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Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or you just enjoy the finer things in life, a trip to Europe has something to offer every type of traveller. The continent’s 50 countries are diverse in their size, climate and traditions - and price points! With fine cuisine (including some unusual delicacies - think escargot and haggis), world-renowned art and music, and 23 officially recognised languages, Europe is a cultural labyrinth that fuels wanderlust.
With so much to see, do, eat and buy, planning a Europe tour is no easy feat. There are, of course, the typical sightseeing musts: Paris’ Louvre, London’s Tower Bridge, and Rome’s Colosseum. Even Europe’s most frequent visitors will always find something new to discover. Read on for our top travel tips and tour highlights (though we’re sure there’s plenty we’ve missed!).
- Go back in time and explore the ruins of ancient civilisations in Italy and Greece
- Snack on cheese and wine (or escargot, if you’re feeling adventurous) in the Champ de Mars, beneath the Eiffel Tower
- Ride a bicycle through the townhouse-lined streets of Amsterdam before touring the canals by boat
- Listen to the romantic songs of the gondoliers as you cruise through the canals of Venice
- Indulge in an authentic Belgian waffle, drowned in chocolate
- Enjoy an ice cold beer from a beer stein at Oktoberfest in Germany
- Hike from village to village in Italy’s Cinque Terre
- Get lost between the shelves of some of the world’s most beautiful libraries, like those at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Mafra Palace (Mafra, Portugal), and the Clementinum Baroque Library Hall (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Travelling by rail is one of the easiest (and sometimes cheapest) ways to get around Europe, especially if you plan to travel for a couple of weeks (or longer). Investigate rail passes before you visit, particularly ones that can be used between countries. Interrail and Eurail are very popular among travellers.
- Don’t skip the “touristy” destinations. Everyone travels differently, but the most popular European highlights are popular for a reason. Brave the crowds and be sure to stop by those more cliché sights - you’ll be glad you did.
- Try not to over prepare! One of the great benefits of visiting Europe is that it’s incredibly easy to travel between towns and countries. Allow yourself some flexibility to open yourself up to new adventures (and avoid travel burnout).
- Chances are you don’t speak 23 different languages, so be prepared before you travel. Avoid carrying around heavy guide books by downloading a translation app in your phone.
- Note that not all countries use the Euro, including the United Kingdom, Denmark and Hungary (among several others). Do your research beforehand and be ready to juggle different currencies if you’re planning an extensive trip.
- Travelling on a budget? Consider looking for accommodation outside the city centre. Most large European cities are very well connected by public transportation, meaning all your bucket list sites are just a quick (and often inexpensive) bus, train, or metro ride away.