Best destinations in Europe Budpest, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Nerja and things to see and do in each
Eurotrips spell excitement in big bold letters. This continent has a life of its own like no other. History can be re-learnt, great cultures can be understood first-hand and you come back with a whole new experience.
Lonely Planet says:
Few places pack the punch of Europe. From its Northern Lights to its Southern shores, this drama queen keeps on thrilling, surprising and confusing with her extraordinary wealth of sights, sounds, peoples and parties.
(Source: Lonely Planet)
The four cities you’ve decided upon will no less blow your mind away. And I have added another city as a small suggestion from my side, just in case.
Marquês de Pombal/Lisbon (Source: Crismatos ♥ Internet Slow)
The capital city of Hungary is divided into Buda and Pest by the Danube. Despite being the youngest European city, it has a history that spans over a thousand years. The Hungarians, the Romans, the Turks, the Huns - all attributed to the composition of an exceptional culture. This city is sure to gratify your architecturural and historical appetites.
Among the Gothic architectural wonders, there are: Buda Castle Hill - the historical palace and castle compound of the Hungarian kings in Buda, Matthias Church - a 700 year old church dedicated to Virgin Mary, the Fishermen's Bastion - a terrace structure with seven towers which offers a stunning view of the Danube and Pest.
Buda Castle from the other side of the Danube (Source: Alex E. Proimos)
Budapest Parliament - It is the world’s third largest Parliament is a magnificent Gothic structure with renaissance and Baroque elements.
Here's a review:
The place is impossibly large and dripping with gold and ornamentation featuring Hungarian materials and craftmanship (another building from around the millennium of the Magyars). The place is beautifully restored and the Hungarians are justifiably proud of it. Beyond the big picture of the pure architecture, look at some of the details, consider the Austro-Hungarian context and you might also find this a very worhtwile visit.
Budapest, Parliament (Source: Arian Zwegers)
Budapest is famous for its bath houses, thanks to the Ottoman rule. Check out Buda’s Kiraly Baths or Rudas Baths for its Turkish architecture and a hedonistic bathing experience! Meanwhile in Pest, Széchenyi Baths in Baroque style architecture will find you among many locals! Click here for more information on turkish baths in Budapest.
A review of the KIraly Bath:
If modern luxury is what your after - don't come here. If a relaxing and peaceful visit to the olden days sounds tempting, this should suit you well. It's small and simple in one way, but luxury in another, since it gives you a delightful break from the busy modern world. The aroma massage can be recommended.
Turkish Bath Houses in Budapest (Source: Omar A.)
Other attractions are the Royal Palace that’s easily visible in the city, the Chain Bridge that connects Buda and Pest and many more!
For detailed information on day trips, sightseeing tours and cultural tours, check this page from Viator.
Click here for bike/ scooter/ canoe tours in the city.
And here is the site for options on Other Budapest Attractions.
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge and Royal Palace (Buda Castle), Budapest, Hungary (Source: Paul Mannix)
When one talks of Milan, we automatically see Armani, Versace, Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana and those gorgeous models in haute couture on runways. Well, there’s a lot more to Milano that just fashion. It is Italy’s economic powerhouse and the city is not short on a history of its own.
The one monument you can’t and won’t miss is the famous Duomo Cathedral in Duomo Square. If you think the Gothic exterior is exquisite, wait till you climb up the roof and experience the view through the spires!
Milan - Il Duomo - 12-01-2008 - 00h11 (Source: Panoramas)
Another church really worth a visit is Saint Mary of the Graces ('Santa Maria delle Grazie'), which houses the famous painting 'Last Supper' by Leonardo da Vinci. But make sure you get the tickets to this church well in advance! You can enjoy a show (though the tickets are hard to come by) at the La Scala Theatre - one of the most well-known opera houses, or be content with a visit to the La Scala Museum, with a peek into the opera house at the end.
A review of the theatre:
It is worth EVERY money to go and see opera in this theartre!! I've been enjoying Turandot there and must say that it was one of the best I've ever seen. The theatre from the outside looks like nothing special but it is definitely worth seeing the inside. You don't have to go for an Opera (which I highly recommend), the theatre is open for visitiors.
Milan - La Scala (Source: roger4336)
Then there is the great shopping mall Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. You’ll find fashion boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, cafes&restaurants. One interesting bit is that in the centre of the mall, on the floor is mosaic of a prancing bull whose private parts are missing. And tradition has it that if you spin on that area, it gives you good luck!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Source: Bernt Rostad)
If you want to get away from the buildings and monuments for a while, you can go for a quiet walk in the green Sempione Park, right behind Castello Sforzesco (it houses many museums; another popular stop, though).
Click here for more information on Parks and gardens in Milan.
Sono più forte, papà! (Source: Goldmund100)
Amidst all that concrete, Milan also has a canals' neighbourhood. The two canals Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese in the south-west of the city form the neighbourhood of Navigli. It is not very extravagant but a nice way to see local life. Summer is a good time because you can enjoy boat cruises. For a Viator Navigli Night tour, click here.
.navigli. (Source: ~Asu)
For more details on other attractions, restaurants, shopping, festivals and events, click here.
This lagoon of a city is a marvel - magnificent buildings that have been standing in mud and water for centuries, masterpieces at every turn, gondolas that glide gladly amidst canals, aroma of Venetian cuisine wafting along the lanes.
Gondolas, Venice (Source: kevgibbo)
You can start with Piazza San Marco, the city square swarming with people. The attractions here are: St. Mark’s Basilica - the famous Roman Catholic church in Byzantium architecture; Doge’s Palace - once Venice's politico-judicial centre, and Torre dell’Orologio - a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506.
A review by a recent visitor:
You've just got to do it! There's no getting away from Piazza San Marco, the busy , bustling square is home to designer shops, glass shops, high end jewellery and several venerable (but wildly expensive ) cafe's some having string/orchestral musicians playing at times of the day and night.
Piazza San Marco (Source: Turinboy)
For a one-stop art shop, there is Galleria dell'Accademia di Venezia. It is Venice's most significant museum which houses treasured paintings and other forms of art.
Of Venice’s many canals, the Grand Canal is the largest and is a backward S shaped one. A great way to take in the city’s splendour through the Canal is on board a vaporetto (a rounded 230-passenger boat). You’ll see eye catching palazzos along the way which were built for commercial purposes. Check this out for Grand Canal tours.
Grand Canal - Venice Italy Venezia (Source: gnuckx)
If you’re a music lover, enjoying Vivaldi in Venice is a great cultural experience. Some of the best groups are the Venice Baroque Orchestra and the orchestra of La Fenice, one of the best in the country. Somehow, Venice has always exuded certain calm amidst the city’s hustle-bustle. And a stop at one of the many waterside bars is a good way to relax. The best waterside bars include Al Chioschetto, Vincent Bar and Taverna del Campiello Remer.
For more details on Venice sightseeing, click here.
Venice (Source: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography)
Vienna is one of those cities which has successfully preserved the path from its historical ancestry to its modern day urbaneness. It is the city of names like Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. It is a city of palaces, churches and museums. Yet, it is also a city brimming with contemporary art, fusion cafes and urbane spaces.
Here are some places you should not miss:
Types of Vienna (Source: man@Che)
Schönbrunn Palace is a must-see - one of the most important Austrian monuments, the complex includes the imperial palace, the French garden, the roman Ruins, Palm pavilion and Gloriette.; it was formerly the summer residence to various Habsburg rulers.
Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna (Source: jay8085)
St. Stephens´s Cathedral is one of the pivotal churches as it’s where the Archbishop’s seat lies. Its current Romanesque and Gothic form was initiated later by Rudolf IV. The Belvedere is a historical baroque palace complex with beautiful statues, garden and fountains. It houses the Belvedere Museum.
Belvedere, Vienna (Wien) (Source: Ulf Liljankoski)
Next stop is art. Albertina houses one of the largest graphic art collections in the world with 44000 drawings and 1 milion old master prints (Leonardo da Vinci, Michalangelo, Raffael, Rembrandt,) and modern graphic works.
vienna - albertina view (Source: zedmelody)
An interesting find is Hundertwasserhaus, which is a rare apartment house in Vienna with a roof covered with the earth, grass and with large trees on balcony and inside the rooms. A kind of expressionist form of architecture.
Hunderwasser haus in vienna (Source: Ludovic Hirlimann)
Go to Vienna Tourism for more information on the city.
For day tours and others, click on Viator Vienna Tours.
Situated in the Andalucian region of Spain is this seaside resort on Costa del Sol of Nerja. It is a quaint village located at the foot of Sierra Almijara hills. There is decent amount of company and activities here yet it is refreshingly reclusive. Many breathtaking sights and exciting activities await the Nerja visitor.
Nerja Night (Source: Waka Jawaka)
Nerja Caves: They are a network of chambers that are of historical and cultural importance. You'll find stalactites, stalagmites and natural caverns. The best month to visit is July, when concerts are held in the Waterfall Chamber because of the acoustic qualities it produces. There are show galleries inside these caves which go by many hall names.
A review of the Caves:
Breathtaking! Absolutely spectacular! Some little time spent queuing which might be a problem in the busier Summer months but it was well worth it. Excellent information displays throughout with information in various languages. Very safe walkways and rails and well enough lit to be safe but without taking anything away from the impressive sights of these caves.
Nerja Caves (Source: Dale Harvey)
Nerja Beaches: Well of course, the beaches are a big attraction here. nerja has 12 beaches in total, out of which the Burriana Beach is one of the cleanest. There are many other like El Playazo, Calahonda and the more secluded like Salon and Torrecilla. You'll find cruise shops, bars, cafes nearby as well.
A somewhat detailed review:
it's all on the doorstep!Â Burriana beach in particular has seen many changes and when we first went there were only a couple of restaurants (including the famous AYO's). Now the beach has been fully developed (in the best possible taste!) - there are many eating/drinking places from your basic 'English breakfasts' to the very stylish but not too pricey eateries. The beach itself is a safe sandy arc of bay with plenty of sunbeds if needed. Lots of loo's and showers. All in all a quiet beach for a quiet holiday - enjoy!
From the Balcon Europa, Nerja, Spain (Source: neiljohnford)
Balcon de Europa: It literally means Balcony of Europe because it looks out onto the Mediterranean Sea and the view is mindblowing! Situated in the heart of Nerja, it is a palm tree lined promenade with a semi circular strucuture that juts out to sea.
Balcon de Europa (Source: SteveR-)
More information on Nerja, click here.
Check here for Car Hires.
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