Europe is one of the world’s most travelled destinations, and given its long history, its diverse cultures and its accessibility, this isn’t all that surprising. If you’re planning a trip across the continent, you will have realised that unless you’ve literally got a lifetime available to you, you just won’t be able to visit every fascinating place. In order to help you to select a few stopping points, I’ve put together a list of 7 European travel destinations to include along the way.
Once a place of political rupture, Berlin is fast becoming one of the world’s cultural capitals. It is an epicentre of the contemporary arts, and it’s famous for it’s relaxed atmosphere, it’s vibrant nightlife, and it’s long and varied history. Take in the sights of the old city – the Brandenburger Tor, the Reichstag – and then head for one of the myriad restaurants, bars or clubs.
This fantastic city, built right at the edge of the Croatian coast, is an absolute must-see. Not only is it a hive of local activity – packed with busy markets and street-side cafes – but it boasts some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent. The walls of the city literally divide it from the crashing waves so that pretty much wherever you stay in Dubrovnik, you’ll be looking out across oceanic vistas.
The famous city is a busy centre of cultural activity and one of the prettiest towns around. Its legendary museums, multiple monuments and beautiful canal belt have placed Amsterdam among the most-visited places on the continent. Plan your stay to coincide with one of the more than seventy festivals hosted there every year, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of a city come to life.
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmatre and Notre Dame en Haute: need I say more? Paris is an historic, culturally-rich, and contemporary city – and the shopping is some of the best in the world. Save up; you’ll want to buy almost everything you see.
Greece in its entirety is an amazing country. Sometimes a Mediterranean playground, sometimes a hotbed of ancient history, it is both culturally important and extremely popular with sun-worshippers. Crete manages seamlessly to combine these two characteristics; it boasts a beautiful coastline, warm water and temperate climate, and it is also a focal point of local art and the site of early settlements.
When we think of Italy, our minds tend to go immediately to Rome, however, if you’ve ever visited the famous city, you’ll know that navigating its queues and crowds can make for a frustrating holiday. Italy is home to many equally as fascinating and significantly less busy cities, and Florence is one of the most interesting among these. Packed with galleries, museums and historic architecture, visitors will find quite enough culture to keep them occupied for several decades.
As one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, this thriving Spanish commercial centre is packed with plenty to see and do. Enjoy Catalonian cuisine in chic café’s and restaurants, bask in the sun on the beautiful beaches and take in the rich, authentic Spanish culture present in the architecture throughout the city. Be sure to include a trip to the famous cathedral; it dates back to the middle ages and draws crowds of sight seers every day.
It’s nearly impossible to decide on a route through Europe; choosing to go to one fascinating city always means excluding another. Hopefully, this list of 7 places to visit in Europe will help to guide you to some of the most exciting destinations; do you have any personal favourites to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: lorenzinhos