Inspired by the movie The Holiday , I decided to travel alone to some cities I’ve never been before, so I would not feel kind of alone during the Christmas – NYE holiday. Sounds sad, but when your family is living in another continent of the world – spending the holiday and bumping at friend’s house or friend family’s christmas party is kind of tradition for me for 8 years already.
So I booked the train passes for two countries for 5 days journeys from Eurail (PS. This is only eligible if you do not have EU nationalities, and if you have EU nationalities you need to buy your passes from Interrail).
My first stop was Grenoble, France.
If there’s one place I always come back to, over and over again, it’s Bastille Hill. I’ve been dreaming to visit this landmark since a long time. The Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside, overlooks Grenoble on the northern side and is visible from many points in the city. The Bastille is one of Grenoble’s most visited tourist attractions and provides a good vantage point over both the town below and the surrounding mountains (source: wikipedia). To get to the Bastille hill, you need to take Grenoble-Bastille cable car, or well-known as “Les Bulles” (the bubbles) as it mostly looks like a transparent egg-shaped cable car.
My second stop was Milan, Italy
I actually only had one day out in Milan, well I kind of booked the train tickets at the last minute during the holiday season. So, I didn’t have much choice only to spend whole day in Milan. Here I’ve gathered a few of places that I’ve visited in one day.
It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remnants of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe. Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami in 1891–1905, it now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. (Source : wikipedia)
Is the main city square of Milan. It is named after, and dominated by, the Milan Cathedral (the Duomo). The piazza includes some of the most important buildings of Milan (and Italy in general), as well some of the most prestigious commercial activities, and it is by far the foremost tourist attraction of the city.
If you like historical buildings, this is the perfect place to visit.. What I did was standing in the middle of the city square and look all the stunning buildings surround you.. it was really breathtaking.
Milan Cathedral. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City) and the third largest in the world.
Honestly, I would not recommend you to visit Piazza del Duomo & the Cathedral during the holiday. Well, I was hardly enjoyed the walking and sight seeing in this area as it was too crowded and too many people did the same thing (read: taking pictures).
It is actually pretty hype area to have a drink or social meet up after work. You won’t get thirsty around here. The area is filled with pubs, bars and restaurants.
Where I stayed:
As I needed to catch up very early train to France, I chose to stay at this Hotel. 10 minutes walking from Garibaldi Train Station.
Address: Via Valtellina, 2-4, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Good Address to eat:
Address: Via Rovello, 10, 20121 Milano MI, Italie
Last time I went to Italy, I tried deep-fried seafood, it was really delicious, and it made me promise to myself, if one day I take another trip to Italy, I will eat the same dishes. So, I did! I went to the local pizzeria, not really far from the landmark Castello Sforzesco di Milano. I ordered Gran Fritto Misto, it was mix deep-fried seafood with fried courgette (zuccini).
Address: Piazzale Baiamonti, 2 20154 Milano Italia
I found this place by chance in the Chinatown, as I supposed to go to Korean restaurant that permanently closed. It’s a very fine fusion japanese restaurant with reasonable price. I ordered different kind of dishes and everything tasted amazing.
Last stop before going back home – Paris, France
For some people spending NYE is very important, for some people might be not. But me, I like spending quality time with my closest friends, like most of French people do.
Where to stay:
I kind of booked the hotel couple weeks before the holiday started, so this was the one I found that pretty affordable during NYE. It situated in 11th arrondissement of Paris and pretty calm area. The room was comfortable and modern for Parisian hotels, but the most important thing is they provide you free mineral water and kettle for tea/coffee for each room.
address: 39 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Good address to eat:
After craving Korean food when I was in Milan, my friend finally brought me to eat some Korean food, and it was really good. Here’s the address:
14 Rue Rampon, 75011 Paris
What to order:
Korean barbecue (marinated beef )
Beef Bibimbap in a hot stone pot
Good address to dance:
We spent our NYE dancing at this place. But actually, the restaurant is also open during the day for simply having coffee, casual drinking or even lunching.
address: 2 Boulevard Barbès, 75018 Paris