Most people have spent too much over the Christmas period, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming of where we’ll be travelling this year. With so many travel agent incentives and online offers around, you may even be tempted to book your summer break right now. And why not?
If this is the case, and you’re looking for some advice on where to go, here are the top three European cities that are bound to capture your heart and inspire your mind. Prague and Austria were both a a part of my interrail adventure so I would recommend them wholeheartedly for culture and beauty.
Prague, Czech Republic
Known as the “city of a hundred spires”, Prague has often been spoken of as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so if you’re planning on heading out here, make sure you take your spare camera battery and sim card for some extra snaps. The Historic Centre of Prague has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1992, but that isn’t its only accolade.
In fact, it’s the largest historic city centre on the List, with an enormous 866 hectares for people to enjoy. Prague Castle, St Vitus cathedral, and the Royal Palace should be high on your list of attractions, but don’t forget to stop by Strahov monastery. It has a library reminiscent of a Disney movie, while the quaint Golden Lane lined with tiny houses is the perfect place for an Instagram shot.
This is one of the most vibrant, varied and exciting cities that you will ever visit in Europe. With so much to see and do here, it’s impossible to pack them all into this post, from golden beaches and a huge array of water sports, to museums and cathedrals. However, the one attraction that always amazes visitors is the City of Arts and Sciences. This complex of buildings is dedicated to all things creative, and appearing to rise out of the sea like a vessel of Captain Nemo, is L’Hemisfèric – a planetarium and laserium.
L’Oceanogràfic is perhaps the second most famous building on this complex; as the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe, this attraction measures 110,000 square meters with 42 million litres of water. It was built in the shape of a water lily, with each section representing different aquatic environments, such as the Mediterranean, Wetlands, Temperate and Tropical Seas.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life in favour of a more calming environment, then Austria’s capital is the city for you. You could pick up some Vienna opera tickets and head out for an evening of musical culture, or how about exploring the many restaurants and roof-top bars across the city?
During the day-time, you could tour the beautiful sprawling grounds and 1,441 rooms of Schönbrunn Palace, before delving deeper into the surrounding land to find the Tiergarten Schönbrunn. As the oldest zoo in the world, it was founded in 1752 as the Imperial Menagerie and is still home to many exotic species including giant pandas.
Where are you headed in 2017? Let me know with a comment below. I’ve got several UK breaks and Switzerland booked up for May so far. Can’t wait!