Europe is filled with fantastic cities with attractions to suit all tastes and budgets. From art galleries and fine dining to sports and nightlife, there is something for everyone. Read on to discover some of the best cities to visit this summer and the top attractions for all visitors.
Barcelona is on most people’s list of great places to visit and fro great reason. Barcelona is a huge city located on the coast so visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds – city life and beach life. You can stroll along Las Ramblas, the huge thoroughfare running through the city and enjoy a unique blend of old and new as traditional culture combines with modern trends. You will discover wonderful architecture with buildings designed by Gaudi, alongside stunning modern hotels. You can also head north to the Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, for some sporting entertainment with tickets easy to buy online.
The areas of Barcelona include the Gothic Quarter which is a traditional place to explore to soak up the culture. La Sagrada Familia is beautiful to visit and is under construction so your entrance fee helps pay for the completion of the project. La Boqueria market is the place to go to stock up on traditional foods, while for relaxation you should not miss a visit to Park Guell, the public park and an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can enjoy stunning sculpture and mosaics by Gaudi, enjoy relaxing in the grounds and explore the small museum.
One of the most vibrant cities in Europe, Dublin is a must-see for many travellers. The capital city of Ireland, Dublin lies on the River Liffey and is filled with historic buildings, including Dublin Castle which dates from the 13th century. Other great monuments of historical significance include St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Teresa’s Church and Christ Church Cathedral. For those keen to explore the history of Dublin you can visit the Dublin Writers Museum while Trinity College Dublin also includes some wonderful grounds and a museum where you can see the Book of Kells, which was handwritten by monks in 800 AD. Look out for the Monument to Oscar Wilde, which is a lovely statue dedicated to the famous writer who was born in Dublin.
Among the many wonderful museums and galleries in the city, one hidden gem is Number Twenty Nine, the Georgian House Museum, which takes visitors back in time. For Dublin visitors keen to explore the nightlife of Dublin don’t miss the bars, pubs and restaurants in Temple Bar, which is a lively area in the centre of the city lined with cobbled streets. You will also find a number of casinos including The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club which offers a large selection of casino games, whilst for slots fans, Amusement City provides a huge choice of slot machines.
Bruges is a perfect place to explore for travellers interested in history. Packed with medieval buildings, cobbled streets and canals, this is a truly picturesque city. There are also many chocolate shops lining the streets so this trip is also ideal for those with a sweet tooth! Belgian chocolate is famous through the world for its delicate flavour and you can taste the confectionary yourself for free on one of the chocolate museum tours from Choco-Story.
Another claim to fame for Bruges is its beautiful lace, which you can also buy from the craft shops here. Other highlights of Bruges include the Groening Museum which is a museum of Flemish art and the Belfry of Bruges which is the medieval tower in the market square.
Berlin is one of the most exciting cities in Europe and visitors here will be spoilt for choice with things to do. A stroll through the Brandenburg Gate will let you feel some of the history of the city while it also serves as a useful meeting place and somewhere to head to before exploring the Reichstag where you can visit the famous glass dome for some amazing views. Berlin Cathedral should be your next stop with stunning architecture and interesting crypts. Berlin Zoo is great for animal lovers as this zoo is part of a protection, breeding and reintroduction programme to help endangered species around the world.
You can visit the remnants of the Berlin wall to see the ‘East Side Gallery’ which showcases 100 paintings from international artists. This 1.3km section of the wall lets you admire the many works and is a great way to turn a historical item into something relevant and modern. Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits in the middle of the River Spree, letting visitors explore the Atles Museum and Bode Museum. The Holocaust Memorial is also a must-see. For lighter relaxation, check out the TV Tower where you can enjoy great views and snack on a currywurst at the cafe.
Rome is a cosmopolitan city with a huge number of attractions for history fans and visitors looking for great shopping and delicious food. As well as the famous landmarks such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museums, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, there are many lesser known must-see places, such as the Keats and Shelley Memorial House Museum, which lets you explore the resting place of Keats, learn more about this influential poet and his circle, read his letters and even see his deathbed. There are some marvellous restaurants off the beaten track in Rome so make sure you explore the side streets to find the places off the tourist tracks. You will also see wonderful artists painting on the streets during the summer, which offers a great way to buy some unique art. The main parts of the city are easy to explore on foot if you don’t mind walking and this also lets you see everything more easily than using taxis. The buses are also inexpensive and run all around the city, while hop-on-hop-off tours are another great way to see all the areas of the city.