Part II of EUROPE – Traveler’s paradise!
Paris – Paris, often referred to as the ‘City of lights’, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and romantic cities ever, making it the top destination for tourists world over. Paris houses some of the world’s most famous attractions like the Eiffel tower, Arc de Triomphe, Cathedral Notre Dame, Champs Elysees and Pompidou Center.
There are a number of museums in Paris, the most famous one being Louvre national museum, which is a must visit. Do not forget to look for Leonardo da Vinci’s marvelous painting of Mona Lisa in the Louvre! River Seine, which is situated right across the Eifel Tower, is the best known river in Paris. Take the cruise down the river and see the breath taking view of the city which is spectacularly lit up in the evening. There are a number of lunch and dinner cruises as well on offer. There are a number of quaint villages all around France. A nice road trip with a few pit stops would be worth adding to the itinerary, if time permits.
Venice – Better known as the land of gondolas and canals, the magical city of Venice, which is located in northern Italy, is truly unique. It is the only European city to have its entire transport system built on water. The absence of vehicles makes it completely traffic free and allows for long and peaceful walks. In fact the entire city can be covered by foot in an hour’s time. The gondola is a traditional Venetian boat and is one of the biggest tourist attractions here.
The gondola cruises and city tours are exciting, fun and a must try for all romantics. Venice has some fantastic restaurants that serve delicious food. There are a number of famous palaces, serene churches and museums that are known for their distinct architecture and valuable art.
Rome – This capital city of Italy is all about history, ancient architecture, culture, food, wine and fashion (hot couture). Collosseum, an elliptical amphitheatre; The Pantheon, an ancient temple; The Vatican museum are some of the main places to visit in Rome. The intricate work and the magnanimous architecture of these monuments will tell you that Rome was definitely not built in a day.
Other places to visit while in Italy include Florence (known for its simplistic beauty); Tuscany (known for its amazing countryside, world renowned art, wining and dining); and Milan (the fashion capital of the world).
Madrid – The capital of Spain is located at the heart of the country and is a very vibrant city. It is characterized by great monuments and museums, which boast of a brilliant collection of art. The highlights of Madrid include the Golden Triangle, where most of the art museums are located; El Prado museum, Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor. Apart from having a strong Spanish culture, it also has a thriving nightlife and has many pubs, discotheques that will wow you no end. While in Spain, try out as many tapas as you can. Tapas is a mini meal made of various Spanish delicacies (like fried egg, fried potatoes, manchego cheese and many many more.)
Barcelona – This city is an art and design hub and has a number of art galleries. You will find a lot of modern sculptures, monuments and brilliant buildings designed by the likes of Antonio Gaudi and Joseph Puig here. The beaches of Barcelona are major tourist attractions and are crowded almost always because of the sunny weather throughout the year, but they are beautiful all the same and the perfect spot for leisure. Barcelona is also famous for its psychedelic architecture, museums, Spanish cuisines, concerts and festivals. You will find many street musicians, jugglers, dancers and sidewalk artists here. Les Ramblas, The Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta are must visits.
Germany is increasingly becoming a happening tourist destination globally. Here are some of the best places to see in Germany.
Berlin, the capital city is located in eastern Germany and gives you the perfect feel of Jewish culture. It is popular for its music, art, lively nightlife, orchestras, theatres, palaces and museums. The Berlin wall museum, Brandenburg gate, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamerplatz and The Berliner Dom are the main places to see in Berlin.
While Berlin gives you a taste of German history and culture, Munich is more a fun experiential city. You will find many bars, opera houses and a busy city life. Bavaria, which seems like a fairytale setting with all its castles and Lubeck, a picturesque medieval town are other places worth seeing in Germany.
London – Anybody who has lived in London will swear by the unpredictability of its weather. If you are in London, you must be prepared for rain in any part of the year. Weather apart, London has everything to qualify as a world class destination. In Dr Samuel Johnson words « When a man is tired of London he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford «
Tate modern and Tate Britain are National art galleries that display exceptional works of art. Trafalgar square is one of the main tourist attractions and has some interesting sights like The National Gallery, St Martin’s church and Nelson’s column. The Parliament house and Big Ben are at a walking distance from Trafalgar square. The British museum, National History museum, Science museum, Horniman, Madame Tussauds and the museum of London are some of London’s major museums. The London Tower, which houses the spectacular crown jewels and Buckingham palace, which is the Queen’s residence are must visits. If you are a fan of musicals and theatre, you must watch some of London’s musicals and Broadway shows. You can get discounted tickets to matinee shows. Take a boat ride on River Thames or try the city cruise in the evening. Seeing the city skyline during the night is a magical experience.
Whether you want to go backpacking with friends or want to go on a romantic vacation with your partner, Europe has something for everyone. Gift yourself the experience of a lifetime!