One of the reasons I chose to study in Italy was because of how easy it is to travel to any other country in Europe.
Tip: A really handy tip to anyone studying abroad in Europe is to use an app called Omio (formerly known as Go Euro) it is the best way to compare prices because you can see the different fares for buses, trains and flights.
Over my exchange period I was lucky enough to travel to 15 countries and decided to write a post about two of my favourite cities, Barcelona and Lisbon (excluding Bologna obviously).
Over the Christmas break my friend and I decided to take a trip around Spain and Portugal. It is a country that has rich culture, delicious food and incredible architecture and one I would definitely visit again.
My top recommendations in Barcelona are to visit the works of Antoni Gaudi and to visit Camp Nou!
Gaudi was a famous Spanish architect whose unique art work can be found all around the city. My personal favourites are the works located in Park Guell and the famous Sagrada Familia.
La Sagrada Familia began construction in 1883 and is still not completed today! It is actually the craziest and coolest building I have ever seen. The detail on the building is incredible.
Park Guell is a beautiful public park found on Carmel Hill and it is filled with Gaudi’s works. The best time to visit this park would be during sunrise or sunset because it is really close to Bunker del Carmel which has breath taking views of Barcelona and really capture the whole city. It is worth the hike up the hill!
I also got to watch Barcelona play at Camp Nou which was an unreal experience. Camp Nou is the third largest football stadium in the world and the atmosphere inside was amazing. I was lucky enough to get tickets to watch Barcelona FC play and beat Celta Vigo, 2-0.
My favourite thing about visiting new countries is trying out new foods!
Tapas are small plates of Spanish cuisine which are really delicious and a great way to try all the popular flavours of Spain.
I also loved eating authentic Spanish seafood Paella:
I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in Lisbon. Lisbon is such a vibrant and beautiful city filled with narrow cobbled streets that are covered in incredible tiles and funky artwork.
Tip: The best way to explore a new city is on foot. Each city has free walking tours that run daily by experienced guides. It’s a great way to learn interesting facts about the city and be guided around by locals.
I visited an old fishing neighbourhood, Alfama which is one of the oldest areas in the city. It survived a massive earthquake in 1755.
Alfama is extremely picturesque and has amazing views of the city of Lisbon.
A really fun way to see Lisbon is by taking the tram. The tram goes through lots of tourist spots in the city including Alfama.
Finally, my last recommendation in Lisbon is to visit Pasteis de Belem and try the famous Portuguese custard tart “Pastel de nata”. They are incredibly popular with tourists and the locals who queue in extremely long lines just to taste them.
The two weeks I spent around Spain and Portugal were some of my favourite memories from my exchange. Hope you got some great recommendations of things to do if you ever find yourself there!