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Top 10 Things to Do in Europe

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

Europe is full of exceptional experiences that feel both historic and timeless, and there are so many essential things to do.

From artisan crafts to ancient ruins, diverse cuisine, and fascinating architecture, you can celebrate the gorgeous landscapes, diverse cultures, and preserved traditions of the continent’s most iconic cities and hidden towns.

Whether with contemporary chic or antique ambiance, the countries of Europe reveal limitless possibilities that stretch from the Mediterranean Sea to northern fjords. As you consider your European vacation, consider these favorite activities and excursions.

1. Discover the Wonders of the Ancient World

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

As a whole, Europe exudes culture that comes from millennia of collective heritage and independent national evolution. From prehistoric artwork to Roman mosaics, Europe celebrates its heritage and brings history to life on a timeline dating back over 5,000 years. You can easily see preserved Moorish palaces, shimmering Azulejo tiles, and striking Greek statues that collectively highlight Europe’s diversity with surprising treasures that show quintessential artifacts.

Best Places to Visit for Ancient History: Greece | Italy | England | Norway | Turkey | Spain

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

2. Indulge in Incredible Local Flavors

Paella in Valencia, Spain

Paella in Valencia, Spain

Europe represents the marvelous differences between countries and even the unique varieties of food between regions that shifts across borders. Europe has embraced its past with many nations celebrating their culinary roots and looking towards a vibrant gastronomic future shaped by certain climates and topography that support different ingredients. From spice blends to traditional curing methods, love affairs with butter to a fusion of culturally-connected ingredients, there is always something for food lovers or just those sampling the heritage.

Best Places to Visit for Food: Italy | France | Spain | Germany | Denmark

Best Time to Visit: April | May | June | September | October

3. Enjoy the Grand Traditions

Ashford Castle in Ireland

Ashford Castle in Ireland

Visiting a castle in Europe is like diving into history and uncovering the life of kings, queens, vendettas, and hidden alliances. Castles and palaces are alluring for their fantastical features and an atmosphere we automatically equate with fairytales and storybooks. They speak of grandeur and war, artistic representation of the times, and dynamic cities once protected by the greater power of the stronghold. Europe offers access to both the quintessential image of a historic castle but also surprising visions of opulent palaces for contrasting glimpses of regional history.

Best Places to Visit for Castles/Palaces: United Kingdom | Ireland | Germany | Spain | France | Portugal

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

4. Savor the Layered Flavors of European Wine

Vineyards in Tuscany, Italy

Vineyards in Tuscany, Italy

Europe’s viticultural history is unparalleled around the world and captures tradition, celebration, and diversity across the continent. A trip designed to explore the wines of Europe can take you from north to south, east to west, finding an endless variety of grapes and distinctive production methods. The diversity of the wines across Europe reveal a completely different culture and heritage at every stop. With a collection of the world’s premier destinations for wine, you can experience the ingenuity and integrities of different wine-growing regions that differ not just by country but by microclimate.

Best Places to Visit for Wine: Italy | France | Spain | Croatia | Germany | Portugal

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

6. Delight in the Masterful Artisan Crafts

Ceramic vase being decorated b a local artisan in Caltagirone, Italy

The creative craft market as a whole in Europe explores tradition and focuses on the basic impulse to do single skilled work beautifully. Artisan crafts combine detailed beauty with the importance of a cultural connection that furthers a legacy. Refined traditions and the pursuit of authentic artistry are rooted in the fundamentals of a city, town, or country showcasing traditions cultivated by skilled artists that then gives you insight into the depths of things from handmade paper or cuckoo clocks, decorative tiles or elegant carpets.

Best Places to Visit for Artisans: Italy | Germany | Spain | Portugal | Turkey | Switzerland

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

6. Embrace Captivating Arts, Histories, and Cultures

The Louvre in Paris, France

The Louvre in Paris, France

Europe has some of the world’s premier museums giving you access to millennia of history and masters of global artwork. A museum can be a trip highlight and provide unique perspectives on famous artworks or distinctive cultures. Europe’s museums tell stories with a wide range of narratives that can share the history of Renaissance art or offer a timeline of the Mediterranean, reveal unique Moorish designs or show a different side of war history. Each museum provides a glimpse into the broader culture of a country.

Best Places to Visit for Museums: France | Netherlands | England | Italy | Spain | Germany

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

7. Experience the Best of the Winter Season

Skiing in the French Alps

Skiing in the French Alps

Europe has some of the best and most pristine ski destinations as breathtaking scenery blends with access to exceptional cultural heritage. Skiing is not just a pastime in Europe but a lifestyle that complements the gorgeous scenery with a diverse range of skiing types and options for all capabilities. Centuries-old alpine towns offer endless activities with exceptional terrain for a mixture of modern convenience and Old-World glamour.

Best Places to Visit for Skiing: Austria | Switzerland | France | Italy | Norway

Best Time to Visit: November | December | January

8. Revel in the Force of Music

Vienna State Opera House, Austria

Vienna State Opera House, Austria

Opera in Europe is not just a musical force but a culture of its own. Passionate spectators match the enthusiasm of the performers emphasized by the dazzling designs of some of the world’s most iconic theaters. Opera and opera houses are intertwined as European cultural institutions seemingly blending the style and traditions of specific countries intertwined with iconic performances or experimentation. With capitals of classical music and authentic reflection of musical heritage, Europe defines opera as an art and has made it accessible for everyone.

Best Places to Visit for Opera: Germany | Italy | Austria | France | Poland

Best Time to Visit: December | March | August | November

9. Bask in the Recipes of Classic Cuisine

Cooking class for traditional Greek recipes

Cooking class for traditional Greek recipes

The culinary impact of Europe shines across the world with cultural heritage known worldwide through food. A cooking class can focus on one dish or a series of recipes that highlight extraordinary aromas, presentation, and taste. Learning to create typical dishes immerses you in a hidden history of a place by revealing certain ingredients, age-old recipes, and delicious flavors.

Best Places to Visit for Cooking: Italy | France | Spain  | Germany | Sweden | Greece | Switzerland

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

10. Explore the Timeless Beauty of Nature

Volcano crater on the island of Corvo in the Azores, Portugal

Volcano crater on the island of Corvo in the Azores, Portugal

Europe has spectacular hiking in countries with historic pathways and trekking spanning vast reaches of the ten major mountain ranges. The marvelous scenery and collection of trails around Europe are easily accessed for iconic, dramatic, and unforgettable experiences. Fjords, alpine peaks, stunning woodlands, and open plains create diverse landscapes spanning dynamic countries for memorable hikes. Whether a challenging route, breathtaking terrain, or a thrilling panoramic view, Europe offers epic hiking trails for every type of hiker.

Best Places to Visit for Hiking: Portugal | Spain | Norway | Scotland | Italy | Austria | Switzerland

Best Time to Visit: May | June | August | September

Ready to Find What More You Can Do in Europe?

Europe can be a romantic exploration or an adventurous excursion, a relaxing cultural immersion or a perfect beach destination. Find ancient ruins. Explore Michelin-starred mastery. Delight in the outdoors on ancient rails. From cycling to cooking, wine tasting to visiting museum galleries, Europe is timeless, captivating, and easily tailored to your preferences. Ready to plan your trip? You can speak with a Europe travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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