In Europe, it’s possible to encounter all the extremes of weather and scenery, so there’s plenty of variety for the first time traveller on this interesting, varied and beautiful continent. All the countries in Europe have much to recommend them. Working on the assumption that you may never pass this way again, these are the best places to visit in Europe for first time travellers!
The Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest is one of the must see places in Europe! It is the most popular holiday destination in Germany, and there are a number of reasons why. There are the picturesque villages along the Romantic Road, which was a mediaeval trade route. Be sure to visit the beautiful walled town of Rothenburg, where you can walk around the ramparts and take in spectacular views.
Then there’s Lake Schluchsee, the biggest lake in the area, and Lake Titisee, where every shop seems to sell the famous Black Forest cuckoo clocks. Don’t leave the area without trying the speciality of the region – Black Forest Cake. Put the diet on hold for the duration of the holidays!
Barcelona is one of the must see cities in Europe. Barcelona is the capital city of the region of Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain. This vibrant city has everything for the traveller. Stroll along the famous Las Ramblas, and browse the craft and flower stalls. Then stop off in Port Vell (Old Harbour) for a drink and tapas. Admire Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family), and take in the Barri Gotic (Mediaeval Quarter). Then head for Avenida Diagonal for some retail therapy.
To make the most of Barcelona, travel around on the Bus Turistic, the open-topped bus that takes you all around the sights of Barcelona on its 3 routes. Get on and off as you please, and take advantage of the discount vouchers that come with your ticket to save on entrance fees to museums and attractions, meals, and shopping.
Everyone should visit Paris at least once in their lifetime. August is a good time to go, because the Parisians take their holidays then, so the city is much quieter than usual, although it’s a year-round tourist destination. Travel around the sights on the Metro – you can get fantastic discounts on travel, and it stops at all the tourist hot spots.
Be sure to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and take a ride along the Seine on the famous Bateaux Mouches to view the city from the river. At 10 Euros for an adult and 5 Euros for a child, this hour-long cruise is great value for money. If you have time, do both a daytime trip, and an evening trip, to see all the floodlit buildings.
Enjoy a meal in the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank, and take in the artist’s colony at Montmartre, where as well as seeing artists at work, you can enjoy fabulous views over the city from the church of Sacré Coeur.
London, England is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe for the first time. London is famous for the Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Tower of London, and many more ancient buildings. There’s plenty to occupy the first time traveller. Immerse yourself in London’s maritime history at the Greenwich museums, and take a boat cruise along the Thames to Westminster, home of the British Parliament – the oldest in the world.
See how England fared at war at the Imperial War Museum, or check out the British Museum. All London’s museums are free to enter, so it won’t cost you a fortune to drink in the city’s culture.
Stroll through the beautiful parks, and visit the city’s many palaces and stately homes. See London from the air on the London Eye, and take in one or more of the shows in Theatreland. There’s so much to do in London, you’ll want to return again and again.
There are so many highlights in Europe, it’s difficult to settle on just a few, but the best places to visit in Europe detailed above will offer the first time traveller a varied itinerary, with plenty to see and do. Have a great vacation time in Europe!