Get the most out of your escape to Europe! Journey through Switzerland’s leading art scene, sample local French fare, uncover ancient cave art in Malta, and more. Here are 5 ways to see Europe like you’ve never seen it before:
Do an art tour through Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the best art scenes in the world. If you’re a history buff or art lover, make your way through Switzerland on an art tour. From the northern border of the Rhine River to the southern tip of Lake Geneva, there’s more than 900 museums and cultural centres across the country to choose from. Marvel at the stunning Swiss landscape and Alpine scenery, as you journey through Switzerland’s art world.
- Make your first stop Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Located along the Rhine River, Basel is home to over 40 museums, including the must-see Kunstmuseum Basel, the largest publicly accessible art collection in Switzerland. Plan your trip during Art Basel, an exciting and highly anticipated event featuring artists from around the world, and watch Basel come to life as it becomes the centre of the art universe.
- Visit Kunstmuseum Bern, one of the oldest art museums in Switzerland and stop by Zentrum Paul Klee, a museum of world-class magnitude. Learn all about artist Paul Klee and see incredible artworks. Bern, Switzerland’s capital, also has a lot of beautiful architecture and buildings that date back to the Middle Ages.
- See a collection of art brut at the Beaulieu Castle in Lausanne, a picturesque small town nestled within the rolling hills of the Swiss Alps and overlooking Lake Geneva. Nearby you’ll also find the Olympic Museum and Musée de l’Elysée, a museum of photography which is dedicated to the art form at its highest international level. Lavaux Vineyards is also a stone’s throw away, and a perfect location for an afternoon wine tasting, post-museum.
- Explore Zurich, the city that turned the art world upside down with the Dada art movement. Boasting more than 50 museums, be sure to check out Kunsthaus Zurich, the city’s modern art museum.
Eat your way through France
Paris is the City of Delights. Decadent honey and pistachio chèvre from La Fromagerie Laurent Dubois. Rich, creamy espresso from Café de Flore. Fresh, flakey pain au chocolat from a patisserie in the 15th arrondissement. From Paris, continue your food tour through the culinary capitals of France. Sip and savour local fare in Bordeaux, one of the greatest wine regions in the world which produces wines that are the envy of the cabernet sauvignon growing world. Indulge in German-influenced gastronomy in Strasbourg and traditional French cuisine in Montpellier. Sit down at a Michelin-star restaurant for a dinner you’ll never forget in Aix-En-Provence, or enjoy the chilled out surf vibe of Biarritz where you’ll find exemplary French Basque fare. Wherever you decide to include in your French food journey, you’re in for a treat. Bon appétit.
Discover prehistoric cave art in Malta
Surrounded by sapphire coastlines and lagoons, and boasting ancient temples and sacred rock formations, Malta is an otherworldly landscape with centuries of history to uncover. Explore the Hypogeum, a Unesco World Heritage site and underground complex of limestone burial chambers. It’s a prehistoric necropolis that dates back to 4,000 BCE. Chamber walls are covered with ancient cave art, the only prehistoric paintings that can be found on the island. Make your way through passageways where you’ll see ancient artwork along the way, as well as remaining artifacts, like amulets, intricate carvings and pottery. See Europe’s first planned city, Valletta. The entire city is a Unesco World Heritage site, thanks to its high concentration of historic monuments like St. John’s, the National Museum of Archaeology and the Grand Master’s Palace, all of which date back to the 17th century, when the city was built. Between the golden sand beaches, beautiful architecture and history, Malta is the kind of place you want to slow your pace down to explore on foot.
Marvel at Scandinavian architecture
If you love moody Gothic architecture, minimalist clean lines, earthy tones and thoughtful attention to functional detail, visit Norway, Sweden and Denmark. When Modernism emerged during the Beaux-Arts period between 1893 to 1920, a new architectural movement led by famous Scandinavian architects took design in a different direction, away from the symmetries and extravagant materiality of the Parisian Beaux-Arts style. Architect Lars Backer, a pioneer in Norwegian Modernism, designed the first Functionalist building in Norway. Restaurant Skansen was built in 1927, three years before the famous Stockholm exhibition in 1930, the seminal event that secured the modern movement in Scandinavia. Inspired by nature, The Wave (Bølgen) is an award-winning apartment building, built in 2009. The Wave rests along a shoreline in the Vejle Fjord and consists of five tile-clad rolling ‘waves,’ each reaching nine storeys and offering 20 individual apartments.
Immerse yourself in traditional Irish culture
Rolling plains dotted with castles and mountains, the Emerald Isle is the jewel in Europe’s crown. From the charismatic capital of Dublin to the rural charm of Shannon, Ireland has a personality as robust as its famous stout. Meet Ireland’s locals and see for yourself! Pop into almost any pub in Ireland and you’ll be greeted with friendly, authentic Irish hospitality. Enjoy a pint of Guinness and dive right into some witty conversations. Visit Temple Bar, one of the most famous and popular bars in Dublin or Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street, established in 1872, and known for serving the best Guinness in Ireland. Or, head to Kilkenny, a charming small town with rows of cozy pubs and bars like O Riada’s and Cleere’s that line the narrow cobblestone streets.
Ready to see Europe like you’ve never seen it before? Talk to one of our Expert Travellers for travel advice on your next Europe getaway. Call us at 1-877-967-5302, live chat us, or visit us in-store today!