Vanessa Hudgens spent the last few weeks of 2019 on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and she soaked up every moment of it.
During an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Friday — her first day doing press since news broke this week of her split from longtime boyfriend Austin Butler — the actress opened up about shooting the upcoming Netflix Christmas movie, The Princess Switch: Switched Again, in Edinburgh, Scotland last month.
“I am so obsessed,” she gushed. “It’s the place that I never knew I needed to be. It literally seems like Harry Potter come to life. The history is insane.”
Hudgens and Butler, who will play Elvis Presley in an untitled biopic that’s currently in pre-production, had been long distance as they filmed projects in different countries. Fans speculated about a breakup when neither posted photos celebrating Christmas or New Year’s Eve together.
Hudgens, 31, rang in the New Year in Edinburgh, where she took part in the city’s traditional torchlight procession.
“There are 20,000 people, I believe,” she explained on Live. “You all carry torches and you walk down the royal aisle, down to the palace, and at the end of it there’s traditional Scottish music, you’re doing the jig, and there’s fireworks.”
Asked whether she gets homesick while working abroad, the High School Musical star said, “I mean, the things that I miss most are the people I love,” adding that she missed her sister Stella “so much” while she was in Scotland. But luckily, Stella, 24, managed to pull off the surprise of a lifetime for her Dec. 14 birthday.
“I was literally talking to my producer and I was like, ‘I think I’m going to call my sister and see if she wants to come out because I miss her,'” Hudgens recalled to co-host Ryan Seacrest and guest co-host Katie Lowes. “I get to my trailer and I open the door, and my mom was filming me. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And there was a massive box — my sister pops out of a box. I was dead. [I had] no idea whatsoever. It was the greatest thing.”
PEOPLE confirmed on Tuesday that Hudgens and Butler, who had been together since 2011, had called it quits. Their reps could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday night, Hudgens made her first public appearance after the news at the Los Angeles premiere of Bad Boys for Life. The actress, who stars opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the movie, walked the red carpet solo and did not stop for interviews.
Butler, 28, most recently appeared in awards darling Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.
A source told PEOPLE that throughout their nearly nine-year relationship, the couple discussed taking the next big step together.
“They had talked about an engagement before they split up,” the source.
Unfortunately, “busy work schedules and travel definitely put a strain on the relationship,” the source added. “They were a wonderful couple and it’s really sad that it didn’t work out.”