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Major European Cities to Visit

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Deciding which cities to add to your European vacation?  Have a look below at a brief description of each city. For Paris and Rome we have more in-depth city guides, with other cities to be added later.

eiffel tower paris

Eiffel Tower

Paris

A true European capital combining a very unique and strong culture with a long history.  The combination of modern and old architecture flow seamlessly.  The Parisians love this city and although they arrogantly look down their noses at visitors, they can be proud of what is a beautifully preserved, laid-out and picturesque metropolis.  The Eiffel Tower is the vertical hub of the city with the River Seine dividing it horizontally.  World class restaurants, museums, art galleries, shopping districts and monuments distinguish Paris as one of Europe’s top visitor attractions.

Top attractions in Paris include:

  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame
  • Louvre Musuem
  • Sacre Coeur
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Les Invalides
  • Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe

 

 

big ben london

London

The capital of England is one of the most densely populated and largest cities in Europe and truly cosmopolitan in nature.  It isn’t outstanding in any particular sense, only that it is London and has to be experienced.  Like New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris it just has its own style and ambience, addictive in its draw for visitors who feel they can never get enough because there is so much to do and so many experiences to be had.  Major tourist attractions in London are:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Tower of London
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Leicester Square
  • Parliament Square
  • The British Museum
  • South Bank and the London Eye
  • The West End theatres
  • The Shard

 

Rome

An untidy, rugged older brother of European capital cities.  While boasting some of the most distinctive and famous architecture in the world it stills continues to be a lived-in city, tourists taking photos while locals carry on with their lives.  Echoes of Ancient Rome still push through and every corner you turn will see a baroque fountain, crumbling ruin, church or sculptural masterpiece.  Some of Rome’s highlights are:

  • Pantheon
  • Musei Capitolini
  • Foro Romano and Palatine
  • Colosseo
  • Musei Vaticani
  • Trevi Fountain
  • The Spanish Steps
  • Piazza Navona

 

Madrid

The capital of Spain, despite some thinking it’s Barcelona.  It sits high up and enjoys sun most of the year.  Unlike other European capitals it lacks major architectural monoliths, it has no central river, and it’s not particularly a picturesque city.  However it is a buzzing city, the tapas bars and restaurants are welcoming, the beer is cold and crisp ideal for the warm days and evenings, and it has art collections most cities are envious of.  What to see in Madrid:

  • Museo del Prado
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
  • Museo Reina Sofia
  • Palacio Real
  • Parque del Retiro
  • Bario de las Letras and Plaza Santa Ana
  • Plaza Mayor

 

Barcelona

Spain’s second city and Catalan Capital, everything a Mediterranean city should and could possibly be, it is a unmissable major European city destination.  Gaudi’s colourful and unique architecture dots the landscape between imposing Gothic buildings.  Something Barcelona has which very few other European cities have is the beach, the sun and therefore a dual destination in one place, city and beach creating a combine 21st Century culture not to be missed.  Some of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions are:

  • Les Rambles
  • Barri Gothic
  • Sagrada Familia
  • MACBA
  • Passeig de Gracia
  • Museu Picasso
  • Nou Camp Stadium

 

Berlin

The revived capital of Germany and renowned for its modern, young, hip lifestyle.  It is still struggling for an identity but attracts designers, artists, musicians and architects from multi-national backgrounds to help carve its future.  Visitors to Berlin are often drawn to:

  • Brandenburger Tor
  • Mitte and Tiergarten
  • Museuminsel
  • Gendarmenmarkt
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Unter den Linden

 

Amsterdam

Due to it being set on drained marshland is a flat city with canals guiding its structure.  Cycle and foot traffic is the main means of commuting around the city.  Amsterdam is famous for its liberal attitude toward many moral issues, which attracts some while discouraging other visitors.  However, its rich art collections are worth a visit for sure.  Main visitor attractions in Amsterdam are:

  • Dam Square
  • Nieuwmarkt
  • Rembrandhuis
  • Anne Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Van Gogh Museum

 

Athens

Another capital city in transition, after having being overhauled for the 2004 Olympic Games, this home of the Olympics has since struggled under the pressures of the economic downturn.  However, the Greek capital still maintains it’s laid back and unique culture, welcoming tourists joyfully while trying to extract as much more from them as possible to fund its economy.  Athens boasts some of the tastiest food in Europe, a fun night-life and some of the best preserved ancient architecture in Europe.  Tourists to Athens come to see:

  • Acropolis and museum
  • Ancient Agora
  • Plaka
  • Benaki Museum
  • Byzantine Museum
  • Lycabettus Theatre

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