I love revisiting places as much as I adore seeing them for the very first time. A second look at a place very often reveals something we completely missed during our first stay. The comfort of already knowing how to navigate a city or a region is also a huge advantage. Especially if you are a directionally challenged traveler like me. I’m constantly getting lost in my hometown. It’s hard to beat me, believe me.
You can already guess that my list of places to go back to is way longer that just five spots. I will dedicate this post to five European cities I miss the most while living in the Caucasus, somewhere between Europe and Asia.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been there. I stopped counting years ago. My shortest stay was one day and the longest, well, that was something like six months. Prague feels like home but at the same time it still excites me. I still giggle when I approach the city. And something tells me I always will. Isn’t this what they call love? When I visit I don’t even get to see the touristy places anymore. I don’t set my foot on Charles Bridge. No. I’m there for bookstores, for street art, for friends, for cultural events, for cafes, for public gardens, for festivals, for the sake of love. I’m trying to return as often as possible. OK, I’m biased. I spent long years studying Czech literature, I speak the language and I’m a huge fan of Czech contemporary poetry. I really believe that Prague is worth revisiting even if you are not into the country as much as I am. This city is so much more than just the astronomical clock, Charles Bridge and the Prague castle…
Ukraine is a bit off the tourist radar lately. There is one thing that needs to be mentioned though. Ukraine is huge and this basically means that you can still go and visit the Western part of the country safely. If I was going back today, I would go to Lviv, the city where East and West meet. Lviv was my first solo travel experience of Eastern Europe and it blew me away. I came back four times for both travel and for work related purposes. I love Lviv for the multicultural heritage. Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, Armenians and other numerous nations and religions used to coexist in this city for centuries. They built it together hence the walls of the city still tell their stories. Today most of them is gone, but not forgotten. I love how Lviv reminds me of my own history. Of my own roots. Also, they have surprisingly good cafes and pubs. If you plan to revisit, try out a different season. Lviv is as pretty in winter as it is in summer. Autumn in these parts is pretty amazing, too. Just plan it.
I totally hate the Red Light District and I don’t really enjoy weed. But I love the laid back vibe Amsterdam has. I’d revisit it right now just to take a stroll, take photos of channels, boats and bikes and check out flea markets. I’m pretty sure my path would also lead to FOAM, one of my fav galleries of photography in the entire old good Europe. I could also spend long hours just watching people passing by. Amsterdam is a character. You might love it or hate it but you won’t get bored. I know what I’m saying. I visited this city four times. It never looks the same to me.
Paris is always a good idea, said Audrey Hepburn and she was oh so right. Paris is like a country. You can’t just see the whole thing at once unless you’d move there. If I ever had enough time, I’d just make a separate trip to each and every of Parisien arrondissements. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t get bored. Also, the galleries. Well, Paris needs no justification. Just go there again. And again. And again.
This northern lady has surprised me. I’ve never expected it to be a home to such a great street art, such a great café culture and to world class examples of art nouveau. The night life was not bad, too. And I stayed in one of the nicest hostels I’ve seen in my budget traveler career. Not to mention that I just have a thing for cities at the sea. I could go there just to sit and stare at Mangalsala once again. If I knew what I know now, I’d stay there a bit longer. I should have spend more time there. I owe this place a revisit.
Can’t wait to see your top lists!