Many of Europe’s metropolises can be reached quickly by train or plane, high time to go on a discovery tour aroud European cities.
Rome is also known as the “Eternal City” because of its size and importance. Numerous buildings such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum or the Castel Sant’Angelo refer to its long history and take you back to bygone times. At the same time, there are numerous narrow streets and many cute cafés where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city.
Paris is probably on every traveller’s bucket list after all, more than 30 million tourists visit the French capital every year, according to travel agency Travelcircus. A special magnet for visitors is the Eiffel Tower, which has blossomed into the city’s landmark after its completion. The Louvre, one of the most famous art museums in the world, or the Sacré-Cœur pilgrimage church also attract numerous tourists. The charm of the city can also be experienced particularly well in one of the numerous street cafés.
A must for every city trip to Prague is a walk through the old town with all its baroque buildings and Gothic churches. A special highlight is the astronomical clock at the town hall. Then it goes over the Charles Bridge, one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe, over to the other side of the Vltava. There, Prague Castle awaits visitors to the second-largest closed castle complex in the world.
Off to the bicycle capital of Europe: According to Travelcircus, around 58 percent of the population in Amsterdam are on two wheels. There are romantic canals, museums and legendary coffee shops to discover. The most famous sights in the city include the Anne Frank House and the Royal Palace.
Of course, among the best city breaks in Europe, London cannot be missing. Here, history, culture and modernity combine to form a unique metropolis. History buffs will love visiting Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace in stark contrast is The Shard, which was once considered the tallest skyscraper in the EU. During the breaks, you can take a relaxing stroll through Hyde Park or shop at Camden Market.
Tourists can follow in the footsteps of Empress Sissi in the Austrian capital Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the monarch and is one of the most popular local attractions. You can also discover the Vienna Prater, the State Opera or St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You can also enjoy the Viennese coffee house culture, which was even declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.
Hamburg is one of the top destinations for a city trip in Europe and within Germany. A highlight of the Hanseatic city are the St. Pauli jetties at the port, from where you can take boat tours across the Elbe. A ride on ferry 62 takes you to the long Elbe beach. In the Speicherstadt, on the other hand, you can visit the unique warehouse ensemble one of the buildings also houses the Miniature Wonderland, the largest model railway system in the world. If you want to immerse yourself in the nightlife, make your way to the Schanzenviertel or the Reeperbahn.
Do you also want to enjoy a little sun and sea air during your city trip? Then Dubrovnik in Croatia is the place for you. The beautiful old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and gained international fame at the latest as the location where the series “Game of Thrones” was filmed. Immerse yourself in times gone by on a tour of the 1,940-meter-long city wall or while walking through the alleys.
With its typical Spanish architecture, Madrid is a real eye-catcher. Highlights include the Royal Palace, Bernabéu Stadium and Plaza Mayor. Explore the shopping avenue of Gran Via, and return at night for music and dancing. And while you’re there, you should also enjoy the popular “churros con chocolate” for breakfast.
The Danube metropolis Budapest is also worth a city trip – it not only offers visitors culture and history, but also shopping opportunities, chic bars and delicious food. The parliament building, the Matthias Church or the Buda Castle should not be missed on your sightseeing tour of the city. On the other hand, you can experience Hungarian cuisine in the Great Market Hall, where there are numerous stalls with a variety of delicacies.
Europe has a huge range of beautiful cities to offer, many with medieval flair and historic buildings, others with modern skyscrapers and numerous activities. Whether located by the sea or in the heart of the country there is something for every taste.
This article was originally published on Frankfurter Rundschau Germany.