The global heavyweights – Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, Paris and London – are sure to feature on any list of the best destinations in Europe and for good reason. These cities should be on bucket lists of each and every traveler, for the experience that they have to offer cannot be explained in words.
This week, we decided to introduce you to The European Dream theme, to highlight some of the top destinations (this article), train journeys, UNESCO World Heritage sites, Wine districts, and charming metropolises that can be found all over Europe. The below European top destinations are listed in arbitrary order:
Time seems to stop the moment you enter London. It attracts people from all over the world, and just so much of world history can be found here! Monstrous infrastructure projects such as the Crossrail and those street style stars remind you that London is nothing if not modern and fashionable, but the presence of historical legends such as the Big Ben, the London Eye and the Buckingham Palace also remind you why this is a city where “historic” and “modern” are two sides of the same coin. Some of the obvious highlights of your London itinerary are bound to include Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, Madame Tussauds, Harrods and the Tower of London. That said, the sheer range of performance venues, theaters, bars, restaurants, sporting events and large-scale events is astonishing to say the least. Sure, you’d like to check out all those attractions that make London so popular, but if you’re really looking to enjoy the city to its fullest, you need to live and breathe London the way its locals do.
Barcelona is a place where history is either entirely bizarre or extremely authentic. It is essentially a patchwork of various architectural styles, and it’s quite possible to see skyscrapers fighting with Gothic facades for your attention. There isn’t any shortage of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, but the best experiences can perhaps be found in one of those many family-run tapas bars that have been attracting a loyal clientele for decades. The cuisine and exotic food are an obvious highlight of any itinerary, but the endless sunshine, the relaxed pace of life, those Gaudi wonders and the sheer energy also play a role in making Barcelona so popular around the world. From ancient cathedrals to groovy beachside nightclubs, the city offers you the best of both worlds, and perhaps this is why it attracts all sorts of travelers. Most tourists stay in the city for a few days, before moving on to other European destinations, but even a few weeks is never enough to explore everything worth exploring. And getting tired of Barcelona? That’s simply unthinkable.
Rome, the capital of Italy, was once known to be the greatest empires that the world had ever seen. Obviously, much of its history and architecture would speak volumes of the power and influence that it once enjoyed! Whether it’s a trip to the nearby Vatican City or a visit to places such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum or Pantheon, Rome’s history is one of its biggest charms. But make sure that you force yourself to look the other way, particularly during the evenings, for you wouldn’t want to miss out on experiencing the energy of a city that lives life as if it’s a movie. The problem with any itinerary to Rome isn’t what to do, the problem is what to leave out!
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Dublin? Pubs overflowing with beer, grand castles, history that spans for more than 1000 years, a fascinating culture? Well, you pretty much got it right. Dublin is one of those cities that you need to visit for one reason, and one reason only – to have fun. Sure, the history-buff in you will demand a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland while the nerdy-you will want to visit the Old Library at Trinity College, but give the “real” you some time to explore the city’s personality. Dublin may not be as sexy as some of the other European destinations on this list, but its biggest highlight is its people and its unique way of life, and that is something that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
It has been shown in movies. It has been talked about in books. And it certainly has been paraded on the social media. Despite all this, Venice never fails to enchant its visitors. The summer months are when the city attracts the most crowds, and for good reason. The beauty of a city that has been built on water is best seen in summer. Think of Venice and you are reminded of those romantic gondola rides, incredible vistas and enchanting canals, but Venice isn’t just about romance. It is full of museums and churches and is also famous for its contemporary art scene.
They don’t call Paris the City of Love for nothing. It is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Those boulevards and palaces and that glittering tower of steel takes away all the limelight, but behind these grandiose attractions lies the true beauty of Paris – its historic facades, romantic gardens and intimate courtyards. The unforgettable ambiance ensures that millions of visitors come to the city year after year, and the plethora of restaurants, cuisines, nightclubs, bars, art collections, centuries-old churches and museums ensure that there is always enough to see and do. Of course, you have to visit places such as The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame de Paris while in the city, but make sure you keep some time for those graceful bridges, cobblestone streets, beautiful farmer markets and lively city squares. After all, this is where you meet those chic Parisians, this is where you are introduced to the city in its entirety.
It’s impossible to not fall in love with Dubrovnik. Surreal Baroque-era buildings, city walls that date back to the ancient time, enchanting views of the Adriatic Sea, the Mediterranean lifestyle, Dubrovnik has so much going on for it. Make sure to catch the beauty of the old town in your cameras, and don’t forget to enjoy an inspired walk along the city walls either.
Amsterdam certainly has a few drawbacks that most big cities around the world have. That said, there is never a dull moment while in the city. It is small enough to walk to just about any place you want, but you never feel like there isn’t enough to see or do. The beautiful bridges, fascinating canals and dinky buildings may exude a village-like charm, but don’t get fooled by the exterior. The city has a rebellious edginess to it that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Yes, those “coffee shops” and the Red Light District exist, but don’t believe everything you hear about them. In fact, many travelers end up landing in these places, if only to see what the hype is all about! The loose laws might make Amsterdam a haven for college-goers, but the city never fails to entertain romantics and couples either.
Istanbul, Madrid, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Athens, Krakow, Milan, Salzburg….. A list of the best destinations in Europe could go on and on, but we must end here for now. Do tell us more about your European dream using the comments below.