Europe Journeys Travel Tips

HOW TO TRAVEL THE NORTHERN LOOP OF EUROPE

Planning a trip through Europe can feel overwhelming, trust us we know from experience. Having booked a one way ticket from Canada to Scotland with no plans on what we were going to do or see, which countries we should visit, how long should we spend at each place … the list just went on and on. 

We feel there are two ways you can plan your trip through Europe. One: you can spend hours googling and researching whilst working out what you should see and where you should stay during your travels or two: you can opt for a pre planned tour, leaving all the decision making up to the professionals. 

Now, we have experienced both sides, and can report back that Europe is the perfect place to choose the latter of the two. There are a number of companies out there that organise all different types of group tours. From private to large groups, seeing a few European countries to +20, you just need to find a tour that best suits you.

How we travelled Northern Europe

As mentioned, when it came to planning our trip through Europe we felt quite overwhelmed. With over 50 countries to choose from and only 2 months to see as much as we could it was going to be a long process.

When Bus2Alps invited us to experience their Northern Loop tour we immediately took a sigh of relief and said yes! Having 10 days of our trip in the hands of experts, whilst ensuring we were visiting the best cities and sites across Northern Europe as well as meeting fellow travellers along the way sounded perfect.

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The Itinerary

We were about to travel through Europe’s most popular cities in 10 days with stops at the fairy tale city of Prague, being able to experience the rich history of Berlin, walk along the canals of Amsterdam, eat way too many Belgium waffles in Brussels and finish up in the most romantic city in the world, Paris

The tour included our transport via bus, accommodation in hostels and the experience of being set loose in some of the best European countries alongside almost 140 others. Each destination included a walking tour of the city, taking you to some of the cities major attractions.

First stop: Prague, Czech Republic

With its colourful buildings, terracotta roofs and fairytale feel – Prague is a must see city to visit in Europe, and the perfect meeting place for our Northern Loop tour. Staying at the Czech Inn for 3 nights, we spent a day seeing the city as a group before splitting off into all directions to find out more of what the city had to offer.

We strolled through Old Town Square, became overwhelmed by the gigantic Prague Castle, walked over Charles Bridge, checked out the Lennon Wall and tasted traditional Trdelník treats – there is just so many things to see and do we could of easily spent a few extra days taking more in.

Read more: Unmissable Things To Do In Prague

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Second stop: Berlin, Germany

On our fourth day we had an early start, dragging our luggage to the bus ready for the drive to Berlin. We arrived quite late in the day which meant we only had 24 hours to see as much of Berlin as we possible. Knowing that we only had the day, we opted to see the city on our own after finding our last walking tour in Prague to be quite overwhelming with 140 people crowding the streets and sites.

We started day 5 having a coffee and catch up with a fellow Aussie travel blogger who is currently living in Berlin. After some quick tips from Rachel on what to see we set off to check out as many sites as we could. We managed to explore Berlin’s Museum Island, take a visit to the Reichstag (if you have time we recommend climbing to the top of the glass dome for 360 degree views of the city), had a picnic on the grass facing the German Parliament building, walked through Brandenburg Gate and payed homage to the lives lost under the Nazi regime at the Holocaust Museum before ending our day marvelling at the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery.

Read more: 24 Hours In Berlin

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Third Stop: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

After only spending 2 days in Amsterdam, it has become one of our favourite cities in all of Europe. Full of stunning architecture, charm and beautiful canals, this city is so much more than its coffee shops and red light district.

A highlight of our trip was waking up bright and early to line up with our group and tour leaders to visit the Anne Frank House. We arrived at 7am and coffees in hand ready to beat the lines. Once the doors opened we only had to wait 20 minutes before entering (a good tip for those planning a trip to Amsterdam is to get here early).

Another main attraction Bus2Alps offered was the Heineken Experience, touring the historic brewery of the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken beer. Built in 1867 as the first Heineken brewery, it is now a top attraction where you can learn about the history, drink a few beers and learn how Heineken is made. The admission includes 3 beers, so if you are a beer lover we recommend you check this one out while you’re there.

Read more: A Guide To Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Quick Stop: Brussels, Belgium

By Day 8 it was time to say goodbye to the canals of Amsterdam and hello to the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As it is quite the drive, we had a very quick stopover in Brussels for a few hours over lunch. Here we ate way too many Belgian waffles and got together with the rest of the group for some drinks at Delirium Village, which holds the record for the most beers sold under one roof.

You may not know but Brussels is famous for their beer. Being delicious, cheaper than water and having every flavour you can think of, including fruit beer, it was the perfect place to stretch our legs before heading back on the road to Paris. We personally suggest you try the strawberry and cherry (our two favourites)! We also recommend you head back here (like we did) to get a full experience of the city.

Read more: 10 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Brussels

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Final Stop: Paris, France

We felt Paris was the perfect place to end our Northern Loop tour. From climbing the Eiffel Tower, to spending a day trip exploring the Palace of Versailles there is so much to see and do in Paris. Therefore we recommend extending your time here and staying a few extra nights after the tour so you do not miss anything.

As our last day landed on Halloween we decided to celebrate by spending the day at Disneyland Paris. We dressed up, jumped on a train and had such a magical day.

Read more: How To Skip The Longest Lines In Paris

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Final Thoughts

Being able to jump on a bus and travel from country to country across Northern Europe is an experience we will never forget. Spending our nights in hostels surrounded by new friends, sharing destinations with others that love travel just as much as us and having seen some of the top countries in all of Europe was an absolute highlight of our Eurotrip.

One thing however that we would like to mention is the size of the tour group. Travelling with 140 people did feel quite overwhelming at times. Visiting the Berlin Wall or the Notre Dame is already crowded enough without the extra odd hundred walking along side you. If you are a lover of travelling with a large group of people this is the tour for you, however if you are wanting an experience were you can bond with every individual on tour we recommend looking into a smaller grouped experience.

Book The Northern Loop 10 day tour with Bus2Alps from EUR 660.

Have you travelled through Northern Europe. We would love to hear about your experience.

Stephen and Jess signoff

With thanks to Bus2Alps for inviting Flying The Nest along on their Northern Loop tour. As always, all opinions are our own.

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