Karen Rollins

Bucket List: Five ‘Must-See’ European Cities

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There are so many amazing cities in the world which offer visitors a range of activities and experiences.

Whether you are looking for sun, culture, food, romance or relaxation, there’s a city escape out there just for you.

We’ve taken a look at five top European cities which tick all of the boxes for most intrepid travellers.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Cycles, canals and lots of museums. Amsterdam is a city with something for everyone. Famed for its laid back atmosphere, it also has a unique edge which sets it apart from most other European cities.

Amsterdam’s canal belt, which is now collectively protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, dominates the city’s diverse landscape and makes travelling by boat to any number of attractions an easy option.

The Netherlands is known for producing world renowned artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Vincent van Gogh and Amsterdam is an art lover’s paradise with several works on display in a number of contemporary and modern art museums.

Bikes actually outnumber humans in Amsterdam and the city is easily navigated and explored on two wheels – give it a go and blend in with the locals.

Must see: The Anne Frank House

London, UK

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Samuel Johnson famously said: “If a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. London is a sprawling metropolis, a 24/7 city that never stops, which makes it ideal for tourists who are looking for a vacation that offers any and every thing.

History, culture, art, music, theatre, parks and museums – London has it all. The only problem you’ll have is trying to fit everything in!

The best way to get around the city is on the extensive tube network which covers every part of London and Greater London. Buy an Oyster Card and you can zip from Acton Town – Woodford and everywhere in between for a reasonable price.

The London bus network is also good value for money, and it’s definitely worth taking an open top bus tour which stops at all the major tourist attractions.

Must see: Buckingham Palace

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a city like no other, steeped in history but with a youthful buzz which permeates through the people who are always warm, welcoming and generous towards visitors.

There’s a never-ending list of things to see and do, and Dublin is full of history and culture, as well as stunning architecture, such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

One of the many ‘not-to-be-missed’ activities in Ireland’s capital, is a trip to the pub to try a pint of Guinness.

Visitors should also make time to visit Trinity College; Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde was born; and the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, especially after dark, when this area comes alive with tourists and locals.

Must see: Dublin Castle

Athens, Greece

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Athens regularly appears in the top 10 on surveys as one of the best European cities for travellers, mainly because it’s where the past and the present converge.

Known as the ‘birthplace of philosophy and democracy’, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, with 3,500 years of recorded history, but it has undergone several urban transformations over the years to keep up with modern times.

Take a leisurely stroll through the National Garden which was commissioned by Queen Amalia; explore the beauty of Athens’ old city in the narrow streets of Plaka; or catch a movie at one of the 100 open air cinemas dotted around.

You’ll certainly never be bored in Athens.

Must see: The new Acropolis Museum

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest has been flying below the travel radar for a while, but is quickly becoming one of the most talked about cities in Europe because of its unique history, vibrant culture and grandiose buildings.

The Hungarian capital also has the nickname ‘City of Spas’ because of an abundance of thermal baths which offer visitors open-air bathing while surrounded by neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance architecture.

There are plenty of ways to get around on foot, tram and underground, by bus, on water, or bike, just make sure you explore all of the city’s nooks and crannies so that you don’t miss any of its parks, galleries and craft shops.

One of the best times to visit, if you can tolerate the cold, is during the Christmas period when Budapest hosts a number of markets filled with seasonal goodies.

Must see: St Stephen’s Basilica

Ready to explore Europe? Search Find Yello for local travel agents.

Source: European Best Destinations / The Culture Trip

 

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