If I was to make a list of over 800 cities I’d like to visit in Europe, every European city would make the list. I want to go everywhere! Despite this ambitious judgement, I have managed to put together a list of Ten of the most special places in Europe I want to visit at somepoint in my life – hopefully, sooner rather than later!
Obviously, the World has just endured a Global Pandemic and it has changed many views on travel. It is still quite difficult to travel and in my country of Scotland, I’m just able to visit areas within the country. Plans are changing as I write and a few months ago, I wouldn’t have even expected that. As hopes rise on being able to see Planet Earth again, dreams have been the safer option. During this ‘No-Travel’ year, go onto Google Maps, use various articles and blogs, talk to experts and plan your perfect journey!
That is what I’ve been using Lockdown for. I’ve sat and planned a Gap-Year for when I (wishfully) graduate University and get to go on my own adventures. Currently, I’ve got too much holding me at home but as soon as the moment arrives (probably 2023), I’ll get to see the World I’ve been preparing to see from this moment. This Europe trip is mega-insane filled with eagerness and optimism. Which has led me to share some of the places that caught my eye the most!
This list will share my reasons of excitement and why you should add them to your wish-list too.
1. Vienna, Austria
The Austrian Capital of Vienna demonstrates how history and modernity can intermix and create a spectacular city worth visiting!
Out of all the cities I want to visit, Vienna is high on my list due to the rich culture and adoration in the arts and museums.
I can just imagine myself glancing at the imperial delights of this ancient city for hours, taking many photos of the impressive architecture which makes Vienna stand out.
With galleries, museums and palaces rushing at you from every corner, Vienna is also a grand place to visit as if you have extra time it is close to many other beautiful places. You can catch the train to another Austrian treasure like Salzburg or go outwith and Interrail Europe by exploring the nearby capitals of Bratislava (Slovakia) or Budapest (Hungary).
That is if you can comprehend the ability to leave this glorious city as each street corner will have you in awe. I can’t wait for the day I can truly say I’ve visited this unspoiled beauty.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague looks like a history-lovers paradise!
It has astounding gothic churches, powerful cathedrals and scenic gardens which convey you are admist one of the most European cities of them all.
It is also noted for its picturesque cafes and colourful architecture.
Get me to Prague ASAP!
3. Lapland, Finland
Lapland has always been a Festive dream of mine, however, I knew the prices of flights and believed that getting there may be a long while off.
This made the following more surprising when I found out I could get there simply on my Interrailing Europe gap-year in 2023. I just have to take the Santa Claus Express (The kid in me is crying thinking about it) from Helsinki to Lapland’s capital of Rovaniemi.
Just visiting this snowy treasure gives me chills (nice pun) and I can’t wait to feel what a real Winter feels like!
If I was planning a trip there, immediately I think of going sledging with Husky’s or Reindeers, sitting on Santa’s knee and telling him what I’d like for Christmas or lying under the northen light filled sky. Which is one of the biggest bucket list ideas of mine. Watching them dance in the night would have me emotional and content with life.
That is what I’d plan, however, visiting Lapland in the Summer offers a completely different landscape. You could go hiking up vast mountains, watch the flowing rivers or relax under the midnight sun – which could be awake longer than you are after a day of exploration!
Lapland is just one of those places you need to go again and again and again!
4. Santorini, Greece
When it comes to history and adventure, Athens seems right up my alley, however, Santorini makes this list for Greece as it has just caught my eye with a sparkle and a gleam telling me I need to go.
This Greek island would make my heart skip a beat just being able to stay under its blue roofs for one night.
The whole island just has a special aura about it, which I don’t think you can describe until you visit yourself. If I was there, capturing sunsets on camera is a must! The glittering waters as a backdrop would come together with the smooth, white buildings to create many stunning postcard shots.
If I could ride a moped, just being able to ride around this island and take in its hidden sights (I’m sure there’s many) seems like one of the best things to do.
Santorini just has me sighing with relief as it emphasises how beautiful this Planet can be.
5. Istanbul, Turkey
The only European and Asian combined city is the awesome Istanbul!
I went to Turkey a long, long time ago and I feel like it is time to get lost in its culture again. This time I’d choose the wonderous city of Istanbul to get lost in its hidden gems.
One thing that isn’t hidden is the Hagia Sophia which basically sits atop of the entire city with its powerful demeanour. This may be one of most impressive building’s in the entire World and is one of the biggest reasons why I’d like to visit this Turkish masterpiece.
6. Ghent, Belgium
One of the most finest places on my list, who wouldn’t want to eat luxurious, silky, Belgian chocolate while visiting this vibrant town?
There looks to be lots to do and see in Ghent, more specifically, you can ride down the mystic canals and get off-the-beaten tracks. Antwerp and Brussels are the more touristy cities in Belgium, so being able to explore a beautiful city with less people seems very ideal. Moreover, in a post-COVID world.
I didn’t realise how unique Belgium is until I started researching for my Gap-Year, so I demand for you to look into visiting this EU-led country right now!
7. Florence, Italy
A city which is orange from the sky, has been on my list before I even knew that travel would be my biggest passion in life.
Florence just seems to have a glowing atmosphere about it. It looks like a friendly place to adventure. It looks like it would give you days of exploration and it looks like there is plenty of pizza and pasta to indulge in while staying in this Italian town.
I believe my love for Florence is mainly down to Assassin’s Creed II which taught me the ways of Ezio D’Auditore. So, when I do get to visit the many cathedrals and buildings of this city, I’d keep telling myself “I’ve jumped off that building.”
Another factor why visiting Florence is high on my list is because of its easy transfer to other Italian treasures, such as: Pisa or Cinque De Terre. It is also a simple route towards the capital of Rome – another city which I wish I can visit somepoint soon!
8. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia is one of those countries which is rapidly growing in demand and tourism. Lake Bled may be one of the reasons why.
Lake Bled looks like one of the most breathtaking places in Europe and I can imagine feeling contempt just watching the steady water move. The castle in the middle just adds to the landscape and is certainly a hotspot for photographers alike.
If there was one Lake you should visit in your lifetime, I’d say this one.
9. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Home to Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is one of the most gorgeous cities around.
With its historic castle and old city walls, traditional terracotta roofs and pure Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik looks like the place to be.
I can imagine everywhere being notable for its postcard feel and the old town mixing with the new town developing one of the most peaceful walks you can have in Europe. It also delivers many nearby islands to explore if island-hopping is your thing.
I’d love to just inhale and exhale while taking in the scenery of this fantastic city!
10. Hallstatt, Austria
My Interrailing Europe plan has grew my appreciation in Austria. I din’t realise how graceful the Sound of Music country was, but it looks to be one of the prettiest countries in the whole continent. In particular, Hallstatt.
Just a train journey from Salzburg, Hallstatt leaves nothing for the imagination. It is surrounded by mountainous landscapes and looks like what a stereotypical Austrian town would look like.
It even has its own postcard spot marked on Google Maps because of how charming the photo above is.
Finally, due to the mountains, there are many hikes and walking tours around the area which can give you a birds-eye view of Hallstatt. You may even get that high that you need to wrap up! 😉
Hallstatt took my breath away the moment I glanced at a picture of this cultural town. Therefore, I’d love to feel my breath escape from my body when I see it in reality.
That was my European Wish-List, I hope it has gave you some interesting ideas for unique trips away! I can’t go into detail on each place because I haven’t visited myself but writing this list has fueled my energy and motivation to see these places with my own eyes.
Time is ticking before we can start travelling again and even though I need to be patient and wait until 2023 before I start living my European dream, if you guys have nothing stopping you, visit these epic destinations immediately!
Have you seen any of these European Treasures? Let me know on Twitter!