

Porto, Portugal

Red roofed buildings and a clock tower in the distance in Porto, Portugal
Photo credit: Or Amir, My Path in the World.

We visited Lisbon, Portugal in 2013. We were only there for a few days, but absolutely loved the city. We’ve been wanting to visit Porto for a while now, and last year we were inundated with gorgeous pictures of brightly colored buildings and those blue and white tiles. We know Sarah will have to go a little slower than her typical pace given all the hills, but we still can’t wait to see and experience it all for ourselves.

Ornately decorated wall inside the Porto train station, Portugal
Photo credit: Helene Sula, Helene in Between.

Why we’re excited about Porto:

The city’s overall vibe, port wine, seafood.

Skopje, Macedonia

Statues lining a white bridge in Skopje, Macedonia
Photo credit: ExplorerBob, Pixabay.

Skopje has been on our radar since we moved to the Netherlands thanks to some incredibly cheap flights. We’ve heard mixed things about the city – that some of it will feel staged – but that makes it even more intriguing to us. We also would love to get out of the city to see the beautiful Matka Canyon.

Why we’re excited about Skopje:

History, statues, and burek.

Wadden Islands, the Netherlands

Birds flying in front of the Wadden Sea on Texel, the Netherlands
Photo credit: Sarah Vanheel, CosmopoliClan.

We honestly hadn’t heard of the Wadden Islands until we moved to the Netherlands. But since we did, they’ve been calling to us. They look remote and wild and completely different from anywhere else we’ve visited here. We’d like to get there before high season when everyone else in the Netherlands and Germany escapes there as well.

Why we’re excited about the Wadden Islands:

Entirely different Dutch scenery, including the sea.

Where do you want to go this year?



Booking.com

Have you been to any of these destinations? Give us your tips for visiting them in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “2019 travel: 5 European destinations we’re excited to visit

  1. Kelsey Cetin says:

    These 5 locations look awesome, I am so excited for you guys! I almost visited Belgrade last year while I was living in Turkey, but opted to visit a new city in Turkey instead. I hope I can visit someday. Have a great time on your adventures!

  2. Chris says:

    I haven’t heard of several of those places! Been wanting to get back to Greece myself (it’s been THIRTY years for me). I love off-the-beaten path places so thanks for the excellent travel inspiration in 2019.

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