Is a trip to Europe on your bucket list? I’m almost certain it is. I think Europe is on just about everyone’s places to see before you die list. I can definitely understand why. I love, love, love Europe!
But Europe means so many different things to each person. Currently according to the United Nations there are 44 countries on the European continent. Although it’s the second smallest continent Europe stretches from its border with Asia on the east to its Atlantic coast on the west. It includes Greenland on the north and meets Africa on the south. That’s why Europe is such a diverse continent with each country having its own unique history, culture, language, and cuisine.
Most people think a European means traveling to France, Italy, Britain, and Germany. Those 4 countries are more definitely worth seeing, but they aren’t the only ones worth visiting. Sure a trip to Europe should include a visit to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, one to the sites of Rome, another to Britain’s Buckingham Palace, and still another to see the castles in Germany; and of course a trip to the Louvre, the Vatican Museum, the British Museum, and the Pergamonmuseum are worthwhile. But to really experience Europe and all that it has to offer one should include a unique activity or two.
Here are 5 unique ways to really get the most out of your European vacation!
Europe has an amazing train system that connects pretty much every country on the continent to each other. Trains connect major cities to small towns all over Europe, making trains one of the best ways to travel from country to country.
High speed trains offer several classes of service and rail passes make train travel easy and affordable. I know trains are my favorite mode of transportation in Europe; trains are comfortable, quick, and easy. Best of all you avoid the lines at the airports, and you don’t have to get to the station 2 hours before departure like you do at airports, and you don’t have to waste time collecting your luggage when you get to your destination. Also most main train stations are located in the heart of the city unlike airports which generally are situated miles away from the city center.
And let’s not forget the scenery you can watch pass by on your way to where ever you’re headed. In fact there are several scenic routes you can go on that will take you past mountains, lakes, valleys, and more. One such route is Switzerland’s Glacier Express whose route goes thru the Swiss Alps.
Whether it’s a one hour cruise on the Seine or a week long meander down the Danube a river cruise is a great way to experience Europe. It gives you a different perspective on a city and allows you to watch some amazing scenery as you slowly drift by castles and villages which you’d never see from a plane or even a bus!
Many big cities on a river have hourly or day sightseeing cruises; Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Bruges just to name a few.
To catch a glimpse of everyday life take a trip to the local markets or head over to the main square on market day.
Everyone goes to the markets so it’s always bustling. And you’ll be amazed at the different types of foods you’ll find.
A trip to the market is also a great way to try out some local cuisine. Most markets have kiosks selling prepared food like fried seafood, tapas, and whatever specialties the area is known for. And don’t forget that markets are the best and least expensive way to put together a picnic lunch, just grab some bread, lunch meats, cheese, and fruit and you’ve got a mouth watering meal!
Food is the universal language so what better way to learn a bit of the culture than at a cooking class at a local farmhouse or restaurant. Not to mention at the end of the class you get an awesome meal too!
There are all sorts of cooking classes offered, you can go to a one day class or stay at a farmhouse and learn to cook local specialties for a week!
In Italy a pizza or pasta making class is a must, in France a french pastry or macaroon making class is amazing specially for those of use with a sweet tooth, and a gingerbread baking class in Germany is delightful.
Walk, Walk, and Walk some more!
European cities and towns are seriously walking places; that’s really the only way you’ll see anything.
So bring your waking shoes or hiking boots and wander the streets and squares or the big cities, and hike the paths along the coast, in the forests mountains. You’ll be amazed at the sights you’ll see! After all you’ll never know what wonder awaits behind the bend until you get there!
Let Savvy Nana Travel help you plan your trip to Europe!