The Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the canals of Venice and Athens’ Acropolis – we all know a trip to Europe makes for some spectacular photographs. But scratch the surface and you’ll discover why an adventure through this beautiful content is truly good for the soul.
1. All the great food
Spanish paella, Italian carbonara, Greek salad, French baguette, Russian Beef Stroganoff – all of these yummy meals taste even better when you eat them in the countries of their origin. The secret? The longer the queue – the better the food.
RELATED: 10 Foods You Have to Try in Europe
2. Learning something new about yourself
Any travel experience is eye-opening. A trip to Europe might reveal a new found love of Scandinavian culture, or an appreciation for Welsh castles. Travelling reveals pieces of ourselves we never knew existed before, and excites parts of our mind previously left untouched.
3. Unique architecture
Europe is a playground for architecture enthusiasts. Roman amphitheatres, medieval monasteries, Renaissance castles and cutting-edge modern skyscrapers can all be found in across the continent.
4. Meeting new people
No matter what you’re looking for, when you travel around Europe, you’ll find new experiences, new cultures and, most importantly, new friends along the way.
5. Wandering around the vintage markets
Even if you’re not looking to buy, there’s something fascinating about visiting flea markets on your trip to Europe. Whether it’s Portobello Road market in London, Feira da Ladra in Lisbon or Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris, there’s an authentic edge to most vintage markets. Wander around to find unique goodies at bargain prices.
6. Making lifelong memories
Travelling is all about exploring and making unforgettable memories along the way. Make sure to wander like a local, eat yummy food, make new friends and connections, learn about different cultures and you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.
La Tomatina in Spain, Oktoberfest in Germany, Venice Carnival – you name it, Europe’s got it. The variety of cultural, art, music and food festivals is absolutely endless.
8. Spending time with your family
From the first ‘ah-ha’ moment to long after arriving home, travel can be one of the most rewarding adventures a family can have together. Whether your family is seeking an action-packed adventure or a voyage of discovery, Europe is a place that thrills and delights explorers of all ages.
9. Stepping outside of your comfort zone
We usually learn the greatest lessons in life by taking risks and stepping outside of our comfort zones. Travelling gives you the confidence to try new experiences you would never get to enjoy otherwise, and being in a place you might never go back to instills that now or never mentality.
10. The best chocolate in the world
Pioneering European chocolatiers have dazzled our taste buds for years. What better place to immerse yourself in the world of chocolate than Switzerland, Belgium or Italy, because we all know chocolate is good for the soul.
11. Ticking things off your bucket list
What’s more satisfying that doing something that has been on your bucket list for years? Thankfully, there’s enough on this continent to keep us exploring for a lifetime. Swooning over the Mona Lisa in Paris, admiring the beautiful Bavarian castles, going to an opera in Vienna, enjoying an afternoon tea in England… Consider a trip to Europe your ultimate travel checklist.
12. Fascinating history
History is all around you when you are on a trip to Europe. Roman Ruins, war relics, Medieval Castles, timeless artefacts, magnificent cathedrals – everywhere you look there is something from the past with a fascinating story.
13. Catching the Northern Lights
This spectacular natural light show never fails to amaze. The experience is surreal, with vibrant hues of blue, green, pink and violet dancing across the night sky. You can see them from late August/September through to the very beginning of April in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
14. Scenic train journeys
Europe is a relatively small continent with excellent transport links, making it easy to get around. This access means you can be shopping in Paris on Wednesday, skiing in Italy the next few days and then on a beach in Greece by the weekend. And when you travel by train, you also get to see these beautiful countries from another angle.
15. The Alps
The Alps are one of the most beautiful and accessible mountain ranges in the world. If you love a good hike or enjoy skiing, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland all have great slopes and trails in the midst of the range.
16. Christmas markets
There’s nothing in the world quite like the holiday season in Europe. If you are travelling from late November through the New Year, it’s easy to see why. With snow-capped cathedrals, seasonal cakes in display windows, music and carol singers and shiny colourful decorations, the towns practically twinkle with fairy-tale festiveness.
17. The wine
Wine tells the whole story of a region; its climate, the lives of its inhabitants, their taste and their ingenuity. Wine-making history in Europe dates back to Roman times and the variety of wines is astonishing. You’ll be impressed with the selection no matter which part of the continent you are in.
18. Connecting with your roots
Do you know the story of your family’s heritage? Many of us have their family roots in Europe and travelling around this continent helps you reconnect with your own ancestry in a very real and authentic way.
19. The islands & seaside towns
Beset in and along the coast of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean Seas lie some of the most beautiful islands and towns in the world. Santorini, Capri, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice… the list just goes on and on.
Whether you love it or don’t understand it, going to a game in Europe to see the best that this sport has to offer and the atmosphere that surrounds the game should be on your bucket list. We recommend seeing it in England, Spain and Germany for the best player spotting, stadiums and atmosphere.
21. Beautiful beaches
Europe is blessed with some of the world’s most sensational coastlines. The calm blue-green waters of the Mediterranean, the feisty Atlantic waves, sand dunes and pretty seaside villages in Northern Europe – what can be better for your soul than this?
22. Farmers markets
The European tradition of buying your groceries at the neighbourhood open-air or covered market is one of our favourites. Many of the historic markets have become popular tourist attractions, especially for foodies, as this is where you make the real connections with the people and the culture of Europe.
23. The art
If there’s one thing Europe is known for, it’s art. Whether it’s painted on a ceiling, hanging on a wall, or locked in a glass case, the museums in Europe boast some of the finest artistic artefacts the world this world has to offer.
24. The castles
The Palace of Pena in Portugal, Windsor Castle in England, Alcazar Castle in Spain, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria – these are just the tip of the iceberg. Discover the history of kings, of alliances and vendettas, the history of European wars, regions and nations as well as those families who have made Europe what it is today.
25. Learning new languages
You will enjoy the experience on a trip to Europe even more if you can talk with people, order your own food and feel as though you fit in. Learning the basics of European languages is an equally enriching and educational experience.
26. The rivers and the canals
There is nothing like taking an evening stroll where the water reflects the buildings and the lanterns appear to be dancing. Whether you are in Venice, Amsterdam, Berlin or Paris, a romantic stroll along the rivers or lunch by the canals is a dreamy experience.
From verdant mountain ranges and lush stretches of the countryside, to turquoise coastlines and arctic scenery Europe has a lifetime’s worth of natural beauty to soak in.