Top 10 places to travel in Europe
Europe: the dream travel destination of every American ranging from the starving college student, to the overworked soccer mom. A lot of us may not get the opportunity to make the trip because of money, work, school, etc. This is fair considering the hefty price tag that comes with the round trip flight. However, if you somehow come across an all-expenses paid trip ‘across the pond’ here’s a helpful list of ten of the best spots in the ‘old country’.
Considering your trip is ‘all expenses paid’, this is a place reserved for the wealthiest of the wealthy. This shouldn’t keep you from going though. Monaco is a thriving tourist spot filled with luxury hotels, expensive sports cars, and the occasional reasonably priced souvenir shop. Not only is this place home to some of the richest in Europe, it is also one of the smallest countries in the world. Tucked in the back end of France, the entire country isn’t much more than the seaside city skyline. Whether you decide to visit the famous Monte Carlo Casino or the Prince’s Palace, you surely won’t be disappointed.
I like to consider Barcelona the Los Angeles of Europe. With its long sandy beaches, and vibrant night life it will do anything but bore you. The people are beautiful, and always seem to be in a decent mood (an exception being made for the cab drivers). It is a place where sangria is served by the liter, and a majority of the beaches have a ‘clothing optional’ policy. The clubs can be a little overcrowded, but luckily the next one is usually just a block down the road. If you’re looking for a bit of history, visit the Gothic Quarter, where the architecture will leave you in awe. Just try not to spend all your money on drinks and cab fare first.
If you’ve never been to a castle before, Edinburgh should be your first experience of one. The city, and the people especially hold tight to their heritage and it shows. Old mixes with the new in Edinburgh, as a Starbucks and McDonalds will be built right beside1 3th century chapels and Victorian age court houses. There is always something going on in the main center of town too, no matter what time of the year you go. Edinburgh is also home to one of the biggest end of the year extravaganzas in the world. Known as the Edinburgh Hogmanay, it is a fireworks spectacle that puts the New York Ball Drop to shame. So if you happen to be in the area around that time I dearly advise you to go.
Do you love the quaint happiness of Disneyland, but dislike the masses of people, expensive food, and long lines? If so, Brussels should be on your list. It is the closest thing to the Magical Kingdom without it being the actual Magical Kingdom. Down every other block there is a waffle van selling the best Belgian waffles you’ll ever be able to get your hands on. At the heart of the city there is always something going on, whether it be street artists, concerts, or the spectacular Flower Festival. It is a city that will certainly have you wanting to go on a diet afterwards though. Like Disneyland, there is always a cart selling something fried, sugared, and terribly bad for you. But unlike Disneyland it is actually reasonably priced. I’ll give you a piece of advice: your eyes will be bigger than your stomach.
Italy is home to some of the most romantic cities in the world, and Florence is no exception. With its ancient Roman architecture, charming people, and scenic views this city will not disappoint. You would also be spoiling the trip if you didn’t try one of Florence’s delicious restaurants or cafes. Whether it’s a cup of genuine Italian espresso or a honest Italian flat bread pizza, you would be doing Florence a disservice if you ignored your appetite. There is a long history in Florence as well, one that is apparent on every street corner and block you come across.
This city is more than just the infamous red light district, or the weed dispensing ‘coffee shops’. Amsterdam is a gorgeous and cultured place, with the kind of people who seem to always be in a good mood (I wonder if there is a reason for that). The city is littered with some of the most famous museums in Europe, ranging from the works of Van Gogh to the infamous crawl space of Anne Frank. Bicycle culture runs strong on the streets of Amsterdam, and while traffic can be a bit hectic it is definitely the best way to get around. The night life is a beast of its own as a good club is never too far away. And if you did come for the legal weed, you will find places that sell it for cheap as frequent as you can find a Starbucks anywhere else.
One of the most important cities in the 20th century, Berlin is rich with modern historical culture. I mean, they have an entire island dedicated museums. If that doesn’t show Berlin’s vast and complicated history, I’m not sure what does. Berlin is a contemporary artist utopia. Whether its painted on the walls of old Soviet buildings, or hanging in the halls of the Hamburger Bahnhof the artistic expression of this city refuses to be ignored. The night life in Berlin is famous around the world. Berghain, Watergate, Cookies, Weekend, White Trash Fast Food, Asphalt…the list of prime night spots goes on. And if you’re an American who doesn’t speak a word of German, don’t worry, some of the Berliners speak better English than you do.
Not many cities have been around for 1,200 years. It is no surprise then that Rome has been called the Eternal City. If you decide to come to Europe and don’t visit Rome at least once you will be sorely mistaken. Standing in the same place as gladiators, emperors, and legionnaires has a certain weight of importance that can’t be found elsewhere. It will take you more than just a day to see even a portion of the city. Unlike Berlin, or Amsterdam, you don’t need a museum to see the history of Rome; just look around. There is a long story for every block, side street, and alleyway. The Coliseum, the Vatican, and the Trevi Fountain are just a few of some of the truly spectacular wonders that Rome has to offer. Make sure your phone is charged too, this is one of the most photogenic cities on the planet.
London is one of the most charming cities in the world. With a history almost as long as Rome, it is a city that refuses to quit. The pubs here have the same feel as any other pub in England (if you ignore the price of a pint of course). While the occasional grumpy commuter is best to be avoided, the people are hospitable considering the sheer size of the population. London is possibly the only big city in Europe that had successfully achieved a ‘small town’ feel. While the place is absolutely massive, the vast London Underground makes getting anywhere a simple hop on the subway. This also makes getting lost rather difficult (it is a wonder that anyone still drives). London is a more of an international city than an English city as well. Pubs are usually filled with people from all over the world, and nearly any delicacy you can think of can be found within the city limits. Like Rome, London is a photographer’s playground, with scenic views like the Thames, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace, it will be hard not to flood your Instagram with pictures of this fascinating city.
The original city of lights, Paris is the one place you should visit if you can’t go anywhere else. A city of love and spectacle, it may seem like a tourist trap at times, but trust me the long queues are worth it. This is a city for artists, and historians alike. For instance: The Louvre is possibly one of the largest collections of art in the world, and the Notre Dame de Paris is a historic masterpiece. If you’re a fan of drinking fine wine in the mornings, this is the one place where you won’t be judged for doing so. In fact they encourage it. Paris is also the fashion capital of the world. Claiming luxury brands like Chanel, and Louis Viton it is easy to see why. However, get ready to break your wallet, as shopping in Paris isn’t cheap. The atmosphere of the city will make you breathless, and you may find that you never want to leave. You certainly wouldn’t be the first. If for no other reason, you should go to this city to see the lighting of the Eiffel Tower. It is a spectacular display that can be seen from nearly every corner of the city. This is truly a place that everyone should make an effort to travel to at least in their lives.