Europe travel guide
Europe boasts a historical and cultural variety that is unmatched by any other continent. From the founding of democracy in ancient Greece, through to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; from its role as the origin of Renaissance, to its part in igniting the world’s two major wars, European history has shaped the world that we all live in today.
This complex heritage has produced rich diversity across the continent’s 48 countries. You only need to travel a few hours before you can enter a new nation, with its own culture and language. Paris, with its famous galleries, thriving fashion scene, and iconic Eiffel Tower, is one of the most stylish capitals in the world. Venice boasts the beautiful medieval architecture of St Mark’s Square, and famous ancient waterways. St Petersburg is a city of striking baroque spires, and
London is a multicultural metropolis where ancient and modern buildings stand side by side.
On top of this, the continent’s natural scenery is awe inspiring. From the fjords of Norway, and the breathtaking Alps that wind through France, Italy and Switzerland, to the stunning wilderness of the Scottish Highlands and soft sandy shores of Spain’s Costa Brava or Portugal’s Algarve. With so much to see, it’s no wonder that this is the world’s most visited continent.
Mainland central Europe has a temperate climate: summers generally hot, while temperatures in winter can easily fall below freezing. Those who want to ski in the Alps will travel to this part of Europe between December and March, to make the most of the winter snow, while most other tourists come here between June and August, when temperatures generally hover between 18 and 21 degrees.
As you move south, European summers become hotter, and winters milder. Between June and August, countries like Spain and Portugal often bask in temperatures of 23 degrees or more, and holidaymakers who want to laze on the sandy Mediterranean shores flock here at this time of year. In winter, it doesn’t get much cooler than 11 degrees, but much of the tourism industry will have shut up shop until next summer.
Countries that feel the effect of the Gulf Stream, such as the UK and Scandinavia, have fairly mild weather all year round. The summers here are not as hot as those enjoyed by the rest of the continent, but the winters do not get as cold. Rainfall is likely here throughout the year — this is not the part of the continent to visit for its climate, and is thus a great destination whatever the time of year.
The most popular way to travel around Europe is by plane, especially if you are starting from Britain, France, or Germany, where budget airlines have really taken off.
Alternatively, train travel is a generally less expensive travel option. Trains run throughout the continent and even connect the UK and France through the underwater Eurotunnel.
One of the cheapest transport options is coach travel. However, what you save in fares, you will pay for in vastly extended journey time. Eurolines is good budget coach operator that runs throughout the continent.
To take in Europe at your own pace, driving can be a good transport choice, and you’ll find cheap car insurance deals in most cities. It is a good idea to rent a diesel car, as many European countries now subsidize this fuel.
Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower, which was built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution, is one of the most visited attractions in Europe. This delicate display of ironwork soars into Parisian the skyline over the Champ de Mars, and offers spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Those travelling to Germany should definitely pay a visit to the Berlin Wall. This landmark once marked the separation of Communist Europe from the rest of the continent, and is testament to the city’s turbulent 20th century history.
There is so much to see in Italy, but if you are visiting Florence, be sure to explore the Uffizi gallery — the oldest art museum in the Western world. Come to admire the works of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
The best way to see Britain’s capital is through the 135 metre high London Eye. Once you are at the top, you can enjoy a birds’ eye view of this spectacular city: taking in landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey
If you’re visiting Greece, the buildings that make up Athens’ Acropolis are certainly deserving of a place in your holiday itinerary. The Parthenon, which dates back to 432 BC, is perhaps the most important, well preserved building from the ancient Grecian world
Russia boats a rich variety of sites worth exploring, but if you can only see one, make it St Petersburg’s Hermitazh: the winter palace of Empress Elizabeth. Come to view the works of Michelangelo, Matisse, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, and Gaugin, while you also admire the extravagantly gilded ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and intricate mosaic floors
Those paying a visit to Croatia, should definitely take a trip to the country’s Plitvice National Park. With majestic mountains, a lush forest, and 16 azure, green, and blue lakes, this is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sights on the continent
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
- Dublin Airport (DUB)
- Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO)
- Heathrow Airport (LHR)
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
- Lisbon Airport (LIS)
- Madrid-Barajas (MAD)
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST)
Antalya Havalimani Airport (AYT)