Europe is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world and from all walks of life. It has something to offer everyone, no matter what your budget, interests or age. When planning a trip to Europe, consider your personal goals for the trip, and choose your travel route accordingly. Some of the best travel routes have been tried and tested for centuries; the best sites in Europe are timeless, and the proximity of the countries makes for convenient, fast travel.
European Art Tour
Europe has some of the world's greatest art. If you are an art buff, start with the Mecca of the art world--the Louvre in Paris, home of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Then, move on to the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, where you can check out works by El Greco and Titian. Head to Holland to visit the Van Gogh Museum, and then move on to Italy. In Florence, you can check out Michelangelo's David, Brunelleschi's dome, and the stunning Uffizi Gallery. Move down to Rome to visit the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Pieta, and countless frescoes. If you have the time, fit in trips to the British Museum in London and the Albertina in Vienna.
European Food Tour
Europe is home to some of the best cuisines in the world, which have been developed over the region's long history. Start in Spain and sample the seafood and famous dishes such as paella. Take a train to France, and tour Paris' restaurants to indulge in rich, buttery dishes and distinctive offerings such as escargot (snails). In Provence, you'll delight in the fresh, local wines, herbs and vegetables. Then, head to Switzerland to sample the world-famous chocolate and cheese. As a grand finale, go south to Italy. Stop in Tuscany for the hearty Tuscan cuisine. Enjoy local wine at one of the countless vineyards, and eat as much pasta as your stomach can handle. Be sure to walk and ride bikes as often as possible to work off the calories and see the countryside between meals.
European Backpacker Tour
If you have the time, budget and patience, do the grand tour of Europe that's attempted by thousands of backpackers each year. Book a cheap ticket into a major capital in Europe--Dublin is a good alternative to London--and go without reservations or plans. If you can handle this type of free-flowing travel, it is the best way to see Europe. Pack light and be flexible, and you have the freedom to go as the spirit moves you, spending more time in places you love and less in places you don't. A possible itinerary is to fly into Dublin, explore Ireland, move over into Scotland and England, go through the Chunnel to Paris, and move on to Spain and Portugal. Fly to Italy, take a boat to Greece, and take a combination of trains and flights to Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Route Less Traveled
If you're more adventurous or if you're looking for a one of a kind European travel experience, consider a less-common travel route. Try spending time in Finland, Sweden and Norway for beautiful scenery and beautiful people. Travel on a budget in Eastern Europe, and enjoy fewer tourists in Poland and Romania. If you'd like to spend less time in transit and have a more in-depth experience, consider choosing one country to explore--visit Italy's countless wineries, enjoy Croatia's scenery or bicycle around Ireland.
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