Europe, land of varied culture, stunning architecture and fascinating history. Not to mention the fine cuisine. And don’t think it’s all beautiful cities either. The beaches in Greece are among the best we’ve ever seen, and if it’s trekking you’re into then we have found some of favourite hikes in the mountains of Spain.
It is also incredibly straightforward to get around here, with excellent transport links. Europe is a continent that won’t disappoint.
The Best Time To Visit
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Europe. Is is just as beautiful in the blossoming Spring time as it is in the snow sprinkled Winter months.
Off season is from November to March (with the exception of Christmas), when you’ll have better luck finding cheap flights and hotels slash their prices.
If you’re prepared to spend a little more, then Christmas throughout Europe is quite a show, with Christmas markets and traditional celebrations. It is also the prime time to go skiing, and prices will reflect this!
Check out our guide to spending two days in England’s famous capital city, London. Growing up here has given us lots of ideas on how to make sure you get the most from your trip!
What To Expect
Go For History: You’ll be hard pushed to find a country in Europe that isn’t brimming with history. Some of the top picks for us would be Scotland’s beautiful historic castles, Germany’s sobering WW2 history, Greece for it’s ancient Greek temples and Italy for the iconic Roman temples.
Go For Beaches: You won’t be disappointed with the range of beaches on offer in Europe. Head to Greece for some of the most incredible secluded bays, where the water is crystal clear. Check out Spain for long sandy stretches and a vibrant nightlife. The wild, rugged coastline of the UK will give you views to die for, or try Malta for endless golden sunsets over the sea.
Go For Winter: Head to Northern Europe for winter and you might get lucky and witness the Northern Lights, a legendary natural phenomena that can only be seen at certain times of the year. Shop to your hearts content at artisan Christmas markets, or enjoy a few too many glasses of mulled wine while you watch the world go by in Pragues old town. If you’re up for something a little more adventurous, then head to the Alps and try out the ski slopes, or get pulled along the snow by huskies in Norway.
Go For Views: The mountains of Austria won’t disappoint if it’s a view you’re after. Go in summer for wonderful hiking opportunities, or ski in the winter. Romania is a little more off the beaten track, but no less impressive. Get into the mountains for stunning scenery or check out the hill top castles to feel like you’ve entered a fairy tale. There is a view around every corner in Iceland, where you can stand at the top of waterfalls or cross your fingers for sightings of the Northern lights.
Go For Cities: Be wowed by the Eiffel Tower in Paris or walk the canals of Amsterdam. Drink Guinness in Dublin or tuck into Pelmeni in Moscow. Europe’s cities really are the best in the world.
Use Public transport
Getting around cheaply is easy in Europe. The public transport systems are plentiful, and a lot of the time you can travel from country to country by train or bus. It’s a great way to see the continent, and you’ll make friends along the way!
Be aware that many shops close during midday hours. You will find this is especially common in warmer climates, such as Greece or Italy. The culture is to take a siesta during the hottest part of the day, so shops will close and businesses will stop running so that employees can have lunch with their families before heading back to work. Do as they do and enjoy a leisurely lunch and a break from the sun.
Take note of the local customs. For example, when visiting some churches in Europe it is important to cover your knees and shoulders as a sign of respect. Learn some of the language of the country you are visiting. Saying please and thank you in their language goes a long way.