Europe, the world’s largest second-smallest continent, covers 2% of the Earth’s surface and 6.7 percent of the land. It is the world’s third most populous continent, with 47 countries and a population of 742.5 million (as of the 2013 census). A visit to the European continent, which is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the Ural Mountains, and on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, is both visually stunning and historically significant.
Every part of Europe stands tall as a trying testimony of its glorious and perplexing past, home to some of the most prominent and captivating monuments and structures that are also listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. For a tourist, Europe is divided into three distinct regions: Western Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe, with each region more enticing than the others. The continent’s diverse geographical division adds to its allure, with the Scottish highlands in the north, Hungarian plains in the south, mountains in Central Europe, and highlands in the south. Now, as we can see, as a traveler you will be taking a leap of faith traveling to countries that may or may not speak your language. So, what can you do to garner experiences and memories of a lifetime? I suggest learn German online in these times of the pandemic. Why? Because German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. It is an official language in four countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In addition, German is an official language in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Let’s now look at all the interesting destinations that you can add to your travel bucket list, whenever you travel to Europe!
Bike through the canals of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a city on two wheels—getting around by bike is a way of life for the city’s residents. Rent a bicycle and ride along famous canals, such as the Prinsengracht, to see 17th-century canal houses and waterways. Alternatively, take a more tranquil ride through the Vondelpark, which is especially lovely in the spring and fall. Whatever you do, remember to use your hands as turn signals on the road and to avoid stopping in the middle of the bike lanes. Locals will quickly remind you of the rules of the road if you forget.
When in Greece, go island hopping.
Go Greek island hopping—even better if you don’t know where you’re going (it offers a pre-internet sense of liberation). When you step off the ferry on different islands, some landlords still wait at the dock with signs displaying the availability of their apartments. Try it in June or September, arrive early, and keep a smartphone with data on hand in case things don’t go as planned. Ios, with its 1960s hippy vibe, and Naxos, which is covered in twinkly lights at night, are particularly lovely.
Prepare to be stupefied in Ponta Delgada
Discover the most beautiful landscape in Europe by staying in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel, the main island of the Azores. The beauty of the two lakes formed in the crater of the island of Sao Miguel will leave you speechless. Visit the thermal pools in the natural park of Caldeira Velha and enjoy the incredible flora of the Azores.
If you’re looking for genuine emotions and preserved landscapes, this is the trip of a lifetime. If it is the thing you want to do the most in Europe, don’t waste any time and book your vacation to the Azores, one of the most beautiful regions in the world.
Behold, the Bosphorus that treats your taste buds while you sail.
In Istanbul’s Eminönü neighborhood, eat bread rolls stuffed with fresh mackerel for a few lire. For two centuries, local fishermen are said to have served baulk ekmek (‘fish bread’) directly from the water. When the boats were threatened with closure by city officials in 2019, their popularity helped ensure their survival. After your fish feast, take a boat ride across the Bosphorus, from the European to the Asian side of town.
The best views in Florence can be reached on foot.
Begin your day at the Boboli Gardens, which are located behind Palazzo Pitti, the former residence of the Medici family, and wander through the cypress rows and Renaissance sculptures. Follow the path to Fort Belvedere and the Bardini Gardens at the top of the gardens, a quiet haven above the historic city. It’s a bit of a climb, but the path eventually leads through the San Niccolo city gates and to the San Miniato al Monte church, which has the best views of Florence. On the way down, treat yourself to a plate of fresh pasta at Zeb in San Niccolo.
Get mesmerized by the Northern Lights in the Finnish Lapland
See the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland—or, at the very least, be dragged around a frozen lake in a sleigh by reindeer while looking for them. Make sure you have a camera handy as well (no one warns you that you can only see their swirling colors in photographs, and, pro tip, most cell phones will turn off in the cold). Whatever your luck, warm-up afterward by riding the world’s only sauna-gondola at Yllästo ski resort.
Shop in the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood of Paris.
Spend a morning in Paris’s edgy Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood, beginning with a shopping trip down Rue de Marseille. The French artisans A.P.C and the sleek concept store Centre Commercial are must-sees, followed by a line at Du Pain et des Idées for a pistachio l’escargot and the flakiest croissants.
There are still millions of things to do and see in Europe, as well as many activities that will allow you to get to know Europe better, such as watching dolphins in Madeira, learning how to make chocolate at a workshop with a master chocolatier in Brussels, or pain sometime around Europe’s largest waterfalls, the Rhine falls, Ski the Matterhorn, visit at least one of the 3000 castles in Belgium, take a ride on a century-old steam train, at Fond-de-Gras and more.