The world is on lockdown, and everything feels like a scene out of a dystopian-era movie. It definitely feels like the worst time to post a blog on the wonders of travelling. But don’t feel too bad, things will soon be alright. And when they get better, you could use these pointers to your advantage, get away from the boring couch and Quarantine, and on a backpacking trip far, far away to European nations.
A nation with infrastructural beauty that quite often remains unparalleled, Europe is home to several beautiful monuments, architecture that is simply exquisite and natural wonders with stories that remain unheard. Here is our list of the top ten places you should visit on a trip to Europe.
Where the roads are water, and the cars are boats. Venice is definitely a city like no other. With its typical style of European architecture, Venice gives off the same kind of calming energy as comes with an expedition in Europe. However, what puts it into our top ten is the reason its often most talked about – Its roads.
Venice has canals which serve as the pathways from building to building. The city lives entirely around the canals. The only way to navigate through is on a boat. Where it does lose some points is the smell. Venice has canals of seawater. Along with the smell of fish and sewage, there is the stale saltiness of the seawater that may obstruct you from truly enjoying the visual beauty that it is.
9. Amalfi Coast
This beautiful place has pristinely white buildings, all following a strict style of architecture. Amalfi Coast is the what you would call a quintessential coastal town. Located at the mouth of a deep ravine and overlooking pristine waters, the Amalfi coastline is rich in such buildings reflecting Arab-Sicilian and Greek architecture.
While it has beautiful cathedrals and hiking trails overlooking the exquisite coastline, Amalfi is a place where the best thing to do would be to sit on the docks in the evening as the sun sets and laze around the luxury hotels catering especially to visitors.
Another town known for its distinctly whiter architecture, Santorini is a picturesque Greek archipelago of two islands. Santorini is home to incredibly diverse beaches, all making it a wonder in itself. Santorini is often suspected to be the original home to the lost city, Atlantis. You could prefer visiting Santorini if you have a particular affinity for history. Santorini is now known for the vivid history it houses – the archaeological attractions of Ancient Thira and Akrotiri, with ruins dating back to the 17th century BC. However, if you are looking to have a relaxing time, Santorini has one of the finest wineries in the world. It is generally very kind and safe to tourists and citizens alike.
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Prague is a personal favourite. I have often said that if aliens ever invaded our planet, and asked to see the most beautiful parts of humanity, one of the creations we could be most proud of was the city of Prague.
An amalgamation of the bustle of the modern-day and Gothic style architecture dating back centuries, Prague is a place you would do well to visit at least once in your lifetime. Prague is also, a very budget-friendly trip, and you could truly enjoy your experience without burning through your pocket here. It is also an extremely safe city, despite its sheer size.
Before I make any arguments in favour of Amsterdam, I would like to say – recreational drugs like marijuana are legal here. While I am not encouraging you to do them, I would like to point out that Amsterdam is probably one of the most laid-back places to visit. Amsterdam is, however, not just what infamous rumours have made it out to be.
The soils here are deeply entrenched in history, both mesmerising and saddening. Museums like the Van Gogh Museum, Verzetsmuseum and the Anne Frank House are absolute musts. Immortalised by the YA novel, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, the canals of Amsterdam welcome you fondly for a boat tour. And if you are lucky, you shall maybe even get to consume the stars, bottled up. I am of course talking about the champagne that it is famous for. Amsterdam has friendly locals and a very ambient atmosphere, often making one nostalgic enough to visit again.
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Made a household name by its famous football team, Barcelona has a beauty in itself. Housing a unique style of architecture, Gothic in nature, it has many iconic buildings that you could spend ages looking at. A day in Barcelona is pure relaxation. Overlooking the Mediterranean, one can lie down and spend their evening hours on the La Barceloneta Beach. With a vibrant nightlife, there isn’t a moment in Barcelona that isn’t fun.
You haven’t had a true taste of Europe if you haven’t had a taste of France or Italy. While France is up there on our list, yet to come, we now have Florence, Italy in our top five. A city that could properly in one tour show you what Italy was all about, Florence is authentic and quaint.
And well, we shall even use this time to tell you that all of those stereotypes you heard about Italian cuisine? It’s true. Mouth-watering scents line the streets. Cobbled streets invite you to sit upon them and feast on the one dish that has originated here and has been replicated the world over – pizza. Or if it is too hot, you could always wind up with the special Italian gelato.
Rich in culture and great food, London is a city you shouldn’t miss on your way through Europe. Yes, it is your typical city, loud, a little smelly and packed. But it also has what are probably the best fish and chips in the world. Now I am not saying you should visit London just for its fish and chips, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to consider. London Tours offer trips to the Stonehenge, to the original Harry Potter theme park among many other beautiful sights.
Other such cultural attractions include the Westminister Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Churchill War Rooms. While the British cuisine isn’t what you would necessarily call inventive or tasty, as it has become the melting pot of ethnicities from numerous countries, it has now got to offer the best cuisines from all over the world, right here at London. A very accessible city due to their official spoken language being British English, London is home to tourists throughout the year.
I would probably not have much to say about the city of love that you wouldn’t already know. People often call Bombay the city of dreams, but out here in Europe, the dreams you’ve always had shall come to fruition under the lights of the Eiffel. Not an attraction just because of the Eiffel Tower, Paris boasts a unique style of architecture.
While each building reflects the distinctly unique European culture, the planning of the city ends up revealing something wonderful – the city itself. Planned and constructed by Haussmann, Paris follows circular planning, at whose centre lies the Eiffel Tower. If you were wondering why in every outdoor photo in Paris, one can spot the Eiffel Tower, here is your answer.
One would normally remember the legendary city of Rome from the phrase, “All roads lead to Rome.” And just like the proverb, our countdown has finally led us to the magnificent city of Rome. Rome is an amalgamation of everything Italy is famous all over the world over for, and then some more. Deep-rooted in its traditions and culture, Rome’s architecture and cuisine offer you a glimpse into times past. Buildings from the great eras of Julius Caesar, Octavian, Hadrian lies in ruins now, but you could always marvel at them on a day trip to the city.
And when the heat seems too unforgiving, Rome offers you a wonderful selection of gelatos, desserts and delicious brunch options to choose from. All in all, Rome ranks at our top. It has got all the qualities of an ideal tourist hotspot – from being visitor-friendly to offering an enthralling experience in its history and cuisine.
With this, I end my countdown of the best places to visit while in Europe. While times right now may seem grim and unforgiving, please remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We shall all come out of this period of Quarantine, healthier and more positive, and I’m sure, if you feel like this lockdown has brought out the wanderlust in you, you shall know which list to look at. We send you love and strength to get through these tough times.