If you're planning to travel to Europe, I recommend adding Belgium to your list.
Ania and I found a roundtrip ticket to Brussels South Charleroi from Warsaw Modlin Airport for $36! YES, you read that right. Because Charleroi was not the final destination, we also needed to book a bus to Brussels for a roundtrip total of $30. Wouldn't you go?!
We were welcomed in Brussels with sunshine, a charming little park with Porte de Hal (a medieval fortified city gate) on our way to the hotel, and waffle trucks everywhere. It felt like spring and it was hard to contain our excitement. Unfortunately, the rest of our stay was not all sunshine and rainbows. There were strong winds coming from the west that lasted until our last day with a few rainy days and nights, but they did not stop our fun.
I can keep telling you about how I loved every corner of the city, every person we interacted with, each coffee we drank (and mulled wine), EVERY SINGLE PARK we entered, and all the cute buildings on every street. See it for yourself and feel the magic in the photos below. BUT, I do have to say that the most memorable part of the trip was this little park named Square du Petit Sablon. The park transports you to a peaceful place where the city shuts down and the fountain and beautiful plants around you make you feel like you're in a secret garden. There is no boring or ugly angle to this place.
We also got to visit a city west of Brussels called Aalst. It was a small town with the nicest people who spoke English very well! We were so impressed that most people speak at least three languages, not including English. The three official languages of Belgium are Dutch, French, and German.
During our stay, we learned that Aalst is well known for their three-day Carnaval that takes place each year preceding Ash Wednesday. During the celebration, men dress up as women, everyone parades the streets also dressed up, drinks, dances, and mocks their local politicians. It sounds like a crazy fun time!
Photographed with Canon 5D Mark IV