Published on April 28th, 2011 | by Flight Centre Staff6
Our Top 10 Must-See European Cities
When you think of Europe what comes to mind? Is it Paris? Rome? London? What if we told you to look a little further off the beaten path?
With Spring in the air, it’s got us excited to get outside and explore. As beautiful as our home and native land is, summer is also an excellent time to visit some amazing European cities. So we’ve put together our Top 10 Must-See European Cities that aren’t always the popular choices when visiting Europe:
If you’re seeking culture and charm instead of pizzas and parties, then this is the place for you. Built on the two banks of the Vltava River, this elegant city is a mix of ancient architecture, cobblestone streets and a magical atmosphere. Most of the city survived World War II intact, resulting in the entire historic center of the city being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some Must See’s: Petrin Gardens, Jewish Cemetery, Alphonse Mucha Museum, St. Vitus’ Cathedral.
Vienna is a city of music, but it is also synonymous with gourmet fare, cream cakes, and superb coffee. A place with a rich and spectacular history, this city is bejewelled with grand palaces, monumental churches, and a myriad of galleries and museums. A must is a proper Viennese coffee and a slice of their sublime strudel.
Barcelona is a fabulous mix of both old and new featuring everything from relaxing beaches to stunning architecture. From the gothic quarter, to Anton Gaudi’s fabulous creations and contemporary masterpieces built for the Olympic Games, Barcelona is simply enchanting. The funicular up to Tibidabo, or the cable car up Montjuic both offer breathtaking views over this city.
Cosmopolitan, colorful and over a thousand years old, Dublin presents a fine starting point for visitors to Ireland. There are so many layers to the Irish capital from the historic Dublin, with elegant old buildings and monuments, to the city’s literary layer linking some of the world’s greatest writers, poets and playwrights, including Oscar Wilde. We simply can’t forget the playful side of Dublin which includes the vibrant pub scene in Temple Bar, top-class theatre, music, comedy and dance.
This has also been called the greatest small city in Europe, and offers visitors a diverse range of sights and sounds. While it may be small, it certainty doesn’t lack the big city attractions. It’s both vibrant and colourful and we love everything about it. From the ‘coffee shops’ to red light display windows and risque live shows-this is a European city like no other!
Munich, with its mix of Alpine charm, old squares and beer gardens is yet another reason to visit fabulous Germany. Home of the original Oktoberfest as well as the 1972 Olympics, the city manages to successfully blend old Bavarian tradition with a vibrant modern life. The city has numerous great museums, art treasures, hi-tech industries and gems of Gothic and Baroque architecture.
With narrow streets, old houses and crisscrossing canals, Copenhagen is often called ‘the Paris of the north’. Pay homage to fairy tale master Hans Christian Andersen with a visit to many of the places he lived, his gravesite in the Assistens Kirkegard and of course, The Little Mermaid statue by the harbour.
Providing the ideal balance between old and new sits Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. This is a city of elegant streets, cobbled alleys, and incomparable sunsets. Contemporary in many aspects such as cuisine, entertainment and shopping, the city blends the traditions and architecture of hundreds of years of history with ease.
The capital of Turkey, Istanbul is an old city that is inspired by many different cultures, religious views and eras. Also one of the largest cities in the world, this city is spread over both Europe and Asia making it the only city in the world that sits on two continents.
With a stunning lakeside setting, Zurich is a vibrant, busy metropolis but also has a nice quieter side. Admire the Alps that surround the city, sail on the lake, or discover the charming old town. Year after year, Zurich is labeled one of the best cities in the world to live, and it’s not hard to see why!