Great History, Culture and Landscapes Await

Europe’s rich and often volatile history has created a fascinating continent to visit.  It provides a treasure trove of museums, galleries, landmarks and monuments for visitors to both explore and revel in. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, there are landmarks of huge historic and cultural significance. These wonderous cultural landmarks have such a sense of familiarity, yet remain breath taking the first time you set eyes on them. Outside of the major cities are countless historic towns and villages with their own spectacular buildings and landmarks. There are also an abundance of wonderful national parks, mountains, lakes, beaches and so much more to enjoy.

When making plans for a trip to Europe, it can often be tempting to try and squeeze in as many sites and cities as possible. The continents relatively compact size and volume of attractions makes it tempting to pack every day full of sightseeing. However, by taking a more leisurely pace, you’ll often find your trip far more rewarding. Much of Europe is best experienced from its cafes and bars, where you can start to experience the real European culture. You’ll then begin to notice the sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic differences between regions and people, despite their close proximity. These differences apply to cuisines, traditions and languages. So don’t be in too much of a rush to tick off all  the big sites and miss some of quintessential Europe.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany at sunrise
The fairy tale picture perfect Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany


Europe consists of 51 independent states ranging in size from the tiny principality of Monaco to the vastness of Russia (although much of Russia falls within Asia). Russia is one of a number of European countries which are transcontinental, located across both Europe and Asia. However all of Europe is located within the Northern Hemisphere. Geographically the Atlantic Ocean lies to the west, Arctic to the north, Asia to the east and Africa to the south. The geographical designation of Europe’s 51 independent states is as follows:

Northern Europe – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Western Europe – Belgium, France,  Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands and Switzerland

Central Europe – Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Eastern Europe – Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Southern Europe – Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Gibraltar,  Greece, Italy, Malta Montenegro, North Macedonia Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and Vatican State.

Transcontinental – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey

View of St Mary's Basilica in Krakow
View of the impressive St Mary's Basilica in Kraków from the Cloth Hall.

Best Time to Visit Europe

The two big factors in deciding when to visit Europe are the cost and the weather. Costs are typically linked to the school holidays and peak season, which largely falls across Christmas, Easter and the summer months of July and August. In terms of the weather it’s a more complex picture, which is impacted by the type of break you’re planning and the area you’re visiting.

In terms of climate, the vast majority of Europe falls within a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The climate varies dramatically between southern and northern Europe, while western and eastern Europe have their own variances. Generally speaking though the continent is best visited for sightseeing and beach holidays during the period May to September. While the skiing season tends to run from late November to April.

Regardless of when you choose to visit Europe, you’ll always find plenty to see and do. From the Christmas markets in December to Oktoberfest in October and everything in between, there’s never a bad time to be visiting most if not all of Europe. 

The ancient Arabic fortress of Alhambra set a top a hill in Granada
Fortress Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Best Things to see in Europe

Europe undoubtedly has the greatest concentration of attractions of any continent. Its rich history has left swathes of palaces, castles and historic towns and monuments, from the Alhambra in the west to Ephesus in the east. This rich history is complimented by Europe’s incredibly diverse and beautiful landscape with fine mountains, beaches, forests and lakes. Throw in amazing cultures and cuisines and this all makes picking and choosing the best things to see in Europe a very difficult task. While picking the best things to see is largely down to the type of trip you’re taking and personal choice, here’s a few excellent ideas to get you started.

Best Cities in Europe

Europe’s cities are some of the most diverse, unique and historic of any cities in the world. While picking just 5 has been incredibly tricky, the following 5 cities boast history, culture, cuisine and amazing experiences in spades. 

  1. London, United Kingdom
  2. Paris, France
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  5. Venice, Italy

Best Historical Sites in Europe

Amazing historical sites is another area where Europe has an embarrassment of riches. From the prehistoric period to the Roman, Greek and Ottoman Empires, there’s no shortage of historic things to see in any of Europe’s 51 independent states. 

Here’s our top 5 historical sites in Europe:

  1. The Colosseum, Italy
  2. Stonehenge, United Kingdom
  3. Alhambra, Spain
  4. Parthenon, Greece
  5. Ephesus, Turkey

Best Alternative Attraction in Europe

Europe’s world renowned cities and historic sites often steal much of the limelight and visitors. However you don’t need to look far to unearth some alternative European gems, which are often much quieter and more affordable to visit.

Here’s 5 of the best alternative attractions in Europe:

  1. Kotor, Montenegro
  2. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia
  3. Krakow, Poland
  4. Termessos, Turkey
  5. Meteora, Greece

Europe Country Guides

France Guide

Georgia Guide

Greece Guide

North Macedonia Guide

Poland Guide

United Kingdom Guide

Turkey Guide

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North America Guide

South America Guide

Asia Guide

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