What to See in Europe: Unveiling the Highlights

Paris

Europe, despite being the second smallest continent after Oceania, offers a variety
of experiences that make it feel anything but small. From its rich historical landmarks
and diverse cultures to its unique traditions, Europe has a charm that captivates every traveler.

My own journey through Europe began in 2017, thanks to budget-friendly flights.
Since then, I’ve explored many cities, often taking advantage of affordable travel options
like trains and FlixBus to visit multiple destinations in one trip.

Ryanair

As a European citizen, I’ve always been amazed by the unique perks available in cities like
Paris, where you can visit the Louvre for free if you’re under 26, or Rome,
where museums offer free admission once a month.

On this page, I’ll share insights about the places I’ve visited, highlighting why
you should add them to your travel itinerary too!

Italy – Italia

rome

Italy is rich in culture, art, and history. You can admire historical monuments,
art galleries, churches, museums, villages, and lakes—it’s like an open-air museum.

Traveling between cities in Italy is easy with trains and buses, both of which are affordable,
although they may not always run on time.

Each region has something special, from different dialects to local cuisine. Emilia Romagna is
famous for lasagna and tortellini, Liguria for pesto, and Sicily for its delightful sweets like cannoli.

Official language: Italian
Currency: Euro

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Turin
  • Orvieto
  • Milan

Learn Italian

Germany – Deutschland

Germany is located in central Europe and is home to elegant cities and charming towns
that feel straight out of a fairy tale. Berlin, the capital, is a top tourist destination, but
cities like Dresden, Mannheim, and Frankfurt also hold their own charm.

Germany boasts one of Europe’s finest transport networks. Trains, including InterCity and
InterCity-Express (ICE), are the preferred choice for travel between cities.

If you’re in Germany in October, don’t miss the famous Beer Festival (Oktoberfest) in Munich.
And if you visit in December, be sure to explore the festive Christmas markets!

When it comes to German cuisine, think of sausages, sauerkraut, hearty soups, potatoes,
and of course, beer! Germany is also renowned for its carved wooden objects, Meissen porcelain,
and the jewelry of Pforzheim. Meanwhile, Nuremberg is celebrated for its toy manufacturing.

Official language: German
Currency: Euro

France – France

France, located in Western Europe, is a country rich in history, culture, and
traditions that captivate visitors from around the world.

The capital, Paris, is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, a place you could explore
endlessly without ever growing tired. Beyond Paris, France offers charming
medieval towns and stunning beaches in the south.

The French railway system is highly efficient, connecting major cities with services
like TER (regional express trains) and TGV (high-speed trains).

French cuisine is famous for its delicious variety. You can enjoy dishes like
steak with white wine sauce (entrecôte Bercy), grilled fillet (chateaubriand),
and duck with orange sauce (canard à l’orange). Don’t miss out on French cheeses
such as Brie and delightful desserts like St Honoré pastry, crème caramel, and flambéed crêpes.

Official language: French
Currency: Euro

England

England is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, renowned for its rich history.

The capital, London, boasts some of the world’s finest museums and art galleries,
many of which offer free admission! It’s also a top shopping spot, from Oxford Street
to vibrant markets like Camden Market and Portobello Road, not to mention the
iconic Harrods, Europe’s largest department store.

Public transport in London provides excellent service, although it can be quite expensive.

One of the most popular street foods found everywhere is fish & chips.
A famous dessert enjoyed across England is pudding.

Official language: English
Currency: British Pound

  • London

Belgium – Belgien

Belgium, located in western Europe, is divided into three regions: Flanders in the north,
Wallonia in the south, and Brussels in the central region, which serves as
the political hub of the European Union.

Despite its small size, Belgium is rich in fascinating cities such as Brussels, Bruges,
Antwerp, and Ghent, all easily visited with good planning. Belgium boasts the highest density
of railway networks in Europe, with Brussels alone having 28 stations.

Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, Belgium has been home to influential artists like
Jan van Eyck, who pioneered the Flemish school of painting and developed oil painting techniques,
as well as Rubens, Magritte, and Delvaux.

Belgian cuisine is celebrated for its diverse and delicious offerings. You can enjoy specialties like beer, moules-frites (mussels with fries), and shrimp. For desserts, try famous Belgian waffles (gaufres) topped with jam, sugar, or melted chocolate, as well as speculoos (crunchy cinnamon biscuits)
and exquisite Belgian chocolates.

Official languages: French, Dutch, and German
Currency: Euro

  • Gent
  • Brugge
  • Antwerp
  • Brussels (Bruxelles)

Czech Republic – Česká republica

The Czech Republic, established on January 1, 1993, is situated in central-eastern Europe.
Historically, it comprises three main regions: Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.

Czech culture has been influenced significantly by Jewish and German traditions.
The capital city, Prague, boasts a history spanning over a thousand years and is adorned
with architectural monuments in various styles. Prague’s efficient public transportation
includes three Metro lines (A, B, and C) and an excellent tram service.

Popular Czech dishes include hearty soups, often featuring onions, as well as roast pork,
boiled beef, and roast duck. Among desserts, palacinka stands out—a crêpe filled with
ice cream or strawberry sauce and topped with hot chocolate.
Various types of strudel are also enjoyed.

Local handicrafts are renowned for their excellent quality, especially carved glass,
Bohemian garnet jewelry, porcelain, and ceramics.

Official language: Czech
Currency: Czech koruna

  • Prague (Praha)

Poland – Polska

Poland, located in central Europe, has a rich and significant history.
Throughout Poland, you’ll find numerous sites dedicated to Jewish history and culture.

Polish cities are not only steeped in history but also incredibly captivating.
While Warsaw and Kraków are the most visited, cities like Wrocław, Gdańsk, and
Poznań are also highly recommended.

Poland is known for being a budget-friendly country, allowing visitors to extend their stay
and explore extensively without breaking the bank. The PKP trains provide the most
convenient and efficient way to travel between cities.

For souvenirs, don’t miss the locally crafted items, especially amber!

Official language: Polish
Currency: Złoty

  • Gdansk
  • Krakow
  • Warsaw
  • Poznan
  • Wroclaw

Austria – Österreich

Austria, situated in central Europe, boasts a rich and enduring cultural and musical tradition.
Its architecture is a blend of various eras that captivate millions of visitors annually.

Vienna, the capital, features a highly efficient public transport network with 5 subway lines, 31 trams, and 80 bus lines. However, many monuments in Vienna’s historic center are easily accessible on foot.

Local craftsmanship is highly valued, offering a diverse selection of items crafted from
carved wood, wrought iron, and ceramics

Official language: German
Currency: Euro

  • Vienna (Wien)

Slovakia – Slovensko

Slovakia, located in central Europe, is a landlocked country that gained independence
in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Its capital, Bratislava, is conveniently accessible by both plane and bus, as it is only
60 km from Vienna. Getting around the city is straightforward and inexpensive.

Slovak cuisine reflects a blend of Slavic and Central European influences, featuring dishes
such as halušky (potato dumplings), crêpes, hearty soups, and fried cheese,
which are all highly recommended.

Official language: Slovak
Currency: Euro

  • Bratislava

Hungary – Magyarország

Hungary is located in continental Europe and is a landlocked country.
Not to be missed is the capital, Budapest, also known as the “Pearl of the Danube.”

Hungarian culture is influenced by Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau traditions.

Traveling by train is highly convenient, with reduced rates available for tourists.
In Budapest, there are trams, buses, and three metro lines.

One of the typical dishes is goulash, a hearty soup made with meat, lard, onions,
carrots, potatoes, and paprika. Hungarian wines are also renowned for their excellence!
A visit to Budapest’s market is recommended for finding superb handicrafts and antiques.

Official language: Hungarian
Currency: Hungarian Forint

  • Budapest

Switzerland – Schweiz

Switzerland is located in Central Europe and is a federation divided into 26 cantons.

It’s a country ideal for nature enthusiasts, with breathtaking landscapes, and
also offers charming historic cities like Basel, Geneva, and Zurich to explore.

For transportation, trains and buses are recommended. For instance, we traveled from
Strasbourg, France to Basel using FlixBus.

Don’t miss out on indulging in Swiss chocolates and cheeses—they’re superb!

Official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc

  • Basel
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