BEST EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS – Part 1

Europe is a vast and wonderful continent with such a variety of cities, beaches and sights to offer. Whilst we are based in China, I am desperate to explore more of Europe on our visits home to the UK – so I asked the pros. I asked travel bloggers and experts what their favourite European destinations were and I was overwhelmed with the response. So much so, I have two parts! Here is part one!

European destinations

Budapest

Budapest tells the tale of two cities: Buda & Pest. Each has a lot of things to offer and no matter how many times I go back, I still find new things to do.

On the Pest side, a walk on Vaci utca is the best way to get some people watching and window shopping done. At one end of the street, you can find the Great Market Hall. Pop and get some paprika to use at home.

At the other end, it’s the Danube Promenade. Walk to Chain Bridge, cross it, and you are on the Buda side. Walk up in the Castle District. Or even all the way up to the Citadella for some breathtaking views of Hungary’s capital.

Hungry for more? Back on Pest side, walk on Andrassy ut until you get to Heroes’ Square. And now that you are here feed the ducks on the pond. Or enjoy the grounds of the Vajdahunyad Castle.

Tired? Time to relax at the baths. Or try some wine in a ruined bar.

Cris from LooknWalk

European destinations

Paris

Thomas Jefferson remarked that ‘A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of living.’  Even today, the magnetic lure of modern Paris is linked to its past.  Dubbed for centuries as La Ville-Lumière (City of Light) and La Ville de L’Amour (City of Love), Paris remains a favourite European destination owing to its reputation for iconic art masterpieces, romantic architecture, haute couture houses and gastronomic delights.

Historically, the true heart of Paris is the imposing gothic Notre-Dame cathedral built on the Île-de La-Cité.  Not many cities can boast being UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but since 1991 Parisian bridges and buildings along the banks of the River Seine have enjoyed this privilege.  Whilst the skyline of this chic city is studded with magnificent landmarks, beneath their foundations is an equally impressive subterranean world of intriguing Metro stations and hidden catacombs waiting to be explored.

Sarah from Off the Tourist Treadmill

European destinations
European destinations

Stockholm

The Swedish capital Stockholm also goes by the name “Beauty on water”. When you visit the largest city of Scandinavia, it’s easy to understand why. Stockholm is built on a handful of islands but getting around using the local transport system is not a problem at all. However, the city offers more to the visitor than its beauty. The Swedish capital is the perfect city for a weekend visit, offering the best mix you can find of sight-seeing, shopping, culture and incredible dining. If you haven’t been to Stockholm already, I’d suggest that your plan for a weekend visit in springtime next year.

Per Brogevik from Resrutt

European destinations

Edinburgh

There are so many cities that are on my ‘have to go back’ list but my favourite, undoubtedly is the magical city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is full of magical stories and fascinating history. Even on a cold day, the warmth of the locals will take you by surprise. If I ever had to write a book, I would sit back in one of the quaint cafes at the Royal Mile and pen down  my thoughts, that’s the next thing on my bucket list.

No wonder the legend of Harry Potter was penned down in this historic city where J.K. Rowling decided to create magic with words. Another fascinating thing about Edinburgh are the walking tours that happen at the Royal Mile like the Ghost Tour, the Historic Walk, the Pub Crawl and more. You can also taste the finest whisky, pick some for back home, appreciate some real talent from around the world at the road shows and have a cup and just walk around appreciating the architecture.

Chandni from The World of a Wishful Wanderer

European destinations

Bosnia

If you’re searching for a more unknown European travel destination, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans is a great choice!

The small city of Mostar became an instant favourite of mine. Just walking around the narrow streets, greeting the friendly locals and learning about the country’s troubled history was a highlight of all my European travels.

If you’re a little bit adventurous, you can even jump from the famous Stari Most Bridge. At 24 meters high, this beautiful icon of Mostar was built in the 16th century and rebuilt after it was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnia and Herzegovina war.

This lesser travelled, but beautiful country is well worth taking the time to visit!

Ben from Horizon Unknown

European destinations

Venice

I fell in love with Venice the moment I arrived from the airport by boat.  Every single view around every single corner is breathtakingly beautiful.  Eating a gelato while watching the sun sparkle off the Grand Canal; cruising down the narrow canals while chatting to a friendly gondolier; learning how to row a Venetian boat in the choppy lagoon; watching La Traviata in La Fenice, the opera theater it debuted in; sitting in Saint Mark’s Square listening to a live jazz band as it rains and the rising water covers half the square; admiring the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs… Every moment in Venice is pure magic.

James at Travel Collecting

European Destinations

Barcelona

It’s always tough to decide where to go when planning a trip to Europe because there are just too many excellent choices.  However, after an amazing trip to Barcelona last November, I have decided this is my new favorite European destination. First, there is the amazing food; tapas, jamon, paella, wine, cava, etc.  Then there are the historic sites like La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and the Gothic Quarter. And in between are small, charming cobblestone streets, plenty of beautiful churches, and a large selection of museums.

Often when I travel, I plan day trips outside of the main city we are visiting. But in Barcelona, I didn’t want to leave the city. I just wanted to wander, eat and soak up the Catalonian culture.I know Barcelona struggles with too many tourists during the summer, so we opted to visit in early winter.  As a result we enjoyed minimal crowds, lower prices and the Christmas markets.  Some of the highlights of our recent trip included a tapas and wine tour and a trip to Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona.  I will definitely be returning here soon!

Wendy Lee from Wendy Lynn Lee

European Destinations

Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the dream destinations for every Indian. Not only because of its beauty (that is why it is also called as Heaven on the Earth) but also because of the various block buster Bollywood movies where scenes from Switzerland drives us crazy. I got a chance to visit this beautiful country in 2015. The beautiful alps, lakes and lot of snow made me fall in love with Switzerland. The best places to visit in Switzerland are Zurich, Interlaken, Rhine Falls, Geneva, Schynige Platte and Mount Jungfraujoch.

Apart from its scenic beauty Switzerland is also known for Adventure sports/winter sports like Sky diving, Hand gliding etc as you can see the breathtaking views from the top after which no other place in the world will excite you that much.

If you are visiting Switzerland, the best way is to visit with car else you can take Swiss Travel Pass which makes all your journey within Swiss free and also offers you discounts at some of the attractions.

At last, I will just say It’s a perfect destination and must visit place for everyone. I love one quote on Switzerland which is rightly said by Rick Steves:

“Swiss cities remind me of the kid at high school who’s great at sports, has perfect hair, the best girlfriend, and the teachers all love him. He’s just too perfect.”

Sumti from Small Budget Big Trips

And that is part 1! Watch out for part 2 coming shortly and a massive thank you to the awesome bloggers who contributed to this post!

What is your favourite European destination? Let us know in the comments below!

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European Destinations
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European Destinations
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Showing 6 comments
  • Johnny
    Reply

    Great post, and I agree with you on most of the cities on the list in this part. Looking forward to what cities are on your list for part 2!

  • Ee Sing
    Reply

    Totally agree with this list. I been to budapest and paris and totally love the city!

  • Maike
    Reply

    Great post! I am based in Germany and very lucky that all these great and versatile destinations are just a short flight away. So far I haven‘t been to Budapest but it is on top of my list:)

  • Jayashree Sengupta
    Reply

    Indeed… Edinburgh is a must visit from my point…. I am a total Harry Potter fan… Then definitely it’s Paris and Venice… Looking forward to the rest of your Eurotour ☺️☺️

  • Chandni
    Reply

    Hi Katie, you have misspelt my name 🙂 Great post though!

    • Katie
      Reply

      Edited that! Sorry about that! Thank you for contributing 🙂

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