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From the beautiful canals of Venice to the snowy slopes of Switzerland, Europe has long towered at the heights of history and culture, calling to travellers from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a holiday in France, Greece, Austria or Spain, Europe is now only one flight away from our Aussie shores. Just think – you could be there tomorrow!
The quaint city of Vienna will sweep anyone off their feet, when visiting Austria. From picturesque views to lively eateries and plenty of quiet areas to explore there is something for everyone.
There can be nothing that can express Austria’s heritage better than the Hofburg itself. The Imperial Palace was once the living quarters of the royal family for over six centuries but now houses museums and the offices of the president but it is so historic that even the gates date back to the 16th century! To explore culture even more, an evening spent at Schonburnn Palace includes a palace tour, dinner and concert that won’t be forgotten.
The Naschmarkt has some of the freshest produce in Vienna, with meats, fruit and vegetables, cheeses and lots more extending for almost half a kilometre. Be sure to check out the 20 types of flavoured oils! Souvenirs such as local handmade jewellery are also available for purchase at the end of the market.
Salzberg is another popular Austrian destination. The Sound of Music was filmed here and as a result, there are plenty of themed tours and activities to enjoy when visiting. If you are looking for winter activities then Innsbruck is where you should head to. Located in the Alps, the city is perfect for those travellers who enjoy skiing, snowboarding and generally being outdoors!
Belgium borders four countries and is renowed for the chocolate and beer that it produces! There is plenty to see when visiting the country, and it has fantastic transport links meaning it easy to explore by train or road.
Bruges, in the northwest, is like a well-preserved medieval city, offering charming churches, canals, squares and cobblestone streets. The city’s main square, Market, is in the typical western European style: grand, with a monument in the centre, open air restaurants, neo-gothic architecture and horse-drawn carriages. Then there’s the Groeninge Museum, which celebrates Flemish and Belgian art from the 14th to the 20th century. The museum’s main attraction is the collection of ‘Flemish Primitive’ masterpieces.
Chocolate lovers will be excited to discover the Choco-Story Museum, which traces the history of the cocoa bean back to when it was just a currency. For something a little different, visit the Kantcentrum for tailor-made lace workshops. Flanders was home to the development of this delicate material in the 16th century and today you can watch the historic craft in action at the Lace Centre.
Want to go on an adventurous holiday this summer? Croatia is for you!
Hugging the beautiful Adriatic Sea, Croatia's Dubrovnik is a breathtaking walled city with an amazing Old Town that is now recognised all over the world, thanks to the television show Game of Thrones. It can be best described as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. The city boasts a rich history, jaw-dropping sights and loads of fun-packed activities to indulge in and enjoy.
As the Old Town of Dubrovnik seems like a warren of small streets, you may consider it hard to navigate but actually it’s not! Just follow the signs to find your way to your favorite destinations. There are several ways to commute around the city, but it is advisable to get around on foot; it’s more fun especially if you are up for sightseeing and wish to go back in time and relive the history.
Dubrovnik was bombarded heavily during the Croatian War of Independence and although the damages to the city have been repaired, if you look closely you’ll be easily able to see bullet marks in the stone houses. Some places you must visit include Roland’s Column, Bell Tower, Sponza Palace and Placa Stradun. Don’t forget to walk along the city walls - they are 2km long and offer great views of the city.
If water is more your thing then there are plenty of water activities in Dubrovnik. The city has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the most popular being Sunj Beach on the nearby island of Lopud. Swim, scuba dive, ride a banana boat, wind surf, rent a pedallo, or discover the picturesque coves, the list is really endless!
To the north of Croatia, the seaside city of Split is a sensational sight to see. Built on the waterfront and flanked by mountains, the city’s history stretches all the way back to the Greek empire, something reflected in its architecture. Visitors will want to explore architectural marvels like Diocletian’s Palace – the central part of the city with Roman history and filled with life and things to do.
Just like in Dubrovnik, travellers needn’t stay on solid ground for the duration of their visit to Split. No trip is complete without sailing Croatia’s famous coastline and the blue waters. From yachts to ferries, there are plenty of options, and for those who’d prefer to take a dip, there’s Bačvice, a thriving beach that’s perfect for sun bathing, swimming and general summer fun.
Should you wish to stray from the beautiful coastline, Croatia's capital Zagreb has many delights to offer. Absorb the spirit and history of Zagreb by walking the cobble-stoned streets of Upper Town (Gornij Grad) where you’ll also find many of the best museums.
Dive head first into Croatian food and culture with a stroll through the lively Dolac Market, an indoor and outdoor farmers’ market right in the heart of the city. At the end of a long day, swap sightseeing for people-watching on the city’s most popular street, Tkalciceva. It’s full of trendy restaurants, bars, cafes, live performances, boutiques and charming buildings. For something a little bit different, head to the Museum of Broken Relationships, just like its name suggests, this unique museum’s collection is all about “the concept of failed relationships and their ruins”.
The heart of the Czech Republic and the capital city, Prague is often considered an essential place to visit while on holiday in Europe, and it is renowned for its breathtaking architecture from the Gothic and Renaissance eras. Home to striking scenery, famous art galleries and world-famous beer, Prague is also famous for its rich history and culture. Must-see sights include Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, Old Town, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the modern ‘Dancing Building,’ all of which are an incredible feast for the eyes.
The Czech Republic is famous for producing some of the world’s best beer, such as Pilsner Urquell, and Prague’s regional beers are even better. Exploring the pub scene around Prague is an incredible experience, and the city has an exciting and vibrant nightlife to suit all occasions, from popular nightclubs and hot spots to high-end wine bars and restaurants.
Often neglected by tourists, Prague is a city that’s not quickly forgotten. It’s a unique experience found nowhere else in the world.
Sharing a border with Germany, and linked to Sweden by the Öresund bridge, Norway is a hot-spot for travellers to Europe. The country is made up of numerous islands and is famed for it's historic towns and cities.
The Danish capital of Copenhagen is a city that’s packed full of sights to see. The best way to explore, is to grab a bike and enjoy the sights – most attractions are within an easy distance of each other. The grandiose Amalienbourg Palace is a landmark on the map of every Copenhagen traveller, but is particularly pertinent for Aussies. After all, it’s the official residence of Crown Princess Mary, Australia’s own royal export!
Literary fans will be delighted by The Little Mermaid, a statue more than 100 years old and based on the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that inspired the famous Disney movie. The statue is an incredibly popular attraction, and can be found at Langelinje Pier. Watch out for the crowds!
Just north of Copenhagen is the awe-inspiring Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a cutting-edge destination for contemporary art. While on the subject of museums – the capital is filled with them. From the Natural History Museum to the Post and Tele Museum (a special wonder in an age of electronic communication), there’s something for everyone!
One of the Scandinavian countries, Finland is currently a cool destination to visit. Head to the capital, Helsinki, to start your exploration of the country.
Helsinki is a city of architectural marvels and there are plenty of sights to see in this eminently Instagram-able city. Temppeliaukio Church (also known as Rock Church) is among the most popular sites to visit in the city, and it’s not hard to see why - the church was built out of natural rock and this is a feature retained in the internal design. Still on the subject of churches, the brilliant white Helsinki Cathedral is more than 100 years old, and towers over the city.
Switching to culture, the Ateneum Art Museum is a must-visit with thousands upon thousands of works of art displayed in a series of galleries. For those who need a time out after all the exploring, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence is an imposing rounded chapel, designed for visitors to sit in silence and enjoy the peace of slowing down inside the middle of a busy city.
When travelling to France, there is plenty to see away from the capital. Head to destinations like Marseille, Lyon, Avignon or Toulouse to really discover what French life is like.
As a European travel destination, a visit to Paris is absolutely necessary – it’s a truly unique city with a wonderful culture and breathtaking sights. It is known as the city of love, and with its incredible monuments and restaurants, it’s become one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for travellers searching for the perfect romantic holiday.
Paris boasts some of the world’s most famous and brilliantly designed monuments and sites including the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees and the Sacré Cœur. These sites will give any history lover plenty to explore. Not only is the city a romantic holiday destination, it offers some spectacular activities for families too. Paris is also home to Disneyland - the only one in Europe - which is must visit for young children and big kids alike.
The city of Nice is situated on the idyllic Mediterranean coast of France, an area more popularly known as the French Riviera. Long-associated with wealth and glamour, it’s an area where many celebrities choose to holiday.
Crystal blue waters make Nice’s beaches its star attraction, and visitors can choose between public and private beaches, with the latter charging an entry fee but providing a few more amenities. Whichever you choose, a little time spent soaking up the sun is a must.
For travellers who need a break from working on their tan, the city has plenty of culture to enjoy, like MAMAC, Nice’s museum of contemporary art. There’s also the Musee Matisse, a museum devoted entirely to legendary painter Henri Matisse. Lastly, the Notre-Dame de Nice is well worth seeing - it is an enormous gothic church in the city centre, that was built in the 19th century and looks every bit as splendid now as it did when it opened.
The centre of German history and culture, Berlin is an incredible city to visit. Whether you’re looking to be inspired by art, or humbled by history, the city has a lot to offer. For example, a stretch of the Berlin Wall still stands as a monument to the city’s history during the Cold War, and can be walked along by tourists. Running further back in 20th century history is the Judisches Museum and the Holocaust Memorial, a humbling tribute to the people lost in World War II. A visit here is an experience not soon forgotten.
Often overlooked is Berlin’s status as a European cultural capital, producing some of the best opera and theatre in the world. While the majority of it is spoken or sung in languages other than English, most productions will feature performances with English subtitles, making stories easy to follow.
Where many people consider Frankfurt more as a gateway to their European travels, what they don’t know is that the city has a lot to offer! It boasts a rich history, eye-catching skyscrapers, unique cultures and numerous amusement options that make it one of the best places to explore when in Germany.
For history lovers, Frankfurt is ideal. Here you will find several historical attractions like Romerberg, dating back to the 15th century, Dom, the main cathedral that was built in the 14th century, and other historical sites such as Hauptwache, Eiserner Steg and Alte Oper. Frankfurt’s skyline is equally amazing as the city has some of the most breathtaking high-rise buildings in Europe that are bound to wow anyone.
Hamburg’s claims to fame include being Germany’s second biggest city, the country’s biggest port and its “gateway to the world”. From the affluent and the cosy, to the alternative and the sleazy, Hamburg is an expansive, diverse city made up of a number of districts that could each have their own guide book. A must-visit is Fischmarkt in St Pauli, which has been running since 1703. It requires an unnaturally early wake up call on a Sunday but it is well worth it!
The city of Nuremberg is located in the southern part of Germany, in Bavaria. It is a city where the old and the new meet in the lap of lush countryside, and it’s well worth including in your German itinerary.
Nuremberg has historical sites in spades, and you should spend some time exploring Nuremberg Castle, which was among the many buildings restored in the years following World War II. The restoration even used original stone from the area.
As the site of the trials that took place following the Second World War, the city has a rich history, and outstanding museums to explore. This includes everything from fine and modern art (Neus Museum Nuremberg) to toys (Nuremberg Toy Museum). For foodies exploring the city, be sure to sample the Nurnberger bratwurst: a small, white variety of the German bratwurst that’s famous locally.
If you'd like to visit Germany, a Travellers Choice agent can offer you more destination knowledge and help you book your holiday.
As you’d expect, many Greek holidays revolve around the many islands which are dotted around the mainland. From the Ionian islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos, to the popular islands of the Aegean Sea (Milos, Mykonos and Ios to name a few) there is an island to suit all travellers, and it's nice to explore them at your own pace.
The island of Santorini is world-famous, and is a ‘must see’. Known for its iconic white-washed dwellings and blue, domed roofs, not to mention its black-sand beaches, this Mediterranean gem is all that’s left of a huge, volcanic eruption from thousands of years ago. Something to think about while sipping wine on the beach! If you need assistance arranging an island-hopping trip to Greece, a Travellers Choice agent can help you out.
Whilst visiting Greece, you'll also want to spend some time on the mainland. Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world, is the Greek capital and is a wonderland for ancient history and archaeology buffs. It may be the historical centre of Europe, but it’s also a vibrant cosmopolitan city where the nightlife, shopping and food are as alluring as the monuments, temples, cobbled streets and ancient ruins.
Exploring the monuments of Athens will truly make you feel like you’ve time-travelled back to when mythology ruled the land. Look up from almost any street and be surprised if you don’t see the Acropolis, an ancient citadel that dates back to the 5th century BC, in the distance. The Acropolis comprises of a number of ancient buildings, the star attraction being the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.
In Athens you can count on a party any night of the week, but you better get used to the Mediterranean way: dinner often starts as late as 10pm! So there'll be no early nights when exploring Greece!
Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe where exquisite architecture runs from one end to the other, it’s no surprise Budapest is popular with travellers. When visiting, you'll love the stories of the Great Synagogue, which was built in 1859. Inside, the Holocaust Memorial Room offers a chance to reflect on the events that occurred in modern history.
The Budapest Royal Palace is visible from everywhere in Budapest, housing the Hungarian National Gallery with an overwhelming collection spread over four floors and tracing back to the 11th century. These artworks include those from the Renaissance period, Gothic wooden sculptures as well as medieval stonework. Also within the Palace lies the Budapest History Museum, dedicated to showcasing history with restored rooms and artefacts from the once famous medieval location.
European river cruises often depart or finish from Budapest, and it is worth arriving early to explore before setting sail on the Danube River. Ask your nearest Travellers Choice agent for more details.
Currently experiencing a tourism boom, Iceland has been captivating travellers for years. This volcanic country is famous for the many hot springs and lagoons, black sand beaches, the Northern Lights, powerful waterfalls and breath-taking landscapes.
The capital, Reykjavik, is not quite what many travellers might expect from a country in such a cold climate. Rather than being dark and frozen, Reykjavik is bright and vibrant with a world-famous nightlife scene that people come from all over the world to experience. For those less inclined to clubs, there is a stunning amount of architecture to see and history to discover. The enormous church Hallgrímskirkja, while difficult for non-natives to pronounce, is quite a sight to see, with its imposing ridges reaching skyward.
Surrounding Reykjavik are incredible natural wonders waiting to be explored. From low valleys to high mountain peaks, the best way to experience these is by bicycle or car, but tours are also available. These guided journeys will take you to many of the best loved geographic landmarks including the Golden Circle, a trail that passes by lakes, ridges and valleys, with plenty for travellers to explore.
The "Emerald Isle" of Ireland is ever popular with travellers thanks to the friendly locals, beautiful green hills and striking coastlines. From Donegal in the north, to Cork in the south, there is plenty to discover whilst on holiday.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland and lies on the east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. It is a lively city with real personality. The city is relatively small, however it feels like a larger city and its most iconic landmark is St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Ireland is famous for brewing a world famous beer - Guinness. When in Dublin, it’s an absolute must to visit the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s number one attraction and it gives an insight into the brewing process, as well as refreshing beer tasting and restaurants. One of the best ways to embrace the culture in Dublin is to embark on a literary pub crawl. Immerse yourself in the powerful literary history of Ireland, and learn about writers such as Joyce and Yeats and how the city's pub culture influenced their writings.
Italy and its many regions has been attracting vistors from far and wide for hundreds of years. Whether you enjoy history, food, wine, fashion or relaxing by the coast, you are sure to find something, or somewhere, that appeals.
Holidays to Italy are never truly complete without a trip to Venice. Here, travellers can sail the wondrous canals, get lost in winding streets, explore St. Mark’s Square and Basilica and visit the Rialto Food Markets. For amazing views, guests should take the lift to the top of Campanile di San Marco, where, on clear days, you see all the way out to the Alps. The romance of Venetian gondolas will never fail to impress visitors. Coupled with the architectural beauty of Dofe’s Place and the Rialto Bridge, Venice is definitely somewhere you would want to share with someone special.
The city is a great place to travel on foot, and you will inevitably get lost, but that is all part of the fun! Venice is not a big city and can easily be covered by foot, so make sure you slow the pace down to really take everything in.
Travel tip! Venice is served by two airports – the Marco Polo in Tessera and Treviso. If you want to travel into Venice in style, fly into Tessera and catch a water bus into the city. Treviso is mainly served by shuttle buses and is the no-frills gateway into Venice.
Situated in Tuscany, northern Italy, Florence (or, in Italian, Firenze) is a city of great history and culture. With a past that stretches back hundreds of years, the city’s main draw for travellers is its grand architecture, with buildings that have stood for centuries. The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Florence Cathedral, and the Basilica di Santa Croce are two of the city’s most famous churches. Each has stood for around six hundred years, with intricate detail from those ages still remarkably intact.
Florence is also a city of rich culture. It is home to Michelangelo’s David, one of the most famous sculptures ever made, and beyond the art, gourmet connoisseurs will find much to love, from some of the finest bread to richly flavourful pasta. Tuscan cuisine stands on its own among other Italian food, and has been exported to the world. However, there’s nothing like visiting the source of such wonderful food!
Also nestled in northern Italy, Milan is a destination for fashion lovers and sightseers alike. Blending architecture stretching back hundreds of years and a modern skyline, it’s a city of great contrast and great beauty. Milan is where many of the major international fashion houses are based such as Giorgio Armani and Prada.
One of Da Vinci’s most famous works, The Last Supper, is on view in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Convent - it’s a must-see for any art lover. Speaking of Da Vinci, the Navigli (“na-vee-yee”) are a series of canals throughout the city which were worked on by the famous artist himself.
On the subject of architecture, the enormous Milan Cathedral is absolutely unmissable. This marvel took nearly 600 years to complete, finishing only in 1965! Yet again, Da Vinci was one of the architects on this project. With so much old and new, Milan really is an incredible city to explore!
Pizza is a beloved food worldwide, but Naples is its birthplace. To eat pizza in Naples is to eat it for the first time, really. The dough, the mozzarella, the sauce – it’s all made in a tradition stretching back centuries and it makes for an experience which is unique to Naples.
Beyond what’s on the menu, Mount Vesuvius is one of the main draws for the area; it’s the volcano which destroyed Pompeii, creating the famous ruins which are now frequented by thousands of travellers every year. Below ground, the Catacombs of San Gennaro can be explored. Restored and made available to tourists, the catacombs’ history stretches back to the 3rd century, and it’s truly a humbling site to explore.
Rome’s history and culture is embedded in every part of the city. The artistic presence of Roman masterpieces, coupled with the historic structures and architecture is astounding. This includes the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Vatican including the St Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel. These are a testament to the proud culture in Rome and are some of the most photographed sites in the world.
The city is also renowned for its food and fine dining scene. This is the best place to experience the authentic taste of regional Italian cuisine, as well as being able to embrace the culture and vibe of the ‘eternal city’. Despite having a strong historical presence, Rome embraces and thrives as a modern city, flourishing as one of the world’s great metropolitan destinations. Its breathtaking sites, authentic Italian culture and way of life make this a unique and empowering cultural experience.
Travel to the Netherlands usually revolves around Amsterdam, but there is also plenty to see outside the city including The Hague, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Explore the country by bike, it's nice and flat and makes for an interesting holiday!
Amsterdam, located on the coast, is a city packed with delights for travellers. Canals run through the central city area and offer a wonderful way to explore it – by boat, or following them on bike. There’s plenty to discover too, with a phenomenal café culture unlike any other city – for tourists looking to relax and take it slow, idyllic Amsterdam is the place to be.
The city's museums are famous the world over, with collections and experiences found nowhere else. The Anne Frank Museum gives a fascinating and humbling insight into the life of one of the most recognisable faces of World War II, and there’s also the Van Gogh Museum, which is dedicated to the life and work of the famous artist. The city is also famous for its breweries and beer cafes, with many conducting tours and tasting experiences. After all, Amsterdam is home to one of the world’s best-loved beers – Heineken. For brew aficionados, a visit to the interactive museum is an experience not to be missed!
Another Scandinavian country, Norway is an adventurers playground. With glaciers, fjords, mountains and forests to explore, those who love the outdoors will love Norway. If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider visiting the Lofoten Islands.
Oslo is the capital of Norway, and one of the most exciting cities in Scandinavia. Visitors can explore Viking history in the Viking Ship Museum, which exhibits real and replica ships that date back around 1,000 years, and art lovers will adore the Viogeland Sculpture Park, which features some of the most famous sculptures in the world. Visitors can get up close and personal with the sculptures on display, and it is open all year round! There’s also a museum dedicated entirely to the painter Edvard Munch, whose most famous work ‘The Scream’ is one of the most prolific images in all of pop culture.
Beyond the visual arts, there’s the Oslo Opera House – one of the finest and best reputed in the world. Oslo was also the home of Henrik Ibsen, one of the most influential playwrights ever. His house has been converted to the Ibsen Museum, and is open to visitors and fans of his work.
Portugal is the most western country of mainland Europe, and is a great country to visit for a holiday. With beaches, golf courses and fascinating cities it's ideal for families, solo travellers and couples.
The city of Lisbon is home to both traditional landscapes and contemporary culture – and boasts warm Mediterranean weather for most of the year. A prime sight to see is the Moisteiro dos Jeronimos, a monastery that dates back to 1833. The artistic detail of both the architecture and design has rarely been retouched and is a location pit stop not to be missed!
Lisbon also features fantastic marine life with the Lisbon Oceanarium sitting at the edge of the water. It is Europe’s largest indoor aquarium totalling about 16,000 individuals of 450 species of underwater creates. For a taste of the country, Portugal’s capital is renowned for all things sweet. The cherry on top is the egg custard tart – Pasteis de Nata, served by Antiga Confeitaria de Belem where rows of freshly baked goods are available daily. It is a hot spot for locals as well as tourists so go early to get your hands on some of the world’s best pastries.
Russia is a country that often intimidates travellers, but it is a destination that should definitely be considered. Whether you cross it onboard the Trans-Siberian Express, or opt for a cruise down the Volga River, you're sure to view a varied landscape.
Moscow is the largest city in the largest country in the world! The city is home to some of the most iconic architecture in history, with a rich and storied history to boot. The Red Square is the quintessential Moscow landmark - the wide open square is bordered by intricately designed buildings, including the State Historical Museum and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Also on Red Square is the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral, with its ornate and colourful twisting domes.
Moscow is home to a rich theatrical culture, with the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre, among other sites. Russian ballet and opera are in a class all of their own and no trip is complete without a trip to the theatre.
Continuing the cultural exploration, the National Museum of Russian Fine Art is deserving of a visit, with art spanning multiple eras and styles. The sculpture park within the museum is also a site to see, with art you can get up close and personal with.
St. Petersburg is a city with a rich and storied history, located in the north-west of Russia. Formerly known as Leningrad and Petrograd, the city is famous the world over for its incredible cultural scene, exporting some of the best live entertainment to the world, including ballet and theatre. Indeed, many of the best in the world study in the theatres of St Petersburg!
With around 300 years of history, the city is also home to some of the most spectacular buildings in Europe, including Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church of the Savior on Blood. The former has an incredible gold-domed roof and the latter is an elaborately designed monument of faith. Both feature lavish interiors that can be toured by visitors to the city. All up, St. Petersburg is a city well worth visiting on a European sojourn, with opportunities for guests to explore as much or as little as they like.
Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a holiday hot-spot for Europeans and Australian travellers alike. Whether you choose to travel the mainland, or head off to one of the numerous Spanish isles you'll enjoy the warm weather, delicious food and welcoming locals.
In the quiet season, the Balearic island of Ibiza has much more to offer tourists other than simply bars and clubs. Traveller’s can take advantage of the island’s luxurious beaches, where diving, sailing and windsurfing are common. Further inland, travellers can explore the local markets, as well as embark on tours to the Salt Flats and the Can Marca Caves. Off the coast of Africa, Spain's Canary Islands are well worth a visit too. Warm all year round, the collection of volcanic isles all offer vistors something slightly different, but you are guarenteed to find great beaches and quaint villages.
Settled on the west coast of Spain, on the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a vibrant city overflowing with holiday activities. One of the highlights of Barcelona’s rich culture and history is the La Sagrada Familia. This stunning, unfinished church is an architectural marvel that welcomes over three million visitors every year, and is Barcelona’s most visited attraction. Head here to see Gaudi's vision slowly coming to life.
Barcelona is also well known for its lively and dazzling nightlife, with many bars and clubs throughout the city. For something a little different, the Magic Fountain show is a composite of music, light and water, and a delight to behold. The city is also famous for its local football team, FC Barcelona. If you’re a sports enthusiast or live entertainment aficionado, heading to Camp Nou, to watch a live game and embrace the atmosphere.
Madrid is grand and vibrant. It has everything you would expect from the capital of Spain: baroque landmarks, acclaimed contemporary architecture, fine art, majestic gardens and fantastic food. Get your bearings on your first day by taking in the city’s two famous plazas, the Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol, which are just a few blocks apart from one another.
The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is one of the finest in Europe. A wonderful way to see the palace is to get off at Opera metro station and walk from there (around 5 minutes). Most of the walk is actually traversing the Plaza Oriente, a tranquil plaza with beautiful landscaped gardens and sculptures.
A few days should be set aside for Madrid’s museum district, named the “Golden Triangle of Art” for the hat trick of important art institutions clustered together. The Museo del Prado houses some of the world’s most famous artists, the Museo Reina Sofia is Spain’s national museum and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a fantastic historic collection.
The city of Valencia is located on the eastern coast of Spain. A seaside gem, the city is generally less well known than its bigger counterparts like Barcelona. However, it is an incredible city filled with unmissable architecture and unforgettable flavours.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a stunning modern park filled with attractions for locals and tourists alike. This includes the Oceanografic, an aquarium featuring underwater tunnels that allow visitors to get up close to the sea life. The area also contains the Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, a museum designed to engage minds of all ages with interactive exhibits. While the museum is predominantly presented in Spanish, there are English translations available in all sections.
If you want to explore Spain including any of the above cities, or Seville, San Sebastian and Marbella, a Travellers Chocie agent can assist you.
Stockholm is one of the most amazing, unique cities in the world, boasting an array of attractions for tourists. The Swedish capital spans a total of 14 separate islands, with a sense of elegance and beauty that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Stunning scenery and a vibrant, modern atmosphere, coupled with edgy designs and fashion make it a traveller’s paradise.
The city is the home of the Nobel Prize, is the first European green capital, is one of the five fastest growing cities in Europe and is coveted for its innovation and creativity. Definitely add it to your travel list.
The Stockholm archipelago is a cluster of around 30,000 islands that spreads from the city into the Baltic Sea. Travel here is a unique experience, and the region is a real source of pride for the Swedish people. The archipelago allows travellers to find a perfect cultural experience set within stunning natural landscapes.
Travellers often favour Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, but the magical town of Lucerne is a cultural jewel tucked away in the central-north of the country and flanked by the Swiss Alps. Around Lake Lucerne and the Reuss River, visitors will find the eminent Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), as well as a variety of museums, cafes, shopping and bars. Other wonderful past times here include visiting Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Riji, the Glacier Gardens and Old Town, plus there is a lake-side beach where visitors can sit back and relax, swim, or try some waterports.
Train, rail and aircraft buffs will be delighted to find that Lucerne is also home to Switzerland’s most-frequented museum, the Swiss Museum of Transport. As the gateway to central Switzerland, Lucerne is a great base for excursions to the surrounding towns and mountains such as Pilatus, Rigi and Stanserhorn. Like the rest of the country, the town combines tradition and modernity with ease but, unlike flashy cities, it still remains humble and serene in doing so.
International relations buffs will love Geneva, the “City of Peace”, which is home to 20 international organisations and is the European base for the big kahuna, the United Nations. It is a well-organised, pleasant world class city that’s cycling and walking friendly.
Bringing it all together is the wondrous Lake Geneva, most of which is actually in France’s territory. Geneva’s contribution to the lake is the huge Jet d’Eau, a fountain that pumps water to a height of 140 metres! If you’re feeling adventurous, or in need of a cool down, there’s a path that takes you right up to and around the Jet d’Eau, for a refreshing splash.
There’s more to Zurich than business, finance, cleanliness and efficiency. Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich is extremely cosmopolitan and you may be surprised to learn that it has exciting restaurant and nightlife scenes.
As with many European cities, the old town is a great place to kick-off your visit. Zurich’s Altstadt offers up charming buildings and delightful alleyways. Bahnhofstrasse (Station Street), the city’s main downtown street, is fantastic for window-shopping.
Turkey is an intriguing country with a fascinating hisory. Many holiday-makers flock to the beachside resort towns of Marmaris or Bodrum, but there is plenty to explore away from the coastline, such as hot-air balloning over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, bathing in the mineral-rich springs of Pamukkale or commemorating Anzac soldiers in Gallipoli.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and is spread across two continents. Nestled on the border of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is prized for its rich culture that embraces both continents, along with gorgeous scenery and a powerful history dating back three hundred thousand years. Astonishing attractions in the city include the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Nuru Osmaniye and many more.
Istanbul built its foundations on the strength of its history and culture, but its recent movement has been into one of the hippest cities in the world, which has tourists flocking. Istanbul’s nightlife has quickly become a high point in an already amazing culture - with a flurry of new restaurants, galleries, bars and night clubs across the city, the nightlife provides the perfect balance between daytime tourist and night-time partying, or relaxation.
Istanbul is a city all about wonderful culture vivacious entertainment; a stellar experience for any traveller.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom, and as a result there is plenty for vistors and travellers to explore and discover. Depending on your travel plans, you may choose not to fly into London and a Travellers Choice agent can help you book flights to a city of your choice, whether it be Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow or Belfast.
Landing at London Heathrow Airport propels a traveller into the world’s third busiest airport in the world. From there, you can either take the Heathrow Express into London itself or take the Tube into the city. There are taxis, private hires, minicabs and coaches available as alternative transport as well.
The number one attraction that is a must see is the iconic Tower Bridge – commonly mistaken for the less impressive actual London Bridge. Tower Bridge is close to the Tower of London, itself an iconic and historical site. If you are up for world-class museums, London boasts the V&A Museum, The British Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and The National Gallery. The best thing is, entrance to these museums is absolutely free!
South West England’s city of Bath is the original spa town. The ancient Romans were indulging in its thermal springs almost 2,000 years ago. Bath flourished again in the early 18th century Georgian era, at a time when many of the beautiful neoclassical buildings seen there today were built, and artists and high society alike flocked to the fashionable city. Now, there are a number of ancient Roman sites still dotted around Bath, and they are very well-preserved and juxtaposed wonderfully against the elegant Georgian boulevards, crescents and terraces.
The Roman Baths Museum is arguably the top attraction in the city. The Sacred Spring, below modern street level, where naturally hot water (46 °C!) rises daily like it has for millennia is very popular with visitors. Just across the way is Bath Abbey, founded in the 7th century and built in the Gothic style.
Cardiff, the Welsh capital, is a wonderful example of history and heritage living and breathing comfortable alongside smart urban development. There’s Cardiff Castle, bursting with curious interior embellishments in boundless rooms and housing a Norman fort in its centre, juxtaposed against the Millennium Stadium, which was built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and is now home to the Welsh national football team. Make sure to also check out what’s on at the cutting edge Wales Millenium Centre, home of Wales’ performing arts and one of the UK’s best cultural attractions.
Head to Scotland and explore the Highlands, lochs and cities. Edinburgh promises a great city break with its numerous historical sites, breathtaking landscape, secret gardens, a variety of restaurants, vibrant nightlife, festivities and fun-filled activities. You certainly can’t get enough of Edinburgh in a single trip!
The city offers amazing historic jewels for tourists, such as the Edinburgh Castle, Craigmillar Castle ruins, Scott Monument, the Royal Botanic Gardens and The Royal Yacht Britannia. In summer, Edinburgh becomes a festival city, and this is probably the best time to book your trip and become a part of the celebrations. The festival season starts in June with The International Film Festival which is then followed by the Jazz and Blues Festival in July. August is when the festivities really kick off, and the city organizes a bunch of activities during August including the International Festival, Book Festival and the multicultural Edinburgh Mela.
Other places to visit when travelling to the UK include Stratford-Upon-Avon, Cambridge, York, Chester, the Lake District, Snowdonia National Park, Glasgow and the Cairngorms National Park. Ask a Travellers Chocie agent for even more options!
Travellers Choice helps hundreds of Australians each year plan and book amazing holiday experiences in many European countries. Explore north, south, east or west!