After returning from a 12 day, 4 country, road trip, I can say without a doubt that traveling around Europe is an incredible experience, but also an expensive one. It isn’t the flights or the hostels that run up the bill, but just simply the day-to-day expenses of trying to see as much as you can as a tourist in some of the most major cities in the entire world. The four stops I made on this trip were London, Paris, Dublin, and Berlin, with the latter two not being too bad (but not good either), and the first two making NYC seem like a cheap place. However, expenses aside, each city offered a completely different culture and atmosphere from the other and it was an experience I will never forget.
Dublin: My first stop had a little bit of a different feel from the other cities I visited, mainly because I stayed with a good friend of mine from UC3M at his parents house, rather than a youth hostel. Exploring a new city with someone born and raised in the area and who knows the culture well made me see the city more from a resident POV instead of a tourist, which I personally think is better. That being said it was still a lot of fun, the Irish are warm, welcoming, and love to have a good time… also the Guinness is amazing.
London: The second stop on my trip had a much more touristy vibe too it and it’s hard not to in a city as grand as this. The city is so big and there is so much to see, but at times it almost felt like everything was just one giant rip off. Dealing with the conversion rate of the pound while also dealing with the inflated prices is definitely a hard thing for a college student on a budget to handle. Other than the damage done to my wallet, London was definitely a city I enjoyed and know that I will return to before long (I also find the slang there to be quite comical).
Berlin: The third stop on my trip almost seemed like one very long and very dark history lesson. Man, does this city have a lot of baggage to it when it comes to recent history. From WWI/II to the Berlin Wall, it was quite interesting to see how all of these events are linked and how bad humanity can be when times are desperate. In addition to the history, the nightlife in Berlin is also second to none, I’ve never seen people party quite like the Germans do (even though it’s freezing there).
Paris: Similarly to Dublin, the final stop on my trip I stayed with a good friend of mine from New Paltz at his apartment… and similarly to London, this city didn’t treat my wallet too nicely either. I’d have to say that Paris was probably the most beautiful city I have been to thus far and it was the closest to Spain in that the majority of people didn’t speak English, whereas in the other cities I visited, everybody spoke it perfectly. Going to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre were unforgettable experiences and this is definitely a city that I would love to come back to in the not so distant future.
Now I am finally back home in Madrid where I have a little over a week left to enjoy living in this amazing city before returning back to NYC!