If you have ever visited the European continent, you know how wondrous it can be. With a combination of the Old World prominently intertwined with Modern World sensibilities, anywhere you visit will prove to be an amazing sight. But how do you know where to go? How do you narrow it down to a select number of cities or locales to visit?
Of course, you would want to start with something you have always wanted to see; a site you have always wanted to go to, or a country you have seen only in pictures or movies that appealed to you. Somewhere you would want to share with your friends and blog about.
If the continent itself is alluring, but you do not have a specific location you want to start your trip, then that makes things a little more difficult. To help you get started, here are a few places you could begin your European vacation.
Home to the royal family, this city has a number of places that tourists love to see. Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London are national landmarks full of historical interest. Big Ben has been destroyed in so many movies, but still remains atop Elizabeth Tower where it has been since 1859. The gothic architecture of these buildings will remind you of times long past.
If you are planning on staying in a hotel while visiting the capital of the United Kingdom, then there is no place better to stay than at The Ritz. It is as world-famous as the locales mentioned above. Even though it is over 100 years old, it still speaks of the luxuriousness patrons have come to expect.
The boot on the map at the bottom of Europe. This little country was once the center of the great Roman Empire. There are a lot of architectural designs and concepts from the ancient empire still in use in today’s architecture. You will also find plenty of examples of the Old World throughout the country.
In Rome, you will find the famous Colosseum where gladiators and slaves fought for the enjoyment of the people. Not only did they fight other people, these warriors were forced to face the most fiercest of animals that could be found; lions and bears to name a couple. Though it is not in the shape it was during its heyday 2000 years ago, it is still quite the sight to see.
You can also learn about the ancient empire by visiting the Museum of Roman Civilization. A more modern structural in the Old World city devoted to displaying aspects of the ancestral society.
Rome may not be the center of a grand empire anymore, but you can get the sense of its former grandeur by visiting the imperial (then later republic) capital.
The city of love. Everyone has seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower. Now is your chance to visit it. Original construction ended in 1889 for that year’s World Fair, this iconic landmark was not supposed to remain a permanent structure. It is a good thing the French kept it standing because it is the world’s top-visited paid monument.
Although Paris was never the center of a major empire like Rome or London, it is still a historical city nonetheless. The city is host to several stories of fiction such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The cathedral of Notre Dame lights up at night with the Eiffel Tower behind it, adding to the grandeur of the city.
The Louvre houses immense collections of artwork, adding another top ranking to the city. It claimed the title of most-visited art museum in the world. While touring the classical beauty of the city and the urban beaches, stop and tour this modern-designed museum. More than just art, there are displays that go back all the way back into prehistory.
Yes, Amsterdam elicits images of red lights and green leaves. And while these are the enjoyments some may be looking for, there are other sites within the city to enjoy.
The Westertoren is a church completed in 1638. The steeple is the tallest structure in the city, but it is what is within that holds the most significance. Many important people in Deutch history are buried there, including the famous artist Rembrandt. The church also houses the crown of the Habsburg emperor.
Aside from visiting the dead, you can live a little by enjoying city’s numerous canals in a gondola. Bike riding through the country’s famous tulip fields is a great way to spend the day outdoors.
Another city built between waterways along the northeastern coast of Italy, this city has also been featured in a plethora of TV shows and movies (Indiana Jones almost lost his head in Venice). Water taxis flow up and down the canals just as they had for hundreds of years.
Also known for its cuisine and wine, this city is host to a number of festivals that are as old as the city itself. As in Amsterdam, there are a number of medieval churches, including the St. Mark’s Basilica. The gothic and Byzantine artistry put into this ancient structure is a daily reminder of the 11th Century.
There are many hotels in the city that, though not nearly as old, hold some historical significance. Famous author Ernest Hemingway wrote Across the River and Into the Trees in 1948, staying in the Locanda Hotel as he did so.
Several islands surround the city and are great for further exploring local culture and history. Lido is perhaps the only one for traveling by bike or car, making this island the perfect scenic adventure in the city.
These five cities are great starting points for a vacation to the Old World. Modern skyscrapers mix with ancient churches to give them a unique character not found anywhere else in the world. From these locations, you can travel to anywhere else on the continent. Just plan your trip ahead of time.