Europe is a continent with a great deal to offer those wishing to visit. Its varied topography, climate, and cultural opportunities are just starting points for choosing a locale for your next vacation. This alphabetical list of the top ten places to visit in Europe will provide inspiration and ideas for anyone wishing to spend some time within its borders.
1. Athens, Greece
Lovers of ancient history will thoroughly enjoy a visit to Athens. This city is home to the National Archaeological Museum, which exclusively displays ancient Greek artifacts. While in Athens, be sure to visit the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and other ancient monuments located on the Acropolis.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to some of the most interesting architecture in the world. Antoni Gaudi was an architect in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His most famous work is the Iglesia de la Sagrada Familia; he began building this cathedral in 1882 and never finished. To this day, it is still under construction. In addition to such fascinating architecture, the city’s must-see attractions include the Barcelona Aquarium, the Barcelona Zoo, the Picasso Museum, the Miro Museum, and the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Other activities of interest include going to the beach and taking in a flamenco show.
3. Lainio, Finland
Lainio is located above the Artic Circle in Finnish Lapland, which is exactly why it is such an interesting place to visit. The Lainio Snow Village is created every winter, beginning as soon as it gets cold enough–usually in late October or early November. These beautiful structures are made entirely of snow and ice. If you’re up for it, dine at the IceBar and then spend the night at the SnowHotel. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the Northern Lights. Other activities include safaris by snowmobile, huskies, or reindeer.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon has a great variety of sights and activities to interest visitors. St George’s Castle dates back to the 6th century and is visible from most points in Lisbon. The Jeronimos Monastery is an impressive work of architecture, and the Coaches Museum has the largest and most valuable collection of royal coaches in the world.
5. Llandudno, Wales
Located in North Wales, Llandudno is a resort town with two shores. The north shore is bustling with activity and has many attractions and sightseeing opportunities, including two mountains (the Great Orme and the Little Orme), ancient copper mines, and nearby castles. The west shore, which is quiet and less populated, has ties to author Lewis Carroll.
6. London, England
Visitors to London have many sights to see while in Britain’s capital city. Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, and the London Dungeon are popular attractions. If possible, try to stop by Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. Music lovers should be sure to visit Abbey Road Studios.
7. Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Monte-Carlo is an administrative area in Monaco, and it is one of the most glamorous tourist destinations in the world. Located on the Mediterranean’s French Riviera, it is popular for its nightlife. Before taking in a show or gambling at a casino, take some time to spend a relaxing day at the beach.
8. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is a wonderful mix of old and new. Old Town still has the original street system, which is left over from medieval times, and most of the houses remain unchanged. Those interested in the paranormal will appreciate Old Town’s reputation for being haunted. Modern Tallinn is built around Old Town, which is surrounded by walls and towers. Visitors to Tallinn should not miss the Kadriorg Park and Palace, a baroque palace and estate.
9. Venice, Italy
Art lovers will have no problem finding something to do in Venice. The abundance of art museums alone will make the visit worthwhile. In addition, the city’s musical heritage and fascinating architecture will keep anyone interested. The best part of the visit may well be the gondola ride, which is practically obligatory for tourists.
10. Zurich, Switzerland
With several museums and more than one hundred art galleries, Zurich has no shortage of cultural attractions. Seeing the breathtaking stained glass windows by Marc Chagall at the Fraumunster should be on every visitor’s itinerary. Musical events include taking in a show at the Zurich Opera House or a concert by the Tonhalle Orchestra. If you like to shop, be sure to spend a day at Zurich’s primary shopping district, the Bahnhofstrasse.
Like any top ten list, this list of the top ten places to visit in Europe is subject to individual tastes and experiences. Whether you are more interested in expanding your horizons or simply relaxing and enjoying your surroundings, a European vacation is certain to meet your needs.