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With a continent, as large as Europe, where to start looking for activities can be such a challenge.

It seems like no matter where you look there’s always more that can be done around the corner.

If you want to plan your Europe trip from scratch on a budget, by yourself, do check out my Europe Trip Planner Kit!

In this post, we’ll cover the absolute bucket Europe bucket list items you NEED to tick off in this lifetime. 

Let’s dive in!

Contents

1. Go cheese and wine tasting in Amsterdam.

BY: Hanna from Hanna Travels | Instagram

cheese and wine tasting

If you plan to visit Amsterdam, you shouldn’t miss the encounter with famous Dutch cheeses! I can highly recommend Raypenaer Cheese House, a family company with over 100 years of experience in cheese making. In their tasting room in Amsterdam, they organize cheese tasting classes.
 
During workshops, you will have a chance to taste 6 of their finest cheeses combined with red wine, white wine and port (or non-alcoholic drinks), learn to assess the taste, smell and age of the cheese as well as learn a bit about cheese making process and the whole industry. During the classes, you can take notes, and at the end, you get a certificate which gives you a discount for cheeses in Repenaer shop.
 
For my personal experience, I had a lot of fun to mix the cheeses with different types of alcoholic beverages and was surprised that different kinds of cheeses go well with only selected examples of the wine. I can recommend this activity to anyone who would like to have a better insight into Dutch cheese making culture and also a better experience with exploring Amsterdam!
 
The cheese tasting takes one hour and costs €17,50 per person. The tasting room is located in Singel 182, 3 minutes walking from the Dam Square. You can book the activity in advance on the Reypenaer website, especially in high season.
 
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2. Visit the stunning lavender fields of Provence, France.

BY: Nadine from Le Long Weekend | Facebook

provence lavender fields

There are few images more synonymous with the South of France than that of the lavender fields of Provence. But this iconic attraction is more than just a pretty picture. The purple crop spreads right around the region come late June and it’s an incredible sight to behold.

From the fine, beautifully fragrant lavender grown in the higher regions, to the picture-perfect rows planted in the Luberon Valley and Valensole plateaus – you’ll be spoiled for choice if you visit Provence in early summer.

And while it’s certainly a stunning plant to see, it’s also an important part of Provençal history. If you can, try to visit one of the lavender festivals that take place towards the end of the season to truly experience the culture behind the crop. Or visit one of the lavender distilleries where you can learn about the processing from plant to products.

If you visit France earlier in the season, you’ll want to head to Valensole for the most beautiful fields, but in mid-late July, you’ll be better placed to travel to Sault which gets harvested later. Of course, as you’re traveling around, you’ll be treated to other bucolic scenes and pass plenty of gorgeous villages too!

To get there – most people fly into either Marseille or Nice airports and proceed by car. If you stay in one of the larger towns like Aix or Avignon, there are also day trips you can take to see the lavender fields.

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3. Stroll around the beautiful flower island of Mainau in Germany.

BY: Diana from the Elusive Family

mainau island

Mainau Island is a beautiful small island known as flower island and located on Europe’s largest lake, Lake Constance. It is known for the millions of blooming flowers, attracting thousands of visitors annually waiting to explore and wander the island. 

Mainau has hundreds of walkable flower pathways with millions of dahlias, roses, rhododendrons, tulips, and other flowers.  Most paths are specially marked and a map is provided to show visitors where each flower walk is located.

Among the most amazing activities is visiting the island’s butterfly house. Thousands of butterflies fly around in a high humidity house, even landing on visitor’s shoulders.  There are also several small waterfalls inside the butterfly house.

Further, on the little island, Mainau has a beautiful castle on the grounds, that is hundreds of years old and with a stunning adjoining church interior.   Tours can be arranged in advance.

It is best to visit early in the morning and in spring or late fall when there are fewer tourists.  Visitors can arrive at the island by either driving to a specially designated parking area next to the island and walking across a bridge.  They can also take a ferry from various points in Lake Constance including Meersburg.  

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4. Go for a hike in the Black Forest in Germany.

BY: Hannah from Hannah’s Happy Adventures | Facebook

The Black Forest is located in South-West Germany and is close to the city of Freiburg. There are many things to do in the Black Forest. To name a few, these include visiting traditional German towns, swimming in lakes, skiing, and even an alpine rollercoaster! 

However, hiking remains my personal favorite, due to the spectacular views and numerous waterfalls. Freiburg is known as the gateway city to the forest, due to the ease with which you can visit the forest – by both public transport and car.

For a half-day trip, I recommend visiting Schauinsland. Take the line two tram to Dorf Strasse then jump straight onto bus 21 and ride to Schauinslandbahn Tal. From here, you can either hike up the mountain or take a cable car to the top. 

For a full-day trip, I recommend delving further into the Black Forest. You can take a gentle, flat hike around one of the main lakes – Titisee or Schluchsee. To reach these lakes, take the train from Freiburg to Titisee or Seebrugg, respectively.

If you prefer mountainous views, head to Feldberg. Here you can spend the whole day hiking on the mountain or take a chairlift to the top. To get to Feldberg, take the train to Feldberg Barental, followed by a bus outside the station up to Feldberg mountain. 

If you’re looking for a trip longer than a day, I would recommend taking the Westweg route. 

5. Hike to the Ice Chapel in Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany

BY Mel from TravelingMel.com |@TravelingMelMT on Instagram

ice chapel hike

My family spent a month in Bavaria, Germany and fell in love with the mountainous region. It was winter and snow covered the ground and topped the Alps. Of the many fun and beautiful things we did in this little corner of the world, one of our favorites was hiking to the Ice Chapel or Eiskapelle, in Berchtesgaden National Park.

To get there, we took a boat across Königssee (King’s Lake) to St. Bartholomew. Königsee is said to be the cleanest lake in Germany and the ferry was a treat in itself.

From St. Bartholomew we hiked the six kilometers (round trip) to the Eiskapelle. I was expecting an actual chapel or little church, but what we found was even better – a large cave made of ice.

We walked into the cave. It was smooth and shiny in places, scalloped in others, and an otherworldly blue light shone through the ice. A small creek ran through the middle and water dripped in places. We couldn’t get enough, it was beautiful.

On the way back to the ferry dock, we stopped at a little restaurant called Fischerei St. Bartholoma. The only option is smoked trout from the lake and bread. Plus, beer of course.

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6. Visit the ancient Mycenae in mainland Greece.

BY: Ninah from Strolling Greece

mycenae

The most ancient sight of mainland Greece is the archaeological site of Mycenae, located 75 miles southwest of Athens in the Peloponnese Peninsula of Greece. Imagine visiting the place where Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus, the later king of Sparta, walked around!

The intrigues of the most famous Mycenaean royal family, the House of Atreus, are described in detail by Homer in the Iliad, as well as how Agamemnon and Menelaus participated in the Trojan War. Be sure to read about it before visiting Mycenae, because it will make your experience of this historic place unforgettable.

In a beautiful landscape of hills and olive groves rises the once heavily fortified rocky hill, where more than 3500 years ago the royals that ruled the Mycenaean Empire lived in a huge palace with views over the Saronic Gulf.

Although the palace no longer exists, this is made up for by some other exciting buildings. The Lion Gate, the impressive entrance to the citadel, and parts of the massive Cyclopean Wall, which fortified the citadel, are still there. You can also descend into the tunnel of the underground cistern that secured the water supply of the citadel. Just be careful because the steps are slippery.

A few hundred meters away from the foot of the citadel you can visit the Treasury of Atreus, an enormous beehive shaped tomb in which one of the kings of Mycenae was buried. There are another eight tholos tombs in Mycenae, but some are difficult accessible or in a less good condition.

The many artifacts that were found in Mycenae are exhibited in the little modern museum, which is located at the site. The most famous finding is the gold death mask, but there are also frescoes, pottery, jewelry, weapons, and figurines on display.

Visiting Mycenae requires quite a bit of walking. You will have to ascend the hill, and the stone paths that cross the site can be uneven and slippery. Good shoe wear is therefore advised. Also, make sure to protect yourself against the scorching heat and sun during summer.

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7. Go road-tripping in stunning Iceland.

BY: Lauren from Luxury Travel Hacks.

iceland road trip

Easily my number 1 European bucket list item was that of road tripping Iceland. It is fair to say it didn’t disappoint. Traveling from the USA into Europe we decided to fly Icelandair, which allowed us a free stopover for a week without having to pay the extra taxes that come with a stopover.  

Once in Iceland, we collected a beautiful little camper we fondly called Tiny Tina. Traveling the famous ring route, also known as route 1, we decided to go clockwise heading to the western regions of Iceland first. Unfortunately, we only a week we didn’t have the time to visit the western fjords and quickly moved through the west and north of Iceland before spending more time in the east and south. 

We did this because we fell in love with the east and south of Iceland. From the incredible eastern fjords to the diamond beach along the south coast, we were not disappointed. The lava fields also along the south coast and the waterfalls were spectacular and places we will never forget.    

If you ever have the opportunity to explore Iceland, do yourself a favor and hire a car. Having the freedom to explore the out of this world environment that is Iceland, you will not be disappointed.    

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8. Hike to Preikestolen in Norway.

BY: Katalin from Our Life of Travel | Instagram

norway hike

The hike to Preikestolen (in English: Pulpit Rock) is on the bucket list of almost every tourist visiting Norway. Compared to the other famous hikes in the area, it is a relatively easy one and you’ll have a spectacular view over the fjord as a reward for your efforts.
 
You can do the hike as a day trip from Stavanger. The parking is easily reachable either by public transport or own car. It’s about 2 hours away from the city. If you drive by car, keep in mind that you have to pay for the ferry and the parking as well.
 
The trail is 8 km long and takes about 3-5 hours to complete it. We hiked the trail in 4.5 hours with our 2-year-old son, so it’s doable with kids as well, just watch them on the top. The route has several steep sections, especially during the first part. After 3.5 kilometers you reach the little lakes and wind shelter. The last kilometer of the trail is pleasant and relatively flat on the top of the treeless rocks with spectacular views.
 
When you reach the end of the trail, you will be on the edge of the rocks, hundreds of meters above the water below you. After you stood on the Pulpit Rock, you can cross and another item off your bucket list.
 
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9. See the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway.

BY: Amanda from A Dangerous Business | Instagram

tromso norway
 
Seeing the Northern Lights is something that should definitely be on your travel bucket list. And luckily it’s something that’s totally do-able in Norway!
 
Northern Norway is an ideal part of the world to see the Northern Lights during the winter months. Warm Atlantic currents keep the weather relatively mild, and long winter nights offer good visibility of the aurora. There are several places you can go in Norway for Northern Lights viewing, but my pick is Tromsø, the “Gateway to the Arctic” and the largest town in the north of the country.
 
Tromsø is a popular winter destination in Norway. You can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on Tromsøya island, go snowmobiling in the nearby Lyngen Alps, and learn all about dogsledding at the Tromsø Villmarkssenter. And once the short days are over, you can go chase the Northern Lights after dark.
 
There are several ways to view the Northern Lights in Tromsø. There are large group bus tours, small-group “chasing” tours, tours that combine reindeer sledding and aurora viewing, and even cruises where you may be able to see the Lights.
 
Booking some sort of guided Northern Lights tour is recommended because the guides know where to go (bad weather doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t see the aurora!), and can also help you get photos of the phenomenon.
 
Whatever you choose, just be sure to add Tromsø to your itinerary for a trip to Norway in winter!
 
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10. Visit the stunning Nærøyfjord in Norway.

BY: Helen from Helen on Her Holidays | Instagram

naeroyfjord-helenonherholidays

It’d be a real shame to visit Norway and not see the amazing Nærøyfjord. This stunning fjord is one of the most beautiful places in Norway, and it’s even been rated by the National Geographic Society as the top natural heritage site in the world.

Together with Geirangerfjord, 120km away, Nærøyfjord has been on the UNESCO World Heritage site list since 2005. Along with these esteemed honors, Nærøyfjord has another claim to fame; it’s towering cliffs and snow-topped mountains were the inspiration for the kingdom in Frozen.

Branching off the much-larger Sognefjord, the Nærøyfjord is 17km long and just 250m wide at its narrowest point. The best way to experience the Nærøyfjord is from the water; boat trips leave from the small village of Gudvangen and make their way along the fjord, pausing to take in sights along the way.

The most impressive of these is the Laegdafossen waterfall which is 575m high – taller than the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower. If you’re lucky enough to visit in winter when there’s a good chance you’ll see a real-life scene from Frozen as the waterfalls often freeze solid in the winter. 

You can do the Nærøyfjord boat tour on its own or as part of a Norway in a Nutshell itinerary. Norway in a Nutshell aims to give visitors a taste of the best of Norway and takes in at least part of the Bergen to Oslo railway (one of the great train journeys of the world), the Flam Railway (another epic train trip), and a fjord cruise on the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. If you’re looking to tick a few things off your Norway bucket list, ‘Norway in a Nutshell ‘is a great way to do it.

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11. Go on a miradouros hunt in Lisbon, Portugal.

BY: Nesrine from KevMRC

lisbon

Lisbon is an absolute must-see in Europe. Full of monuments and history, the capital of Portugal is a wonderful city between land and sea, where you can enjoy incredible cityscapes. 
 
To discover most of Lisbon, you should definitely go on a miradouros hunt, especially if you don’t have too much time. Miradouros means « viewpoints » in Portuguese, and you can find plenty of them in the city! 
 
You will find below my 3 favorite miradouros, easy to access and where you can have the most stunning views of Lisbon. 
  • The first of them is the Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. It’s one of the most recommended by the locals and offers view over the Castelo de S. Jorge, and all the way to the Ponte 25 de Abril. 
  • The Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte is the highest viewpoint of the city. This will give you a great view of the famous Alfama district. When you’re ready to discover the district, go on a free walking tour in Alfama.
  • Very close to Lisbon Cathedral, the Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a lovely viewpoint, especially for sunset, when the sun dips in the Tejo river.
Going on a miradouros hunt is the best activity you could do in Lisbon: you can discover the city and enjoy amazing landscapes for free in a short amount of time! You can go at any time of the day and most of them are easy to reach!
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12. Admire the 5000-year-old Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.

BY: Mal from RawmalRoams | Instagram

stonehenge UK

Stonehenge is probably one of the most mysterious monuments in the world! It’s 5000 years old and its purpose is still unknown. There are a few theories: one says that it was a Druid’s temple of worship, another theory claims that it was a burial place. The most widely agreed theory, however, says that Stonehenge was a sophisticated solar calendar. Come and visit to make up your own theory!

It’s most definitely one of the top places to see in England. The site is located in Wiltshire, 90 miles from London.

You can take an organized tour from London that will cost around £50. Alternatively, you can hire a car and drive there yourself. The entrance ticket costs around £20. I highly recommend hiring an audio guide if you decide to self visit Stonehenge. Another option will be to take a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury and from there a Stonehenge Tour Bus that will take you directly to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre. 

A good idea would be to a couple visiting Stonehenge with a few other attractions in the area. My favorite picks are the Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester and the Roman Baths located in Bath.

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13. Take a day trip to York near London.

BY: Sinead from Map Made Memories | Facebook

york

The historic city of York in northern England is two hours by train from London so the city can be visited as a day trip as well as part of a longer visit. There are many fantastic and unique things to see and do in York but one activity that should not be missed is the chance to walk upon the medieval city walls.

York’s walls are the longest city walls in England; at two and a half miles long, a full circuit takes around two hours to complete on foot. The walls can be accessed at one of four ‘bars’ – imposing stone gateways that lie at each compass point of the city. One such access point – Micklegate Bar is just a five-minute walk from the city’s train station.

The free to enter walls are flat and easy to walk through there are some steep, narrow steps to access them. In addition, you can visit historical exhibitions about Henry VII in Mickelgate Bar and Richard III in Monk Bar.

The walls are a lovely, scenic walk and an ideal escape from the bustle of the busy city center. They also provide fantastic views of beautiful York particularly the pretty section behind the iconic York Minster.

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14. Tour Harry Potter Locations in England.

BY: Laura from Whats Hot Blog | Instagram

harry potter

England is famous for many things including the Queen, tea and rain. However, the most famous thing England has produced in modern times is undoubtedly the Harry Potter series. No trip to the UK would be complete without touring some of the most iconic Harry Potter filming locations in London and Oxford.
 
In London you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with King’s Cross, where the Hogwarts Express departs from on the 1st September each year, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, the set where all the films were produced, and even a free Harry Potter museum at House of Mina Lima. There’s also a Harry Potter hotel, cocktail experience, afternoon tea, escape room and more to discover in England’s capital. Check out this post for the ultimate Harry Potter weekend in London
 
Just one hour away from London by bus or train is the beautiful city of Oxford. The city is infamous because of the world-class university here and it’s often noted that Oxford University looks just like Hogwarts. Turns out, that’s because numerous Harry Potter scenes were filmed here and you can find Hogwarts library at Duke Humfrey’s Library, the Hospital Wing at the Divinity School and Hogwarts’ corridors at Christ Church. The most iconic of all would have to be Christ Church’s dining room, which the Hogwarts Great Hall set is modelled on. 
 
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15. Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.

BY: Fiona from Passport & Piano

Giants causeway

Giants Causeway is a famous Irish Landmark in Northern Ireland near the small town of Bushmills. It’s a fabulous place to visit if you’re driving the Antrim Coastal Route. 
 
This natural rock formation is unlike any other in the world. Over 40,000 hexagonal shaped basalt columns are linked uniquely by the coast.  Its thought that their structure was a result of an ancient volcanic eruption over 50 million years ago. 
 
Irish folklore, however, has many stories that tell of how the rocks were formed.  My favorite is the one about the giant Finn Mc Cool.  It’s believed that he built the steps so that his girlfriend could visit him from Scotland.
 
The National Trust looks after this Unesco Heritage Site, and the visitor’s center has lots of information on how these unique basalt columns were formed. Whether you believe in Science or folklore, you’ll be able to decide yourself.
 
From the visitor’s center, there’s a bus that takes you down to Giants Causeway.  You can of course walk, it’ll take you about 15 minutes.
 
To capture the best photographs of Giants Causeway its best to visit the site either at sunrise or sunset.  At this time the visitor’s center is closed but the car park is still open, and you can walk down to the rocks.
 
 Although they’ll be fewer tourists at these times, you’re unlikely to be alone.  Giants Causeway is a popular hotspot for local photographers especially if the weather conditions are right.  If you want the best spots for your tripod, you have to get there early.
 

16. Take a romantic Gondola ride in Venice, Italy.

BY: Chris at More Life In Your Days

venice-gondola ride

A gondola ride in Venice must surely be high on everyone’s European bucket list. An absolutely quintessential Venice experience and feature of almost all the postcards and videos you have ever seen of the city, the gondola is Venice through and through.

Sure, it is touristy and expensive. Maybe even a bit of a cliché. But it is still an experience that any avid travel should take part in.

Gondola rides are big business in Venice are they are certainly not cheap. They rely on the bucket list factor that I am writing about to set a standard charge of 80 euros for around half an hour (this goes up to 120 euros in the evening).

We really did question whether it was worth it but have no regrets that we gave it a go as it is definitely one of the best things to do in Venice.

We recommend heading to a gondola station away from the hubbub of San Marco and finding a route that takes you through the quiet backwaters along with a stretch of the Grand Canal. Our boat ride left from near the Accademia Bridge and the route had a good mix of quiet areas before a short, spectacular, section of the Grand Canal.

Mainau Island is a beautiful small island known as flower island and located on Europe’s largest lake, Lake Constance. As a high tourist island, it is known for the millions of blooming flowers, attracting thousands of visitors annually waiting to explore and wander the island. 

Mainau has hundreds of walkable flower pathways with millions of dahlias, roses, rhododendrons, tulips and other flowers.  Most paths are specially marked and a map is provided to show visitors where each flower walk is located.

Among the most amazing activities is visiting the island’s butterfly house. Thousands of butterflies fly around in a high humidity house, even landing on visitor’s shoulders.  There are also several small waterfalls inside the butterfly house.

Further on the little island, Mainau has a beautiful castle on the grounds, that is hundreds of years old and with a stunning adjoining church interior.   Tours can be arranged in advance.

It is best to visit early in the morning and in spring or late fall when there are less tourists.  Visitors can arrive to the island by either driving to a specially designated parking area next to the island and walking across a bridge.  They can also take a ferry from various points in Lake Constance including Meersburg.  

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17. Visit Santa in Lapland, Finland.

BY: Cath from Passports & Adventures| Facebook

santa-claus-village-lapland-passports-and-adventures

If you are going to visit Europe and thinking about what to put on your bucket list for your trip, how about adding a visit to Santa in Lapland? On the line of the Arctic Circle, you’ll find the Official Hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, and it should be on everyone’s bucket list for Europe, especially during winter.

During winter, mainly from December to March, Rovaniemi is a winter wonderland. Think snow, snow and more snow. As well as visiting Santa there are a host of other activities on offer to fill your time. You can go for reindeer rides, husky safaris, hunt the Northern Lights and more.

Within Rovaniemi, there are not one, but two places that you visit Santa and one of the best is at Santa Village. This Santa is the “real” Santa and he is just lovely. We visited with our son and he never rushed us, taking time to chat with our son.

At Santa Village, you’ll find other activities including Husky Park, snowmobiling, Santa’s reindeers, Snowman World and more. It’s a Christmas themed village open all year round but is best visited in winter.

The other place to visit Santa is Santa Park. While we did visit this underground bunker, we didn’t see Father Christmas there, opting instead to attend Elf School, Mrs. Gingerbread’s Kitchen and ride the Christmas train. Whether you visit Santa Park or Santa Village, be sure to say hi to the big man.

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18. Hike from Portofino to San Fruttuoso in the Italian Riviera.

BY: James from the Travel Collecting | Pinterest

hike from portofino

The hike from Portofino to San Fruttuoso in the Italian Riviera should be on everyone’s Europe Bucket List; it’s the perfect Italian day trip. Start from Rapallo on a sunny day. There are frequent boats throughout the day that leave from a pier in the center of town.

They go via Santa Margherita Ligure (another possible starting point). They are both quintessential Italian Riveria towns with tiny beaches lined with deck chairs and beach umbrellas.

After half an hour from Rapallo, you’ll arrive in Portofino. This small town is a popular playground of the rich and famous. There is no beach, but the tiny bay is filled with boats big and small.

The town has brightly colored houses with shops, restaurants, and galleries to explore. When you’re ready, head straight up from the pier up a very long staircase past tiny terraced fields with olive and lemon trees. Eventually, the trail flattens out.

There are a few houses scattered around, wildflowers, some trees and stunning views of the bright blue Mediterranean Sea sparkling in the sunshine far below. It’s about a two-hour home/ stroll until the steep switchbacks back down to the sea. The trail ends at San Fruttuoso where there is a 10th Century abbey, a tiny beach with deck chairs and a handful of restaurants.

The only way to get there is on foot or by boat, so this tiny secluded cove is a hidden gem. The cold emerald green water is incredibly refreshing after hiking in the sun. Grab a bite to eat, rent a deck chair and spend the afternoon relaxing before taking a late afternoon boat back to Rapallo.

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19. Head to the Superga Cathedral in Turin, Italy.

BY: Anne from Pre-Traveller | Facebook

Superga Cathedral near Turin, Italy - Pretraveller

When you visit Turin in Northern Italy, you quickly discover that a dominant feature of the city is the view of Superga cathedral situated at the top of a hill on the eastern side of the city.  I have always been drawn to visit high places, and Superga was no exception, so I made the effort to climb the 672m high hill and check it out for myself. 

The trip to Superga was amazing, to get there from Turin you have to catch a bus to then catch the old style Sassi-Superga funicular tram to the top of the hill!  The trip takes just under one hour from the center of Turin and is a great experience. 

After you arrive at the top it is an easy walk to check out the Superga Basilica, which includes the royal crypt of the Savoy family – where descendants are still entombed in modern times.  You can do a guided tour of the Savoy crypt – which is well worthwhile to see the heavily ornamented tombs and appreciate the rich history of the Savoy family. 

You can also climb up to the top of the dome and see the amazing views over Turin and through to the snow-covered Alps.  Overall I enjoyed my visit and it felt great to visit yet another hilltop wonder of Europe!

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20. Participate in a cycle tour around the Danube River in Austria.

BY: Rachel from Adventure & Sunshine | Facebook

Danube Cycle Path - Adventure and Sunshine

If you are looking for a little adventure on your next trip to Europe, a great option is to rent a touring bike and take to the cycle paths dotted across the continent.

One of the most famous multiday European cycle paths is along the Danube River. Stretching from Passau in Germany, through Austria, all the way to Bratislava in Slovakia, the path follows the Danube River downstream for over 350 km. It also connects with other cycle paths across Europe.

Whilst many people ride the full length of the path, it is possible to choose a smaller section for a 3 or 4-day cycle trip through Austria. The ride can be booked as part of an organized tour, but it is easy to organize and go independently too.

One of the most popular sections of the Danube cycle path starts in Linz, Austria and ends in the capital, Vienna. Popular overnight stops include Melk, Spitz, Krems and the Wachau wine region. Enjoy easy riding along quiet paths and country roads, stop in at wineries for a little wine tasting and explore gorgeous small villages. Admire castles and dazzling buildings like Melk Abbey along the way.

Our best tip is to rent your bike in Vienna, catch the train out to your preferred starting point and make your way back. It is a truly memorable European adventure.

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21. Amuse yourself in Romania’s underground theme park.

BY: Daniel from Blorg | Facebook

Located just 30 minutes from Cluj-Napoca (Romania’s 2nd biggest city), is Salina Turda: The underground amusement park. Salina Turda was converted from a decommissioned salt mine. It’s an amazing journey going many levels underground to see such a sight.

On the way down to the underground amusement park, you’ll pass through exhibits of the old salt mining equipment. The salt was extracted by hand with pickaxes and carts. The chunks of salt are massive!

It’s pretty moist cold on the way underground. You’ll definitely be hit by drops of salt water along the way. Bring a jacket and expect it to get a little dirty.

Once you make it to the amusement park, you’ll find a Ferris wheel, mini golf, billiards, bowling, table tennis, a sports field, and an amphitheater! At one level below that, there’s a small lake where you can rent boats and row around.

Best of all, it’s the cheapest underground amusement park you could visit at only 30RON ($7.50 USD). The prices for the activities are also very affordable and range from $1-3 USD.

Not only can you spend a few hours having fun here, but there are also health benefits from breathing salty air. Since salt is a natural disinfectant, the dry salty air helps respiratory conditions.

Additionally, they have a pool and health spa (nearby, not underground).

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22. Dance to the Flamenco in Seville, Spain.

BY: Amber from With Husband In Tow | Facebook

flamenco in seville

Throughout the Spanish region of Andalucia, the distinct sounds of its most famous art-form, flamenco, can be heard on a nightly basis. Dating back to the 18th Century, flamenco’s exact origins are disputed. Many believe Spanish Romani are the sole creators of flamenco. Others attribute flamenco to influences from native Andalusians, the Moors, Castilians, and Sephardic Jews.

Regardless of the origins of flamenco, taking in a performance is one of the top famous things to do in Seville, and should be on everyone’s European Bucket List. At its heart flamenco are a beautiful balance of singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance (baile), clapping (palmas), and finger snapping (pitos).

Combined, they tell the stories of peasant life in southern Spain, full of heartache, suffering, and loss. For those wanting to learn more about flamenco, the Flamenco Dance Museum (Museo del Baile Flamenco) in Seville offer the complete history of flamenco.

Visitors can even take introductory percussion classes to feel the pulse of flamenco. But to really get a sense of flamenco, taking in a performance is a must. There are several flamenco venues around Sevilla offering nightly performances. Casa de la Memoria and Casa del Flamenco are two of the most well-known venues to visit.

Tickets can be purchased at the venues or through tour companies. If you want to combine two of Sevilla’s iconic activities, eating tapas and flamenco, you can book tours that will take you for tapas before and after a performance. For any traveler to Seville, flamenco is a uniquely Andalusian experience to take in.

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23. Take a cogwheel train ride up to Mt. Gigi in Switzerland.

BY: Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels

mt rigi

If it’s already on your bucket list, do yourself a favor and add a scenic train ride in Switzerland.  There are many to choose from, but one of my favorites is taking the old cogwheel railway up to the top of Mt Rigi.  The cogwheel is, in fact, the very first mountain railway in all of Europe! 

The cogwheel railway station is in Vitznau and the best way to arrive here is by ferry from Lucerne (this is an amazing trip in itself!).  The train trip from Vitzanu is like no other train ride you will have ever experienced before!  The rail line is extremely steep and ascends fairly quickly, and before you know it you are in the clouds and then you even come out above the clouds to an amazing mountain view.  It’s like you are literally on top of the world!

There are a couple of different stations on the mountain where you can get off – but make sure you go all the way to the top at Rigi Kulm.  At Rigi Kulm there are amazing 360-degree panorama views across the Swiss Alps – it is seriously beautiful! 

There is a range of things to do on Mt Rigi including walking trails, skiing, and tobogganing.  There are a few restaurants to choose from and there is even a day spa there with an open-air heated pool with the views ever!

From station Rigi Kaltbad you can choose to take the cable car down to Weggis and take the ferry back to Lucerne from here if you prefer, rather than cogwheel.

24. Explore a winery in Switzerland.

BY: Deeptha from the Globe Trotter | Twitter

Lavaux Wine Region

Swiss wine is fabulous. And although Switzerland produces good quality wine, it is still not recognized internationally as a wine-producing country. And one reason could be because they do not export much of their wine; the majority of it is used up in the local market.

But of late, Switzerland is gaining popularity for its wine industry and as a part of the promotions many wine producers – big and small – have opened up their cellars to the public. So, if you are heading to Switzerland, make sure to visit one of the wineries in the country. 

The country’s most famous wine-growing region is Lavaux, a Unesco World Heritage site in the canton of Vaud. Getting to Lavaux is very easy. You can either arrive by train or by car from the cities of Geneva, Bern, Lausanne, and Montreux.
 
And once in Lavaux, you can choose to take in the scenery of the terraced vineyards and visit the wineries either by bus, train, bike, car or one of the small trains on wheels – Lavaux Express or Lavaux Panoramic.

Most vineyards have open wine tasting days throughout the year with special wine events and wine shows scheduled throughout the year at individual wineries and community cellars. One winery that I would recommend is the Clos de la République wine estate where you can enjoy everything from white wines to rose wines and sparkling wines to red wines, all in the company of stunning scenery.

And if you are not satisfied with visiting just one vineyard, you can even wander from wine cellar to the other sampling a variety and as much wine as you like! What more could a wine lover ask for!

25. Get lost in the fairytale Grindelwald, Switzerland.

BY: Chelsea from Pack More Into Life

grindelwald switzerland

If you are looking for an amazing European city adventure, look no further than Grindelwald, Switzerland and the Grindelwald First mountain ascent. Staying in Grindelwald or in one of the nearby towns is the best way to explore the area. You can either park in the small parking area or take local transportation to the Grindelwald First lift. 

You’ll take three lifts to reach the very top at 7,111 feet! Now it’s time to have some fun! Check out the views from the observation deck before you head over to the “cliff walk”. You read that right! Attached to the side of the cliff face is a small walkway with little obstacles like a wire tunnel, balance beam, and tight rope. 

Want to stretch your legs? Hike out to Lake Bachalpsee for a total of 2.5 hours roundtrip. Then you can grab a bite to eat or purchase tickets to zip line on First Flyer. This is the fast way down to the second lift station and certainly a fun one!

From the second station, you can take a mountain cart or ride on the cable car down to the last cable car station. The Bort Alpine station is where you’ll find an amazing playground for kids and a Biergarten! Be sure to explore before heading back down to the town of Grindelwald. 
 

26. Take a dip in the thermal waters of Pammukale travertines in Turkey.

BY: Audrey from Gumnuts Abroad

pammukale

Add exploring the spectacular Pamukkale travertines to your Europe bucket list.

For centuries mineral-rich water has flowed over the Pamukkale cliffs creating calcium deposits of blinding white terraces filled with stunning blue water. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world.

Found in Turkey people have been coming here since Roman times to soak in the mineral-rich water. And it’s not unusual to see people coating themselves from head to toe in mud!

The most popular entry point to the travertines is from the gate closest to the village. This way you can start at the bottom and walk up through the terraces stopping at the pools along the way. It’s a good idea to bring a bag to carry to your shoes in as shoes aren’t allowed to be worn on the terraces.

At the top of the travertines is the incredible ancient city of Hierapolis. Here you’ll discover castle ruins, a Byzantine church and a beautiful amphitheater complete with royal boxes and decorative panels.

Our top tip is to time your exploration to finish at sunset for a magical experience that should be on everyone’s Europe bucket list.     

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27. Admire the Colosseum in Rome.

BY: Stuart from Stuart Fahy

colosseum rome

Rome has so many options when it comes to sights and activities. It’s one of the greatest cities in Europe and comes with so much history everywhere you look. But, for me, the best of all is the Colosseum.

The history of the Colosseum is well-known, and the sight alone is one of the most iconic and stunning in both Rome and worldwide. The sight of traffic queuing past on their daily commute to work always amazes me. But once inside you get an extra appreciation for the conditions of the time. The steep steps that once reached four tiers. The cramped, narrow corridors below the arena floor where hundreds of people scurried around during a performance.

Entry to the Colosseum is €12 without a tour. Alternatively, you can buy the Roma Pass for €28 (48 hours) or €38.50 (72 hours), which includes all public transport and entry to one museum or archaeological site (two with the 72-hour pass) and reduced entry price to others. There will be several people dressed as bad imitation gladiators encouraging you to join a tour in order to skip the queues. However, the Roma Pass also gets you ahead of the line.

Colosseo metro station is directly across the street from the Colosseum and it’s just two stops to the central train station on Linea B. Alternatively it takes around 30 minutes to walk from the center passing many more historical sights on the way.

28. Visit the Spring Palace in Bucharest, Romania.

BY: Lori from Travel- Moments in Time| Facebook

spring_palace

Opened for the public just two years ago (in 2016), the Spring Palace in Bucharest is the official residence of the Ceausescu family. Ceausescu was a dictator during the communist regime in Romania when things changed – a lot – in our society (now we are a republic and we have democracy – since 1989).

Located in the Floreasca neighborhood – reachable by bus (Piata Charles de Gaulle) + walking – this is a must-visit place in Bucharest, in my opinion. You can only visit with a guided tour – there are tours in English and Romanian – and you’ll learn a lot about Romania’s history (not only during the communist regime). You’ll also find out interesting connections with leaders from across the globe (not only communists).

The admission ticket is around 11-12 euros and you should book your guided tour in advance (as there is a limited number of people that enter each time). The mansion can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. You can find out the contact information on the official website. I’ve been here and took both the guided tour in Romanian and the one in English, and liked them both. We also took some friends from other countries here – and they were equally impressed with this place and the things they learned. 

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29. Visit the Alahambra in Spain.

BY: Emily at Kids & Compass

Alhambra

The Alhambra in Granada is one of Spain’s best tourist attractions.   The Alhambra is a castle and  palace complex which was originally built by the Moors.  It has an imposing location – it sits high on a hill overlooking Granada, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Inside the Alhambra you can explore the castles and palaces.  The oldest parts are Moorish but other parts were added later by the Christians.  The best palace by far is the Nasrid Palace, which is a series of rooms and courtyards decorated in incredible carved tiles.  The domes inside are absolutely amazing.  

The other unmissable aspect to an Alhambra visit is the enchanting gardens.  Some of the best are the water gardens in the Generalife palace – they’re filled with fountains, pools and roses and you can get a great view of the rest of the Alhambra as it’s set slightly apart from the main complex.  There are also more wonderful gardens near the Nasrid Palace; tiered planted beds surround pools filled with lily pads and frogs.  

Be sure to book your Alhambra tickets as far in advance as you can as they sell out months in advance.  The Alhambra is walkable from Granada town centre but there are plenty of buses to take you up the hill if you don’t want to walk it.

30. Admire the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain!

BY: Vicki at Vicki Viaja

sagrada-familia

Sagrada Família, which is located in Barcelona, is definitely one of the most extraordinary and impressive sights in Europe. The basilica, located in the heart of the Catalan capital, is also considered to be probably the oldest construction site in the world.
 
It has been built for more than a hundred years now and still, it didn‘t reach its final size. But now finally there is a date fixed for finishing the constructions. For the 100th anniversary of the death of its creator Antoni Gaudí, the famous Sagrada Família is finally to be completed.
 
But it’s worth a visit today already. Although you always have some construction cranes on your photo, the Sagrada Família looks already stunning. Also from the inside, this is absolutely worth a visit. Through the stained glass windows, the interior of the basilica is bathed in a unique light, creating a wonderful atmosphere. It is also possible to climb up two of the towers to enjoy the view over Barcelona from above. As the tallest building in the city, it truly offers a great view.
 
The Sagrada Família is not far from the center of the city and can, therefore, be easily reached on foot or by metro. The nearest metro stop is right next to the entrance.
 
That’s all for the Europe bucket list edition! Have you checked off all the items on this list?
 

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