Your mind has been made. Your leave has been approved. You are finally going to Europe. But where? Choosing the things to do in Europe can be overwhelming, even for the most experienced travellers – after all, there is so much to see and never enough time! To ensure that you make the most of your trip and tick as much as you possibly can from your bucket list, we’ve put together a nifty list of what to see in Europe.
Europe tourist attractions combine the very best of history, culture, art and architecture, giving tourists an insight into the rich evolution of the continent. While every city has its own attractions, you will find some commonalities across the continent.
If you’re ready to start seeing the very best of things to do in Europe, visit your local SOTC branch to start planning your dream Europe tour package. We promise you, it will be the trip of a lifetime!
Art is another essential part of European culture, and some of the world’s most prominent masters come from the continent. In order to understand the significance of art in European history and modern culture, as well as observe its evolution over the years, you must make it a point to visit the museums and galleries, which are major Europe tourist attractions in their own right. The Louvre in Paris is one of the most famous art museums in the world. While it is known for being the home of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, it also houses a host of other paintings and artefacts. Other famous galleries that are major Europe tourist attractions include The National Gallery in London, The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Musée d'Orsay in Paris and East Side Gallery in Berlin.
Europe has a rich history of monarchy, and many European nations still have royal families till this very date. An important part of Europe sightseeing is visiting the castles and palaces, some of which are still used by the families that own them. These will give you deep insight into the significance of the monarchy in European history and their opulent lifestyles. Notable castles and palaces in Europe include the Buckingham Palace in London, where the changing of the guard ceremony is a must-see; the Palace of Versailles which is a symbol of the French revolution; and the Royal Palace of Madrid which is the official residence of Spain’s royal family till today. In some parts of Europe, you can even rent out a small to mid-sized castle to stay in for a couple of days – have a royal experience of your own; it’s one that you will not forget for the rest of your life!
In many European cities, you will find beautiful churches and cathedrals, both big and small – some of which are still in use today, despite being Europe tourist attractions. Famous churches in Europe include La Sagradia Familia, a Roman Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudi that is unfinished but beautiful nonetheless; St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow which is vibrant and colourful, looking like something from a wonderful fairytale; Notre-Dame in Paris which is a symbol of the Gothic style of architecture; and the Duomo in Florence which features a magnificent exterior and is synonymous with the Tuscan capital.
Apart from sightseeing, another must-do is shopping in Europe. Europe has shopping experiences that cater to people with all budgets and preferences. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, most cities will have small souvenir kiosks and stalls, where you can pick up some knick-knacks for family and friends back at home. If you are looking for more unique pieces on a budget, it is always a good idea to check out local flea markets and bazaars, which often feature one-of-a-kind homeware, jewellery, accessories, clothing and other pieces that are made by local artists and artisans. Famous markets in Europe include Portobello Road Flea Market in London, the infamous Hippy Market in Ibiza and Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui in Amsterdam. Most cities also have food markets that feature fresh produce and other food products from local farmers and artisans. These are the best places to pick up food items like bread, cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wine, to take home with you.
Many of the world’s famous high-street brands like Zara, Bershka, H&M and River Island hail from Europe, and this means that their prices are usually cheaper and their product ranges are wider in their home-continent than anywhere else in the world. In addition, Europe has fantastic sales during the summer and winter, which makes shopping in Europe a paradise for anyone who loves to shop. The summer sale season usually kicks off in July and runs all the way through to September, while the winter sales begin after Christmas and run till the end of January. In these sales, you can find fantastic items of clothing, accessories and home goods at massive discounts – some stores will go as low at 75% off the retail price!
If you’re a connoisseur of luxury goods, Europe is the place to be. It is home to some of the world’s most prominent fashion designers and luxury brands, with France and Italy being the hotspots for luxury shopping. As with other brands, prices of luxury goods in Europe tend to be relatively cheaper than other parts of the world like Asia, as there is no additional tax or duty stamped on to the retail price. In addition, you will have access to a wider curation of products, with many one-of-a-kind pieces and collections that are not available anywhere else. Most major fashion labels tend to have experiential stores and exhibitions as well, like the Gucci Museum in Florence, which gives you a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship behind these brands.