25 Best Places to Visit in Europe
Rome the ‘Eternal City’, is the capital and largest city of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region. It’s the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Rome, as a millennium-long centre of power, culture and religion, having been the centre of one of the globe’s greatest civilizations ever, has exerted a huge influence over the world in its circa 2500 years of existence. Visit : www.turismoroma.it
Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, is one of the largest agglomerations in Europe, with 2.2 million people living in the dense (105 km²) central city and almost 12 million people living in the metropolitan area. In the north of the country on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historic associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. Dubbed the City of Light (la Ville Lumière) and Capital of Fashion, it is home to some of the world’s finest and most luxurious fashion designers and cosmetics, such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Guerlain, Lancôme, L’Oréal, and Clarins. A large part of the city, including the River Seine, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has the second highest number of Michelin-restaurants in the world (after Tokyo) and contains numerous iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Moulin Rouge, Lido, making it one of the most popular international tourist destinations in the world, with around 14 million tourists annually.Visit:www.parisinfo.com
Italy officially the Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana), is a large country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its many beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed Il Bel Paese (The Beautiful Country).
Two independent mini-states are surrounded entirely by Italy: San Marino and Vatican City. While technically not part of the European Union, both of these states are also part of the Schengen Region and the European Monetary Union, (EMU). Apart from different police uniforms, there is no evident transition from these states and Italy’s territory, and the currency is the same. Italian is also the lingua-franca in both city-states.Visit:www.italia.it
Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, with a population of nearly two million people, and the capital of Catalonia. A major port located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona has a wide variety of attractions that bring in tourists from across the globe. The many faces of Barcelona include the medieval Old Town, the unique street grid resulting from 19th-century urban planning. The city has both long sandy beaches and green parks on the hills, pretty much side-by-side. Barcelona is also famous for a number of prominent buildings, of which perhaps the most-known are by the architect Antonio Gaudi, including his Sagrada Familia, which became Barcelona’s symbol to many.
Founded more than 2,000 years ago as the ancient Roman town Barcino, Barcelona is thus as historic as it is modern, with a constant flow of projects changing the face of the city and long-standing penchant for design and innovation. Thanks to the wealth of attractions, a very well-developed accommodation base, a lively nightlife and a robust transportation system, Barcelona has become one of Europe’s, and pretty much the world’s, most popular tourist destinations.Visit:www.bcn.cat
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states (Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin is the largest city in Germany and has a population of 4.5 million within its metropolitan area and 3.4 million from over 190 countries within the city limits.
Berlin is best known for its historical associations as the German capital, internationalism and tolerance, lively nightlife, its many cafés, clubs, and bars, street art, and numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest. Berlin’s architecture is quite varied. Although badly damaged in the final years of World War II and broken apart during the Cold War, Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, especially with the reunification push after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
It is now possible to see representatives of many different historic periods in a short time within the city centre, from a few surviving medieval buildings near Alexanderplatz, to the ultra modern glass and steel structures at Potsdamer Platz. Because of its tumultuous history, Berlin remains a city with many distinctive neighbourhoods.Visit:www.visitberlin.de
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating nightlife increasingly appreciated among European youth, and last but not least, an exceptional offer of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to the exceedingly scenic setting, and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”.
The modern-day Budapest results from the amalgamation of two historic cities lying right opposite each other over the Danube river. Buda is the western (left) bank side, with the high hill atop which the Buda castle sits. Pest is the relatively flat eastern (right) bank side, with the Parliament and numerous other stately buildings, as well as busy streets retaining all their 19th century architectural heritage.
In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.Visit:www.budapestinfo.hu
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal situated on seven hills at the wide mouth of the river Tagus (Tejo) where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. A port city, an economic centre, a cultural powerhouse and a thriving mix of Portugal’s rich history and vivid contemporary culture, Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination.
Lisbon is also the capital of the Lisbon Region, comprising many other splendid tourist destinations such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sintra, the seaside resorts of Estoril and Cascais, or Almada famous for its hilltop Cristo Rei statue, all of which are connected with Lisbon by excellent public transportation links.
Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy. The capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, it is also the largest city in Western Europe and the European Union. Situated on the River Thames in South-East England, Greater London has an official population of a little over 8 million, but the estimate of between 12 and 14 million people in the greater metropolitan area better reflects its size and importance. Considered one of the world’s leading “global cities”, London remains an international capital of culture, music, education, fashion, politics, finance and trade.Visit:www.visitlondon.com
Sweden is the largest of the Nordic countries, with a population of about 9.5 million. It borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark via the bridge of Öresund (Öresundsbron). The Baltic Sea, including the Gulf of Bothnia, lies east of Sweden, separating it from most of Finland. The northernmost part of Sweden is in the Arctic.Visit:www.visitsweden.com
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. With more than one million inhabitants in its urban area, it is the country’s largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative center. Amsterdam is colloquially known as Venice of the North, because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveler’s taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.
Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important trading centers in the world during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. The city’s small medieval center rapidly expanded as the Jordaan and the Canal District were constructed; the latter’s cultural significance was acknowledged when it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded in all directions, with many new neighborhoods and suburbs designed in modernist styles.Visit:www.iamsterdam.com
Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy, with a population of about 366,500. The city is a cultural, artistic and architectural gem. The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence was the home to powerful families, creative geniuses and scientific masterminds who left their legacies in the city’s many museums and art galleries.Visit:en.comune.fi.it
Denmark is a country in Scandinavia. The main part of it is Jutland, a peninsula north of Germany, but also with a number of islands, including the two major ones, Zealand and Funen in the Baltic Sea between Jutland and Sweden. Separated from the other Islands, Bornholm lies by itself between Sweden and Poland in the Baltic sea.
Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. However, the country has opted out of European Union’s Maastricht Treaty, the European monetary system (EMU), and issues concerning certain internal affairs.
Denmark is also the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular toys, LEGO. There is no better place in the world where one can buy Lego bricks than at the legoland theme park in Billund.Visit:www.visitdenmark.com
Greece is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it’s an appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.Visit:www.visitgreece.gr
Norway is the westernmost, northernmost — and surprisingly also the easternmost — of the three Scandinavian countries. Norway is known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast, as well as the midnight sun and Northern Lights. Mainland Norway stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland to borders with northern Finland and the northwestern tip of Russia, as well as a long border with Sweden to the east. Norway also includes the Svalbard islands.Visit:www.visitnorway.com
The Czech Republic, or Czechia is a small landlocked country in Central Europe, situated south-east of Germany and bordering Austria to the south, Poland to the north and Slovakia to the south-east.The Czech Republic is not a large country but has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command our respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artefacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast number of architectural treasures and has beautiful forests and mountains to match.Visit:www.czechtourism.com
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million with a metro area population of almost 6.5 million. The city has an impressive cultural and architectural heritage, which includes not only grand avenues, plazas, buildings and monuments, but also world-class art galleries and museums. On top of that, Madrid is renown for gastronomic delights and a buys, lively nightlife lasting up until dawn.Visit:www.esmadrid.com
Istanbul is not Constantinople. It is however a city of fantastic history, culture and beauty. Called Byzantium in ancient times, the city’s name was changed to Constantinople when it was rebuilt by the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. It was renamed once again in 1928, becoming Istanbul, a name which had already been in use for centuries.
The most populous city in Europe, Istanbul forms the financial centre of Turkey and confidently straddles the borders between Asia and Europe as it has for millennia: this is the result when you mix ancient Christendom, a medieval metropolis and the modern Middle East. Situated on either side of the Bosphorus, Istanbul still retains its metropolitan status: the city’s population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world.
Lauded in antiquity as “the second Rome”, this is a city where you most certainly should roam – culture and excitement lie around every corner and more than two thousand years of history await you.
Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and by far its most populous city, with an urban population of 1.7 million and a metropolitan population of 2.4 million. It is by far the largest city in Austria and the country’s artistic, cultural, economic and political centre. It is known for its high living standards, relaxed yet elegant lifestyle and rich musical life.
The thing about Vienna is that it not only is a large city, but that it has always been – as the former home of the Habsburg court and its various empires, it has always housed a large population and enjoyed a priviledged position, being home to many artists, especially composers including Beethoven, Haydn, Liszt, Mozart and Schubert. It has long been the largest German-speaking city in the world before being surpassed by Berlin. The large historic city centre of Vienna filled with monuments to its imperial past is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Visit:www.wien.info
Venice is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents), but the romantic charm remains. It is also known as the birthplace of the composer Antonio Vivaldi.This place may not seem huge, but it is. Venice is made up of different boroughs. The most famous is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called “Sestieri” and they are: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are located. Other main districts are Isola Della Giudecca and Lido di Venezia. Other important islands include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto and Burano, but there are several.Visit:www.comune.venezia.it
Poland is a country in Central Europe. It has a long Baltic Sea coastline and is bordered by Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), Slovakia, and Ukraine.
The first cities in today’s Poland, Kalisz and Elbląg on the Amber Trail to the Baltic Sea, were mentioned by Roman writers in the first century AD, but the first Polish settlement in Biskupin dates even further back to the 7th century BC.
Poland was first united as a country in the first half of the 10th century, and officially adopted Catholicism in 966 AD. The first capital was in the city of Gniezno, but a century later the capital was moved to Kraków, where it remained for half a millennium.Visit:www.poland.travel
Ireland is the land of shamrocks; of green fields and mythical leprechauns; of pubs brimming with friendliness and craic, where every Guinness is poured with time and the respect it deserves. The reality is more nuanced, of course, but there is certainly a rich culture that, along with its people, has been exported around the world. The inspiration for artists, from the literary genius of George Bernard Shaw to U2, among the best selling music bands of all time, the Emerald Isle is a real gem just waiting to be discovered.Visit:www.ireland.ie
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe. It lies at the northwest end of the Black Sea, with Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland to the northwest, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, and Romania to the south west and south, with Moldova in between.Most of Ukraine (the central and eastern portions) was formerly a part of the Russian Empire; after the October Revolution and the Civil War, the entire country, known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, was a part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe, albeit with one of the most rapidly declining populations of any large country due to high emigration, low immigration, early deaths (particularly amongst males) and a shrinking birthrate that was already below replacement levels.Visit:www.traveltoukraine.org
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, with a population of about 600,000 in the city itself and over 2 million if the surrounding towns of the Clydeside conurbation are taken into account. Located at the west end of Scotland’s Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow’s historical importance as Scotland’s main industrial centre has been challenged by decades of change and various regeneration efforts. Today the third largest city in the entire United Kingdom by population, it remains one of the nation’s key economic centres outside London.
In recent years, Glasgow has been awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow became the second Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music. In preparing its bid, Glasgow counted an average of 130 music events a week ranging from pop and rock to Celtic music and opera. The city has transformed itself from being the once mighty industrial powerhouse of Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism, and culture. Glasgow was the host city for the successful Commonwealth Games in 2014.Visit:peoplemakeglasgow.com
A low-lying country in the Benelux, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe. It marries both the historical landmarks for which the continent is famous with spectacular modern architecture and rural idylls, whilst its capital, Brussels, is home to the headquarters of the European Union.
Despite this, Belgium is not without its divisions. On the contrary, Flanders, the northern part of the country that speaks Dutch and Wallonia, the southern, French-speaking area are frequently at loggerheads and it sometimes seems that their quarrels will split the country in two. Yet, despite this apparent incompatibility, the two halves of Belgium come together to form a country that contains some of Europe’s most attractive and historical cities and is a true ‘must-see’ for any visitor to the continent.
Lying on the North Sea coast, Belgium’s immediate neighbours are France to the south-west, Luxembourg to the south-east, Germany to the east and the Netherlands to the north.Visit:www.visitbelgium.com
Iceland is a mountainous island nation in the north Atlantic Ocean, located between Europe and North America. Though not part of the continental mainland, the country is considered European. The name of the country – Iceland – may not be that appropriate: although 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers, it has a surprisingly mild climate and countless geothermal hot-spots.Visit:www.visiticeland.com
Finland is in Northern Europe and has borders with Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and Sweden to the west. The country is a thoroughly modern welfare state with well-planned and comfortable small towns and cities, but still offers vast areas of unspoiled nature. Finland has approximately 188,000 lakes (about 10% of the country) and a similar number of islands. In the northernmost part of the country the Northern Lights can be seen in the winter and midnight sun in the summer. Finns also claim the mythical mountain of Korvatunturi as the home of Santa Claus, and a burgeoning tourist industry in Lapland caters to Santa fans. Despite living in one of the most technologically developed countries in the world, Finns love to head to their summer cottages in the warmer months to enjoy all manner of relaxing pastimes including sauna, swimming, fishing and barbecuing. Finland has a distinctive language and culture that sets it apart from the rest of Nordic Europe.Visit:www.visitfinland.com