No bucket list is complete without a European adventure. One of the greatest parts of travelling to places such as Paris, Athens and Venice is all the culture and history that surround these fascinating cities. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the top cultural gems of Europe – perfect additions when you’re planning your next trip. I always find the hardest part of a holiday is choosing what things to do and see. Hopefully by the end of this article your itinerary will be sorted and all you’ll have left to do is book flights, get your European travel insurance for peace of mind and stick your nose in a guide book or four.
Ah, gay Paree – and there’s so much more to it than just croissants and the Eiffel Tower (despite both having honourable merits). • The Louvre Museum is on the top of this list. Stuffed to the brim with over 30,000 works of fine art, it’s impossible to see everything on one visit. Consider booking a tour of the highlights – and don’t forget to visit two of the most famous women in the world, Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
• Notre Dame is another Paris must, and there’s no excuse not to go as entry to this gorgeous gothic cathedral is free. The exterior’s gargoyles take the breath of visitors away; the interior of the sanctuary features gorgeous stained-glass windows.
• The Musee d’Orsay is a top attraction for art lovers and features work from the best Impressionist artists to ever paint, including Van Gogh and Monet.
• First to see when you arrive in Germany is the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of peace and unity. This Neoclassical sandstone gate once symbolised a nation divided. Now, it is the most famous landmark in Berlin.
• For more history than you know what to do with, head to Museum Island. This canal is where the most important and oldest museums in the city are located. From the Old and New Museums to Bode House, you’ll find artwork and royal treasures beyond your wildest dreams.
• The Jewish Museum is a fascinating and sobering experience. Here you can become entrenched in the complete history (and struggle) of Jewish Germans, from the Middle Ages to the Holocaust to present day.
• Venice has a record number of amazing attractions, so many that it can be tough to know where to begin – why not start with art? Begin by viewing heiress Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection, all displayed in her former home, and filled with twentieth-century American and European art.
• Gallerie dell’Accademia is another gorgeous art museum to visit. Here you will find fine art, specifically Venetian paintings from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.
• Painted by and filled with works by Tintoretto, a sixteenth-century Venetian artist, Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a final impressive must-see.
• You haven’t seen Greece until you’ve seen Acropolis. Originally a temple used to worship, it now watches over Athens and reminds each visitor of the city’s past greatness.
• Next, visit Temple of Zeus to pay tribute to the most powerful god in Greek history.
• As the name suggests, the Byzantine Museum holds over 25,000 historical religious artefacts from Greece’s Byzantine period – a great ending to your European tour.
There you have it – the cultural cream of the crop. Hopefully your itinerary is cracked and you’re ready to start researching plane tickets and which European travel insurance policy is best for you. It really does make an enormous difference – the peace of mind you get from investing in the right cover makes it all the easier to enjoy your holiday. And there are tons of European travel insurance options that will cover you in most eventualities – from injury and illness to annoyances like lost luggage.
Now, get out there and see the world – Europe is waiting for you!