A Year in Review: Where I Travelled In 2019
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to review another year in travel on cherylhoward.com. This year I travelled to 11 countries, five of them new, as I went to Sweden, Ukraine, Greece, Estonia, and Finland. I also visited some of my long time favourites like Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Malta, and of course, different parts of my beloved homeland, Germany.
A fairly impressive list if I do say so myself! I certainly beat my 2018 talley when I visited six different countries – you can check out Where I Travelled in 2018 to find out more. Also, check out one of my other year in review write-ups, my top 10 blog posts of 2019.
We partnered with Musement on this post. Use them to book tickets to museums, attractions, and fun activities around the world. For example, when in Berlin, book a biking tour to Potsdam, a queer walking tour, or go on a pub crawl
A Year in Review: Where I Travelled In 2019
1) Budapest, Hungary
My first trip of the year was naturally, a visit to my favourite city on the planet, Budapest in January. I stayed for four days, deliberately surrounding myself in beauty for the entire weekend and it felt a bit Wes Anderson themed as I hit up places like the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, New York Palace (The Dedica Anthology), Ervin Szabó Library, Café Párisi – Lotz Hall, and Gellert Baths. Even my hotel room at Butik Hotel, was stunning. I also visited a lot of weird and offbeat sites, like the Ronald Reagan statue, so I could add to our ever growing chronicles of strange places.
Weird & Offbeat: The Columbo Statue In Budapest – Our “Weird & Offbeat” series takes us to Hungary where we look at just how an American television detective came to be immortalized with the Columbo statue in Budapest.
Weird & Offbeat: Michael Jackson Memorial Tree Budapest – The newest addition to our “Weird & Offbeat” series highlights the Michael Jackson Memorial Tree Budapest. Visit and pay tribute to the King Of Pop.
Travel to Hungary and Spend A Weekend in Budapest – Spend your weekend in Budapest in style and visit well known tourist sites, as well as off the beaten path ones, sleep in a boutique hotel, eat Hungarian food, and drink local wine.
2) Stockholm, Sweden
I took a break from travel in February as I recovered from surgery so in March I went to Sweden for a work trip and tacked on a few extra days to enjoy on my own. While it was cold, I didn’t let it stop me from going all over the place. Top highlights of Stockholm were walking around Old Town, visiting the Nobel Museum, taking in some of the quirky metro stations, as well as visiting four different libraries like Stockholm Public Library and National Library of Sweden. Other mouth watering experiences included eating reindeer for the first time at the Pélican, meatballs at Slingerbulten, and lastly, a beef stew at Pastis so good I almost cried actual tears of joy.
3) Athens, Greece
In April, I took off for a warmer climate when I spent a long weekend in Athens. I wasn’t feeling the best on this trip but still managed to fulfill my dream of visiting the Acropolis, take a day trip to see the Temple of Poseidon overlooking the Aegean Sea, eat my fill of Greek food, walk for hours on end, indulge at a Hammam, go on a Greek wine tasting experience, and lastly, stay at this beautiful little hotel, The House with a great view over the city.
A Perfect Day Trip From Athens To The Temple Of Poseidon – Visiting the Temple Of Poseidon at Cape Sounion is the perfect day trip from Athens. Learn the history, find out where to eat, & what else there is to do.
4) Valletta, Malta
Next up on my list of where I travelled in 2019? Craving more time close to the sea, I went to Malta again in May. My weekend there was quite short, so I focused on getting to know Valletta by walking for hours on end (as usual), only stopping to sample yummy food like a rabbit meat pasta. The most fun part was doing a photography tour with a German travel blogger who lives in Malta to take in some hidden spots around the island’s tiny capital city.
25 Photos That Will Tempt You To Head to Mdina Malta Right Now – Let these photos fuel your wanderlust to travel to Mdina Malta. Find out where to eat and sleep, plus all the things there are to do in this Maltese city.
5) Warnemünde, Germany
Even in May, temperatures were already burning hot. To escape the heat of the city, I headed to Northern Germany to hang out for the weekend in Warnemünde. As usual, I strolled through the picturesque town, watched sunset over the Baltic Sea, feasted on seafood, and got my spa on at Hotel Neptun.
How To Spend A Wonderful 24 Hours In Warnemünde – Only 3 hours from Berlin, Warnemünde is the perfect escape for Berliners. Think seafood restaurants, a long sandy beach, therapeutic spas, & the Baltic Sea.
Best Hotels In Berlin Mitte (Personal Picks From A Local) – With more than 800 hotels in the city, it’s hard to know where to stay for your Berlin vacation. See these 15 hotels in Berlin Mitte to get started.
A Guide Of Cool Things To Do Around Hamburg Schanzenviertel – Read this guide of cool things to do around Hamburg Schanzenviertel, including where to eat, shop, drink, stay, and more.
6) Wiesbaden, Germany
In July, I went to Wiesbaden to see my all time favourite band, Bon Iver, perform in concert. As my cat was pretty sick at the time and I didn’t want to be away from her for long, I was there for less than 24 hours. This curtailed any planned touristic explorations, but I still managed to enjoy a delicious steak dinner paired with a local wine, attend the Bon Iver concert a historic outdoor venue, and pretend to “live large” at my fancy pants hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel Schwarzer Bock Wiesbaden.
I’m obsessed with Bon Iver and even have plans to see them in Berlin next April which will be my fourth (or fifth?) time seeing them live.
15 Exciting Day Trips From Berlin (As Recommended By A Local) – Experience more of Europe with these day trips from Berlin. Expect quirky architecture, postcard scene Old Towns, and plenty of food and drink tips.
An Afternoon Walk Through the City: Frankfurt Photos – Spending an afternoon exploring the German financial capital, these Frankfurt photos highlight the modern skyline, the museum embankment, Old Town, & more.
A Day Trip from Berlin: Schwerin Photos – Only 2 hours from Berlin, Schwerin is an easy and fun day trip no matter what time of the year. See the best of the city through my Schwerin photos.
7) Poznan, Poland
Another place where I travelled in 2019? Toward the end of summer in August, I did another quick trip to Poland as an excuse to update my Poznan restaurant guide, eat pierogies, and drink beer. I stayed in a cute little Airbnb, strolled through Old Town, and enjoyed some seriously good meals. I even hung out at a hipster bar that felt like it was in Berlin.
Poznan Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner – The next time you’re visiting Poznan, Poland try out these delicious and tasty Poznan restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
8) Tallinn, Estonia
In September, I finally achieved my dream of visiting Estonia and I hung out in Tallinn for my birthday in September. Some of the best moments of the trip included visiting Hotel Viru to learn about how the KGB used the hotel as a base for spying on guests, having a hipster brunch at F-Hoone, checking out the photo exhibit at the Fotografiska, and seeing a bunch of old Soviet statues in an exhibition at Maarjamäe Castle.
I stayed at this Airbnb, an artist’s studio with an “exposed shower” – the stall comes complete with a panel that controls the lighting, radio, and water. You can opt to use the handheld shower, overhead rainfall shower, or the six different jets which shoot water at different parts of your body all at once. I’ve never had such a fun time in a shower before!
9) Helsinki, Finland
To keep this list of where I travelled in 2019 exciting, the same weekend I was in Tallinn, I took the ferry over to Helsinki to explore Finland for a day. While there, I visited The National Library of Finland, giggled when I saw the Bad Bad Boy Statue, went inside the massive Helsinki Cathedral, had a glorious beef stew at Savotta, and checked out a church built into rock, the Temppeliaukion Church.
Weird & Offbeat: The Bad Bad Boy Statue Helsinki – What is the Bad Bad Boy Statue Helsinki? Why is there a massive statue of a peeing boy there in first place? Let us solve the mystery for you.
10) Brno, Czech Republic
September was a month with a lot of travel and after Tallinn and Helsinki, I headed to Brno, Czech Republic for another long weekend. It was so nice to get to know another city outside of Prague. Brno has a stunning Old Town with plenty of churches and other spooky sites to explore like the Capuchin Crypt and the Ossuary. My top highlight was a day trip to the Moravian Karst where I toured a couple of caves and went hiking in the forest. While in Brno, I also had some delicious meals (on the cheap!), and put together the blog’s second ever restaurant guide. From an accommodation perspective, I stayed at this very dreamy Airbnb.
Brno Restaurants: Places To Eat In Brno Czech Republic – If you’re visiting Brno & looking for a place to eat, consider these Brno restaurants. From hip cafés, to cheap pubs, & fine dining, we’ve got you covered.
Prague Photos: 41 Pictures That Prove It’s the Prettiest City in Europe – Considering a visit to the capital of the Czech Republic? Is it as pretty as they say? Be convinced to go there right now by looking at these Prague photos.
Good or Bad? Love Locks in Prague – These love locks in Prague highlight the still growing trend to place locks on bridges around the world, but these specific love locks have locals worried.
11) Kyiv, Ukraine
October took me to the Ukraine where I spent a long weekend in Kyiv. While I wasn’t at my best with a fractured foot, I still managed to do a lot like visit the Museum of Toilet History, taste real Georgian food for the first time, attend a Borscht party, go to a wine festival, check out an eerie crematorium, and walk through a massive open air market where I bought many books. I also visited and climbed the Mother Motherland monument (at least part way as I was too scared to go to the top).
Weird & Offbeat: Museum Of Toilet History Kyiv – We explore the Museum Of Toilet History in Kyiv to learn about the humble toilet, experience art, & see the world’s largest collection of toilet souvenirs.
12) Toronto, Canada
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I made my annual trip home to Toronto in November. As with last year, there’s not much new to say about my time home. It’s always fun, but never really feels like a vacation as I met up with friends, visited family, and ate some of my favourite foods that are hard to come by in Germany, like jerk chicken and veal sandwiches. A highlight of my time home was having my buddy Adam come from New York to visit me in Toronto. We did silly and fun things like watch the latest Charlie’s Angels movie and spontaneously go for a manicure and pedicure.
What You Need to Know Before You Travel to Canada – Canada celebrated their 150th anniversary this year and there’s no better time to visit. Find out what you need to know before you travel to Canada.
14) Szczecin, Poland
Last but not least of where I travelled in 2019? My final trip of the year was to Szczecin – again. I went there for the day to take time to relax at Baltica Spa, where I experienced their sauna, steam rooms, and jacuzzis, as well as treated myself to a luxurious facial and massage. Hot tip – my three or four hours at the spa was only €60!
A Day Trip From Berlin to Visit Szczecin Poland – Find out why you should visit Szczecin Poland. From old castles, to modern architecture, numerous museums, & craft beer, learn how to spend the perfect day.
The Best Hotels in Szczecin Poland – Looking for the best hotels in Szczecin? From budget friendly to luxury, we feature a historic site, a forested park oasis, as well as more modern hotels.
Where am I going next?
Phew, it was a busy year when you look at where I travelled in 2019. What’s in store for next year?
By this time last year, I already had several new trips lined up. I’d like 2020 to be much different, where I travel less but longer, to hopefully reduce my carbon footprint.
At this time, I only have three trips booked – in February, I’m making my way back to Serbia to hang out in Belgrade for a long weekend, in April, I’m heading to Armenia where I’ll base myself in Yerevan to explore more of the country, and in June, I’m going to visit Naples to eat allll the pizza.
I’m beyond excited for the Armenia trip as it marks my first time in Asia since I went to Thailand in 2015.
That wraps up where I travelled in 2019. Where did you visit in 2019 and where are you heading next year? Give us all some travel inspiration and leave a comment below.
Good To Know
2) Where are you going to stay on your next trip? Check out the options booking.com.
3) If hotels aren’t your thing, stay at an Airbnb instead. First time users can use this link to get themselves a €34 travel credit.
4) If you’re into road tripping around the world, think about renting a car.
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*Disclosure – In order to provide helpful information about booking tickets to attractions around the globe, I collaborated with Musement. This post contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour, car rental, or hotel through any of these links, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!