Europe might be popular for its rich culture and big diversity of people. Travelers could be planning to see the most popular destinations of each country or visit the thousand years of history attractions or they are simply curious what this fascinating continent can show off to the rest of the world.
Europe has countless sights all worth a visit in their own right, but there’s so much more to the continent than cathedrals and beaches – and some of it’s pretty bizarre. Here’s a list of things you must do in Europe:
See the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Take a tour of the ancient ruins of the Colosseum in Rome and marvel at 2000 years of history. If you’re lucky you can get a souvenir picture with one of the gladiators who hang around the area dressed in battle gear. The best time to visit is in late summer: grab a gelato (Italian ice cream) and your guidebook and explore the nearby ruins of the Roman Forum.
Ancient Roman Streets, Pompeii
There are sights of ancient Rome all over Italy, but few places where you can see an ancient Roman city that looks a little bit like it might have thousands of years ago. Pompeii is one of those places. Take a Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii Day Trip from Naples to see it as well as the volcano that buried the city. Venture from modern Rome to ancient Rome with a Pompeii Day Trip from Rome. Visit multiple destinations in Campania with a Naples and Pompeii Day Trip from Rome or Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Small-Group Day Trip from Rome.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
You look at those pictures and you think twice before visiting Lake Bled. Not because it looks bad, but because it looks so amazing that you feel it’s been photo-shopped to perfection. But Lake Bled is actually more beautiful than it is given credit for. The emerald colored lake, that medieval castle holding onto the cliff’s edge for dear life, a picture-perfect church and some of the most beautiful peaks come together to attract romantics, honeymooners, couples, adventure lovers and backpackers. We recommend that you avoid the destination in mid-summer as the place is swarming with tourists and almost everything is over-priced.
No-one could imagine Paris today without it. But Gustave Eiffel only constructed this elegant, 320m-tall signature spire as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World Fair. Luckily, the art nouveau tower’s popularity assured its survival. Prebook tickets online to avoid long ticket queues. Lifts ascend to the tower’s three floors; change lifts on the 2nd floor for the final ascent to the top. Energetic visitors can walk as far as the 2nd floor using the south pillar’s 704-step stairs. Refreshment options in the tower include two snack bars, the 1st-floor 58 Tour Eiffel , the sublime 2nd-floor Le Jules Verne , and, at the top, a champagne bar.
Tower of London
The unmissable Tower of London (actually a castle of 22 towers) offers a window into a gruesome and compelling history. This was where two kings and three queens met their death and countless others were imprisoned. Come here to see the colorful Yeoman Warders (or Beef eaters), the spectacular Crown Jewels, the soothsaying ravens and armour fit for a very large king. The most striking building is the central White Tower, with its solid Norman architecture and four turrets. Today, on the entrance floor it houses a collection from the Royal Armouries, including Henry VIII’s commodious suit of armor.
Church of Our Lady, Burges: Also known as Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, the Church of Our Lady took almost two centuries to complete and is best-known for the many art treasures it houses. Of these, the most famous is Michelangelo’s ‘Madonna and Child’ which was his only piece to leave Italy in his lifetime. Entrance to the church is absolutely nothing.
Prague Castle, Prague: Overlooking the Czech capital and the River Vlatva, Prague Castle is the city’s number one tourist attraction. While you need to pay in to certain parts of the castle, such as St Vitus’ Cathedral and Golden Lane, you won’t be asked to hand over any money just to walk through the grounds. Try to visit around 12 noon to catch the elaborate changing of the guard.
Howth Head, Dublin: Howth is one of Dublin’s most visited suburbs, and it costs nothing to stroll around and take in this picturesque fishing village. As well as walks along the pier, you can check out the boats in the harbor and hike up Howth Head itself. Once you get to the scenic summit, you can stop for a picnic and marvel at the great views of Ireland’s Eye, a nearby island that acts as a bird sanctuary.
Wine Tasting, Beaujolais
For a breath of fresh air after the bustle of Paris, make your way to the Beaujolais wine region in the heart of France. You can stay in a grand chateau, or a quaint B&B in one of the small towns, and enjoy the leisurely pace of French country life. Every year in November there is a wine festival in Beaujolais to celebrate the unveiling of a new red wine. Think of it as a perfect excuse to drink superb French wine, go for walks in the hills, picnic with French bread and cheese, and spend your time daydreaming in the sun beside the pool.
Pebble Beach, Nice
The European summer experience doesn’t get much better than lounging on a beach in the South of France. The beachfront in Nice is the perfect place to show off your new bikini while you spend the day sunbathing and dipping in the warm Mediterranean sea. The beaches are made entirely of pebbles, so watch your step if you want to enter and exit the water gracefully.