Since we started our full-time travels, Lee and I have been talking a lot about what we want to see and do over the next few years. We’ve come up with a bucket list for Europe. If you want to read our wider travel “wish list” I posted it last year.
Flashpacker Family’s European Bucket List
1. Learn to cook French food in France. We like to cook, love to eat and French is supposed to be the highest form of cuisine.
2. Live in a Tuscan villa. Enjoy a simple life in a small village with good food, sunshine and the outdoors.
3. Take a summer holiday in Greece. Some places are just better in the peak season and I’ve got a feeling that Greece is one of these places. Spending a summer island hopping in Greece, soaking up the sun and exploring the ruins. Possibly combined with…
4. Sail on the Mediterranean. I’m not a boat person but Lee is. He grew up around boats and both his parents and aunt & uncle live on boats almost full-time. He’d like us to sail around the Mediterranean – Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Corsica and Sardina.
5. Visit of Monte Carlo.
6. Visit Scandinavia in the winter. Why winter? Because I’d love to see the place knee-deep in fluffy white snow. If you’re going to do winter in Europe you may as well make it the most wintery of all winters. Right? Plus we’d get to…
7. See the Northern Lights.
8. Go to Prague. I’ve wanted to go to the Czech Republic ever since a friend of mine went backpacking in Europe at aged 18 and sent me a postcard from Prague proclaiming it the best place she’d been. The beer was cheap, the chocolate was good and the whole place looked straight from a fairytale.
9. Rent an apartment in Lisbon… specifically this one on Airbnb. I’m slightly obsessed with Airbnb and love looking at “apartment porn”. This apartment really jumped out at me – it’s hip, homely and best of all it’s a fifth floor walk up so I could eat as many Portuguese custard tarts as I’d like without feeling guilty. How’s that for logic!?
10. Do a lap on the Nürburgring. Any car enthusiasts or Top Gear fans will know what the Nürburgring is! Basically it’s a giant ring used to test cars at full speed.
11. Live in Berlin. I’ve wanted to live in Berlin for a while now – culture, history, beautiful architecture. I was surprised to find out earlier this week that Berlin is one of the cheapest cities in Europe.
12. Drive on the Autobahn. Fast. Preferably in a BMW.
13. Eat a pizza in Naples. We love pizza and couldn’t pass up a chance to eat one in the city that made it famous.
14. Learn more about World War II history in Poland. We loved learning about WWII history in Kanchanaburi last year but I think Poland would be the pinnacle. Sure it would be heartbreaking but I think it’s an important part of human history that we don’t know enough about.
15. Investigate Lee and Reuben’s Russian heritage. Lee’s grandmother was born in Russian and allegedly has noble heritage but had to escape to England because of the Russian Revolution. We’d love to find out more about her time in Russia and journey to Britain. I bet it’s some story.
16. See an opera in a fabulous opera house. Despite stepping inside some very pretty European opera houses I’ve never actually seen an opera performed live.
17. Take an epic rail journey. Something that crosses countries and cultures. Lisbon to Moscow. Stockholm to Sicily Or even retrace the path of the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul.
18. Get in touch with my Irish roots. Despite living in London for 2.5 years I never made it across to Ireland to see where my family stemmed from.
19. Snowboard in Chamonix. Lee’s long been obsessed with Chamonix so a winter there is on the cards for us.
20. Eat cheese and chocolate in Switzerland. No brainer!
21. Live in Paris and become fluent in French. Both Lee and I studied French throughout high school so we have a good base to work from. We’d like to enrol Reuben into preschool in France for full immersion language learning.
22. Watch the Monaco Grand Prix. Fast cars, beautiful city.
23. Take a romantic gondola ride in Venice. We rode the gondola at The Venetian in Las Vegas but it’s not quite the same!
24. Attend the Cannes Film Festival. Celebrities, super yachts and parties. We might need to improve the budget to tick this one off!
25. Take a zero gravity flight in Russia.
Your list is great but you I would also add Croatia at the Mediterranean Sea. The turquoise, crystal clear lakes and waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park are a must-see! Montenegro is Also great. Also, in Poland there’s so much more than Aushwitz and the sad and painful Second World War History – beautiful Tatra mountains, Baltic Sea or medieval town squares for example. I’m from there and it’s a bit sad that Poland is mainly associated with war…
I’d love to try that train throughout Europe to Moscow that you mentioned – it must be amazing…
And my dream is to see Northern lights too…
Thanks for sharing this great article.
Thanks Tom! I’ve been to Croatia but didn’t make the Plitvice lakes. I’d love to explore more of Eastern Europe.
All of these sound fun. If you go to Prague, please let me know because I have lots of tips for things to see/do, especially ones that are a bit off the beaten path. It’s a city that needs to be savored, not looked at from the surface in 3 days.
Great Jenna! I’ll take you up on that. We usually like spending a week in a city, at least, so we don’t feel too time-crunched.
Just daydreaming of Europe myself … I totally agree about Berlin. Definitely plan to spend a few months there at some stage. Also want to put my Ruben into school in Germany for a few months (in the next couple of years) and can’t decide whether to do that in Berlin or by staying near some of my in-laws (hmm when I put it like that the Berlin option seems good!).
I have a sister-in-law in Switzerland – oh my goodness how much fabulous cheese and chocolate as she fed me!! That is an excellent item for a bucket a list 🙂