For many people, travelling through the European continent is a rite of passage. Each country you encounter is full of beautiful places to see and fun things to do.
So if you’re thinking of taking a roadtrip through this stunning part of the world, take a look through this article where we outline some of the places you simply have to see on your journey!
France hosts the most tourists of any country in the world and it’s easy to see why. Whether it’s the romantic, cultural city of Paris, the heights of the snowcapped French Alps, or the southern sizzling beaches, you’re certain to find somewhere that’s the perfect fit for your holiday plans.
If you enjoy skiing, then you’ll be pleased to know that France is a skiers’ paradise. Set in some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, the fresh alpine air and magically contoured slopes are truly a once in a lifetime experience. It is no wonder then, that France is highly regarded as one of the best skiing nations in the world.
When skiing in France, you’d be mad not to go to the alps. And don’t worry if you didn’t pack ski equipment – there are thousands of dedicated ski shops to serve the tourists, and some will offer pretty good bargains!
France is also home to the world-famous Val-d’Isère ski resort. A huge scenic expanse, the site was made famous by the top French skier Jean-Claude Killy and is a magnet for tourists all year round due to its near guarantee of perfect conditions. Additionally, the resort caters for all levels of experience and ability, and boasts amazing facilities from its ski lifts to its hotels and refreshment areas. Val-d’Isère really is a skiers heaven!
If skiing isn’t your thing, why not visit Paris?
Regarded as the fashion capital of Europe, Paris offers a sense of style and romance that you can’t help but fall in love with. With Notre Dame cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, artisan street cafes, fashion boulevards, and boat trips along the River Seine – among the many other available delights – there is a whole world of pleasures for you to see and experience.
Plus, Parisians love to celebrate, which means if you come at the right time of year, there will be a wide array of events taking place for you to enjoy.
For example, in March the glamorous Paris Fashion Week showcases the latest designer spring collections. While on July 14th, the French national celebration of Bastille Day is celebrated in style with parades, parties, and fireworks. The International Photo Fair is also worth a visit and takes place in November.
Berlin – the German capital – is rich in culture, architecture, and nightlife, while being blessed with an abundance of parks, rivers, greenery, and bridges.
Best known for hosting the annual Oktoberfest Beer Festival, Munich is also a city filled with cultural activities. This is a great German cultural centre boasting an array of delights in the fields of opera, theatre, ballet, museums, and galleries.
One of the oldest cities in Germany, Cologne is also well worth visiting. Situated on the River Rhine, it is the art metropolis of the area. Even though it is lively with an artsy nature, it also offers a neighbourly feel and is popular for its cathedrals and boat tours.
Another beautiful, riverside city is Hamburg. Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg is a beautiful place to visit because two-thirds of the land is covered with parks, trees, and lakes.
Located in the Swabian Mountains on the outskirts of Black Forest, the city of Stuttgart is well known for being the home of the Mercedes Benz and Porsche. Boasting streets filled with exclusive shops and boutiques, Stuttgart is also a popular wine area that hosts an annual wine festival in August and September.
In terms of the country’s culture, while Germany offers delights from across all fields of art and creativity, bear in mind that certain restrictions may be in place that are unfamiliar to people coming from abroad.
For example, tourists from countries with liberal policies on gun ownership such as the USA, Switzerland, and Austria should be aware that the German system of gun control is among the most stringent in Europe. So if you do want to take part in activities such as hunting or sports shooting while holidaying in Germany, you will likely need to apply for a small firearms carry permit known as a Kleiner Waffenschein.
Italy is where culture, history, and traditions mix beautifully with modernity and fashion.
The legacy of the Renaissance and its masterpieces of art, music, and architecture means that for lovers of art, history, architecture, or music, Italy is unsurpassable. And if you’re a lover of nature, there are majestic mountains, crystal seas, rolling hills, fertile plains, sweeping cliffs, and magical lagoons that are a delight to witness.
The city of Milan is rivalled only by Paris as the fashion capital of the world and offers shopping at its best. Rome has been the heart of Italy from the time of the Romans through to today; to walk its streets is to walk in the footsteps of Emperors and Popes. Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and its presence reverberates through the cobbled streets and beautiful churches. Venice, the most unique and most romantic city in the world, stands timeless and beautiful amid the Adriatic – a magnificent creation highlighting man at his most artistic.
Finally, the majestic and striking natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast is a delight to experience, offering a place to relax, soak in the natural beauty, and dine on the world’s finest cuisine, and. No matter what you want from your roadtrip, you’re sure to find it in Italy.
Here are some facts about the country you may not know:
– Northern Italy is wealthy while the south is not.
– Italy’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean, with Alpine conditions in the far north and hot, dry areas in the south.
– The Vatican City in Rome is considered an independent country. If you plan to visit the Vatican, the dress code is very strict. No bare shoulders, no shorts, no bare legs. There is a booth selling paper clothes for anyone who forgets the Vatican dress code!
– With some dating back to 170 B.C., Rome had the first paved streets in the world. Vehicles had to be banned because of the traffic jams!
– Considered one of the oddest Roman Emperors, Caligula appointed his horse to a senate position.
– Roman statutes were very utilitarian. The heads could be removed and replaced to reflect the changes in the political climate.
– When the Roman army lost a battle, they really took it hard. Commanders would kill every tenth soldier under their command – this act is the root of the word decimate.
– Vast numbers of citizens in ancient Rome died from lead poisoning. They used it as a sweetener in their food!
– Michelangelo’s full name was Michelangelo Buonarroti.