The wonderful things about Europe is what bring millions of tourists from America and all corners of the world to travel to this continent every year. With a deep history from the French revolution, Italian Renaissance to the Spanish Conquest, you can expect a lot from your trip to Europe.
The good news is that the most popular European cities are close to each other so even if the recommended list below doesn’t excite you, it’s very easy to change to another major city.
We’ve got 4 top European cities that you will give a real taste of the wonderful contrasts that Europe has to offer:each of these cities have a rich history and make a perfect blend of ancient and modern culture. They are just around 2 hours away from each other by plane, making them perfect for a two-week toursince 3 days in each city is normally enough time.
By the time you complete this circuit of 4 cities, in just those two weeksyou will have really gained a very good ‘feel’ of what Europe is really like.
Note that if you’re an American citizen travelling to Europe for less than 90 days, you don’t need a visa, but from 1st January 2021, you’ll need an ETIAS visa exemption to travel to EU countries (see the ETIAS guide here).
1. London, United Kingdom
There are reasons why people call London the New York City of Europe. The vibrancy of this city is almost second to none in Europe. In fact, it’s usually the first destination for most Americans touring Europe. Unlike some cities in the UK, London offers a perfect blend of a modern and ancient culture and renowned for being Europe’s most cosmopolitan city. The city is home to some of the gothic buildings such as Strawberry Hill and the Palace of Westminster.
Other attractions in London include the British Museum, which has been around since 1753. The museum boasts more than eight million objects and a rich human history from many different cultures around the world. The Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s residence – is another must-visit in London. The Tower of London and oddities like Platform 9 ¾ are two other places are definitely worth a visit. And although the English are not renowned for their fine cuisine, London offers some surprises with many restaurants with exotic dishes. And of course, don’t forget to visit any of dozens of traditional English pubs.
2. Paris, France
After London, make Paris – the city of love – your next destination. The city is about an hour’s flight from London. But you can take the magnificent Eurostar train from London to Paris in just 2 hours and six minutes: this high-speed train is amazingly comfortable and travels right under the English Channel (the sea which separates the UK from France). For American citizens, you don’t need a visa to crossover to Paris.
Paris is definitely a paradise in Europe. From the picturesque cityscape to the spectacular ancient architecture, the city offers the experience of both the modern and ancient Europe. In your Paris bucket list, you need to include the following: The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, The Versailles Palaceand the romantic strolls along the famous River Seine.
Other spots in Paris you need to visitinclude the district of Montmatre which is Paris’ most Bohemian area and famous for being the location where famous painters like Van Gogh and Picasso used to live.
3. Rome, Italy
From Paris, take a 2 hour flight to Rome. Rome is an iconic city as it the center of European civilization. The city is believed to be about 3,000 years old. Most tourists come to Rome for the ancient ruins and other historical wonders, and it never disappoints as most of the classical architectural work still stands.
Vatican City (where the Pope lives) is one of the top destinations in Rome. The city also hosts the famous Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Add to your bucket list the Roman Forum and Colosseum, one of the largest and oldest amphitheaters in the world.
Don’t leave Rome without sampling its art and the food. Rome is the land of prosciutto, pizza and pasta amongst other delicacies. There are also many wine spots where you can a taste of some of the best local wines.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The last city in your two week Europe trip is the Amsterdam city, Netherlands, a city known for its ecstatic heritage. The city is a 2½ hour flight away from Rome. It’s a vibrant city, and you will love its bicycle culture. However, Amsterdam is famous for its canals, Red Light District, beautiful houses and coffee shops.
Apart from the modern world, ancient Amsterdam is a gem in Europe. Some of the famous historical sites to visit include Dam Square, which as a dam constructed on the mouth of the River Amstel. That is where the name Amsterdam was coined from. Around the same place is the 17th century Royal Palace and the 15th Century NieuweKerk church and its gothic features is also in this place.
Other popular attractions you can’t afford to miss during your stay in Amsterdam include Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s House and the Vondelpark.