14 Europe Experiences You Need To Have In Your Lifetime
Europe is one of the most popular places to go for travelers, and some people are lucky enough to make a few visits to Europe during their lives. In order to get the best of what Europe has to offer, here are 14 things in Europe you simply must experience at some point in time:
1. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest sees over six million visitors per year, and that's because it's awesome. Trust me on this: go to Oktoberfest and see for yourself. (If ou unfortunately can't go in September/October, try the spring for the spring beerfests for a taste of what this German beer festival is like!)
2. See the Eiffel Tower light up at night
Everyone has seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower, but seeing it in person is a whole different experience.
Go at sunset and watch the tower slowly light up. And then it will sparkle for five minutes every hour! It truly is something not to be missed.
3. Drive through the countryside
Most people go to Europe for the big cities, but there is so much beauty in the countryside. If you're going from one city to the next, a scenic train (or bus, or traveling by car) is definitely worth it.
There is beauty everywhere from the gorgeous towns lining the Swiss alps, to the Tuscan wine country, to the farms and endless fields of green in Ireland, or the stunning coastline of Croatia.
4. Eat Italian food in Italy
Well, of course you would eat Italian food in Italy, but anyone who has tried genuine Italian food knows that the real stuff is leaps and bounds better than its imitators.
The food in Florence is my favorite city for good Italian food, but throughout the country you'll find amazing pizza, gelato, pasta, and panini. Make sure to try tiramasu, too. And espresso. And caprese salad. And lots and lots of wine.
5. Take in the view at Piazzale Michaelangelo in Florence, Italy
There are spectacular viewing points all around European cities, but the view at the Piazzale Michaelangelo is a favorite among visitors to Italy.
Overlooking the city, you'll spot the famous Duomo's giant presence sticking out over the other red roofs as well as the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River.
Plus, it's free to go to Piazzale Michaelangelo, unlike many other viewpoints where you have to pay.
6. See a musical in London
London is kind of like the Broadway/musical center of Europe, or at least it seemed so to me!
The theater is incredible, and you'll find only the best of the best in London. My personal favorite? Wicked. Plus, being an American, it's cool to hear British accents.
7. Try goulash in Central Europe
Goulash is a meat stew that originally comes from Hungary, but you can find delicious goulash in surrounding areas like the Czech Republic or Austria.
It's something that sounded random to try (to me at least), but was delicious and became one of my favorite meals that I often ordered at restaurants.
8. Visit film locations
Many popular movies and TV shows are filmed at various places in Europe. I happened to be in Split, Croatia when they were filming Game of Thrones last year, which was cool to see.
Gossip Girl filmed on location in Paris during Season 4. The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg, Austria (and you can take a Sound of Music tour!).
9. Go to a concert in Vienna
Vienna is the world capital of music. Mozart and Beethoven both lived and composed in Vienna, and you'll find statues and souvenirs all around the city to play tribute to the many music giants that hail from this Austrian city.
Whether it's seeing the opera or a classic concert (or a mix of both), Vienna is sure to not disappoint any of those interested in music.
10. Relax in the thermal baths in Budapest
Take some time away from all the walking during your European visit to go to the baths in Budapest. They are like large hot tubs where people relax and mingle with each other. (Bring your swimsuit!)
Budapest is also a great destination for cheap spa treatments like massages or fish pedicures.
11. Pay your respects at historical sites
Parts of Europe have dark pasts or have experienced times of war. Today, you can visit some sites like concentration camps or memorials to learn more about the history and pay your respects.
12. Spend all day at The Louvre in Paris
The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, and it definitely lives up to being one of the best (if not the best) place to find incredible and rare artwork. Marvel at all the paintings, objects, sculptures, jewels, and decorative rooms.
Many people can spend all day at The Louvre because there is so much to see, and some even come back for multiple days to get their fill.
13. Explore palace gardens
One of the best parts about European palaces are the gardens. Find yourself strolling alongside paths lined with colorful flowers and admiring the intricate designs.
14. Take the road less traveled - go to Eastern Europe!
Western Europe is by far more popular as far as travel destinations go, but the farther east you go, the cooler and more unique the culture becomes. Go now while it's more affordable and is less taken over by tourists. My favorite city in the east? Istanbul.