Everyone that has traveled extensively to places in Europe forms opinions of the cities that become their favorites, and become places that have a special meaning for them. The personality of a city goes much deeper than tourist destinations. They go into the identity of a city that makes it unique, and that uniqueness is not found just in those places that make it famous but on the streets and venues where the locals inhabit.
London: A great walking city, much of London can be seen by keeping in close proximity to the Thames. Home to four World Heritage Sites, London’s charm is its important historical sites, such as The Tower of London, whose history goes back almost 1000 years, to upriver to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey (over 1000 years in history), and Buckingham Palace in the City of Westminster. Because the city street patterns have not changed much in centuries, there is quite a haphazard way they are laid out. But that is part of the charm in walking this city, and the extensive Underground Tube system is perhaps the best mass transit system in any city in Europe, providing you a break if you can walk no further. The second great aspect of London making it one of the great places to travel is its large theater district, one of the largest of any city in the world.
Paris: This city obviously has many charms, but to me the greatest asset which makes this one of the best places to visit in Europe is the architecture, thus making this the best walking city, even topping London. Keep close to the Seine, then at the Eiffel Tower walk in the direction of the main street of Paris and the Arch of Triumph, and you will witness some of the greatest architecture anywhere.
Vienna: One of the great places to visit for the music is Vienna. You can experience much of this great city by walking, from the area around St. Stephan’s Cathedral to the old palace area. There are many concert venues to be found, plus multiple great museums making Vienna a great place to travel for its culture.
Amsterdam: Similar to Venice, Amsterdam’s charm is in its canals. The city is virtually a web of canals, and there is a boat of every size or shape, and for any occasion you may have. The downtown area is a place of great Dutch charm, but the waterways are really what make this one of the great places to travel. Also, as with all large European cities, a great amount of culture can be found in the form of museums of the great Amsterdam artists, among them Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Barcelona: This city with the small town feel but the progressive attitude is really a hidden gem when looking for the best places to visit in Europe. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea in hilly terrain that gives it character, this second city in Spain gives the attitude that it can provide anything that the great cities of Europe can provide, but still gives off the feel of a smaller metro area. For food, you really must experience the Tapas Restaurants.
This is obviously just a small sample of the great places to travel in Europe, but every one of these places offers a rather unique trait that make it special from other places. If you are contemplating a trip to Europe soon, we hope you will try to take in one or more of these remarkable places.