Narrowing it down to ten was tough, but I’ve finally done it. Each country I’ve travelled to has been amazing in its own right, so it wasn’t easy to choose just ten of my favourite. Here are my picks for the top ten and why I love them so.
Did someone say pizza? I might be a little bias (given my family’s ancestry), but Italy is one of the coolest countries in the world, and not just for the food. David and I are both ancient history buffs, and we love our ancient Rome, so being there and seeing what’s left of the empire with our own eyes was simply incredible. For me, it was finally being able to walk in my Nonna and Nonno’s footsteps through Rome, Florence and Venice. One day we’ll be back to visit the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Puglia.
Waterfalls, waterfalls everywhere. Iceland is one of those countries that stays with you, long after you’ve left. There’s a reason why this country is one that everyone continues to talk about. You’ve seen how beautiful it looks in photos but photos just don’t do Iceland justice. This is a country you need to see and experience for yourself. I loved the way the Icelandic people love and respect their environment, even turning off the city lights to better enjoy the northern lights. Between the dazzling night sky and the waterfalls, there’s so much to love about Iceland.
One word: Fjords. Like Iceland, Norway is a country that simply needs to be seen to be believed. The fjords provide jaw dropping beauty in the form of mountains and waterways. We visited at Christmas time and I’ve never felt so festive in my life. Bergen is still one of my favourite cities in the world. From the capital city of Oslo and its unique opera house to the Flåm railway journey, Norway is a country that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Often overlooked by us Australians, New Zealand is an incredible country with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. From the mountains in the south to Hobbiton in the north, it’s a great country with friendly locals and plenty to see and do. If, like Dave, you’re also a craft beer aficionado, you’ll have lots to love about New Zealand with breweries serving delicious drinks and food all over the country.
Ah yes, the land of ABBA and meatballs. We had an amazing time in Sweden, from Stockholm to the Arctic Circle, we enjoyed every second of our time here. Kiruna’s Arctic ice hotel was something else, as was reindeer sledding and of course, eating reindeer for the first time. Sweden was also the first country where we caught a glimpse of the northern lights. There are plenty of reasons to love Sweden.
Although we live here, Australia is one of my favourite countries to travel. I love travelling both within NSW (the state we live in) and interstate. Now that Sprocket is part of our family, Australia may even move a little further up the list. Road trips are a great way to explore the country and that’s exactly how David and I have done it, except in the cases where we’ve flown to a different city and hired a car. My top picks for Australian road trips are Tasmania, Byron Bay and our own very backyard on the Central Coast.
Japan was never a country I thought I’d fall so deeply in love with as I did. Preferring to travel to countries with natural beauty, David and I often overlooked Japan’s charm, but how mistaken we were. We feasted on ramen beneath the bloom of the cherry blossom trees from Osaka to Kyoto and Tokyo. The people were part of the appeal, not to mention the food. The food was simply amazing! We may or may not have brought home 20 different varieties of Kit Kats…
If you’re a fan of cheese and chocolate, you’ll love Switzerland. It’s not just about the food here, they also have mountains and lakes, parks and buildings to admire. Sitting in a café drinking a hot chocolate overlooking a lake in Lucerne is one of my favourite memories of the country.
If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend a take a trip to Berlin! The city is one of the coolest in Europe, incorporating cultures, history and popular culture. Germany has natural beauty as well as cultural charm, making each city across the country irresistible. One of my fondest memories of Germany is enjoying a meal at the Unsicht Bar, a dark restaurant in Berlin.
Finland is one country that will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first country where David and I really saw the northern lights shine. We spent the night in a glass igloo beneath the Aurora, saw our first ice hockey game and went husky sledding and snowmobiling for the first time ever. One of our absolute favourite things about Finland though is their chocolate. Karl Fazer is the man when it comes to smooth, creamy chocolate!
So there you have it, my favourite ten countries to travel. Don’t take my word for it! Go and see for yourself.
What’s your favourite country to travel to? Let me know in the comments below!