Europe is packed with amazing locations to visit, but here are a few of our favourites. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive guide to each city, but it should give you a quick idea of what’s available, and why each of these great cities is worth a visit if you get the chance (and if you don’t have the chance, you should make it!).
Overview: Berlin is vibrant and full of life, being one of the favourite cities for the younger generation to make their home in Europe. It’s in a wonderful stage of development right now, and should be on everyone’s shortlist for a eurotrip.
Culture: Oozing with history, Berlin has faced some incredible scenarios over the past century, and emerged with great identity intact. Awarded the title ‘City of Design’ by UNESCO, Berlin is home to over 700 art galleries. Berlin is home to the largest Turkish community outside Turkey, which gives a great boost to the already multicultural atmosphere of Berlin.
Cost: Medium (While accommodation is cheap in Berlin, it’s comparatively expensive to visit next to nearby European alternatives). You can find street food for €5-10, or find a great restaurant meal for €10-20.
Access: Like many cities in Europe, public transport is cheap and convenient. It’s worth being aware of the short distance travel tickets, which allow you to travel up to three stops on the S- and U-bahn, or up to six stops on buses/trams.
When: Berlin is beautiful in Summer, and is expansive enough that you can easily find something interesting without being stuck in a crowd. Don’t be afraid to visit any time of year though, especially during the Christmas season!
Overview: Recently famous due to it being the location for a number of movies and TV series (notably Game of Thrones, and Star Wars VIII). Dubrovnik is a beautiful coastal city, with a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of options whether you are on a budget, or are planning a five star holiday. Most people will focus on Grad (old town), but if you have the time, take a walk over to Lapad for some great beaches.
Culture: Dubrovnik has a history in trade, being located in an important position for ships to rest while traveling in the Adriatic. Of course now it’s dependent on tourism with the beautiful architecture taking priority over the location. While this region of Europe saw some strife in the past few decades, you wouldn’t easily imagine it, considering how calm and beautiful it is today.
Cost: Medium (Croatia is cheap, but prices in Dubrovnik are high compared to the rest of the country). While you might find some venues accepting Euros, Croatia has its own currency: Kuna. A good meal can be found for €8-15 (60-120 kuna).
Access: Buses and taxis both provide great transport, but you might not need them if you are staying close to old town, which is very small and easy to cover on foot.
When: Dubrovnik (and the rest of Croatia) make a great summer destination. There are plenty of beautiful beaches available, and while crowds might prove a challenge, the festivals are worth a look.
Overview: Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, a country which has been getting increasing international attention recently. While there are plenty of fascinating cities in the UK, Edinburgh is probably one of the grandest. Lacking the business of London, but with an equally rich history, it should be a city which everyone tries to visit at least once.
Culture: A significant amount of Edinburgh is considered a UNESCO world heritage site for good reason. There is a wealth of history in Edinburgh, from the well preserved castle, to the quaint old town. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an event which alone makes Edinburgh worth a visit.
Cost: Expensive (But with the pound down due to the commotion in the UK, now’s a great time to visit Edinburgh!). A good meal can set you back £10-20 (€12-24) with ease, but if you are travelling on a budget, UK supermarkets tend to have convenient and tasty options available – A good meal deal costing just a few pounds.
Access: Edinburgh has one of the few remaining tram systems in the UK, and it has a great bus system too. Much of Edinburgh is accessible on foot, but you might not feel like walking if you visit outside the warm season!
When: Now! (See cost.) Generally, August in one of the best months to visit Edinburgh, not only for the pleasant weather, but because it’s when the Military Tattoo is on. If you prefer to avoid the crowds though, there is still loads to do in Edinburgh throughout the year.
Overview: The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is run with cobbled streets and surrounded by pleasant hills. A liberal, modern atmosphere makes it a pleasant and enjoyable place to visit for absolutely anyone.
Culture: With great heritage and traditions, Lisbon, is of especial interest compared to much of Europe because it’s not so typically well known internationally. This can make the experience much more rewarding, as you may not know what to expect.
Cost: Medium. Despite being the capital, Lisbon has quite reasonable prices. You can find a good meal for under €10, and find a good beer for €1.50. For people travelling on a budget, there are plenty of alternatives to accommodate you in Lisbon.
Access: The number 28 tram is a good choice to see a lot of what Lisbon has to offer. The Lisboa card is a great option for visitors who want easy access to public transport in Lisbon (and of course it gives a lot of good options for other attractions too).
When: Autumn and Spring would probably be comfortable for most people to visit Lisbon, unless you are especially keen on the great beaches Portugal has to offer, which might be more suited to Summer.
Overview: Arguably the centre of Europe, Prague is becoming ever more famous as a fantastic destination to visit. There are plenty of things to do in this beautiful city, and it’s easy to cover it in a quick trip, or if you have the luxury of time, you can find activities to keep you occupied here indefinitely.
Culture: Bohemian! Prague is dripping with history and culture, with many famous people having dwelled there, including Einstein and Kafka. Prague is very open minded and generally considered a great place for foreigners to live. If you enjoy music, Prague has a great deal to offer, with ample venues hosting live music cheap or even free. Beer is a huge part of Czech culture, and if you enjoy beer, make sure you try visiting a traditional Czech tavern for a properly poured Pilzner.
Cost: Cheap! Unlike most of Europe, Prague uses their own currency: Czech koruna. However, many locations in the popular tourist areas will still accept euros, and there are a good number of exchange kiosks around the city. You can get a beer for €1-2 (30-60czk, but really local places shouldn’t charge above 40czk), and a decent meal for €4-8 (100-200czk).
Access: Getting around Prague is really easy. Most of old town can be accessed easily on foot, but if you want to go further, the public transport system is very thorough, and very cheap. Tickets cover the metro, trams, and buses, and apps like Google Maps are very effective with schedules. Alternatively, Uber is also quite active here.
When: Spring and Autumn are very pleasant in Prague, though the most notable events are during Winter and Summer. The christmas season in Prague is probably one of the best in the world, and even if you aren’t lucky enough to catch the city dusted with snow, the local markets and decorations make the city even more beautiful than normal for a stroll. Summer is packed with great festivals and street markets, not to mention the recent trend of trdelnik ice cream!