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Best Places to Visit in Sweden

Sweden best places to visit sweden

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN SWEDEN TO VISIT – WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO SEE

Sweden, without a doubt, is a beauty. Not only is their royal family the most attractive in all of Europe (in my humble opinion), but the scenery, cities, and towns are exceptionally picturesque and well worth a visit. And if you want to find out about the best places to visit in Sweden, read on because here you’ll get to know.

While I have been to Stockholm a few times, I have not yet seen much of what Sweden has to offer – so I asked a few other travel bloggers to tell us about their favorite places in Sweden! And here they are – find out where to go and what to see. 

Gothenburg

By Jonathan from Everybody Hates a Tourist

If you’re looking for one of the best places to go in Sweden, look no further than Gothenburg.

best places to visit in Sweden
@shutterstock

Gothenburg is located on the west coast of Sweden about halfway between Copenhagen & Oslo, making it a perfect addition to any Scandinavian itinerary. As the second largest city in Sweden, it has plenty of great activities, culture, and important Sweden points of interest. The city truly comes to life in the summer months, as the long sunny days make you want to explore the city.

Within Gothenburg, there are several large parks & gardens including Slottsskogen, which also has a zoo, Kungsparken, which borders the canals winding around the historic city center Gothenburg Botanical Garden.

For those looking for a bit of an adventure with their outdoor time, the Liseberg amusement park is the place to go. It is not just one of the best places to visit in Sweden, it has been rated as one of the best amusement parks in the world.

Gothenburg grew due to its important location along the sea and is still a large port today. This area of coastal Sweden is dotted with thousands of islands, making it one of the most beautiful places in Sweden.

The Gothenburg archipelago is divided into two sections, the northern and the southern archipelago. Both are easily accessed from the city. The plentiful ferry schedules allow travelers to visit several islands in a single day. They are the perfect place for relaxing, hiking, and watching the plentiful birds & sea life.

Just to the north, Marstrand makes for an excellent day trip from Gothenburg. The views from the top of Carlstens Fastning are spectacular, and thousands of people flock to the city to watch some of the best sailors in the world compete in Match Cup Sweden each July.

Stockholm

By Arzo from Arzo Travels

A Sweden trip would not be complete without visiting Stockholm.

Gamble Stan the old town in Stockholm @adobestock
@adobestock

Sweden’s capital is an extremely beautiful city and reminds me very much of one of my most beloved cities, Hamburg in Northern Germany. It encompasses fourteen islands and with more than fifteen bridges it feels like a larger version of Venice.

Although I absolutely love the water, there is more to see in Stockholm than just the gorgeous waterways, for example, the old town Gamla Stan with its medieval character and plethora of churches and museums. 

Though I am not the biggest fan, I really enjoyed each of the museums I visited in Stockholm, and with seventy of them on offer I can’t think of a better place to enjoy some history. Here are my top tips for things to do in Stockholm. The Vasa Museum, Skansen Museum, Stockholm Palace, and Drottningholm Palace are just some of Stockholm’s cultural and historical highlights. 

Also, I loved the views from Södermalm! These places – and many more – should be on your list when you visit Stockholm as part of your Sweden itinerary.

Read this accommodation guide on the best areas to stay in Stockholm.

Sigtuna

By Scott & Hayley from International Hot Dish

Sigtuna, which lies just to the North of Stockholm, is a beautiful place in Sweden to visit.

Sweden points of interest
Igor Grochev Shutterstock.com

With a population of only 8,500, it’s a destination for those of us who are saturated with city life. When you need to get out of the city for a while, Sigtuna is a chill town ready to woo you with its history and culture.

In terms of history, Sigtuna is loaded. It’s the oldest existing city in Sweden, having been founded in 980 making it one of the best Sweden tourist places.

First check out St. Lars’ church – not much is left but it’s amazing to think it’s been around for hundreds of years. Then stop by St. Olaf’s church ruins and marvel at the complete stone structures still standing. All it really needs is a roof.

No other place in the world has as many runic stones as Sigtuna. These historical carvings have been in Sigtuna since the 12th and 13th centuries. The city itself has upwards of 70!

To wind down your day, head to the Stora Gatan, the old main street, for supper or maybe just a coffee. It is the most picturesque Scandinavian main street you will ever see. It has beautiful shops and a small, quaint road.

If you’re staying in Stockholm and want a taste of what rural Swedish life is like, Sigtuna is not to be missed.

Swedish Lapland

By Miranda from The Common Wanderer

Swedish Lapland offers so many activities that you should not skip it.

Sweden Where to go in Sweden
@shutterstock

Mention Swedish Lapland to most people, and chances are they have a vague idea of a wintry wonderland, dog sled rides, skiing, and a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Admittedly, before arriving in the area ourselves, that was pretty much all we knew too. And it’s true that winter here is enchanting – even the locals we met had a deep love of the icy months and all the outdoor activities they bring.

From racing expensive cars on frozen lakes and snowmobiling your way into nature to skiing or skating on the frozen lakes and enjoying a husky-sled ride – there’s something for everybody who wants some adventure in the winter months.

But what most people don’t realize, is that Lapland is actually a place that’s equally beautiful, and just as adventurous all year round too. In the warmer months, the mountains are bursting with color and there are thousands of beautiful hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking trails to explore.

It’s also a time of hunting and gathering for locals here, which means you can spend time out fishing on the lakes, or go wild berry or mushroom foraging in the forest.

The indigenous Sami people, who have roamed this region for thousands of years have an extremely unique and rich culture, which you can discover by spending a day at the Silver Museum in Arjeplog.

We spent a week road-tripping through the region, exploring the remote and pristine wilderness by day, and cozying up by the fire in a traditional log cabin at night – perfect!

Luleå

By Sonja from Migrating Miss

When thinking about cities in Sweden you mustn’t forget about beautiful Luleå.

What to see in Sweden and where to go in Sweden
Credit: Migrating Miss

Luleå is located in the north of Sweden, in what is known as Swedish Lapland. However, don’t just think that means you should visit in winter. It does have all the epic Sweden attractions you would expect in Lapland in winter, like seeing the northern lights, driving on ice roads, dog sledding, snowmobiles, you name it! But it’s also a great summer destination.

This coastal city has an archipelago made up of thousands of islands, many of them with picturesque red houses often characteristic of Scandinavia. You can kayak around, take a boat, and try out activities like fat biking across the sand dunes and forest of the islands.

If you time your visit right, this far north you have the potential to see the Northern Lights, while kayaking under the stars! This also means at the height of summer the sun barely dips below the horizon, if at all, giving you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a sauna followed by a midnight swim in the sunlight.

What really makes this one of the best places is that you get to learn about the ‘Luleå Way’, which is the local culture, and enjoy the endless possibilities available to you in a place like this!

Stockholm Archipelago

By Stefania from Stefania van Lieshout

One of the great attractions of Sweden is the country’s vast area of wilderness, which starts right at the edges of Stockholm.

Sweden points of interest
image: Stefania van Lieshout

The best example of this is the breathtakingly beautiful Stockholm archipelago with thousands of wooded islands, rocky cliffs, and sandy beached islets. This wilderness area can be reached starting from the Swedish capital with a kayak, sailboat, or yacht in no time

Even though these islands are close to a major city, they still feel peacefully remote as most of them are uninhabited bar some wildlife, like snakes, birds of prey, seals, sheep, and martens. If need be you can stock up on the few inhabited islands like Sandhamn, and Utö Blidö where you will find hotels, restaurants and shops.  

The archipelago in the Gulf of Bothnia is an ideal active holiday destination, especially during those long summer days when the sun is surprisingly abundant in this northern territory. 

The blue endless skies continue till late at night and then when the sun finally dips in the sea, it leaves only traces of gold before darkness finally kicks in. The short nights only last a couple of hours, leaving you plenty of daylight to enjoy the next day.

Karlskrona

By Claire from Tales of a Backpacker

Officially the sunniest town in Sweden, Karlskrona is on the south coast of Sweden, surrounded by blue waters of the Baltic Sea, and dozens of islands in the archipelago.

Image Credit: Tales of a Backpacker

You can hire bikes to cycle around the town or stroll around and explore on foot as most places are easily reachable.

Visit the renowned Naval Museu, home to HMS Neptun, a huge submarine, learn about the history of the Swedish Navy and other landmarks around town like the lighthouse, seafront complete with old cannons, and the town hall.

Hire a kayak and get out on the water to see the Brändaholm headland where Karlskrona’s allotment cottages from the 1920s are still in excellent condition, with red walls and grooves, and Swedish flags flying high, or fish to your heart’s content.

You could even take a speed boat out to an uninhabited island to snorkel with seals and have a traditional Swedish Fika in a lighthouse on the island.

The nearby town of Kristianopel is also worth a visit and makes a great day trip from Karlskrona, where you can still see the old city wall that used to provide a fortified border between Sweden and Denmark. Despite its small size, there is plenty to do in Karlskrona so don’t miss it!

Smögen

By Michael from Time Travel Turtle

In summer, Smögen feels like a classy coastal drinks party. It’s known as one of Sweden’s liveliest summer towns but it is a sophisticated type of party.

Where to vacation in Sweden
Image Credit: Time Travel Turtle

While it’s always busy at the cafes, restaurants, and bars along the waterfront, you’re much more likely to see young professional families with grandparents in tow, than a group of tipsy students.

In the main town, the shops near the restaurants sell boutique clothes and handmade souvenirs. Clearly, Smögen is a tourist town, but that doesn’t take away from its charm.

Technically the population is only about 1,500 people but it always feels full in the summer, as people rent houses for a week-long holiday or pop up for the weekend from Gothenburg, which is about 90 minutes away. However, the great appeal of Smögen is not just the social life. It’s also a beautiful natural location.

Technically, it is an island, but it is so close to the mainland that a short road bridge connects it. But, being an island, Smögen has a lot of coastlines and it’s here that you can find stunning areas for walking or swimming. It doesn’t take long until you’re away from the restaurants and the houses and you have empty landscapes in every direction. There are rocks, cliffs, small inlets, and patches of greenery.

A short stay in Smögen offers you nightlife, great food, some natural beauty, and a typical Swedish holiday experience.

Malmö

by Wendy from Empty Nesters

For a pretty unique arrival to Malmo, it is best to travel by train over the famous Öresund Bridge – the last 4 kilometers of the bridge are actually the world’s longest underwater tunnel.

Best cities to visit in Sweden
@pixabay

The primary purpose of many day-trippers from Copenhagen to Malmö is to see the old town (Gamla Staden). with its two squares, Stortorget and Lilla Torg. It is a lovely area defined by cobblestoned streets and buildings built between the 1600s and 1800s. There are even a few remaining buildings constructed of timber. Most timber buildings throughout Europe succumbed to fire and were rebuilt with fire-resistant materials, so these few buildings are very unique. There are plenty of interesting shops and restaurants to explore.

Maybe you arrive just in time for fika, the Swedish ritual of coffee and pastries late in the morning.

We spent more time exploring the old town and eventually arrived in the more modern Malmö Park.  You know you’ve left the old town when an H&M store appears. While the old town appeals to the tourists, the area around the park is clearly intended for locals, so it was a nice glimpse into local life.

There is much more to see and do in Malmö — ancient churches and castles, museums, and city hall to name just a few. But whatever your timeframe, Sweden’s third-largest city is definitely worth adding to your itinerary.

MAP WITH PLACES TO GO IN SWEDEN

What do you think? Have you ever been to Sweden? What has been your favorite place in Sweden? Let us know, so we can get more inspiration.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

Best Things to do in Amman (1 or 2 Days)

Best things to do in Amman, Jordan in 2 days

WHAT TO DO IN AMMAN – ITINERARY FOR 1 OR 2 DAYS IN AMMAN

Amman is crazy, hectic, and busy! Typical for an Arabian city, but yet it is still different. Jordan’s capital is a good starting or endpoint if you are doing a Jordan road trip. While many international visitors don’t spend much time in Amman or skip it altogether, you should spend at least one day here. It probably is not the highlight in the country but still worth a visit. Amman is such an interesting city!

If you plan your trip and are wondering about the best things to do in Amman in 1 or 2 days, then read on and find out about the top activities plus travel tips.

It is a great historic city with a lot to offer – including lots of authentic places and ancient sights. It is also quite modern with nightlife and modern buildings outside the downtown area. Since it is in a hilly area, you have great views and can catch some beautiful sunsets.

And let’s not forget the numerous restaurants that serve great (and affordable) food! Yes, there are many reasons to add Amman to your Jordan itinerary.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission when you buy a product via my link (no extra cost to you). More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR AMMAN ITINERARY

Before talking about what to do in Amman, here are a few travel tips.

Best time to visit Amman

  • March until May is the busiest time in Amman. The weather is quite moderate and warm (it can get quite hot in the summer months and chilly in the winter).
  • I visited in October, which is also a good time. The weather was pleasant most of the time, and there was little rain. Also, November is a good time to visit.
  • However, if you are looking for a less busy season, consider visiting in December (it gets colder then) or the hot summer months.

How to Arrive in Amman

Most likely, you will arrive in Amman at the airport.

  • From there, you can take an official airport taxi. Prices are fixed (about $30 to downtown Amman), and you get a receipt/voucher outside the terminal to take to the taxi.
  • Uber works in Amman, but apparently, they cannot pick you up from the airport.
  • There is also a bus running once or twice an hour that costs about $4 (buy tickets at the ticket office outside the terminal). You can get off the North Station and then either take a cab or an Uber. From there, it is about $2-4 to get to your hotel in/near downtown.

Getting Around Amman

In Amman, you can easily get around by buses, shared or regular taxis, Uber, or guided tours/personal drivers. Though I loved my road trip in Jordan, I was happy I did not drive in Amman myself (I got my car only after I left Amman). Driving in an Arabic capital can often feel crazy – and so it does in Amman.

Many sights are located Downtown (also those mentioned in this Amman itinerary). You might want to grab a taxi here or there – in this case, discuss the price beforehand ($2 gets you a few kilometers). Here are more travel tips for Jordan.

Where to stay in Amman

  • I am normally not a big hostel fan. But I stayed at Nomad Hostel for one night and loved it. This is a good choice for solo travelers – a good location, a nice hostel, friendly staff, and clean rooms. Check out the hostel and its rates here.
  • For a mid-range hotel option, I suggest Albasem Hotel, which is well-rated and centrally located. Check out rates and availabilities here.
  • For a luxury hotel, try The House Boutique Suites, which is also near Rainbow Street and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.

Jordan Pass

  • If you go to Jordan, you will likely have to pay for a visa. It is $56 for a tourist visa upon arrival. What does this have to do with Amman? Of course, it depends on which country you are from.
  • Well, I truly recommend getting a Jordan Pass if you are staying more than 4 days. It includes your visa plus is your entry ticket for many attractions.
  • The cheapest version is around $100. With it, you also gain entrance to Petra (which is quite expensive and is $70 for a day pass), entrance to Jerash, and access to attractions in Amman and other places.
  • So, if you visit Amman with a Jordan Pass, you don’t have to think about entrance fees for tourist attractions in Amman or about your visa.
  • You can buy the Jordan Pass in person or online.

PLACES TO VISIT IN AMMAN IN 1 DAY

Okay, here are the top places to visit and things to do on day 1 in Amman.

Grand Husseini Mosque

Start your day in Amman Downtown and head to this mosque: the Grand Husseini Mosque. Built in 1932 by the late King Abdullah I, it is one of the city’s oldest mosquesMosque in AmmanI must admit, I almost passed it because it looks – compared to other mosques in the Middle East – quite humble from the outside.

  • As a foreigner, you can visit the inside if you dress appropriately.
  • Since I didn’t have a scarf with me to cover my head, I skipped going inside. Make sure you bring one with you as a female traveler.

Roman Theater

Then head to the Roman Theater, which was probably built around 138 AD. It is another top Amman sight. Back then, it could hold about 6,000 people and is still really impressive today. It was restored in 1970 and is now used for civic activities, concerts, and graduations. And is one of the main places to visit in Amman.

  • Jordan Pass holders have free entrance.

Falafel & Fresh Juice

You should definitely have a lot of food in Amman. It is quite affordable to eat here (compared to Western Europe and the US), especially takeaway food. So, falafel for the win.

Hashim is a popular place where I went for food, and it was very affordable. For 2€, I had falafel, a drink, bread, and a salad. So, make sure to eat your weight in falafel because it was just amazing and tastes different from other countries. Only downside: They use A LOT of plastic which led to a bad taste in my mouth (not figuratively).

  • However, you can also get small falafel sandwiches for less than 1€, and they are amazing at one of the takeaway shops.

And then have fresh juice afterward! you will see a couple of shops selling fresh juices. And as a fresh juice lover, I can say that they are amazing. I always have a refillable bottle with me and just asked them to pour my juice into that – no need for more plastic use in Amman.

  • The prices were about 1,30€ for around for almost half a liter of fresh juice.

Al Balad (Downtown Amman)

There are many restaurants, souvenir shops, and all kinds of stores and shops, and it is all kinds of crazy here. So, make sure to be prepared for that and enjoy. I am not a big shopper, but I got some souvenirs for my little nephews from here. Shopping in AmmanSo, if you are looking for presents, souvenirs for yourself, or Arabian clothes, then Al Balad is the place to visit. And if you are not into shopping, then it is still a fun place to visit in Amman, and strolling the area is actually one of the best things to do in Amman.

I liked it more in the evening than during the daytime. As in Arabic countries common, shops are open until late so you can combine your evening stroll here with some shopping, eating, and more.

The Citadel

From Al Balad, head to the Citadel – visiting was one of my highlights in Amman. Amman citadelYou can also kill two birds with one stone when you visit it. First of all, you have amazing views because the Citadel is located on Citadel Hill, known as Jabal al-Qal’a, and this is amazing for watching the sunset and even staying after it has set. Also, the Citadel is one of the most ancient places to visit in Amman, and you can visit the museum and learn all about the history of the city.

  • Opening hours vary, so check them out before your visit.
  • Free with the Jordan Pass.

Rainbow Street

In the evening, check out Rainbow Street. It was a little less spectacular during the day, but at night, this is where you want to be. Rainbow Street is one of the best places to visit in Amman, Jordan in 2 daysHave dinner, and drinks – there are so many bars. Also, check out the side streets for beautiful cafes, restaurants, and street art. I personally really enjoyed it in the evening, so come here to end your day. My favorite side street was Ahmad Bin Toloon Street with the prettiest street art, cafes, restaurants, and decoration.

Street Art

Talking about street art – there is quite a lot of street art in the downtown area. This is not an extra stop on your Amman itinerary, but I suggest keeping an eye out for the murals. I made the mistake of walking all the way from the Boulevard to Al Balad, thinking there would be a lot going on. Funnily, there wasn’t much going on.  

However, there was a lot of street art that you should check out, and it is probably not what you would expect in a city like this – often with a political message. Above mentioned places/activities can be done in one day in Amman. If you have more time, you can do some of the following activities in/near Amman.

THINGS TO DO IN AMMAN IN 2 DAYS

So, if you have only 1 day in Amman, then the above-mentioned activities will cover some of the best places. However, there are a few more activities to add for day 2 in Amman. Especially the trip to Jerash is a must.

Go to Jerash

Jerash, which is about an hour’s drive from Amman, is a must-see place. So, don’t miss out on this half-day trip to visit one of the best-preserved and largest Roman towns in the world.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find the best places to visit and things to do while in Amman. It is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, so enjoy!  

Hammam

You could end your two days in Amman with some time at a hammam. Normally, I always take time out to experience a Hamam, a Turkish bath. Quite a few of the hammams in Amman had bad reviews, and I then stopped looking.

However, there are a few that are supposedly very good. So, if you have some time off and want to relax, then go to a Hamam. Amman is so crazy – especially Downtown – that a few hours in a hammam seems to be a perfect way to relax in an Arabic way.

BEST AMMAN ACTIVITIES CONCLUSION

Yes, visiting Amman is one of the best things to do in Jordan. With two days in Amman, you can manage to see the main highlights. Still, as always, you scratch the surface of an exciting city with much more to offer than just the things mentioned above, but even with one day in Amman, you will get a good glimpse of the city and what it has to offer.

Make sure to add this exciting city to your Jordan itinerary – it surely is worth it.

READ MORE:

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

WHAT TO DO IN ZERMATT – PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO IN 2022

Are you headed to Zermatt and wondering about the best things to do in Zermatt? Then this post is for you as it will help you plan your Zermatt itinerary.

Zermatt is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, and while it is a perfect place to visit in winter in Switzerland, it is actually a great idea at any time of the year.

I have been to Zermatt a few times so far. However, I am neither a skiing person nor overly sporty, yet I enjoy time outdoors and being active – and as such a person I totally adore Zermatt.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland, Arzo Travels

Best Places to Visit in Zermatt

Ready to find out about the best things to do in Zermatt in summer and the top places to visit? Here are my top recommendations.

Admire the Matterhorn

To say that Matterhorn Mountain plays an important role in/for Zermatt would be a slight understatement. I actually go as far as to say that Zermatt is all (or almost all) about the Matterhorn.

Matterhorn and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps best places to ski
@shutterstock

The majestic Matterhorn straddles the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. With 4,478 meters high is it one of the tallest mountains in Switzerland and it is mostly admired for its unique shape. 

And whether you visit a restaurant, a mountain peak, a hike, or a hotel – it all comes back to the Matterhorn. Rooms with a Matterhorn view are more expensive, bars and restaurants with a Matterhorn view are more crowded! Hikes and mountain peaks with fantastic views of the Matterhorn are the most popular ones.

But no worries, the Matterhorn is so omnipresent you can see it from many places in Zermatt. Among all the mountains in Switzerland, this is truly a very unique one!

Switzerland 10 day itinerary

MATTERHORN FUN FACTS

  • Matterhorn is the German name – in Italian it is Cervino and in French, it is known as the Mont Cervin.
  • Annually, 3000 people climb the Matterhorn successfully.
  • In 1892 the Swiss Federal Assembly approved a proposal for cable car access – but after more than 68,000 people signed a petition against a cable car, the construction was prevented.
  • Want to hike the Matterhorn yourself? Then you should be experienced in rock climbing and alpine hikes – let´s put it like that: most of us are probably not going to climb/hike the Matterhorn! But there are some fantastic hikes that offer great views of the Matterhorn.
  • Check out my dedicated post on the Matterhorn.

Stroll Zermatt Town

If you use this post as a Zermatt itinerary, I suggest starting with the town center which starts just left from the train station. Zermatt old town with Arzo TravelsOne of the first things I noticed in Zermatt: many tourists, many flower pots, and many ads and shops for luxury watches. Flower pots, flower pots, and flower pots make Zermatt pretty pretty pretty. Strolling the town center is one of the top things to do in Zermatt. The houses are so charming and the scenery makes everything more beautiful.

As in all parts of Switzerland, water fountains provide fresh drinking water. So bring your bottle and refill it with try fresh water. 

Walk Along the Matter Vispa River

From the old town, it is not very far from the lovely Matter Vispa River. The Vispa is a river in the canton of Valais with a length of 84 kilometers (52 miles). Best cities to visit in SwitzerlandI really liked the Vispa River with its quite strong current and unusual gray/white color (glacier water). You cannot miss it, and though this is not one of the typical Zermatt tourist attractions, I still enjoyed my walk along the river. There are many cafes and restaurants along the river where you can sit down and relax – or you bring your own snacks and sit on a bench and enjoy these impressive Matterhorn views.

Head to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise – Klein Matterhorn

Let´s visit a mountain peak (of course, with great views of the Matterhorn). Since visiting Matterhorn itself is almost impossible for most of us, here is a great alternative: Klein Matterhorn also known as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

While Zermatt is about 1,600 meters above sea level, Klein Matterhorn is almost about 4,000 meters high and has the highest cable car station in Europe.

Matterhorn Cable Car @shutterstock
Matterhorn Cable Car @shutterstock

It comes with amazing 360° views of other peaks & glaciers! HOWEVER, I was warned before that the altitude might cause some problems but I did not take it seriously. You have to change cable cars/gondolas a couple of times, and it takes about 30 minutes to the top. It might sound long, but it is actually very fast to get up so high. I recommend getting out at one of those stops and taking a break for half an hour or so, so you are not up that fast – and drink a lot of plain water. Then it should be even more fun because you are less likely to feel sick.

You could start by visiting the highest viewing platforms in the Alps. The panorama view allows you to take in all the 38 mountain peaks towering over 4,000 meters. If you are lucky and the view is very clear, you can even see the Mont Blanc (I was not so lucky).

At the top is a restaurant and shop as well as a little cinema loungeshows videos about the Matterhorn and the Alps – quite interesting to learn more about it! The Glacier Palace, which is close to the restaurant, is another main attraction. It is a kind of museum, inside of a glacier, with ice crystals and ice sculptures.

Glacier Palace Matterhorn @shutterstock
Glacier Palace Matterhorn @shutterstock

There is also a snow sports area (open all year). If you have a ticket, the snow tubing is free of charge. I would have loved to do that but I was there with my little puppy and didn’t know where to “park“ him.

Though I didn’t feel 100% well, it was definitely worth getting up the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Even if you are used to beautiful mountain views, I am sure this trip will amaze you.

  • TIP: Check out the opening hours, because certain activities/places close quite early, e.g. Glacier Palace.

HOW TO GET TO KLEIN MATTERHORN:

  • There are no hiking trails, so you can only get there via cable cars.
  • The cable car station in Zermatt is easy to find – head towards Furi cable car station and start your first part of the trip there. Then you have to change cable cars a few times but it is quite straightforward.
  • It takes about 30-40 minutes to get to the top (without stops).

Get up Gornergrat

Gornergrat is another beautiful mountain standing at about 3135 meters above sea level (almost 900 meters lower than Klein Matterhorn) with no less stunning views. The “opening hours” are longer than on Klein Matterhorn, so if you start your day later or very early, this might be an alternative.

Places to visit in Zermatt - points of interest in Zermatt Gornergrat
Getting up Gornergrat Mountain in Zermatt @shutterstuck

I got up the Gornergrat by the cogwheel (it just takes 30 minutes) and then hiked down all the way to Zermatt. Up Gornergrat the views of the surrounding mountains and a glacier were breathtaking. Luckily, the sky was clear (unlike when I visited Klein Matterhorn) which allowed me to enjoy this day trip even more. You can see the highest mountain in Switzerland – Mount Rosa (also known as the Dufourspitze) which stands at 4634 meters above sea level.View from Gornergrat with Monte Rosa in Zermatt
Grand Tour Gornergrat in ZermattTIP: No worries, I could not name all the mountains myself. There are telescopes (free to use) that also give you all the names of the mountains you can see.

Just in June 2021, a new attraction opened at Gornergrat – Zooom the Matterhorn. It is an interactive museum with virtual activities like paragliding. Virtual paragliding in Zermatt was really, really great. It is just a short experience (3 minutes) but good enough for me.

  • All tickets in 2022 which have the Gornergrat as their start or end station include admission to the Zooom exhibition.
  • If you want to visit Zooom the Matterhorn with a dog, you will need to put him/her in a bag.

HIKING AT GORNERGRAT

Even if you are not into hiking, I highly recommend the short hiking loop at the top of Gornergrat. It takes about 20-30 minutes and you have superb views already. Additionally, you can also hike down. It takes several hours and it is a quite steep hike – but it is worth it. 

I hiked down – all the way to Zermatt. Amongst others, you will pass Lake Riffelsee. It is a small, yet beautiful lake that – on clear days without wind – has the reflection of the Matterhorn.

Riffelsee in Zermatt with MatterhornMy initial plan was to hike to the Gorner Gorge (which “lies” on the way to Zermatt) but it was closed already. Either way, hiking in and around Gornergrat is a good way to see more of the stunning nature in Zermatt.

It was a steep downhill hike and not knee-friendly. I still recommend it, if you are a fit person. It took me about 5-6 hours, but apparently, it will only take 3-4 hours for some more sporty people.

Visit Gorner Gorge

Another place to visit in Zermatt is Gorner Gorge. The rock – greenish serpentinite – is an astonishing 220 million years old . You do not actually have to visit the gorge and pay the entrance fee – you will see quite a bit already by just hiking down from Gornergrat. And it looks stunning!

Gorner Gorge a must see place in summer in Zermatt

If you hike down from Gornergrat, then you can add it to your itinerary, as it is “on your way” to Zermatt town. Some parts are open 24/7 and then you can also go inside the gorge.

  • Gorner Gorge is closed during winter times, making it the perfect Zermatt summer activity.
  • Entry is only about CHF 5 (bring cash).

You can do the above-mentioned activities in 2 days in Zermatt. However, of course, there is much more to do in Zermatt. If you stay longer than 2 days in Zermatt, especially in the summer months, you can spend weeks outdoors exploring the area without getting bored.

Shred the Slopes with Summer Skiing

Okay, you may think of winter in Zermatt as the only time you can ski. But opportunities for skiing in the Alps are year-round.

Zermatt is one best ski resorts in Switzerland
@shutterstock

Zermatt has the largest ski area you can find in the world – it’s also the highest altitude, so fresh snowfall is common, even in the summer months.

You can summer ski at Klein Matterhorn – here you can enjoy snow sports along 21 km of pistes. Go skiing in the early morning, when conditions are at their best. You can then spend the rest of the day indulging in some summer sun and enjoying a few of the other summer activities on this list.

Summer skiing here is closed at noon so that the snow stays fresh during the hottest part of the day. It’ll be ready for you again in the morning.

Go Hiking Along the Mountain Trails – 5-Lake Walk

Hiking is certainly one of the best things to do in Zermatt. The town is surrounded by incredible mountains, including the – here we go again – iconic Matterhorn. There are over 400 km of hiking trails to explore so you can spend days or even weeks doing just that. 

You can easily embark on a hiking trip on your own or hire a guide for a more informative and directional hiking tour. There’s hiking for all ages and fitness levels, and you’ll always have majestic views and lush surroundings.  You may even spot some of the local wildlife.

The most popular hike is probably the 5-lake hike. As the name suggests, you will see 5 lakes during the hike and it is pretty nice.

I have done two hikes in Zermatt – hiking down from Gornergrat to Zermatt and the 5-lake walk. Both hikes are labeled as “intermediate” – they include a lot of steep downhill or uphill hiking. I got up both times via cable car/cogwheel and then headed down. If you do it the other way around, it includes a lot of uphill hiking.

5-LAKE WALK

The lakes you see during this popular hike are Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Leisee, and Moosjisee- more on the first one later. You can swim in a couple of lakes, which makes the hike a popular activity for families (even though it is not the easiest hike out there).

I suggest getting up with a cable car/funicular to Sunnegga first, and then changing the cable car to Blauherd mountain peak and starting your hike there.

It is a steep hike but doable – not all lakes were stunning. It was a bit too cold to swim when I visited but on a hot day swimming in the lakes could be a fantastic activity.

5 Lake Hike in Zermatt with Arzo Travels
Moosjisee – Puppygak

My two favorite lakes were Stellisee and Moosjisee. The first lake is impressive because you can see the reflection of the Matterhorn (on clear and windless days) and the last – artificial – lake has just an incredible watercolor and you have the Matterhorn in the background.

Head Out on a Mountain Biking Adventure

If you prefer mountain biking, no worries. Zermatt offers plenty of that, too, with over 220 km of signposted trails specifically geared towards cyclists. Zermatt has something for everyone, with a diverse collection of tracks and trails. 

Whether you’re an advanced cyclist looking for challenging technical trails, or just interested in exploring the mountainous area at a comfortable pace – Zermatt is the perfect place to enjoy a mountain biking adventure. Mountain Biking in Zermatt

Getting up by cable cars means that even short rides can start high in the mountains, surrounded by exquisite views. You can also explore further on a multi-day trip, going deep into the mountains. I am no expert, so I leave it here.

TIP: If you do not have your own bike with you, do not worry. There are a couple of bike rentals in Zermatt. Rent a bicycle and head out on a ride.

Try Rock Climbing in the Alpen Mountains

As mentioned, I am not to sportiest person out there, and climbing sounds like a lot of effort. However, Zermatt really is the perfect place for adventure sports and one of the best things to do during the summer months is rock climbing.

If you know what you’re doing, you can spend days on multi-pitch climbs with phenomenal views and nearly untouched locations. There’s also sport climbing available for the uninitiated to the highly skilled. It all depends on the kind of challenge you’re looking for.

Keep in mind: You need to be relatively fit. And you shouldn’t try if you have a serious fear of heights. Because you certainly will be high up.

TIP: You can also get some practice in at the indoor climbing wall before setting off for the mountains.

Have a Barbeque / Picnic at a Park

Zermatt has some truly lovely parks, which come to life in summer. The Attermenzen campsite and Schweigmatten are both fantastic places to set up a wood fire. 

Surrounded by Zermatt’s iconic wilderness, with the river running alongside, barbequing at the Attermenzen campsite is a wonderful way to spend a summer’s day. You can get all your favorite foods on the fire and relax with a good book – or with family and friends.

With all the adventure and activity of your summer vacation in Zermatt, a little chill time is always welcome. Of course, a picnic in the park is also a great option, particularly if you have less time to spare. You’ll find tables and benches at the parks, as well as wood for burning if you want it.

Go Flying Through the Trees at Forest Fun Park

Another fun attraction is the Forest Fun Park. It’s perfect for families with kids, but solo travelers will also find it a great deal of fun.  There are five different rope courses for beginners to experienced visitors. All of them take you through the trees, testing your balance and whizzing you along zip lines. It’s a very unusual experience and one that really gets the blood pumping. 

Expect to spend about three hours in the treetops. You can really challenge yourself with one of the harder courses, or take it easy with the green course. 

Relax at Schalisee Lake

I talked about the lake before when I described the 5-lake hike. The Schalisee is an idyllic lake lying in Nikolai Valley, surrounded by mountain peaks. Its waters are the perfect place to swim for the brave. Even in summer, swimming in Alpine lakes will leave you with a chill till you thaw in the sun. Lake with Matterhorn in background arzo TravelsHave a picnic along the lake’s edge, and catch a tan. You can leave it at this, enjoying some laid-back summer fun.

See the Matterhorn From a Sightseeing Flight

The Matterhorn is one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world, covered in snow and surrounded but the majestic Alps. If ever you’re going to explore somewhere by flight, this is it. At least, it is on my own Zermatt Bucket List.

A helicopter flight is definitely pricey – but if you do have the spare cash to splurge on your Zermatt trip, you’ll certainly land with no regrets. You can see it all in just a 20-minute flight, but they range from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on just how much you want to see.

Travel Information for Your Zermatt Itinerary

Here are some important travel tips for your trip.

Swiss Travel Pass

If you use public transportation in Switzerland, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass.

  • It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
  • You can also do boat cruises without additional costs. There are no lakes in Zermatt to cruise but if you create a Switzerland itinerary, and visit more places, then you might enjoy those boat cruises.
  • It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price). You can use it for all the mountain rides mentioned here in Zermatt. 
  • Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

The prices are quite high. But I have bought them myself, and it pays off if you get around via public transportation and are active. If you just plan to visit other places and stay in Switzerland for more than 3-4 days it most likely will make sense financially. 

So, check out prices for train rides and mountain excursions and then calculate if it is a good option for you. For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/ mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). 

How to Get to Zermatt

  • If you plan a Switzerland road trip, you should know that Zermatt is a car-free town.
  • So you have to leave your car in Taesch, a little village close to Zermatt. There is a big covered big car park, which charges about 13€ for 24 hours of parking.
  • From there you have to take a train that brings you up to Zermatt. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can get up for free. Without a Swiss Travel Pass, you pay around 15€ for a return ticket.
  • You could also hike up or cycle – the distance is about 7 km, and it is not flat but probably great if you want to start with some hike.

How to Get Around Zermatt

Since Zermatt is a car-free town, there are not many choices for the means of transportation. However, there are cars in Zermatt – but they are electric. Actually, it is full of taxis, shuttle buses, and regular buses. So, do not be surprised to see it full of little cars.

  • Regular buses – there are several stops through the town. Just hop on any bus at one of the few stations. I had a Swiss Travel Pass, so I could use them for free (I only used them once after the hike). Apparently, you can use them for free if you have other cards as well, but please double-check before.
  • There are also taxis – they are also electric and quite small.
  • As Zermatt is geographically not so big, you can easily walk to many places or use a bike. If you are not an experienced hiker, check out my guide with hiking tips in Switzerland.

Where to Stay in Zermatt

Zermatt is known for being an extremely luxurious destination (even by Switzerland standards). There are no real budget hotels (if you like to find out about my best tips on saving money in Switzerland, click here).

  • Luxury: This luxury hotel in Zermatt knows how to spoil its guests, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof
  • Mid-rangeHere is an idea for mid-range hotels in Zermatt: Sunstar Style Hotel. I stayed at this one. The prices were very reasonable (summer prices are normally better than the prices in winter) and the location was great. I even had a great room view of the Matterhorn. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend booking a hotel room with a view of the Matterhorn even though it might be more expensive.
  • Click here to find my accommodation guide for Zermatt.

Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers

  • Tips for (solo) female travelers: Zermatt felt so extremely safe and I cannot recommend it enough to travel alone. The altitude caused more problems than being a solo traveler. 
  • Exercise common sense and keep your belongings to yourself.
  • Do not drink too much – even though Switzerland is a safe country, it is always safer to not drink (much) when you travel solo.

What to Pack for Zermatt

If you visit Zermatt, check out my packing guide, where you will find out what to pack for your Switzerland trip

And if you visit in the winter, the winter packing guide might be super helpful for you.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN ZERMATT

Zermatt is a must-see place that should be on any Switzerland itinerary. I loved every second of my trip, and even though I haven’t managed to do all the above-mentioned activities myself (especially the helicopter ride is a big dream of mine), I believe these are the best things to do in Zermatt.

If you have only 2 days in Zermatt, you clearly cannot do all, but still, you can fit in a lot.

I hope you have gotten some travel inspiration and added some of these attractions to your Zermatt itinerary.

Here are more travel tips for Switzerland:

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Portugal

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN PORTUGAL – WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO SEE

Portugal has become a trendy travel destination within the last few years – and that has happened for a reason. To be more precise, there are many reasons why more and more people add Portugal to their bucket lists. 

Beautiful beaches, untouched nature, cute cities and towns, and amiable people – Portugal has it all. If Portugal is not on your Europe itinerary, then you will probably reconsider after reading this post! Some of my well-traveled travel bloggers (including me) share their top tips for the best places to visit in Portugal.

Best Places to Visit in Portugal

Let´s get started with the gorgeous places to see. 

Lisbon

Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels

Rossi square in Lisbon @shutterstock - Places to visit in Portugal
Rossi square in Lisbon @shutterstock

Does it come as any surprise that Lisbon is one of the best places to visit in Portugal? Lisbon is one of the trending capitals in Europe right now, and if you ask me, it is well deserved. Lisbon is indeed very cool and fun.

If you are heading to Lisbon, plan at least 2-3 days; while the biggest city in Portugal is not very big, geographically, there is a lot to see and do. One of the things that you have to check out in Lisbon is the views – the miradouros.

They are numerous, and I can recommend each of them – one of my favorite views was probably from Castle San Gorge. For a few euros, you can visit the castle and have amazing views over Lisbon – however, if you do not want to spend money on that, you´ll find many other free views and give you great views.

For a traditional and cheap sightseeing tour, hop on the famous tram line 28 which shows you some of Lisbon´s most beautiful districts.

If you are more drawn to the water, then you can check out the Tagus River and head to the gorgeous Belem, which has its own tower. It is a nice place to explore, and for the relaxing part, I recommend hanging out close to the Belem Tower, with its view of the river.

Porto

Recommended by James from Portugalist

Porto, old town on the Douro River. Best places to see in Portugal
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While Lisbon is a multicultural melting pot and hosts major events like Web Summit and the Eurovision Song Contest, Porto is smaller and more typically Portuguese.

It’s incredibly safe too. Portugal is one of the safest countries to visit: 3rd according to the 2017 Global Peace Index, with just Iceland and New Zealand beating Portugal to the top spot.

Ideal for a long weekend, the city of Porto is easily explorable on foot. Everywhere you turn, you’re greeted with Instagram-worthy snapshots of the city and views over the beautiful Douro River. You’ll spend the entire weekend either taking photos or desperately trying to free up more space on your phone so that you can take more.

You’ll see the buildings, people, and snapshots of history that likely inspired her to put pen to paper. Popular attractions in Porto include the Port houses (many of which offer vegan and vegetarian wines), Livraria Lello (often named the most beautiful bookstore in the world) and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge.

Then there’s the food. Although Portuguese cuisine is typically very focused on meat and fish, Porto has a surprisingly good vegetarian and vegan scene. This not only includes vegetarian buffets like daterra but restaurants that serve vegetarian alternatives to Porto’s most famous dish: the Francesinha.

You have to add Porto to your Portugal itinerary as it is one of the best places to see in Portugal.

Lagos

Recommended by Chris from Dolce Does Travel

Best places to visit in Portugal, Lagos, Portugal Most beautiful places in Portugal
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The coastal town has a little bit of everything to suit all types of travelers, making it a fantastic home base with plenty to explore.

Lagos is truly a gem and rightfully one of the most sought-after destinations in Portugal’s Algarve region. In addition to its stunning and dramatic coastlines, gorgeous beaches, and it is also rich in history, Lagos is also known for its nightlife, drawing in lots of young foreigners looking to continue the fun after watching some of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world – surely one of the best places to see in Portugal.

Get oriented with Lagos by exploring the old historic town center. It wouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours to roam and get lost in the streets and alleyways. Don’t miss the Old Town Wall’s remnants (from the 4th century!) and the Church of St. Anthony (go inside!). Cool off and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at one of Lagos’ beaches, like Praia do Camilo, Praia Dona Ana, or Pinhao Beach.

Are water sports, or a day at sea, more your speed? Hop on a boat tour around the grottos and sea caves of Ponta de Piedade, or take the paddle into your own hands with a kayak tour (seasonal) with snorkeling or lounging on a deserted beach.

Wrap up your day by grabbing a beverage and heading to the cliffs above Praia do Barranco do Martinho for a stunning sunset. Then head back to town for a night out at one (or more!) of the lively bars. Not in Lagos but close by, and a great place to visit is the stunning Benagil Cave.

Tavira

Recommended by Kaylie from Happiness Travels Here

Portugal points of interest - Amazing beach on island of Tavira. Algarve Portugal
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Tavira is a gem on the Algarve Coast of Portugal. Untouched by package tourism, you won’t find high-rise resorts here but rather cobbled streets and whitewashed townhouses, squares planted with flowers, and plenty of restaurants and cafes to sample fresh local produce.

In front of the town sits the Isle of Tavira, a sandspit more than 10km long, creating a natural harbor, which allowed the town to become a trade and fishing hub. There are still remnants of the medieval fort that protected the port from North African pirates in centuries past. On the Island are long stretches of fine sandy beaches which stretch into the calm azure waters. At the main beach called Praia de Tavira, you will find several restaurants as well as parasols and sun loungers for hire.

It can get busy in the summer months, there are fewer crowds at the beaches of Praia de Terra Estreita, and Praia do Barril. At the latter, you can visit the sculptural Anchor Graveyard.

Tavira is also a gateway to the Ria Formosa Natural Park. A UNESCO bio-reserve, the park provides winter breeding grounds for more than 20,000 birds and is an important stop for birds migrating between Europe and Africa.

The waters are a habitat for the largest population of seahorses in the world, fish, and endangered chameleons. Organized boat trips can visit the park, or you can hire kayaks to explore the area at your own pace.

Faro

Recommended by Claire from Backpacking Bella

Where to go in portugal. Street in Faro, Portugal.
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If you visit Portugal’s famous Algarve coastline, you may well fly into Faro airport, which serves over six million passengers a year. The vast majority head off to the other coastal resorts and miss what Faro itself has to offer.

This small port town has scenic cobblestoned streets and as it’s mainly Portuguese people who spend time here, the area is relatively quiet, untouched, and offers good value for money.

Take a peaceful wander around the ancient walled old town, and you will find yourself among medieval, Roman, and 18th-century Moorish-influenced architecture. Quaint archways lead to brightly painted buildings lined with blossoming trees.

Visit a Venda for small plates of excellent vegetarian and vegan, local dishes to be enjoyed al fresco in the warm evenings. Beach lovers won’t be disappointed either – this is a great place to holiday in Portugal.

Take a ferry ride or speedboat through the lush, wildlife-rich lagoons of the nearby Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and spend a whole day exploring, or head straight to Ilha Deserta, which means ‘deserted island.’ Here you can stroll or sunbathe on wide, white sandy beaches without the torrents of tourists you’d expect in most places as beautiful as this. Spend a whole blissfully uninterrupted day here, and you will forget about everything else.

Madeira

Recommended by Naomi from Authentic Chica

What to see in Portugal - Pico Arieiro and Pico Ruivo - with 1862 m highest Madeira mountain
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Madeira is actually an island 1,000 kilometers away from the mainland, nearer to Africa than Portugal, situated next to the Canary Islands. Like the Azores, Madeira has been owned by Portugal for ages and is, therefore, a Portuguese archipelago.

Some might say that this destination is only suitable for the grey-haired among us as a popular hiking island, but nothing is less true. Because of the weather, Madeira is ideal for a winter visit, when the temperatures are still steady, around 20 degrees, year-round actually. And because of its diversity in gastronomy, culture, architecture, heritage, unique cities, quaint villages, and stunning nature, this island has something for everyone. But of course, there are many great hikes in Madeira for people of all ages and levels.

All the sights and quaint restaurants of this surprising city are within walking distance from the historical center. It just takes 30 minutes to drive to the beautiful mountain peaks and the many unique Madeiran walking routes called ‘’levadas” which lead you through the island’s extensive nature reserves.

The city center is also a very short drive from the many stunning cliff viewpoints and cute little villages like Santana this island has to offer. As the second richest region of Portugal, after Lisbon, it’s evident that Madeira is an island with class and refinement and a must-see.

Sintra

Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels

Palacio da Pena in Sintra shutterstock portugal holiday destinations
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In the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra, Sinatra is a cute and colorful town close to Lisbon that has been shown on Instagram feeds by most travel addicts. Why? Sinatra has several highlights that are worth visiting. The place is wonderful – most of all, the colorful castle, Pena Palace, is extremely Instagrammable and almost looks unreal.

We did not expect it to be so big and so busy, so we did not plan enough time for the castle. If you do a day trip from Lisbon, plan at least one full day in Sintra as it will be one of your Portugal highlights.

Though Sintra has more historic buildings, we decided on a change of scenery, so our private tour guide brought us to the Parque Natural de Sintra. We were driven up to the Peninha Sanctuary – where we had great views. It was very quiet and not busy. Though we saw a few hikers in that area, it is also possible to get there by car. The town center is quite small, and cafe and restaurant choices are limited; however, having a cup of coffee is definitely a great idea.

Alentejo

Recommended by Naomi from Authentic Chica

Amoreira Beach in the Costa Vincentina in Alentejo, where to go in Portugal
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The Alentejo region is situated in south-central Portugal – between Lisbon and the Algarve along the coast and is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal.

You´ll find endless quiet beaches and pure rural areas covered with vineyards, olive groves, and a vast amount of cork oaks and stunning pine trees, which makes it a perfect Portugal holiday destination.

Here it’s all about peace, quiet, nature, homemade wines, quality food, heritage, and class. The outstanding cuisine, many wine hotels, stunning beaches, and endless countryside views ensure a memorable experience, which my first visit last month certainly was!

Ideal for gastronomy-and road trip lovers, as the region, covers over 27,000 m2 (almost 30% of the country) and has an extremely low population density, which makes driving around the region a real pleasure.

The roads are good and almost empty, and the countryside views are amazing. Only a 1 hours drive from Lisbon airport, you will be surrounded by nothing but nature, beautiful UNESCO towns like Evora, hip laid-back beach villages like Comporta, and stunning quaint villages with ancient castles like Monsaraz. And the many unique farm-and-wine hotels here will make you feel completely at home, relaxed, and spoiled to the max.

Cascais and Estoril

Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels

What to visit in Portugal - Cascais and Estoril in Portugal
Pic: S-F, Shutterstock.com

Cascais is another small, coastal resort town close to Lisbon. After a 20-minute train/car ride, you´ll arrive in beautiful Cascais, and it makes, in combination with Estoril, a wonderful day trip from Lisbon.

It is one of those beautiful little towns with narrow, cobble-stoned streets and colorful houses – some with pretty flowers on them, which makes it fun to get lost in Cascais. Little souvenir shops in the town center are great for getting some essential gifts for family and friends abroad – the promenade just in front of the town center is lovely for a nice walk. Though I did not hop into the water, the beach seems a popular place, and some sand artists create interesting sand statues.

From Cascais, we walked all the way to Estoril (about an hour’s walk since we made several stops along the way), another cute town. Estoril has some beautiful stretches of beach, so plan some relaxing time for Estoril. Since it is even closer to Lisbon, it will only take about 15 minutes to get back to Lisbon from there by train.

Douro Valley

Not far from Lisbon is the stunning Douro Valley – known for its incredible landscapes, nature, wines, people, and history

Whether you drive there by car or by train, you will have some great views of the Rio Douro and the vineyards – this is where, amongst others, the famous Porto wine comes from.

Douro Valley, Arzo Travels

Douro Valley is huge – it is not one of the regular small valleys with a couple of villages and vineyards – it takes  Besides wine tasting, you can do some hikes, enjoy boat cruises, discover the cute villages along the way, and much more.

While I did a guided tour from Porto, you could also drive yourself – be ready for the narrow and windy roads. Also, if you come here for wine tasting in one of the many estates, driving yourself might not be the best option. 

….

PIN ME FOR LATER – BEST PLACES IN PORTUGAL TO VISIT

Portugal what to see - 10 best places to visit in Portugal. Where to go in Portugal, most beautiful places in Portugal

Safe Travels, Arzo - best places to holiday in Portugal

HOW TO HAVE AN EPIC JORDAN ROAD TRIP

Jordan road trip, cover

TIPS FOR A PERFECT ROAD TRIP IN JORDAN – ITINERARY

A Jordan road trip is one of the best trips you can take in the Middle East. Even as a solo female traveler in Jordan I had a blast and congratulated myself for discovering Jordan by car. The country, the people, the sights, the nature, the food… Road tripping in Jordan was an absolutely amazing experience. Luckily, Jordan is also a very safe destination to visit – this means the conditions are great for an unforgettable road trip.

I came to Jordan right after spending time in Lebanon, and I admit, I was worried that Jordanians would drive like Lebanese people. Luckily, they do not. I could not have driven in Jordan if this had been the case. Actually, this Jordan road trip was so relaxed and fun, that I feel I have to recommend it to anyone.

Joran road trip
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DRIVING TIPS FOR YOUR JORDAN ROAD TRIP

Here is some information about driving in Jordan. While I think, that driving in Jordan is/was quite easy and straightforward you should probably be aware of these things before starting your Jordan road trip.

Driving tips for Jordan
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Rules For Driving in Jordan

  • Drive on the right side.
  • You have to wear a seat belt.
  • Driving age: 18. If you want to rent a car: 25 years old.
  • Bring a driver‘s license when renting a car and a credit card (a deposit is charged most times, but you will get refunded if everything is okay).
  • You are not allowed to throw things out of a car – and compared to many other countries in the Middle East, it actually is quite clean.
  • GPS – I had Google Maps and Here We Go. However, sometimes they did not get me where I wanted to go. Since there are some new streets, both apps had problems guiding me. Overall, they worked well, but not perfectly. Make sure to download an offline map before your trip.
  • Signs are in Arabic and English, so you should be fine understanding directions.
  • You will most likely need to rent a car for the road trip and not drive your own one. When you rent a car, you will get a paper – and if the police give you a fine, it has to be written on that paper, which you have to hand to the rental company when you drop off the car.
  • There are a lot of police stops throughout the country. You could be pulled over at any time, but normally it is fine, and you have to present your papers.
  • P.S. I was pulled over and, apparently, one paper was missing. The rental company did not give it to me. The police handed out a fine but I did not have to pay on the spot. When I gave that fine to the rental company, they said that it would not be a problem and would pay for it… Apparently, they do not always hand over that particular certificate, and so they accept the consequences.
  • Just double-check all the papers when you pick up the car, so you avoid any – unnecessary – problems.
  • Speed limits: Many speed signs will tell you the exact speed limit, but in general: 60 km in cities, 80 km in rural areas, and 120 km on highways.
  • There are speed humps. A lot of them. Many, many of them. They are everywhere. So, always watch out for them because they sometimes even appear out of nowhere – and even if you stick to the speed limit, you very quickly have to sharply reduce your speed if you don’t want your car to be damaged. While speeding in Jordan is less of a problem than in other countries, it sometimes even causes some danger. Anyhow, don’t be surprised by MANY the speed humps.
  • Sometimes, animals are on the street. And sometimes humans are on the street. In the town center near Petra, people sat on the curb (with their legs and feet in the street)… smoking shisha. Some people in groups don’t like to walk behind each other but would rather walk next to each other – even if that means that people walk in the street. So, always watch out.
  • Compared to other countries in the Middle East, driving in Jordan was easy – people mostly stick to their side of the lane. However, never believe that drivers will follow all the rules and drive carefully.
  • Don‘t drink and drive. Unfortunately, this isn’t a global rule (some countries do allow drivers to have a few drinks), but you can’t drive in Jordan if you have had a drink.
  • I saw plenty of petrol/gas stations – however, this does not mean you will find one every 50km. So, whenever you have a longer distance to drive, make sure you refuel your petrol/gas. There is always service, and you can wait in the car while it gets refueled – you have to pay in cash. 
  • Petrol/gas prices are quite affordable – and unlike in Germany, where prices change many times over the course of the day, the prices are more stable and cost about 1€ for 1 liter.
  • One of the reasons I loved Jordan was because of the friendly locals. When I drove through villages and towns, many kids waved at me and were smiling. However, some teenage boys did throw stones at me and my car. My tip: ignore and continue driving when you encounter those teenagers and wave back at the cuties.
  • If you drive at night, double-check your lights as there aren’t many street lights.
  • The King’s Highway: In ancient times, the King’s Highway was a trade route that linked Africa with Mesopotamia. It ran from Egypt to Aqaba, then to Damascus and the Euphrates River. Today, you can still travel along this ancient 280-kilometer-long roadway, passing through tiny villages and mountain towns. Popular attractions include St. George’s Church, the ruins of Mukawir, the site of Umm ar-Rasas, the Crusader castle of Kerak, and Shobak Castle, among many others. This road will also take you from Amman and pass through other popular destinations in Jordan, like Wadi Mujib, Dana National Park, and Petra.
  • Jordan Pass: Most nationalities have to pay for a visa: The Jordan Pass is a pass that you can buy (online or when you arrive in Jordan) and which includes the visa and entry to most attractions in the country. Financially, it makes sense to buy the Jordan Pass if you stay in Jordan for a few days and visit places like Petra or Jerash.
  • Jordan is a very safe country and as a solo female traveler in Jordan, I never had to worry about my safety. Exercise common sense whether you travel alone or not.

10-Day Jordan road trip
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What Car to Rent for Your Road Trip in Jordan

So, for the road trip, you will need a car – obviously. Most likely you have to rent one and here is what to consider before booking a rental car.

  • I picked the smallest car available. However, later in the mountains, I realized that it was challenging for the small car to drive up the mountains. It did a good job after all but from what I know now, I suggest renting probably a medium-sized car.
  • Unless you have a lot of luggage or you are a group of 5 people, you will not need a big car.
  •  A 4-wheel drive is not needed – for a trip to the desert, where 4-wheel drives are essential, I highly suggest, booking a tour.
  • When renting a car, make sure all damages are well recorded when you pick up the car. So, you do not get blamed for damages you did not cause when dropping off the car.
  • TIP: I always get full insurance when renting a car. It is a bit more expensive, but it is less stressful in case anything happens to your car (whether it is your fault or not).  Make sure all papers are complete when picking up the car.
  • Check out rental prices here.

With the above driving tips, you should be fine to drive in Jordan, so let´s talk about your road trip itinerary.

Where to Stay – Road Tripping Jordan

While I have hotel recommendations under each stop, you can also check out my Jordan accommodation guide to find the best areas and hotels in Jordan. Find more general travel tips for Jordan here.

ITINERARY FOR ROAD TRIPPING JORDAN

So, for this Jordan road trip itinerary, you will need a minimum of 5 days. However, 7 or 10 days in Jordan would be much better as you could actually see all places mentioned here.

If you plan a two-week road trip, you will actually have enough time also to rest and relax and spend time at the beach (or in the desert). With a 5-day Jordan road trip, you have to skip two or three places mentioned here. 

Anyway, here are places not to miss when road tripping Jordan.

Jordan Road Trip
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Road Trip Stop 1: Amman

Amman is the capital of Jordan and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.  Half of the people in Jordan live here – not surprisingly, it is a hectic and exciting place to visit.

I really enjoyed my time there, and I think visiting Amman is one of the best things to do in Jordan. While the city dates back many thousands of years, there is a mix of both ancient and modern architecture.

View from Citadel in Amman
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Amman is teeming with shops, restaurants, and active nightlife and it has a hectic feel as everything always feels like it’s in motion. There are several attractions offered within the city, such as the Roman Amphitheater, downtown Amman with its souks, and the Citadel’s views. 

TIP: I recommend spending one or two days in Amman – and discovering the city WITHOUT a car. It is hectic and busy and parking in the city center is probably a pain. You can get around on foot, take a bus, or an Uber if needed in Amman. Make Amman your starting point of the road trip and pick up the car after your time in Amman.

WHERE TO STAY IN AMMAN

  • I stayed in Nomads Hostel Hotel (and another place that isn’t worth mentioning). It was very conveniently located near Rainbow Street and made it easy for me to connect with other female travelers. The hostel is fun, modern, and clean, with a great location. Check it out here because it surely is a perfect budget accommodation.
  • For a luxury hotel, try The House Boutique Suites, which is also near Rainbow Street (which is probably one of the best places to stay) and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.

Then head from Amman to Jerash. It takes about 1 hour to get to Jerash and is about 50 km (depending on where you pick up your rental car).

Road Trip Stop 2: Jerash

Dating back almost 6,500 years, Jerash is located just north of Amman and in the northwest part of Jordan – it is a must-see on this road trip.

Jerash Theater in Jordan
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It is one of the best-preserved cities from the Roman Empire’s rule and is truly amazing. Jerash was rediscovered about 70 years ago and got restored and now you can explore many attractions, including the 2nd-century Hadrian’s Arch (aka Triumphal Arch), the South Gate, the forum, the hippodrome, the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis, and the Temple of Zeus, among others. The Jerash Archaeological Museum also exhibits its finds for viewing.

  • Entry is free with your Jordan Pass.

TIP: I recommend renting a car now and getting to Jerash by car. Driving from Amman to Jerash is hassle-free. Plan half a day for a trip to Jerash (max. one day if you are really into history) and then head to the Dead Sea.

After a few hours or a full day in Jerash head to the Dead Sea, which is a 1,5 – 2 hours drive (95km).

Road Trip Stop 3: Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is located along the western border of Jordan and is the lowest point on the planet (it is more than 400 meters below sea level). 

Dead Sea, Mövenpick pool with a view
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It is so salty that you cannot swim in it because you only float. And even though you cannot swim there, it is fun to float and also, the mud from the Dead Sea can be used to soften your skin. Even Cleopatra was known to do it. You do not have to believe Cleopatra´s words but I tell you: it really works!

The minerals in the mud make it a natural spa destination, and the beaches are also popular.

Most of the access to the beach (Dead Sea) is private and belongs to the resorts in the area – but there is a public beach to enjoy.

TIP: Many people visit the Dead Sea on their way back to Amman – because this is the place to chill and relax. I did not wait until the end – I was ready for a day in luxury accommodation and wanted to get pampered.

If you plan a 5-day road trip, I would probably just visit for a few hours, but if you road trip Jordan in 7 days, stay a night here and chill before you get to experience some adventure.

BEST PLACES TO STAY AT DEAD SEA

  • I stayed at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa. My room was nice but a little outdated, especially in the bathroom, but the bed was comfortable. The hotel was done in the Arabic style which was lovely. Breakfast and dinner were included but you can also book it without any dinner/breakfast/lunch. Check out rates here.
  • The Ma’in Hot Springs Resort & Spa is also a good place to stay, situated among beautiful mountain landscapes and offering relaxing spa amenities. It is a bit more expensive than Mövenpick Hotel. Find out more about this luxury hotel here.
  • For a budget option, try the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, a well-rated 4-star hotel with great amenities and private beach access. Find the rates here.

Driving around the Dead Sea is easy and hotels normally offer free parking.

From the Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib, your next destination. It takes about 30 minutes (18 miles/25 km). Wadi Mujib is at the Dead Sea, so this estimation is based on the premise you stay at/near Mövenpick Hotel.

Road Trip Stop 4: Wadi Mujib

Wadi Mujib is a river canyon where the Mujib River empties into the Dead Sea, making the area the lowest nature reserve in the world at 420 meters below sea level.

Wadi Mujib in Jordan is one of the fun places to go in Jordan
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The Wadi Mujib Gorge is a stunning place – you can hike the area, climb stairs under waterfalls, cross through the water, and float in between the gorge. The water is filled with the little fish – and I got my “pedicure” when they were nibbling my skin. This is a very adventurous place to visit and was one of the highlights of my road trip.

TIP: The gorge is closed in the winter. The exact times depend on the actual weather conditions, but it might close in mid-October for a few months. You can get there on your way from the Dead Sea to Dana, and it will take a few hours (or up to a day, depending on which tour you want to do).

There is an entrance fee (not covered by the Jordan Pass) that is about 25€ – you can only pay in cash. You can rent a personal guide – as I did -for another 25€, and it was absolutely amazing. I did the shortest – yet not easiest – hike through the gorge, and it was just better than expected.

I am an active person, though not very sporty, and it was not always easy but definitely doable with the help of a guide. If you are active and fit, you can do it yourself. Bring suitable shoes with you!

TIP: I would try to leave Wadi Mujib at around 3 pm at the latest, so you can experience the sunset at this gorgeous place that I am talking about now.

From Wadi Mujib head south towards Dana Nature Reserve. It takes about 2 hours (150km).

Road Trip Stop 5: Dana

Located between Petra and the Dead Sea, Dana is a lesser-known stop, and many don’t add it to a Jordan road trip but it  features stunning sights.

Dana Nature Reserve at sunset
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The Dana Nature Reserve encompasses about 300km around Dana Village and Wadi Dana. It is inhabited by the Al Atata Tribe, who have been living there for 6,000 years. Popular among hikers, Dana offers many hiking trails. Wadi Dana, a canyon, is also visited for its natural beauty and views. The town of Dana is about 500 years old, and you can see many aspects from the 19th century well-preserved and still present today. 

TIP: This place is a bit more off-the-beaten path. But if you are into hiking or hidden gems, you should not miss out. I am not a hiking fan, but I did a short hike. But most of all, I loved the sunset in Dana. Accommodation here is mostly very basic, yet it is a great place for any Jordan road trip itinerary.

WHERE TO STAY IN DANA

  • I stayed at Al Nawatef Bedouin Camp – an elementary camp. You have shared toilets, and the mattresses were not great. However, I still recommend it because the views are great (and the sunset from here is top!), and the food was great. They also offer guided hiking tours (from a few hours to a 2-day hiking trip). So, I definitely recommend staying here (plus it is very budget-friendly). Check out their rates here.
  • If you are looking for a bit more comfort, you will probably find it at Mount Dana Hotel. You can check out their rates and amenities.

From Dana, it is time to head even further south. It takes about 1 hour to get to Petra from Al Nawatef Bedouin Camp (50km).

Road Trip Stop 6: Petra

Petra is perhaps the most visited place in Jordan. Located in the southwestern part of the country, it was the Nabatean kingdom’s prosperous capital around 1 BC.

Petra, Treasury_
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It flourished under Roman rule but was then destroyed by an earthquake in 4 AD. Only the Bedouins remained after that until a Swiss explorer re-discovered it in the 19th century. Some attractions in Petra are the Siq, the Theater, the Treasury (Al Khazna), the Monastery (Ad Deir), the Royal Tombs, and Colonnade Street. You can also visit a nearby Nabatean site that was built around the same time as Petra.

TIP: Petra is huge…I am serious. You can’t see it in a few hours. You will be able to the Siq and the Treasury, but you won’t see the main attractions. You would need more than a day for all that. I booked a 3-day pass with my Jordan Pass, but I only visited on two days because I somehow felt it gets repetitive (apps, yes, I said it), and some places looked similar.

There is a lot of walking, and some hiking included – wear comfy shoes and never, never ride a donkey because they are terribly treated (from what I saw). If you need a ride, you can take an electric minibus for some parts. Even though the buses don’t take you up all the way to mountain peaks, I guess it is not an option to ride a donkey.

Petra By Night was a little disappointing – too many people, too loud, and too short. It wasn’t worth the money, in my opinion (and it is not covered with the Jordan Pass).

WHERE TO STAY IN PETRA

  • A beautiful place to stay near Petra is the Hayat Zaman Hotel And Resort Petra. It is a beautiful luxury hotel about 15 minutes drive from Petra. It was my favorite place to stay in Jordan. It is a great choice if you don’t have to watch your budget closely. Check out the hotel here.
  • You can stay in Wadi Musa at the Cleopatra Hotel for a cheaper option, which is only 2 km away from Petra. It is a simple place to stay but was fine for the 2 nights I stayed there as it is close to the main attractions. Read more about the hotel here.

From Petra, head to the next stunning place in Jordan – Wadi Rum. It takes about 90minutes (100km) to get to Wadi Rum (Visitor Center).

Road Trip Stop 7: Wadi Rum

There is absolutely no way to skip Wadi Rum on your Jordan road trip. Wadi Rum, also known as Valley of the Moon, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its cultural and natural significance.

Wadi Rum on Jordan itinerary
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Inhabited by the Nabataeans in prehistoric times, this area has a unique landscape and stunning views. It is also the largest wadi in Jordan. It is famous for its red-pink desert sands, natural arches, mountains, and prehistoric rock engravings.

Wadi Rum also became well-known as a filming location for movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia. Other attractions include the Burdah Rock Bridge, Al Hasany Dunes, and the Khazali Siq.

TIP: I suggest staying at least one night in Wadi Rum. Most other visitors only come for a day (for a few hours), but they miss out on a magical night. There are several camps and it was amazing. Basically, all camps offer tours for the day. And you have dinner/breakfast and lunch if you stay with them overnight and book a tour.

You should not drive your own car in the desert. The desert is huge, and you would need a 4-wheel drive and have at least some experience driving in sand. You can leave your car at the visitor center and then will be picked up from the company you booked the tour/accommodation with. It sounds complicated but is quite easy if you book in advance.

WHERE TO STAY IN WADI RUM

  • I stayed in an excellent camp, but it seems the owner has some troubles with the police and it was closed?! I am not sure, but you cannot book it anymore, and the last review looked like this. Anyhow, you should not worry.
  • Make sure that you ask about the tours once you have your accommodation booked. This camp looks pretty similar to the camp I stayed at, and they also offer tours, so once you have your night booked, then email them and ask about tours.
  • Check out this luxury camp that offers beautiful rooms with great views.

From Wadi Rum you could either head back to Amman or get to Aqaba. Aqaba is in the very south and it takes about 1 hour (60 km) to get there from Wadi Rum Visitor Center. 

Road Trip Stop 8: Aqaba

Located in the southern part of Jordan, Aqaba is the only coastal city in the country. This port city is situated off the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.

Reiseuhu unsplash, Aqaba in Jordan
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It is a popular destination for those who enjoy diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and other water sports. It also has a rich history, dating back to 4,000 BC when it was first inhabited. Some attractions to see here are the Yamanieh coral reef and the Aqaba Fort. There are many beach resorts here as well, but this city generally attracts lovers of water sports.

Since I, personally, had not added Aqaba to my road trip, I actually can’t say much as I am not into diving and am also not a beach person. 

WHERE TO STAY IN AQABA

  • For accommodations, you can stay at Al Manara Hotel in Aqaba, a luxury resort highly rated for its location, service, and amenities.
  • A more mid-range hotel would be the Lacosta Hotel, close to the beach and other attractions and often includes breakfast.
  • A budget option would be the Amir Palace Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in the city center.

TIP: This could be your last stop – and from here, you could head back to Amman or continue your journey (many visit Israel afterward). If you go back straight to Amman it will take around 5-6 hours (330 km). 

Road Trip Stop 9: Amman

Aqaba – or Wadi Rum – is quite far from Amman. If your flight is from Amman, it is time to head back north. It takes time, so make sure to leave early – or better, book your last night in Amman, so you don’t have to stress.

As great as driving in Jordan is, it always can happen that something happens with your car or streets are closed, so plan in enough time for the drive back.

PLACES TO STAY IN AMMAN

Though I mentioned it above, here are three places that are probably great fits for all budgets.

  • Nomads Hostel Hotel: Check it out here because it surely is a perfect budget accommodation.
  • Albasem Hotel is well-rated and centrally located. Check out rates and availabilities here.
  • The House Boutique Suites is also near Rainbow Street (which is probably one of the best places to stay) and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.

FINAL THOUGHTS OF MY JORDAN ROAD TRIP

Jordan is such an amazing country. Unfortunately, public transportation is not great, so the best way to experience Jordia is on a road trip. As mentioned, I traveled as a solo female traveler and I loved it! So, whether you plan a road trip in Jordan by yourself, with friends or family, or alone – just do it. Jordanians are very relaxed, friendly, and always happy to help and I am sure you will have a great time!

Stay safe and have great travels!

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Safe Travels, Arzo
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Best Places to Visit in Jamaica

Flag of Jamaica - Jamaica Travel Guide Information

Most Beautiful Places in Jamaica to Visit

Heading to Jamaica soon and wondering about the best places to visit in Jamaica and the top best things to do? Then read on and find out about where to go in Jamaica and get some important travel tips.

This post was written by Cassandra.

Jamaica was only the 2nd Caribbean island I had visited, and I had no idea what to expect. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity and beauty the island had to offer. When I first arrived, I was greeted by a warm “Welcome Home,” a greeting almost all Jamaicans give when they hear you are visiting for the first time-  I found this lovely.

The laid-back, relaxed happiness exuded by the locals was contagious, the food was spicy, fresh, and unique, and the nature was stunning. Mountains, rivers, beaches, cliffs, rain forests, coral reef systems, coffee plantations, historic forts, and much more were contained on this island. With something to satiate all travel cravings, whether you love adventure, nature, relaxation, or history, you will definitely find it here!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Pre-Travel Guide for Jamaica

Here are some quick tips for your trip before we discuss the best places to visit in Jamaica.

Tips and tricks and do´s and don´ts for Jamaica

  • Don’t drink tap water, only bottled water!
  • Bartering is part of shopping locally – be sure to haggle with pricing.
  • Don’t wander around after dark – it’s best to stay on the property or stay with a group tour if out at night.
  • If you venture into the city of Kingston, be particularly aware, as there are high rates of crime here.
  • I myself prefer staying along the island’s coastal areas, which are more laid back and accustomed to travelers.
  • Smoking weed is widespread here, and it will most likely be offered to you at some point. Keep in mind that although most authorities don’t care, it is technically still illegal on the island, so be smart.

Security tips for female travelers

  • Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings – always.
  • A lot of Jamaica is rural, so you wouldn’t want to be wandering around at night. Be careful not to expose your money/valuables. Trust your gut if a person or situation doesn‘t feel right – leave.
  • Don’t go out drinking alone, and don’t share your hotel information with people you don’t trust. Be conscious that every city has good and bad areas – research before you go, so you know your good areas and stay in them.
  • Aim to blend in – don’t wear/ flash designer items and expensive jewelry. For example, although it’s a Caribbean island, Jamaica is also a traditional island, and things like thong swimsuits are frowned upon.
  • Most coastal areas are accustomed to travelers, and I have found most people in Jamaica very friendly. Also, the main language spoken is English, which makes communication easy.
  • Besides, they are still close-minded about same-sex relationships, so it’s recommended to avoid public displays of affection in these situations, so you can avoid any hassle when outside the hotel or resort areas.
  • Lastly, as I always like to recommend, ignore catcalls. It’s better to avoid confrontation when in foreign countries.

How to get around Jamaica

Although an island, Jamaica is a large one! It would take over six hours to cross from one side to the other.

Also, the majority of the island is rural and impoverished. The roads are poorly maintained and usually not lit at night – a car rental is not recommended. The best thing to do is use transfer services. I have used Jamaica Tours Limited for airport pickups and such, and I have used both Island Routes and Viator before for day trips and excursions. If you want to get out for the day, the hotel can always arrange local drivers.

Things to pack for Jamaica

The island is hot, year-round! Pack summer and beach clothes, sandals and sneakers (depending on activities), bug spray, a raincoat (always a good idea if doing rainforest trekking), sunscreen, sunglasses, as well as a basic first aid kit with over-the-counter meds. Check out this summer packing guide for your Jamaica trip.

Where to stay in Jamaica

Below are my favored areas and hotel options. I choose the hotels based on location, mainly, and NOT being all-inclusive to have a more authentic experience. They are all varied in style and level of accommodation, though (some in town, some beachfront, some very basic and simple, and others a bit more high-end), which is why I think it is the best place to vacation in Jamaica.

Just check the location on a map about these hotels, and you can stay in a similar location. I did not include Montego Bay, as that is the current tourist hub, and it’s best to get outside of this area to experience more of Jamaica. However, you will most likely fly into Montego Bay and take a transfer from there for both Negril and Ocho Rios.

  • If you prefer a mega-resort or an all-inclusive stay, though, Montego Bay may be for you. Click here for accommodation in Montego Bay.
  • Negril – Located right on a 7-mile beach, one hour south of Montego Bay, this is the spot to be in if you want to snorkel, relax, or play in the Caribbean Sea. Try the Boardwalk Village as a budget-friendly hotel option in the area, only a 15-minute ride from Rick’s Café.
  • Although Port Antonio was the original tourist destination back in the 1940s, it has been abandoned as the tourist hub for Montego Bay since then. Port Antonio is currently a hidden gem worth exploring, where you can get more of a feel for “real Jamaica.” Pimento Lodge is tucked into the cliff-side, and you can take a walk down the hill to the local beach. For the more famed beaches, like Frenchman’s Cove, you can grab a 15-minute taxi ride.
  • Ocho Rios – Located on the northern coast, this area is about two hours from the Montego Bay airport and is tucked into a lush, tropical rainforest. Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites is a very well-rated resort nestled amid 12 acres of tropical gardens and 500 meters from Mahogany Beach. 

Find the best accommodation in Jamaica.

Best Places to Visit in Jamaica and Things to Do in Jamaica
Montego Bay @shutterstock

Best time to visit Jamaica

Almost any time! Note that November and December bring high price points. September is the heart of hurricane season (although this doesn’t mean a guarantee of bad weather! I travel to the Caribbean during these months regularly, and luckily, have never been caught in such a storm). May usually has good pricing and is before the summer months’ heavy heat in this region, so it is a great option.best place to vacation in jamaica

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN JAMAICA

After all the important general info about a trip to Jamaica, here are my places to visit in Jamaica.

Visit the many waterfalls

One of the things to do in Jamaica is to chase waterfalls – but which ones?

Jamaica points of interest
Dunn’s River Falls @shutterstock

Jamaica is a unique island, boasting over 120 rivers that run through rainforests and mountains, creating the perfect environment for gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfalls.

  • Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, on the northern coast of the island, is the most popular, but it tends to get overly crowded due to the nearby cruise port. Dunn’s River Falls dumps into the main Ocho Rios bay – it is 55 meters high and 180 meters wide. You can climb the limestone rocks and see the cascading pools along the way. You could also use the staircase up the side – if you do not want to get wet.
  • If you want to get away and see some lesser-known falls, visit YS Falls on the south coast. There are seven waterfalls, several of which cascade into natural pools.
  • Reach Falls are outside Port Antonio on the east coast – definitely some of the best places to visit in Jamaica.   Enjoy the cascading waterfall, have a picnic in the area, and do a guided tour upstream the Driver’s River (which feeds the waterfall) featuring a visit inside our legendary underwater cave. This is the waterfall that was featured in Tom Cruise’s Cocktails and the remake of Lord of the Flies.
  • Konoko Falls: You can climb the 200-foot waterfall to reach the vantage point offering great views over the port town and Ocho Rios. Bring your bathing suit if you go to the natural shower or if you swim to the mini-cave. The Reach Falls are nestled into the hills of St. Ann parish, and you´ll also find a botanical garden, jerk hut, and educational center in the area and Bob Marley.

Go to 7 Mile Beach

One of the best places to go in Jamaica is 7-Mile Beach.

Most beautiful places in Jamaica
@shutterstock

Located on the island’s west coast, this Seven Mile Beach in Negril is the nicest stretch of beach on the island, and being on the western end is perfect for sunsets as well, and it does not come as a surprise that it is one of the most beautiful places to Jamaica. The water is clear and beautiful, and the sandy beach is perfect for nice strolls or just lying around. 

The best bet is to stay in Negril and have this beach right in your backyard to enjoy! Also, there are security guards who patrol the shores near the resorts for your safety.

Appleton Rum Estate

If in Jamaica, visit the Appleton Rum Estate.

Jamaica vacation spots
Pic by: KKulikov Shutterstock.com

Rum is one of Jamaica’s largest exports, and Appleton Estate farms the sugarcane and distills the rum. A tour through the grounds is fun and informative. The scenery is beautiful with peacocks strutting about, tastings, and Jamaican rum punch to enjoy, and you can even see a demonstration of the techniques used before modern technology. This is a different place to visit in Jamaica and not like the other places on this list.

The admission fee for Appleton is around $30 US (adult). Here are day tours to Appleton Estate (pssst, check whether the entrance ticket is already included).

Cliff Jump at Rick’s Café

Another great Jamaica vacation spot is Rick´s Cafe. Rick´s Cafe is located in the Negril area on the west coast of the island – the area was long only known for the beautiful 7-Mile Beach until Rick´s Cafe opened in 1974 – the first public bar and restaurant in the area.

Jamaica vacation spots - Ricks Cafe
Rick’s Cafe @shutterstock

Cliff jumping at Rick’s Café was one of the best experiences in Jamaica I had! Dining while listening to live reggae music and dancing was a blast, but it’s the cliff jumping you come here for!

They have several levels to jump from; I opted for the baby 10-footer, while the more daring jumped from the 20 or even the 35-footer! If you’re lucky, you may even catch professionals doing daring tricks as they leap in. Also, Rick´s Cade is also known as one of the best sunset spots in Jamaica. Click here to find tours – Day trip to Negril and Rick´s Cafe from Montego Bay

Pirate Town of Port Royal

One of the main attractions in Jamaica is the Pirate Town of Port Royal.

@shutterstock

The village is located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica, and was founded in the 15th century by the Spanish. It was once known as the “Wickedest City on Earth” and overrun by pirates. However, at the height of its wealth in the 17the century, a big part of the town sank into the sea because of an earthquake. 

Visit the treasures in the Maritime museum, check out the forts lined with cannons and the Giddy House artillery shop, and if you scuba dive, you can also visit the parts of the town that sunk in the 1692 earthquake!

Black River Safari

Here is another of the best places to visit in Jamaica: the Black River. It is one of the longest rivers in the country (about 33 miles) and a collection of stunning mangroves. Taking a river cruise here, you will see tons of wildlife, including crocodiles! It’s a really cool experience, and you get to see another side of Jamaica, away from the beach scene. Check out Black River Cruises and enjoy this activity yourself.

what to do in Jamaica
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Snorkel the Reef Systems in Negril

This is not a typical place to visit in Jamaica but rather a must-do activity: Snorkeling the reef system.

what to do in jamaica -best places in jamaica
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Where to snorkel in Jamaica? Montego Bay itself has a great, colorful reef for snorkeling, but it can be crowded due to it being a tourist hotspot. I, personally, enjoyed snorkeling in the Negril area, where you can see tons of colorful fish and coral right in Bloody Bay, as well as Rock-house.

Take a ride on a traditional Bamboo River Raft at Rio Grande

Another top place to visit in Jamaica is a ride on a traditional bamboo river raft on Rio Grande.

where to visit in Jamaica
@shutterstock

With all of the rivers that Jamaica offers, you can’t miss taking a relaxing float down one on a traditional bamboo raft. On the northern coast near Montego Bay, Martha Brae, and the Rio Grande, on the western coast near Port Antonio, are the best spots to enjoy this. A local guide will pole the raft through the river waters, and you can also give it a try yourself.

Bioluminescent Lagoon

One of the best places to visit in Jamaica is the Luminous Lagoon. There are very few places in the world where you can witness the magic of Mother Nature, and Jamaica is one of them! Located in the Trelawny area of Jamaica along the northern coast, you can visit the Luminous Lagoon at night to see the glowing phenomena and even take a dip. The glow comes from small microorganisms that emit a flash of light when touched. The microscopic organisms live and create this natural phenomenon which is known as bioluminescence. Jamaica’s luminous lagoon being the brightest amazes scientists and visitors worldwide.

Try to go during the new moon, if possible, to see the glow as brightly as possible – during a full moon, you may not get to experience the full effect. This is easily accessible from the Runaway Bay or Ocho Rios areas.

Visit the Blue Mountains Coffee Plantations

Looking for more places to go in Jamaica?

where to go in jamaica
@shutterstock

The Blue Mountains are another unique aspect of Jamaica – and very beautiful! The Blue Mountains are the longest mountain range in Jamaica, and you will also find the island’s highest point, which is Blue Mountain Peak, at 2256 meters above sea level. 

A hike in the mountains is always enjoyable; starting in the base’s tropical rainforest, you can see the vegetation changing as you reach higher altitudes. Also, this is where Jamaica’s coffee plantations are! You can take tours of a plantation and try out different brews – delicious.

Final Thoughts on Stunning Places in Jamaica

I hope you have enjoyed the post and you have a better idea about the best places to visit in Jamaica.  It is surely a unique country and has so much to offer that not all beautiful places in Jamaica are mentioned here. However, the above-mentioned places are some of the best the country has to offer.

About the Author:

Cassandra is a US-female travel addict that loves traveling the world. She has made traveling her priority, and so she has traveled for the last few years.Safe Travels, Arzo

HOW TO CREATE AN EPIC 10-DAY SWITZERLAND ITINERARY

Switzerland 10 day itinerary

WHAT TO DO IN SWITZERLAND IN 10 DAYS (OR UP TO 21 DAYS)

Are you looking for an exciting 10-day Switzerland itinerary? Then read on because you will find many travel tips on how to spend 10 days in Switzerland (and up to 14 and 21 days).

While some people might believe that ten days in Switzerland is probably too much time, I think 10 days is the minimum amount of time to spend in this small yet amazingly beautiful country. There is so much to do and see that I leave heartbroken every single time, even though I road- and train-trip Switzerland for a whole six weeks each year. 

Here is what to see in Switzerland in 10 days plus find out how to get around, where to stay, and more important information that you will need to have a wonderful time. It feels like the days are over in a heartbeat, so it is important to make the best of your trip and see as much as possible.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

10 days in Switzerland itinerary, Arzo Travels

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 10-DAY ITINERARY

In this 10-day Switzerland itinerary, you will find out:

  • Where to stay in Switzerland for 10 days
  • How to get to Switzerland
  • How to get around Switzerland in ten days
  • More travel tips for your trip to Switzerland
  • Places to visit and things to do in 10 days (or up to 14 or 21 days)

Where to Stay in Switzerland For 10 Days

If you stay in Switzerland for 10 days, I suggest changing hotels about 3-4 times so you can stay in one place for 1-3 nights and do day trips from there before continuing your trip. If you choose only a base for 10 days, it will mean that you have long travel times because the places mentioned here are quite spread out.  Since I mention many destinations on this itinerary (that you will probably not be able to do all), you can choose the places you want to visit and book your hotel there. You will find hotel recommendations further below.

How to Get to Switzerland

You can arrive in Switzerland via plane, car, and train.

PLANE

  • Switzerland has several international airports. If you arrive via plane, you will most likely arrive in Zurich, so I only focus on that airport. If you arrive in Zurich, you can easily take a train and get to Zurich city center by train. Trains run frequently, and there is no need to book train tickets in advance. You will not need an expensive shuttle or taxi.

TRAIN

  • If you come from neighboring countries like Austria, Germany, Italy, or France, you might arrive via train. Switzerland is “train heaven,” and there are many great train stations all around Switzerland. The train centers are normally in city centers, so it is quite convenient to get to Switzerland via train. 

CAR

  • If you arrive in Switzerland in your own car, it normally goes smoothly. It probably depends on the country you are traveling from, but I – with a German license plate – have never been really checked and was just waved through border control.  
  • I suggest buying a toll sticker before border control. This will last for 1 year and costs around 40€. There are petrol stations at the border where you can buy one.

10 Days in Switzerland – How to Get Around

There are several amazing ways to get around in Switzerland, and here is what I recommend for 10 days in Switzerland.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation in Switzerland is convenient, reliable, on time, clean, and safe. It is only available to non-Swiss – but for most visitors from abroad, it is perfect for getting around. Trail travel in Switzerland is just fun – like really, really fun. Here, the journey is the reward. I highly recommend a Swiss Travel Pass if you plan to use public transportation.

Review Swiss Travel Pass

  • A Swiss Travel Pass is not cheap.
  • However, it allows you to use buses and trains without any extra costs.
  • Also, you can do boat cruises on all the lakes mentioned here for free.
  • There are also a few mountain excursions (cogwheel/cable car) included in the Swiss Travel Pass, e.g. Mount Rigi.
  • Also, you get up to a 50% discount on many mountain trips (some are even free with this pass).
  • You also have free access to many museums.

I buy my Swiss Travel Passes via GetYourGuide because of the much better cancellation policy. 

  • There are several Swiss Travel Passes available. You can choose between passes for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days. An 8-day pass – flexible – might be the best option. The flexible pass allows you to use the pass for 8 days within 30 days. So, for the days, where you will use little public transportation, you could get single tickets if you have to use public transportation. If you plan to use public transportation/boats/visit museums etc. on all 10 days, then you can also get a 15-day pass. Check out the Swiss Travel Pass – for consecutive days – prices here.

DRIVING IN SWITZERLAND

  • Driving in Switzerland is fun and safe. It is quite challenging driving in the Swiss mountains, though.  While I totally enjoy driving there, I hate not admiring the scenery as much as I would love to.
  • Just stick to the speed limit (they take it very seriously there).
  • Have change for parking (which can be extremely pricey, and finding good spots in the city centers is a challenge).
  • Follow these tips, and you will have the most beautiful road trip in Europe. Find out about road tripping in Switzerland.

Apart from driving or trail riding, there are more ways to get around though you probably will not be able to avoid driving/public transportation completely.

WALKING/HIKING

  • Switzerland is made for nice strolls and amazing hikes. Find my post with hiking tips here.
  • Bring comfortable shoes – the city centers often have cobbled-stone streets.
  • And for hiking, bring proper hiking boots.

BOATS

  • I am slightly obsessed with boat cruises in Switzerland – and you should do at least one boat cruise with 10 days in Switzerland.
  • However, they are not the perfect way to get around because they are lake boat cruises.
  • So, there are only stops along the lake shores, and you will not get very far via boat.
  • Most boat cruises are included in the Swiss Travel Pass.

CABLE CARS / FUNICULARS

  • If you want to get on mountain peaks, cable cars and funiculars are a good way.
  • Switzerland caters to non-hikers as well as hikers. You can get on most mountain peaks without much effort.
  • However, the tickets for cable cars/funiculars are quite expensive. A Swiss Travel Pass will often save you 50% on the ticket prices, though some mountain peaks are completely free with a pass.

Visa Regulations for Switzerland

Switzerland is not part of the European Union, but people from the European Union do not need a visa as it is part of the Schengen Agreement. If you are coming from elsewhere, please check visa regulations.

Money / Credit Cards

  • The currency is the Swiss Franc. Most Swiss shops accept payment in euros (and some also in dollars). I would still change money and have some Swiss francs with me as it gets more expensive if you pay euros. 
  • Also, you can often pay with your credit card, at least in bigger stores. I have come across smaller shops – especially in lesser-busy areas or restaurants – where only cash payment is accepted.
  • Switzerland is expensive – so here are a few tips on how to save money during your trip.

Languages in Switzerland

There are four official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Roman (a minor language). German is spoken by most people (more than 60 %). Most of the places mentioned here are also located within the German-speaking part but it will also take you to the French and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland.

EPIC THINGS TO DO IN 10 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND

This 10-day Switzerland itinerary is different from most others. Here you will find many different activities and a timeframe. So, there are activities for 14-21 days, and you just pick those places that are the most appealing to you. This way, you can create your own 10 days in Switzerland itinerary.

Rhine Falls – 0,5 Days

If you fly into Zurich (or arrive in Zurich via train/bus), head to the Rhine Falls first.

The biggest waterfall in Europe is about an hour’s drive (or train ride) from Zurich near the German border. It is a great experience to get so close to this powerful waterfall.  

Rhine Falls Switzerland Best places to see in SwitzerlandTHINGS TO DO AT RHINE FALLS:

  • Do a boat tour and get close to the waterfalls
  • See the waterfalls from the platform
  • See the castle at Rhine Falls
  • Walk/hike around the waterfalls

Whether you get to the platform or do a boat ride, the waterfall is one of the best places to see if you have 10 -14 days in Switzerland. Here is a more detailed Rhine Falls guide with info on prices, opening hours, and more.

Stein am Rhine – 0,5 Day

Stein am Rhine is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. It is located very close to the Rhine Falls and thus could be easily combined. Places to visit in Switzerland

The facades are some of the most stunning you will see. It looks like an unreal place, and it is hard to believe the houses are several centuries old. Stein am Rhein is really small and so a few hours here should be fine.

THINGS TO DO IN STEIN AM RHEIN

  • Admire the stunning buildings – there are not many but the ones you will find are unique. Especially around Town Hall square.
  • Stroll the Rhine River and if you have time, book yourself a Rhine River cruise
  • Enjoy the views from Hohenklingen Castle (promise, they are amazing) – either hike up (40 minutes) or get up via car. 
  • Find out more about Stein am Rhein here.

Zurich – 1 Day

After visiting Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein (which probably takes 6-10 hours total), head back to Zurich. It is the biggest city in the country and a fun place to visit. 
Things to see in Zurich Switzerland - visit cafes

THINGS TO DO IN ZURICH

  • Explore the Bahnhofstrasse (the most expensive street in the world). Though it does not look spectacular, this street beats 5th Avenue when it comes to rental prices. And since its convenient location is close to Lake Zurich and the Old Town, you should not skip it when visiting Switzerland.
  • Stroll the old town with the narrow streets and old and colorful buildings.
  • You can also visit the Uetliberg and enjoy some more nice views from there. In Switzerland, most towns/cities have their own house mountain and this one is Zurich´s house mountain
  • If you want to be more active, rent a bike for free and explore Zurich by bike.
  • Relax at Lake Zurich and take it easy for the last few hours. There are many fine-dining restaurants around the lake and supermarkets if you prefer getting food/snacks for a picnic at the lake.
  • As a boat tour lover, I, of course, recommend a boat tour on Lake Zurich. 
  • Personally, I think that there is no better way to end a day in Zurich than at Lake Zurich. Especially on a summer day, when the street musicians are playing lovely music, and people just gather around the lake – Zurich gives you the best summer feeling! The atmosphere is way more relaxed than in other parts of Switzerland, it feels like people are open-minded here, and you´ll see locals and tourists alike enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds Zurich.
  • I could name many more things to do in Zurich (click here for more top things to do in Zurich), but I will leave it here.

With 10 days in Switzerland, you should be able to spend 1 full day in Zurich before continuing your trip.

WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH:

  • Zurich has some great luxury hotels which are amazing to get spoiled and enjoy life. Baur au Lac is one of the best-rated luxury hotels close to the city center.
  • This 4-star hotel is one of the best-rated mid-range hotels close to the city center.
  • Warning, there are not many budget hotels in Zurich. I once stayed at this hostel in the heart of Zurich, and it is a good choice if you are on a budget or want to meet other travelers. 

Ebenalp Mountain and Appenzell – 1 Day

If you are interested in seeing the world-famous cliff mountain guest house, “The Ascher,” plan a trip to Appenzellerland. It is quite easily reachable by car or train from Zurich (about 1,5/2 hours by car or train). Head to the “Wasserauen” Station and from there either hike up or take a cable car. unique things to do in Switzerland Aescher Guest House

THINGS TO DO IN EBENALP MOUNTAIN

  • Hike up to the Aescher (or take the cable car) and have a drink or lunch at the mountain guesthouse
  • See the Wildkirchli Caves and learn about the history
  • Hike down to the pretty Lake Seealpsee

Depending on whether you hike or take the cable car, it takes something like 2-6 hours. Check out my detailed guide on how to see the Aescher with more tips for Appenzellerland.

Once back in the valley, you can head back to the hotel or explore the cute and colorful town of Appenzell, which is just a few minutes´ drive away. Best Switzerland destinationsAppenzell is quite small, so you do not need much time to explore it. You can end your day in this colorful village and stay in one of the town center hotels before continuing your journey. 

W HERE TO STAY IN APPENZELL

Valle Verzasca – 1 Day

After Appenzell, it is time to explore some of Switzerland’s Italian-speaking parts – more precisely Locarno. If you are on the hunt for more natural wonders, it is time to visit this unique place…Valle Verzasca. This place is an absolute dream and one of the best places to visit in 10 days in Switzerland. Where to go in Switzerland on holidays

The water is so green, clear, and inviting that it makes you want to jump in. Or probably not, because the water is really cold. 

  • Whether you hop in or not (I have never done it), you will be in awe. Mother Nature knows how to create true beauty!
  • The Lavertezzo Bridge makes this place even more unique.
  • If you have time, go up all the way – by car or bus – to Sonogno which lies at the end of the valley and is an incredibly cute town with a nice waterfall.
  • There are some beautiful places to hike around.

Getting there from Appenzell is rather time-consuming. But, believe me, it is worth it. It is completely different than any other place in Switzerland. 

WHERE TO STAY IN LOCARNO

For a trip to Valle Verzasca, I recommend staying in/near Locarno. 

  • I have stayed in a couple of very luxurious hotels, but this is probably my favorite – ever. Villa Orselina is a top luxurious small boutique hotel in Orselina, just a few minutes from Locarno – check out prices here.
  • I did not stay at Hotel Garni Muralto, but it is one of the best-rated hotels in that price range. Check out prices here.

Zermatt or Montreux – 1,5 Days

Okay, this is hard! While I recommend visiting both places, Zermatt and Montreux, it takes some time to get from Valle Verzasca to Montreux and also to get from Valle Verzasca to Zermatt.

While the distance is not that far, driving in this area is tricky (with loads of mountain tunnels and traffic). Ideally, you would visit both places. But realistically, you may only be able to visit one place. So, if you opt for one place, you should plan in about 1,5 to 2 days (including travel time).

Zermatt (1,5 Days)

Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful towns, With its world-famous house mountain, the uniquely-shaped Matterhorn, it is a great place to visit throughout the year. 

Riffelsee in Zermatt with Matterhorn
Since Zermatt is car-free, you have to leave your car in Taesch and take the train up. In Zermatt itself, you´ll find some electric cars (as well as taxis and buses), but it is so tiny that you can easily make your way around on foot.

THINGS TO DO IN ZERMATT:

  • If you decide to visit Zermatt, make sure to get on Matterhorn Glacier for the amazing views. Just be aware that you might suffer from altitude sickness, as getting up to more than 3000 meters can be a shock to the system.
  • Or get up Gornergrat summit and then hike down and see some of the lakes – with a reflection of the Matterhorn – getting back to Zermatt.
  • End your day with a stroll along the beautiful Vista River and a stop in one of the numerous cafes or restaurants. 
  • Here is my post on more fun things to do in Zermatt.

The only downside to Zermatt is that it is quite remote. Getting there is time-consuming (though the train ride is an experience for itself), which makes me hesitant to recommend it with 10 days in Switzerland if you want to visit as many places as possible.

WHERE TO STAY IN ZERMATT:

Montreux

Lake Geneva is a magnificent giant lake in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Montreux is a tiny town located on the shores of this special lake. A boat tour on Lake Geneva - Things to do in Montreal - a boat tour on Lake GenevaWhile Geneva is probably the first city that comes to your mind when visiting this area, I actually recommend skipping Geneva if you stay in Switzerland for 10 days only. Geneva is great, do not get me wrong, but it is located in the southwestern part of Switzerland. Getting there takes time! So unless you really want to visit Geneva, I recommend visiting Montreux because it is located on the northern shores of Lake Geneva and thus much closer to other places mentioned here.

Montreux is beautiful! It seriously is! It is small, so walking around does not take much time. But with the most beautiful promenade in Switzerland and Chateau de Chillon, Montreux does not have to shy away from any comparison. 

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREUX:

  • Visit Chateau de Chillon
  • Spend time in/on/at Lake Geneva
  • See the Freddie Mercury Statue 
  • Stroll the beautiful Montreux promenade
  • Check out my more detailed guide on Montreux

WHERE TO STAY IN MONTREUX:

If you are happy enough to stay in Switzerland for two weeks, I surely suggest visiting both towns – Zermatt and Montreux. If both towns are appealing to you, then you might have to skip a few other places mentioned here.

  • TIP: If you travel by train, always ask for the most scenic routes — train riding in Switzerland is an experience by itself.

INTERLAKEN AND JUNGFRAU REGION

The Jungfrau/Interlaken regions are like heaven on Earth, and you would miss out if you did not visit here!  There is so much to do, so make sure to book at least two nights in this region if you stay 10 days in Switzerland. Located in the Bernese Oberland canton, it is also home to Bern but for now, let´s focus on Interlaken and the Jungfrau region.

Jungfraujoch and Kleine Scheidegg – 1 Day

A trip to Jungfraujoch is probably the most famous day trip. The Jungfraujoch is a saddle connecting the two 4000ers of the Alps: the Jungfrau and the Mönch. It lies at an elevation of 3,463 meters above sea level and has the highest train station in Europe. top of europe Jungfraujoch - things to know.

Getting to the “Top of Europe” feels unreal. It is a little village by itself with quite a lot of attractions to visit.

You can explore the Ice Palace or Alpine Sensation. And you will get to see snow and can do some winter sports, too – regardless of when you visit! There is snow every day of the year. 

On your way to Jungfraujoch, you might want to stay longer at the Kleine Scheidegg. It is a mountain pass at an elevation of 2,061 m, situated below and between the Eiger and Lauberhorn peaks, and a popular stop for a break. Actually, you could hike up to Kleine Scheidegg and then take the train up to Jungfraujoch. 

  • Is Jungfraujoch a must-visit in 10 days in Switzerland? Well, I enjoyed my trips (3 so far) but…This trip is not cheap. If you are on a budget, there are also many other mountain excursions in the region.
  • If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a discount on this quite expensive day trip. Click here to find out more about it. 
  • You might have some time after your trip to Jungfraujoch. If so, I suggest spending the rest of the time in the very charming town of Grindelwald and having dinner there.

Lake Brienz + Brienzer Rothorn + Giessbach Waterfalls – 1 Day

Now, it is time to visit more great places in the region. If you want to start the day in a relaxed frame of mind, go to Lake Brienz and start with a boat tour.

Lake Brienz is actually my favorite lake, as the water has the most beautiful color and shimmers a lovely turquoise. 

View from Brienzer Rothorn
Lake Brienz from Brienzer Rothorn

One of my all-time favorite mountain excursions was my trip to Brienzer Rothorn. Thus I have been there twice. And was in awe both times. The Brienzer Rothorn is a mountain with an elevation of 2,350 meters above sea level and the train ride itself is impressive but so is the panorama.

  • Arrive at Brienz station by boat (and have the first glimpses of beautiful Lake Brienz) or by train.
  • Then take the old steam locomotive to get up the Brienzer Rothorn and hike back down.
  • Afterward, take the boat again (check the timetable to make sure you do not miss the last boat) to Giessbach Waterfalls.
  • There is a boat stop named the same. Get out there and take a short hike up (or take the hotel funicular) to the Grandhotel Giessbach. You have some amazing views from there of Lake Brienz and the waterfall.
  • In winter, Grandhotel Giessbach is closed. This hotel has also become one of my favorite hotels in the world, with amazing views and interesting decor. The prices are quite high to stay overnight at Grand Giessbach Hotel, so if you are on a budget, make sure to enjoy at least a drink (or a fantastic dinner) at the hotel. This could also be your dinner spot.
  • This trip will probably take a full day. 

Another tip: If you skip any of these activities for any reason, I have other top tips for the region.

Lauterbrunnen & Schilthorn – 1 Day

If you want to visit one of the most popular places in the region, head to beautiful Lauterbrunnen.

Lauterbrunnen is notorious for adrenaline rushes and adventurous activities – skydiving, bungee jumping, base jumpers, etc. BUT there are also some hiking trails – after all, it is Switzerland, and it is a lot about hiking.

Church with waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen

  • Lauterbrunnen is also known for the 72 waterfalls (the most famous of which are the Staubbach Waterfalls and Trümmelfach Falls).
  • It is known for being an extremely beautiful little village.
  • It is also known for being home to the Schilthorn mountain where portions of the James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” were filmed.
  • The trip to Lauterbrunnen, including a hike and some other activities, will take up to a day, so you will probably not have much time to do anything else.
  • Consider having your dinner in the heart of Lauterbrunnen village before going back to your hotel.

St. Beatus Caves & Lake Thun & Thun – 1 Day

Another very dreamy place to visit in 10 days is the St. Beatus Caves. It is located between Interlaken and Thun on the shores of Lake Thun. Ten days in Switzerland ItineraryGet to St. Beatus Caves by bus or car and then take a 10-minute “hike” up to enjoy one of the best views in Interlaken. It is not the height that impresses, but the setting – the beautiful caves, the restaurant with a Lake Thun view, etc. You can have lunch at the panorama restaurant.

After visiting the caves, hike down the other side for another beautiful view. It is just a few minute’s walk and you will find out why road tripping in Switzerland is such an amazing way to discover the country. These roads are just made for exploring! 

Views from St Beatus Caves

  • Check out my more detailed guide on the St. Beatus Caves.
  • This trip will probably not last one full day, so you can then head to Sigriswil to cross the panorama bridge in Sigriswil or have coffee in a wonderfully weird place called “Grabenmühle.”
  • You can get there either by car or bus.

If you want to experience some “city life,” head to the beautiful town of Thun, which is quite close to the St. Beatus Caves.

Thun market square and Thun Castle

You can visit castles there, spend time at the park and end your day at one of the numerous cafes in town. Here is my more detailed Thun city guide.

Blausee & Oeschinensee – 1 Day

My tip is to explore a few (more) of the amazing lakes that are located in the Bernese Oberland. In Kandersteg, you´ll find two of the most beautiful lakes in all of Europe, and with 10 days in Switzerland, you have enough time to see these lakes.

Blausee, a tiny lake of astonishing color, is located in a nature park where you can stroll along the lake (but not swim in it) and take it easy. If you want to get active, you can paddle a boat – or just dine in the restaurant that comes with a lake view. Find out more about Blausee. It is not a must-see (in my honest opinion) but a great place if you are totally into lakes.

Blausee lake in Kandersteg with Arzo Travels

Make sure to add Lake Oeschinen to your Switzerland itinerary. It is another gorgeous lake that is mind-blowing. Stunning Lake Oeschinensee with Arzo TravelsTo get there, you need to get to Kandersteg Station (parking is available) by train or car and then either hike up or take a gondola up. Then, either walk directly to the lake (about 20 minutes easy downhill walk) or do some hiking (several hours) for phenomenal views. The best panorama comes only after some hiking, so I highly recommend the hike if you are moderately fit.

At the lake, you can swim or have a picnic (or have lunch in the restaurant next to the lake). Check out my Lake Oeschinen guide. The cable car does not run all year – so check out times here.

To end your day, you can head to the towns of Thun or Interlaken.  

WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN:

If you explore the above-mentioned places, I recommend staying in/near the town of Interlaken.

  • The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. Since I have not stayed there myself, I can only repeat what I heard: This hotel is amazing. If you are looking for a fancy place, this is probably the best pick.
  • For your stay in Interlaken, I recommend this hotel which is centrally located and is quite nice. Check out rates for Hotel du Nord here.
  • If you are on a budget, I recommend staying in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money and is one of my all-time favorite hostels. Check out prices here.

Lucerne & Mount Rigi & Mount Pilatus – 1,5 Days

Lucerne is one the most beautiful city in Europe and I still think you should spend 1,5-2 days in Lucerne, and this is for several reasons.  

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Chapel Bridge

After a busy few days, you need some time to recharge and rest because it is one of the best places to chill. Lucerne has some breathtaking places close by that you should also check out! Also, Lucerne itself is, above all, wonderful. You have a stunning old town with beautiful historic attractions and one of the biggest lakes in the country.

If you are short on time, a few hours in Lucerne itself is probably enough! Sitting in one of the cafes outside will be a fantastic way to top off your day.

On a sunny day, make sure to head to Weggis, which is located on Lake Lucerne’s shores and is the perfect place to rest after all the busy sightseeing in Switzerland.Weggis - Relax at Lake Lucerne without the crowd

THINGS TO DO IN LUCERNE

  • Visit Chapel Bridge
  • Explore the old town and admire the beautiful old buildings
  • Take a Lake Lucerne boat cruise
  • Rest at Weggis – a “hidden place” to swim. There is also a lido (a beach area watched by staff), but this hidden gem is even better. Bring your blanket, some snacks and drinks – and your bathing suit.
  • Check out my travel guide for Lucerne

WHERE TO STAY IN LUCERNE

Mount Rigi

If you cannot get enough of mountain views, head to Mount Rigi for the sunset. 

Views of Lake Zug from Mount Rigi, Switzerland, Arzo Travels
Mount Rigi is not very far from Weggis, so you can easily combine the trip. Riding up the mountain (funicular) is a feast for the eyes. Getting up while looking at the Alps, Lake Lucerne, and many lush meadows is a fantastic way to end your day. On sunny days, the sunset from Mount Rigi is often amazing. Of course, you can also hike up.

Mount Pilatus

Alternatively, you can visit Mount Pilatus. Whether you get (or better arrive at) to Mount Pilatus by boat, car, or public transportation, the next few hours will be wonderful once you are there. Mount Pilatus with the Swiss Travel PassTo get up there, you have to either hike for a couple of hours or take a funicular/cable car. Getting up is great, walking on the mountain top is great, and even getting down is great!

Since there are many possible activities that you can do up there (including paragliding, hiking, and more), it would be easy to spend a full day on Mount Pilatus.

PLACES TO VISIT IN 2 WEEKS IN SWITZERLAND

Because the country is such a beauty, I highly suggest staying longer than 10 days in Switzerland. And if you stay for 14 days or so, here is one more suggestion.

Bern – 1 Day

If I asked, “What is the capital of Switzerland,” would you know off the top of your head? Actually, most guess that it is Zurich, but the truth is that Bern is the lovely capital. It is also the capital of the canton Bernese Oberland. While smaller and less well-known, this city is a beauty! What to do in 10 days in Switzerland

THINGS TO DO IN BERN

  • Visit the bears (yes, you read that right, some bears live in the city center of Bern, just next to the Aare river). But no worries, there is a fence that keeps the bears from getting to you and eating you alive.
  • Enjoy the best view from the Rosengarten.
  • Stroll along the old town of Bern (btw, the whole city center of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage site.)
  • Check out my Bern travel guide for more places to visit and things to do.

PLACES TO STAY IN BERN

The old town is also my tip for staying in Bern (though parking might be tricky if you have a car).

  • If you are looking for a 5-star luxury place to stay, Bellevue Palace is probably the best place to stay for your Bern trip. It is centrally located and is great for those who like to indulge in luxury. To check out rates, click here.
  • I stayed at the 3-star hotel Goldener Schlüssel for 1 night, located in the city center/old town. Though my hotel room was pretty small and the breakfast simple, the location was perfect and made up for it. Check out rates here.
  • BernYouth Hostel is a good choice if you have to watch your budget more closely but still want to be centrally located. Check out rates here.

Flims – 1 Day

You can discover one of the hidden gems of Switzerland – Flims! This gorgeous and natural area, which is part of the state of Graubünden (Grison), is about a two-hour train or car ride from Zurich. Switzerland tourist attractionsYou will see one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland – Lake Cauma. Lake Cauma is a mountain lake, at about 1000 meters in elevation. But no worries. You do not have to hike up all the way up. You can also drive up almost all the way and then hike down. If you do this, you will get to see more natural wonders. One of them is Lake Cresta and the Rhine Gorge. All of these beautiful places will cross your path if you hike down for just an hour (or a bit longer).

THINGS TO DO IN FLIMS:

  • Chill at Lake Cauma
  • Hike from Lake Cauma to Rhine Gorge
  • From Rhine Gorge, continue your hike to Lake Cresta
  • Rest at Lake Cresta 
  • There can be an entrance fee for both lakes – depending on the time of your visit.
  • Check out my detailed post for more information.
  • Do not forget to bring your water bottle, as there are water fountains with fresh water.
  • There is a restaurant at Lake Cresta, where you can have lunch or take your own food and enjoy a picnic with a view.
  • You could also hike up again or just take the Yellow Postauto (which are regular buses for mountainous areas) to get you to your hotel or back up to your car.

WHERE TO STAY IN FLIMS

Valposchiavo – 2 Days

In 2018 I visited Valposchiavo. I cannot believe it is still a hidden gem because it is one of the most beautiful places ON EARTH! Seriously, this region blew my mind. And I actually would add it on a 5-day Switzerland itinerary, but I am aware that many people want to see the main attractions first. Valposchiavo where to stayHowever, if you plan a two-week Switzerland itinerary, enjoy trail riding, or want to experience quieter places, then Valposchiavo will amaze you.

Take the famous and amazing Bernina Express. This is one of the most beautiful and scenic train routes in the world. I am serious. I have never been o serious before. Okay, I might have been serious on other occasions before, but seriously…

Anyhow, I have a very detailed itinerary for Valposchiavo here. It includes a video of Valposchiavo – but to Valposchiavo´s defense – my video doesn’t do it justice.

Check out prices for accommodation in Poschiavo, the capital of Valposchiavo.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON 10-14 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND 

If you stay 14 or 21 days in Switzerland, you can visit all the above-mentioned places, but with only 10 days in Switzerland, you might have to tweak this Switzerland itinerary as it fits the best for you.

Since we do have not all the same tastes and preferences (except that we all want to experience Switzerland´s amazing beauty), you can adjust your itinerary with the suggestions mentioned.

I know Switzerland is extremely expensive and, thus, many people skip it. But as you can see, this small country has so much to offer. The scenery is – in my opinion – the most beautiful one I can imagine. It is my favorite country in the world. There is so much to discover that I highly recommend staying 10 days in Switzerland. 

Safe Travels, Arzo

HOW TO CREATE AN EPIC CROATIA ROAD TRIP

Croatia road trip

HOW TO ROAD TRIP CROATIA + TRAVEL TIPS

So, you are planning a Croatia road trip?! With cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj, or national parks and beaches, this country is a perfect road trip destination in Europe. Public transportation in Croatia is not bad. You could also do guided day tours to visit the top places in the country. However, given Croatia´s geography – stretched over length – it is not easy to visit all the top places as day trips. To create a perfect Croatia itinerary, driving is the best way to get around.

I suggest spending at least 14 days in the country. However, you can also skip a few places and do a 5- 7- or 10-day Croatia road trip. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

DRIVING TIPS & RULES FOR ROAD TRIPPING CROATIA

Before talking about the best places to visit, here are some tips for driving in Croatia.

Driving in Croatia is amazing. I have driven in a few countries (mostly in Europe), and it was probably the best conditions I have come across – better than in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and of course better than in Italy.

  • The roads, even in the mountains, are quite wide. Plus, most of them are in great condition.
  • The streets and roads are not very busy and the best: Croatian drivers are quite friendly (unlike in Italy, I must say).
  • People could argue that tolls are high in Croatia – and it is true. Tolls for highways in Croatia are insane. For 100 km you pay around 10€ (just roughly) – BUT… here comes the good news:
  • If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls. The most beautiful street to drive to in Croatia is free – and you will have amazing scenic views along the way. 
  • Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though. Prices change daily but are higher than in Germany or Austria, for example. 
  • Also, it is pretty easy to find parking in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) – an exception is Dubrovnik. If you park in the city center – fees can be up to 240€ – for 24 hours!

Street in Croatia, driving

  • Croatia has done a great job. There are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views. So, pack enough food and drinks for many stops – there is no need to rush to get from one place to the next.
  • When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat but can leave your car in Split.
  • In general, I did not worry about safety – don’t leave any valuables on display and take your wallet, etc., with you (and put everything that could attract thieves).
  • If you need to rent a car, check out rental prices here and make sure to rent a car in advance. This applies especially if you visit during the busier months.
  • Check out this site if you have to rent a car. I normally drive my own car (and now van) so I rarely use rental companies, but this site compares different companies and has great offers.
  • If you drive all the way down to Dubrovnik, make sure you have an insurance card with you (either if you drive your own or a rental car) as you will cross borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Check out my accommodation guide for Croatia.

BEST STOPS FOR A ROAD TRIP IN CROATIA

So, here is the perfect Croatia road trip itinerary (skip whatever you want or add other places). If you only have 7-day in Croatia, check out my one-week itinerary.

Zagreb

Start (or end) your trip in Zagreb, the capital of the country It ranks among the oldest cities in Central Europe dating back to the 11th century.

Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia
Cemetery of Mirogoj

Located more inland than other popular cities in Croatia, Zagreb still has a lot to offer. Its architecture sets it apart from other Croatian towns as well, with a heavy Austrian-Hungarian influence.

  • You will want to visit some places: the Cathedral, the Museum of Broken Relationships, shopping at Dollar Market, seeing St. Mark’s Church, eating at Tkalciceva Street, and walking through the cemetery of Mirogoj which is just outside of Zagreb’s city center.
  • Check out my Zagreb itinerary for more tips.

Zagreb is, however, a little more challenging to reach because it is located in the north, close to the Slovenian border. If you have less than 10 days, I would skip it.

TIP: Driving in Zagreb is fine. It is busy but not as crazy as in other European capitals. If you can, book accommodation with free parking though. 

WHERE TO STAY IN ZAGREB:

Plitvice Lakes

One of the most stunning and famous natural landmarks in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest national park and is almost 80% covered in forest. It is a popular destination for hikers with many trails. It is a biodiverse region with many threatened species and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.Plitvice Lake in Croatia

The Plitvice Lakes are actually made up of 16 larger lakes and numerous smaller ones, the largest in all of Croatia is Veliki Slap. You can circle them, exploring along eight different routes.

TIP: There are enough parking spots (paid) at Plitvice Lakes. Some people spend more than one day, but for me, about 6 hours were enough to see most of it.

The only downside to the Plitvice Lakes is that they are located inland and away from any other travel destinations in Croatia, so you will have to detour on your road trip to reach them.

Rovinj

Located close to the Italian border – in fact, just across Venice’s water – and on the northwestern side of Croatia is Rovinj. Rovinj has a very Italian feel to it. From Venetian architecture to the cobblestone streets and colorful houses, Rovinj will remind you of a town on the coast of Italy. It sits on the Istrian coast, just below the Lim Fjord. There are a lot of charming houses and narrow little streets that are fun to wander and explore.Croatia, Rovinj the best streets_

It is a small town but lovely and so different from the rest of the country, making it special.

  • Some of the highlights of visiting Rovinj are strolling through the old town, climbing the bell tower, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, and taking a walk on the promenade.
  • If you like the beach, there are a few you can go to relax or swim. And there are also boat cruises offered to see Rovinj from a different perspective.

TIP: Parking in the town center might be difficult in the summer months. Book accommodation that has parking included or park a bit outside and walk to the city center/accommodation.

Unfortunately, it is quite a detour from the Plitvice National Park. So you have to think, about whether you want to add it to your road trip or not. If you visit, I recommend staying for at least one night.

WHERE TO STAY IN ROVINJ

I recommend staying in or near the old town of Rovinj.

  • I picked a little B&B – Rooms Barbieri – near the old town. The rates are good, and they offer free parking. It just takes a short (and lovely) walk to get to the old town. However, there are not many rooms, so book early if you want to stay here. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at.
  • For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town  – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
  • Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.

Pula

From Rovinj, you could continue and visit Pula which is a seaside city located at the Istrian Peninsula’s tip and has a very tragic past.

Pula was founded during the prehistoric era and, over the course of many centuries, was occupied and destroyed, and rebuilt repeatedly. It was favored because of its strategic location within a protected harbor.

It has been occupied by the forces of the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Venetians, and the Allied forces from World War II over the years.

Pula Amphitheatre a must for Crotia road trip itinerary
@shutterstock

Nowadays, it is a popular destination because of its beautiful and historic landmarks and Roman ruins, its beaches, and its coastline. Visit the Roman Amphitheater and some of the many museums in Pula. It is also the home of various festivals.

TIP: With only 2 weeks in Croatia (or less), I would limit my time here and visit the Roman Amphitheater and then spend the rest of the day driving to Zadar.

Zadar

Founded in the 4th century, Zadar has an ancient history. Located along the western coast of Croatia by the Adriatic Sea, Zadar is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited city.

Zadar from above with Arzo Travels_

Despite its fame, this town is not very busy or crowded, so it is easy to explore and enjoy. You can definitely see the best of Zadar in one day: see the Forum, visit the ancient square, stroll down Kalelarga Street, and see the church of St. Donatus.

You can take in the views from the bell tower and stroll the promenade, where visitors can listen to the Sea Organ’s unique sounds and watch the sunset. Zadar has a very laid-back vibe to it, so take your time exploring this Croatian town for the day before heading to your next road trip destination.

TIP: I am very honest – Zadar wasn’t my favorite stop. Compared to other places here, it lacked attractions, but it is a perfect stop-over. So, from your way to Pula, I would probably spend the evening here (it is charming in the evening) and then continue the journey the next day.

Krka National Park

Spend half a day (or a day) at Krka National Park. It is located in the southern part of Croatia and, similar to Plitvice Lake, has beautiful waterfalls.

Situated along the Krka River, the national park has a series of seven waterfalls that are scattered throughout the area. There is the Roški Slap in the north, a cascade close to a nature trail, and the Krka Monastery, which was created above the catacombs from Roman times.

To the south, Skradinski Buk waterfall is surrounded by two watermills – you can actually swim in the water here.

KRKA National Park a must for 7-day Croatia itinerary
@shutterstock

Also, Krka National Park is on Visovac Island, which was where the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy was located in the 15th century. 

I visited Plitvice Falls and was not too eager to see these falls as the weather was not great. So, I can tell you only what I have heard. These falls are not as impressive as Plitvice Lake’s, but they are still a good place to visit.

TIP: It is a great alternative if you don’t want to drive up north for the Plitvice Lakes or if you want to swim. Since it is close to Zadar and even closer to Šibenik, it would make a great stop before discovering these two beautiful towns below.

Trogir and Šibenik 

Now, it is time to head to Trogir and Šibenik. You can’t road trip Croatia and miss out on these beauties! Located along the Adriatic Sea’s western shores, these two towns are absolutely beautiful and quite charming.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in CroatiaŠibenik is famous as the filming location for the show Game of  Thrones, but besides that, it also has a lot of old, picturesque streets and famous landmarks. The town has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Šibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fort. Trogir is a must-see in CroatiaTrogir felt like a mini version of Split, but even more lovely with its colorful streets, little cafes, and friendly people. There is a really nice seaside promenade that you can stroll, as well as other sights like the Trogir Cathedral, the clock tower in the market square, Kamerlengo Castle, and the bell tower. The streets themselves are a sight, and you should spend some time exploring these two towns on foot to really get a feel for them.

TIP: Both places are absolutely gorgeous, and you could do them in one day. It is enough time to see the main attractions but I suggest staying overnight in Sibenik or Trogir.

Where to Stay in Trogir:

  • Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, and lovely views. It is located quite close to the city center. You can check out rates here.
  • Hotel Concordia is located in the old town – I think, location-wise, it cannot get much better. It seems to offer great value for money! Find out more about the hotel here.

Split

Then it is time to visit Split. Spend a day or two in Split, which is located on a peninsula in the southwestern part of Croatia, jutting out into the Adriatic Sea.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

Split is one of the most famous and popular cities in the country. It can be very crowded here, partly because it was another filming location for Game of Thrones (GoT) because there are many beautiful landmarks that you won’t want to miss.

Visit the Cathedral and the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, see Diocletian’s Palace and explore the Peristyle (Peristil) and the Vestibule, and see the City Gate. Klis Fortress is another must-see for GOT fans. 

You can also hike up Marjan Hill for views of the surrounding scenery and walk the promenade

TIP: Split is lovely, though, with a limited time in Croatia (less than 10 days), I would not spend more than 1 day in Split.

Where to Stay in Split:

Hvar

Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular islands – known as a famous port city as well as a party spot. But it also has a rich history and lovely architecture done in the Italian Renaissance style. The old town is great to walk through and explore. There are lots of caves, forests, and secluded beaches for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. 

Hvar is one of the best places to stay in Croatia
@shutterstock

To reach the island, you will need to leave your car in Split and take the ferry to enjoy a day in Hvar. It will take a few hours to reach, but it should be worth it.

Where to stay in Hvar:

  • While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar.

Omiš

Spend a day (or half) in Omiš, a port town just southeast of Split, situated where the Cetina River and the Adriatic Sea meet. During the 12-14th centuries, it was a pirate town, so it’s an interesting place to explore.

Omis view from the fortress

It has lovely scenery and is a very unique and pretty town that really shouldn’t be missed. Huge gorges surround Omiš. For adventure lovers, it’s even better – you can enjoy biking, canyoning, ziplining, rock climbing, and rafting.

Head up to Castle Mirabella, which offers great views of the old town, mountains, and river. A little farther away is Starigrad Fortica, a 15th-century fortress built during the Croatian-Ottoman wars, which also offers nice views. There are many churches to see, including the remains of the 5th-century Church of St. Euphemia.

TIPOmis is the perfect place…for anyone actually! Beautiful scenery, a lot of activities of adrenaline junkies, easy hike opportunities, and more. 

Punta Rata & Baska Voda

Punta Rata & Baska Voda beaches are among the best to visit in Croatia. The coastline of the country is gorgeous, so visiting one of these two beaches will allow you to enjoy the beauty even more. Punta Rada Beach in Croatia

Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden place

Punta Rata is well-known as the prettiest beach in Croatia. There are more than a few in this area, but this is a good place to stop and, if the weather cooperates, go for a swim or lay out in the sun. It is surrounded by pine trees and has clear water and smooth sand.

Baska Voda is also along the Adriatic coastline and has smooth sand and clear waters. This beach is a little busier, though, as you’ll notice as you walk along the promenade.

TIP: You might long for a day at the beach after driving and visiting the many towns and villages. This is the place to rest and chill. One day or two here might be enough to sunbathe and chill at the beach, but of course, you could stay here much longer.

However, more great places are waiting for you.

Mostar, Blagaj Monastery, Kravice Falls, and Pocitelj (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

To get to Dubrovnik, you must cross into Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, why not visit some of the most popular destinations along the way!

Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar

Mostar, located by the Neretva River, is wonderful! You should take time to stroll through the many shops and market stalls down the city’s alleys. Also, take in the panoramic views from the minaret of the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and see Stari Most, a famous reconstructed bridge from medieval times.

In the southeastern region of the Mostar basin, you will find the ancient Blagaj Monastery built 600 years ago on the cliffs, along with a Turkish bath and mausoleum.

Blagaj is a good half a day trip from Mostar

The Kravice Falls are lovely cascading waterfalls found on the Trebižat River, in the center of Herzegovina, and just south of Mostar. Close by is Pocitelj, a historic village with an open-air museum that you can explore.

TIP: I adore Bosnia-Herzegovina. I loved the people, the places. In addition to that, it is also much cheaper than Croatia, so make a gas stop here and do some shopping if you are on a budget.

Where to Stay in Mostar:

You could visit the places in 1 day – but with crossing the border, I actually suggest spending a night in Mostar before heading to the last place on your Croatia road trip itinerary.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is one of the most popular and famous cities in the country. Located in the south of Croatia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik is unique. One of the downsides of Dubrovnik is its location. It is quite far from other main places in Croatia. However, it is really worth it. After the excursion (with or without a stop in Bosnia), you will be back in Croatia and visit Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik should be on every Croatia road trip

It is known for its 16th-century walls that encircle the city and a very well-preserved old town that dates back to medieval times. The 2-kilometer-long walls are walkable and offer great views of the city.

You can also see more filming locations from Game of Thrones. Other landmarks to visit include hiking up Srd Mountain, seeing St. Blaise Church, Rector’s Palace, the Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Fort Lovrijenac, and Sponza Palace. The Old Town and the many buildings throughout the streets make wandering one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

TIP: The old town of Dubrovnik is car-free. Park your car outside the city center – and walk or take a bus to get to the old town. Parking prices are ridiculously high. Driving up Srd Mountain can be challenging for people who cannot drive the extremely narrow mountain roads, use the cable car instead.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is busy. I mean, really busy, and this is why I recommend staying at least one or two nights. This way you can explore the city when the visitors are gone (many people visit only for a few hours).

CONCLUSION OF MY CROATIA ROAD TRIP

I think the Croatia road trip was one of the most fun road trips I have had. The scenery, the streets, the people – not to forget the places you get to visit will surely make your trip amazing! You will meet many friendly locals and beautiful spots. So, enjoy your Croatia road trip and drive safely!

PIN ME FOR LATER – ROAD-TRIPPING CROATIA

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Croatia road trip, places to visit and more travel tips

Safe Travels, Arzo

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