Europe’s historic landmarks offer an escape to the past, beautiful scenery and architecture, and some of the world’s best cuisine. Here are a few popular European vacation destinations:
Rome – The aroma of fresh Italian cooking wafts through the alleys, and historical sites stand proudly at every turn. No visit to Italy’s capital would be complete without checking out the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the awe-inspiring Trevi Fountain.
London – Exploring the world-class British Museum, seeing a musical in the West End, touring the Tower of London and gorging on fish and chips at a local pub are all part of the London bucket list experience. Accommodations should be carefully planned due to their high hotel prices.
Paris – Filled with highly regarded museums, monuments and churches – you could easily spend your entire European vacation admiring iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower and wandering through exhibits at the Louvre. You’ll want to save time for people-watching and munching on fresh croissants at sidewalk cafes during the day and a drawn-out evening meal with some wine.
Florence – Florence boasts top-notch museums, quaint hotels, stunning architecture and mouthwatering cuisine. Must-dos include admiring Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia, taking in city and river views from the Ponte Vecchio and climbing to the top of the Duomo – Florence’s most recognizable attraction.
Barcelona – Barcelona’s diverse architecture sets the city apart from other European destinations. Gaudí’s Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia are beyond impressive, as are Catedral de Barcelona (also known as La Seu), Montjuïc Castle and the many medieval buildings in the Gothic Quarter.
Amsterdam – Spend the day biking through the city’s stylish streets before exploring noteworthy museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Verzetsmuseum or the Anne Frank House. Plan a picnic in Vondelpark for lunch, or opt for a boat tour along the city’s many canals when it’s time to rest your feet.
Prague – A vacation in Prague will leave you feeling as if you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Take in the Gothic architecture and vibrant atmosphere of Old Town Square, and be sure to tour Prague Castle (and the other attractions on its grounds, including St. Vitus Cathedral and the Royal Palace).
Venice – Venice may conjure up images of romantic gondola rides down the Grand Canal, but this European destination isn’t just for swooning lovebirds. With an abundance of theaters, churches, historical sights and eateries, this city on Italy’s northeastern coast will enchant all types of travelers. View opulent architecture at St. Mark’s Basilica, stroll across the famous Rialto Bridge or snap a photo in front of the iconic Bridge of Sighs.
Athens – Athens was made for history buffs and architecture aficionados, but it also serves as a great European getaway for the everyday travel guru. The capital’s laid-back lifestyle and incredible food attract the masses just as much as the world-class Acropolis and Parthenon do.
Vienna – This storied Austrian city is best known for its music and monarchs. Explore the Habsburg family’s Schönbrunn Palace and stop into the House of Music museum while strolling through the Innere Stadt (Inner City). Art lovers should head to the MuseumsQuartier Wien to tour the Museum of Modern Art, while opera fans will likely enjoy touring or watching a performance at the Vienna State Opera.