Around 1.8 million years, the first humans from Africa arrived in the continent of Europe and by 16,000 BCE, human civilizations were already flourishing in most of Europe. The continent since then has undergone many transformations; e.g rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the renaissance period, and even both World Wars; all of which have left a history in the European culture, architecture, cuisine and even fashion. It is these history and culture that developed and are still prospering in Europe that most travellers would like to explore and learn more of.
Given its vast size, the continent has innumerable and bedazzling travel destinations. Below is a sneak preview of some of the popular destinations.
Italy is a must stop destination for travellers to Europe. It has set its mark as a destination point for shoppers, business persons and those travelling for the sheer pleasure of having a good time, as the fashion, cuisine and culture are all extraordinary experiences.
St. Peter’s Square is one of the largest, most beautiful and breathtaking squares in the world. Located in the Vatican City in Rome, the square was designed by Bernini in the seventeenth century and houses over 300,000 people. The Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and St. Peter’s Basilica are also places one must visit while in Rome.
Venice, also known as the sinking city of canals, offers travellers the extraordinary sight of palaces perched atop underwater poles. Travellers can marvel at the sight as they take Gondola rides along the canals. Equally, one can have a view of the city and the Grand Canal from the Ponte di Rialto Bridge.
Other activities a traveller can engage in in Italy include taking a boat ride on Lake Como, wine tasting in the vineyards of Tuscany, visiting the leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa, the Statue of David and Renaissance treasures in Florence and the Islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
Outdoor activities include skiing the Italian alps, hiking the Cinque Terre and trekking through Sardinia. One may also attend opera in Verona’s Roman arena, learn how to make homemade pasta in Bologna, see the preserved ancient city of Pompeii or for fashionistas visit the Gucci Museo museum.
One can travel back and forth in time as they visit the olden forts, castles, palaces, museums, universities and parks in the mini-continent of Britain. With advanced transport modes such as electric trains and modern buses, one can traverse the region with minimum time spent in transit.
The 1000 year old Tower of London on the banks of river Thames was a former palace and prison. History lovers can see the armor, weaponry and the crown Jewels which are all on display here. At the Buckingham palace, home to the Britain’s Royal Family, visitors can witness the pompous changing of the Guard and even tour the Palace’s state rooms. While still in London, one can also visit the Parliament Buildings, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey which is a location of many royal weddings.
Outside London, the city of Bath which is named after its famous Roman baths is another travel destination with visitors frequenting it for its healing waters. much as one can’t actually bath in the water from the three hot springs because its temperature is 46.50C, a visit to one of the many spas in the city will surely make you feel healed. The Royal Crescent museum in the city also gives visitors an idea of what life was like during the Georgian times.
Cambridge and Oxford universities are famous universities known all over the world and some of the oldest higher learning institutions in the world. A visit to either university gives one the chance to explore the UK’s largest collection of preserved historic buildings; with oldest being founded way back in 1284. Most of these are located in Cambridge University.
A trip to the UK will not be complete without visiting some of earth’s oldest World Heritage Sites. Ancient Stonehenge was erected over 4,500 years ago as a place of worship and here, visitors are not only awed by the magnificent monument but also the scale of human ingenuity. Just 16 Kilometers south of Stonehenge is the medieval city of Salisbury which is home to an original Magna Carta. The cathedrals in the old city date back to 1220 and as one wanders in the city, they can marvel at the medieval architecture.
Needless to say, UK is home to renown football club such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool just to name a few. I bet watching a soccer match at the old Trafford stadium will be a big check on most travellers’ to-do lists.
A stop in France is a mandatory for travellers to Europe. Disney land is also another major destination point, for children and adults alike.
The Capital, Paris, receives over 45 million visitors annually. It is renowned for its romantic ambience, and command in industries like business, entertainment, gastronomy, fashion and art and culture. Thousands of selfies out here should pay homage to the Eiffel tower in Paris.
Other iconic landmarks in the ‘City of Love’ are Arc de Triomphe , Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and Musee d’Orsay. The river Seine which flows right through the heart of Paris is not only a commerce and transportation avenue but also offers viewers a reflection of the modern city.
A trip to the Bordeaux vineyards for wine enthusiasts will surely satisfy their palates as here one can taste some of the highest quality wines and champagnes the world has to offer, right from the casks.
For nature enthusiasts, the French Alps is the ultimate destination, with Mont Blanc (the highest peak in the Alps) being the most famous sight. Given the magnificent scenery in the area, most visitors engage in outdoor activities including mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and biking.
While in Europe, one can attend the infamous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and take part in this famous beer festival. While in still Germany, one can visit the remaining standing portions of the Berlin wall at Checkpoint Charlie and Reichstag in Berlin. The buzzing night life in Cologne will be a fun way to cap a trip in the country.
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