Of all the places we’ve been to for this trip, I would say I enjoyed myself the most in Hallstatt.
Hallstatt is a village on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and alleyways are home to cafes and shops. A funicular railway connects to Salzwelten, an ancient salt mine with a subterranean salt lake, and to Skywalk Hallstatt viewing platform.
Considered as the oldest inhabited village in Europe, Hallstatt is known for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times. Located at the foot of the salt mountain with a view of Hallstätter See (the iconic lake), you’ll understand why Hallstatt is a tourist attraction.
We started our trip from the town of Salzburg to Hallstatt really early. Even then, when we reached the village, it was already bustling with tourists.
What caught my eye is that there are many signs to remind tourists to keep their voices down. However, as I walked down the streets, it was obvious the nobody was heeding the signs as a few tourists could be seen communicating to one another by shouting across the roads.
As tourists, I feel that it is important we respect the place we’re visiting, as well as the locals who live there. They are so kind and gracious for letting tourists visit their village and we shouldn’t take that granted.
Interested in checking out the Black Forest?
The Black Forest is a mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France. Known for its dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages, it is often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. It’s renowned for its spas and the cuckoo clocks produced in the region since the 1700s.
We took a day trip to Oberammergau, which is part of the Black Forest and Romantic Road.
Oberammergau is a town in the Bavarian Alps, Germany. It’s known for its once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play in the Passion Play Theater. The House of Pilate has frescoes by Franz Seraph Zwinck and live demonstrations by woodcarvers and artists.
It was such a fun day out, we got to slide down the snow without any sleds, took the cablecar up to the mountains for a meal and visited Pilatus Haus.
This quaint little town is a charming must-visit!
When in Munich, you’ve gotta visit Marienplatz and Neues Rathans, which translates to New City Hall.
I wanted to visit the Munchen Jurictisches Bibliothek but we needed to go with a guided tour. However, they do not have the tours everyday.
One place you must have a meal at is Rathskeller München, which is also located at Marienplatz. Their meals are quite pricey but worth it! I fell in love with the steak!
If you’re craving for some Asian food, the go-to place is Rabiang Thai restaurant. It was a weekday when I visited, however it was so packed that I had to wait two hours! The queue was so long that it went all the way out to the main road. Yup, not kidding. According to many food websites, Rabiang Thai is one of the best Thai restaurants in town.
Lastly, we have the Vitualienmarkt. You must try gulaschsuppe which is a Hungarian soup. It is filled with beef and potatoes. One of the best soups I’ve ever tasted. In fact, it was so good that I ordered two bowls!
If you’re in Salzburg, you have to, and I mean HAVE TO, visit Neuchwanstein. I mean how can you not?
Neuchwanstein castle has been on my bucket list for so long, and it’s definitely worth seeing at least one.
Built in the 19th century, Neuschwanstein Castle is a Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The castle was built by King Ludwig II, who is known as the fairytale King. Neuchwanstein Castle is one of the many castles that Ludwig II built.
With the rugged view of mountains and snow, Neuchwanstein oozes romance all around. Personally, I feel that Marien Brücke has an amazing view of the castle, however it’s closed during winter. The best time to trek up will be summer to get that awesome shot.
Nevertheless, I still had a pretty awesome view of the castle.
Side note, there are horse carriages for people who aren’t willing or able to trek up to the castle. There have been cases where animal activists head to Neuchwanstein to protest against the horses being overworked. Personally, when I was there, the horses do look like they are overworked. The carriages are carrying too many people for each trip, approximately 20 people at each time. If you can, please just trek up to the castle. These poor animals deserve some compassion. Plus, you get a better view while trekking up. So there’s my two-cent worth.
Mainz is a German city on the Rhine River. It’s known for its old town, with half-timbered houses and medieval market squares.
One thing you must do for sure when visiting this beautiful little town is to enjoy the weekly’s Farmer’s Fair. You will not regret it! You get to enjoy the freshest product such as big ripe strawberries, which I have never seen one so big in my life! Some other fresh produce include vegetables of all kinds as well as honey of different flavours.
If you’re hungry, you can purchase some tantalising fish & chips, soup or even a basket of assorted cheese and bread.
I assure you, you will have so much fun exploring Mainz as I did!
I love visiting markets in other countries, and Frankfurt is no exception. We visited Kleinmarkthale, a 1500 sq/m indoor market hall. It is basically a food paradise!
With over 156 stalls that sell all kinds of fresh foods, produce and flowers, you will be spoilt with choices. Not only are there local food choices, but international ones as well!
Kleinmarkthale is a two-storey market. The first storey has all the fresh produce, while the second level is where all the eateries are located. The eateries mostly serve Italian food but I managed to find one Turkish stall and got myself two boxes of Turkish dates and sweets. I have officially become obsessed with Turkish dates, satisfying my sweet tooth!
For lunch, I had gnocchi covered with cheese and cream. Paired with a glass of Scavi & Ray Moscato, it was one of the best meals I had during my Europe trip! Even better, it doesn’t cost a bomb compared to high-end restaurants.
We ended the day by visiting the Archaeological Museum. I have to admit, I’m not a museum kinda person, so I was quite bored during the visit.
But all in all, it was a good day!
We decided to be a little ‘brave’ by taking a day tour to Rhine Valley on the second day upon arriving in Europe, despite ‘battling’ the not-so-friendly jet lag.
We visited this little town called Rüdesheim. I love how the locals there pronounce it. The “R” is silent and instead it sounds like “hoo-de-sheim”. I tried my best to have a German accent when saying the word, and not to brag, but I think I said it pretty well.
Once we arrived in Rüdesheim, the first thing we did was look for food. I tend to get hungry easier when I’m in a cold country. I guess I burn off calories faster when I’m hungry?
We had lunch at this quaint little eatery called Hannefore International. I ordered cheese with bread and holy moly (!!!) it’s so good, I was like “where have you been all my life?!!”
Paired it with a bottle of Moscato, it’s the perfect combination!
I was actually ‘fighting’ with dad over the cheese. He was taking too much of it and ya know, Nicole DON’T SHARE food!!
After all that cheese, bread and wine, we decided to trek up to visit the famous Niederwalddenkmal, which represents the spirit and unification of Germany.
Funnily enough, we didn’t plan on trekking. We wanted to take the cablecar up, but it was close (shops close really early in Europe).
So imagine my ‘delight’ when I found out we were gonna trek nearly 2km!