Europe is a destination with so much to offer, and you have to make a lot of choices before you leave – pick your destinations, establish a budget, make an itinerary, book accommodation and tickets. It’s easy to get lost and confused if you don’t start planning on time. Relying on my personal experience, I’ve put together a list of potential places to visit in Europe and the things to do once there.
THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The off-peak season in Europe lasts from November till April, and during this time both flight and accommodation prices are significantly lower. Also, there aren’t many tourists in the streets, so it’s much easier to see popular attractions. You won’t have to stand in line for hours to get tickets, so it gives you plenty of time to relax and soak in all the beauty. It can get quite cold and snowy, but winters in Europe are often mild, with temperatures around five degrees, so there’s a good chance you’ll have nice weather during your trip.
THE CHOICE OF TRANSPORTATION
A rail plus pass enables you to move around freely on dates that are most convenient for you. Travelling by bus is also relatively inexpensive. Additionally, there are low-cost airline companies, such as Ryanair, that offer amazingly affordable flights to all major cities in Europe. For my Eurotrip, I did a combination of all three and it turned out great!
THE CITY OF LIGHTS
While exploring offers on France tours, give the charms of the capital top priority. The first and foremost is visiting the Eiffel tower and get an amazing view of the city. Soak in the culture by getting a Paris Museum pass which can last two, four or six days, depending on your choice, and which opens the doors to sixty museums in Paris, including the Louvre, D’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and many others. During breaks, indulge in French pastries and Nutella crepes. Take a walk down the famous Champs-Élysées all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. Also, don’t miss visiting the cathedrals Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. Climbing the Notre Dame towers right next to the church requires a lot of physical effort, but the view from the top puts things in a different perspective.
WHEN IN ROME…
Rome is an amazing city to visit in the winter, due to the many hours of sunny weather. As it is the case with all major cities in Europe, you could spend there a week without getting bored, but if you don’t have that much free time, three or four days will suffice. Once there, you shouldn’t miss visiting remarkable landmarks like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and Vatican City. Be sure to climb the Spanish steps and toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to be able to come back to Rome someday. During breaks between visiting landmarks, treat yourself with a caffe ristretto in a nearby café. Tasting their gelato and of course, pizza, is a must. For fine dining, visit some of the marvelous restaurants and tavernas in the city squares and order local specialties like spaghetti all’ amatriciana and tiramisu.
WINTER WONDERLAND IN BRUGES
Book a cheap flight from Rome to Bruges and in no time you’ll find yourself in a fairy tale. This delightful city in Flanders is famous for its romantic atmosphere, little squares, and plenty of canals. The city has preserved its medieval heritage so you can stop by to admire the architecture while exploring the city’s Historic Centre, along with the breathtaking Church of Our Lady and the 13th century Benedictine convent Beguinage. Don’t miss a visit to Choco-Story (a museum about chocolate), the De Halve Maan Brewery, the home of finest Belgian beer, and the Frietmuseum, a museum dedicated to fries.
I LOVE AMSTERDAM
Take a train from Bruges to Amsterdam and in two hours you’ll be able to enjoy the network of delightful canals. Blend in with the locals by renting a bike and start exploring. Pay a visit to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House, and the Anne Frank Haus among other famous sites. Treat yourself with a world-class muffin in the De Drie Graefjes, a wonderful cupcake shop in the city centre, and after dark, dare to take a walk around the Red Light District.
Use this planner as an inspiration for your Eurotrip and spend some memorable moments in Europe.
This is a guest post by Marie Nieves. Marie is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.