7 Amazing European Cities That Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List
by Daniel | Last Updated September 30th, 2019
Europe is full of unique and awe-inspiring destinations that can fulfill your wildest travel fantasies.
In Europe, you’ll find beautiful architecture, museums, nightlife, and more. But, it can be challenging to decide on what country and what city to visit when there are so many great options to consider.
What a great predicament to have!
Luckily travel in Europe is easy, affordable, and accessible.
Whether you’re looking for a place where you can relax and unwind or you’re looking for a spot where you can explore every facet, there’s something in Europe for you.
In this review, we’ll share with you 7 of the best (and non-cliché) destinations in Europe to consider when planning your vacation.
1) Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal is a southern country on the Iberian Peninsula that borders Spain. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, seafood and gorgeous beaches are an integral part of their culture.
Lisbon is well-known for picturesque beaches, beautiful landscapes, and bustling cities.
Another reason you should consider Lisbon when planning your next vacation is because of the mild climate and plentiful sunshine year-round. It truly is the perfect place to visit no matter the season.
Lisbon boasts an abundance of cultural heritage, but you’ll find that the setting is still modern and updated. You’ll find the natives to be hospitable and the cuisine and wines to be top-notch.
Here are some of the things you can do while you visit Lisbon:
· Visit the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a church and monastery located in Lisbon (the capital of Portugal)
· Ride Tram 28 and enjoy a unique view of Lisbon along cobbled roads
· Take a day trip to Sintra, a city located only 39 minutes away from Lisbon. Here you’ll find elegant mansions and churches.
Here are some tips that will make your stay in Lisbon that much better:
· Consider booking a walking tour if you don’t have a lot of time and you want to make the most of your trip. Lisbon is a sizable city, so it’s easy to miss something.
· Be open-minded. Lisbon is home to many unique dishes unlike those you’ll find anywhere else. Try and break free from habit and taste a dish with flavors native to Portugal.
2) Corfu, Greece
Greece is arguably most famous for the island of Santorini, known for the Cycladic architecture and breath-taking views. While Santorini is definitely a must-see destination, Corfu also has its charms.
Corfu has a dynamic heritage, historical monument, a beautiful landscape, ultra-clear sea, and warm weather. Here are some of the best things to do while in Corfu:
· Explore Spianada in the center of the city. Here you can admire the French architecture, watch cricket games, or attend concerts that are organized all throughout the year.
· Visit the Museum of Asian Art. This museum was founded in 1927 after the donation of over 10,000 items by Gregorios Manos and it is the only one of its kind. You can find it in the Saint Michael and George Palace.
· To get a view of the entire city, visit the circular terrace at Kanoni. This is one of the most photographed spots in all of Corfu.
Here are some tips that will help you during your trip to Corfu:
· Remember that shops typically close between 1-2 pm and reopen later in the day. If you’re not the type to wake up very early, try and get most of your shopping done in the evening.
· If you’re at a bus station and aren’t sure of where to buy your ticket, remember that you can usually buy a ticket on the bus. If you’re traveling with kids under 6, there shouldn’t be a cost for them to hop on the bus. Bus drivers may charge you anyway if you aren’t aware of this rule.
· Be wary of strays. While most are friendly, try to avoid petting cats or dogs you see on the street.
3) Kotor, Montenegro
While Montenegro is a small country, there you’ll find some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The rugged mountains are surrounded by peaceful waters.
The country is adorned with stunning beaches and medieval villages that are full of history.
One of the best things to do in Montenegro is to stroll along the coastal town of Kotor. You’ll have clear views of the landscape diving into the water, and ancient walls that emerge from limestone. You can spend your time visiting wooded bays or exploring sea caves.
There’s plenty to explore in Kotor with old fortresses, cathedrals, and Venetian palaces scattered among modern cafes and clubs.
Here are some things you must do while in Kotor:
· Hike St. John’s Fortress to enjoy a stunning view that encompasses the greater part of Montenegro
· If you’re short on time, opt for a Kotor Bay cruise so you can see the city from the water.
· Stop by Kotor Town, known for its narrow streets and small stone buildings.
· Go on a day trip and have a beach day at Ulcinj, the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast.
Remember these tips when you arrive in Kotor:
· Don’t be afraid to solo-travel to Kotor. Kotor is a great destination for solo-travelers because the locals are very friendly and welcoming.
· If you are journeying to Kotor by bus, try and book the earliest bus in the day. If you’re coming from another country, there may be lines at border control that have long wait times.
· A popular thing to do in Kotor is to climb the city walls. This can look daunting, but it’s fairly easy to do even if you’re out of shape. Don’t skip out on this once in a lifetime experience.
4) Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. It is known for its gothic architecture, vibrant city life, rich history, and animated neighborhoods. In Prague, you’ll find a number of gorgeous churches and an astronomical clock that gives a show every hour.
Consider doing these things during your trip to Prague:
· See a concert at the Rudolfinum, one of the most prestigious concert halls in all of Prague.
· Visit some of Prague’s greatest music clubs like Akropolis or Roxy.
· Prague is famous for its beer. Visit a pub or beer bar for a glass of beer that’s unlike one you’d get elsewhere.
· Cruise on the Vltava river. This river spans across 30+ bridges and ten islands.
· Shop till you drop in one of Prague’s contemporary shopping malls like Palladium or Chodov.
· Prague is home to over 200 historic parks and gardens, one of which was established in the Middle Ages. These parks and gardens offer amazing views of the city.
Some Prague travel tips to improve your stay:
· Beware of currency exchange scams. People will sometimes walk around exchange offices and offer a great exchange rate but this currency isn’t accepted anywhere.
· If you’re coming from another country in the European Union, the SIM card you used in that country should work just fine in Prague.
· Your main mode of transportation should be the metro. The metro system in Prague is very easy to use and will get you anywhere you need to go.
5) Nice, France
Nice is the capital of the French Riviera and it is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Because of its placement between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, it has an ideal climate that makes it a great vacation spot all times of the year.
In Nice, you’ll find scenic landscapes, beautiful flora and fauna, and beaches with clear, blue water. Here are some must-dos for your time in Nice:
· Explore the museum scene. Some of the best are the Chagall, Arts Asiatiques, and Matisse museums.
· Discover Vieux-Nice, the old city. Here you’ll stumble upon flower markets and baroque architecture.
· If you go during February, attend the Nice Carnival, a wintertime celebration that features flower floats and florist competitions.
· Book a cruise and sightsee across the French Riviera
· Do a walking tour of Old Nice and explore Castle Hill
· Walk along the Promenade des Anglais and soak in the sun while basking in views of palm trees and beaches.
Consider these travel tips for your trip to Nice:
· There’s a lot to see in Nice. Consider skipping a sit-down lunch and grabbing a sandwich on-the-go to make the most of your stay there.
6) Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. It lies on Ireland's eastern coast. Dublin has the largest population of all the cities in Ireland and is a popular destination for beer-lovers and history buffs. Dublin is also home to many historic buildings like the Dublin Castle which dates all the way back to the 13th century.
If you’re in Dublin, don’t miss out on these destinations:
· Have a drink at The Temple Bar. This bar is arguably the most famous one in all of Dublin and tourists come from all over the world just to have a drink here. It’s located in the heart of the city and it is an integral part of Dublin’s nightlife scene.
· Visit the Guinness Storehouse Factory to learn about the history of Irish Brewing and to see how Guinness beer is crafted.
· Visit the Spire of Dublin, a stainless-steel structure that stands 120 meters high in the center of O’Connell street.
Here are some tips that will be of great help to you while you’re in Dublin:
· If you’re visiting the Guinness Factory, plan on this excursion taking up half of your day.
Any less won’t do it justice.
7) Istanbul, Turkey
This major city in Turkey is an assortment of cultural influences that have taken shape after years of different empires taking rule. Istanbul offers visitors a dynamic history that unfolds within distinct neighborhoods, delicious cuisine, and historical monuments.
To make the most of your stay in Istanbul, put these things on your to-do list:
· Go to the Blue Mosque. This is considered to be the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul because of its blue-tiled interior and opulent exterior.
· Shop at the Grand Bazaar. This shopping experience boasts over 5,000 unique shops across the span of 60 streets. What was once an important trading center is now a hub of Istanbul’s best shops.
· Eat dinner or visit the nightclub in Galata tower. This 9-story structure has some of the best views of the city.
· Have a cup of Turkish coffee. This blend of coffee is extremely rich and takes a lot of effort to make.
Put these tips into practice once you arrive in Istanbul:
· If you plan on visiting a mosque, remember to dress modestly.
· Turkey is not a part of the European Union, so you will need a tourist visa if you plan on traveling there.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.
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