Europe
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Europe Tourism And Travel Guide

Planning A Trip To Europe? Here's a detailed Europe tourism and travel guide to help you plan a memorable holiday
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Current Temperature:
4.1° C / 39.4° F
Current Conditions:
Broken Clouds
Best Months To Visit:
April to September
Recommended Duration:
15 to 30 Days
Nearest Airport:
Heathrow Airport (London)
Nearest Railway Station:
King's Cross (London)

Charles de Gaulle once said, ‘Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.’

 

The continent is such a dominant figure in world history, not only in the last couple of centuries but since that time before the beginning of Common Era. With its varied natural landscapes, from the Balkan mountains to Mediterranean islands, flatlands of Belgium to moors of Scottish Highlands, the sunny Italian coasts to Finnish Laplands, Europe is home to loads of tourism delight. So if you are planning to take a trip to Europe soon, and are wondering where to go, or how to go or what to do once there; here is a travel guide to navigate your vacation.

Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland)

Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland):  Europe Tourism And Travel Guide
Photograph by http://www.europadtours.com

How to Reach:

The best way to reach the Nordic countries of Northern Europe like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland etc is to fly down there from anywhere in the world. From India, you have the option of taking a flight from either Mumbai or Delhi to Arlanda International (Stockholm Airport), Copenhagen Airport (Denmark) or Oslo International Airport (Norway). By road and rail there are very efficient systems and networks connecting all of Europe to this region, with Nettbus, Flixbus etc and the Eurail trains. 

 

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

Northern Europe sees an Arctic-influenced climate and freezes during winters, while summer and spring are mild, with an average of 16-25°C. The best time to visit Northern Europe however depends on what activities you wish to indulge in. If you are interested in hikes and treks, fishing and nature tourism then go during summer months from June to September, while if you want to see the coveted Northern Lights (highly recommended) and participate in winter sports then plan a trip between winter months of November to February (-22°C).

 

Things to Do:

The major activity that people believe Northern Europe is coveted for is the hauntingly beautiful Northern Lights. These are seen clearly in the dark months of winter, in places like Finland, Norway and Iceland. Aside from this, you can go cruising in fjords in Finland, enjoy the Viking historical museums in Denmark and listen to Norse God stories in Norway. Shop from H&M in Sweden and visit volcanoes, hot springs as well as glaciers in Iceland.

 

Also, don’t forget to visit Mr. Santa Claus in Finland, where he is supposed to live. 

 

What to Eat:

Nordic cuisine is mainly evolved from the Viking diets of eating fresh wild produce in their meals; like berries, mushrooms, rye to make breads, porridge, fish etc. You will find a high use of potatoes, pork, salmon and berries in the food here. Do try their meatballs, open sandwiches, pancakes, smoked salmon and berries (added to porridge, toast, cakes, meat sauces etc). Cloudberries and lingonberries are the most famous types here and you can take back jars of jam home.

Western Europe (Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Netherlands, Belgium)

Western Europe (Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Netherlands, Belgium):  Europe Tourism And Travel Guide
Photograph by https://www.fodors.com

How to Reach:

The best destination to fly to in Western Europe is London, the second best is Paris. You have regular direct and stopover flights from Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc flying to London’s Heathrow Airport, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle International Airport and even to Edinburgh, Brussels and Amsterdam. Most European roads do connect countries like Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Netherlands and Belgium very well. Eurostar and Eurail operate trains and high-speed bullets too. So you will find yourself in a breezy transport mix when it comes to commuting between countries.

 

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Western Europe is through spring, summer and early autumn. Most countries like England, Scotland, France, Netherlands etc see very cold winters and short days. But come summer and days are long, sun is bright, temperatures are in mid 20s to 30s and you have the freedom to indulge in all the sightseeing you want. Now, since these countries rely on major sightseeing, historical and cultural tourism, you ought to go during seasons that make quick travel possible. 

 

Things to Do:

If you wonder what to do in countries that are inclined more towards sightseeing than adventure, then here’s your answer. You can hike up the hills of Ireland and highlands of Scotland to see desolate old castles, go for boating in the canals of Amsterdam, visit English villages and drink till you are hammered in the pubs, go for long drives in the French Riviera and enjoy Paris in all its glory. 

 

What to Eat:

Well, since Western Europe has been a tourist hub for almost two centuries now, you will find almost all types of cuisines here, from Turkish to German to Italian to even Indian. The local delicacies however are the best - including the traditional English Breakfast and afternoon tea sandwiches and cakes in England, French crepes and the delicious onion soup in France, waffles and chocolate condiments in Belgium and chocolate sprinklers on bread in Netherlands.

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Central Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria)

Central Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria):  Europe Tourism And Travel Guide
Photograph by https://unsplash.com

How to Reach:

The busiest airports in Central Europe are Berlin-Tegel, Frankfurt and Munich Airports of Germany, Geneva of Switzerland and Vienna International Airport of Austria. Regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore ply towards these destinations every day. Eurail, Deutsche Bahn and OBB network operate trains in the area and connect it to all of Europe. There are also ships and ferries that dock on German shore from the English, Scottish, Danish and Swedish coasts. 

 

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

Summer is the best season to visit Central Europe, what with long sunny days that see warmth and loads of cheery festivals. Switzerland is best visited at this time to indulge in hiking, treks, mountain adventure and sightseeing. Winters are beautiful but very cold in all countries here, not a good time to visit. The only exception is Austria, as it boasts of the best Christmas night markets in Vienna.

 

Things to Do:

Central European countries make for an exciting mix of tourism - historical, cultural as well as nature. While in Germany, enjoy the Nazi camps, World War II museums and grave yards, trails, castles and the Black Forest; Switzerland is great for lakes, mountains and chocolates. In Austria, visit in December and indulge in night markets put up especially for Christmas, go on Bohemian trails and take cultural walks across the town to admire its baroque buildings. 

 

What to Eat:

In Germany, ditch the prejudiced sauerkraut or pickled cabbage for Currywurst or potato fries served with fried pork, ham sandwiches and the hotdog that is really a German invention. Switzerland is renowned for cheese, so go for fondues, raclettes and rosti, along with chocolates and freshly churned ice creams. While in Austria, don’t miss Wiener Schnitzel and a slice of their favourite multi layered chocolate cake.

Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Andorra)

Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Andorra):  Europe Tourism And Travel Guide
Photograph by https://www.aworldtotravel.com

How to Reach:

When travelling to South of Europe, make sure to take a flight to one of the following countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece or Croatia. Andorra also has an international airport but caters to less traffic. Spain’s Madrid or Barcelona and Italy’s Rome make for some of the biggest airports in the area. Buses also run between these countries, as do Eurail trains. However, since each shares a sea or an ocean, water transport is a much more beautiful way to travel. Mediterranean and Aegean cruises dock at cities like Sicily, Venice, Athens and Lisbon.

 

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Southern Europe starts in the spring month of March and stretches on until late autumn. Summer is the peak season with very warm weather and loads of European and International crowd, so we recommend you avoid this time. The shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October would be rather Nice to enjoy the warm beaches of Portugal, Spain and Italy and relax in the Greek islands. 

 

Autumn is a great time to visit Italian countryside like Naples and Sicily to revel in harvesting of grapes and wine-making, gorging on lovely pizzas and warming in the last of sun’s heat.

 

Things to Do:

The best things to do in this part of Europe include the seas and their beaches. From sunbathing to swimming, fishing to boating, you will find yourself becoming a complete water baby on the shores of Portugal or Spain. Participate in festivals like harvesting of grapes, La Tomatina etc, tour the ruins like Pompeii in Italy, Evora in Portugal and Alhambra in Spain, visit temples like Acropolis in Greece and go island-hopping off the coast of Greece and Italy. Game of Thrones fans, revel in the filming locales of this magnum opus in Croatia.

 

What to Eat:

Eat tapas like cheese omelettes and patata bravas, paella and chocolate churros in Spain. Don’t miss fresh seafood like codfish and sardines in Portugal. In Greece, go for fresh salads of cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and feta drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, moussaka, split pea soup and crusty breads, along with halva and baklava for desert. And saving the best for the last - eat pizza in Italy’s Naples, pasta in Bologna village, and enjoy other delights like steak, risotto, ravioli, antipasti, prosciutto and gnocchi. For desert here, indulge in tiramisu and gelato, each tasting like no other you’ve eaten before.

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Eastern Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Ukraine)

Eastern Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Ukraine):  Europe Tourism And Travel Guide
Photograph by https://www.worldwanderista.com

How to Reach:

You can fly down to Eastern Europe’s major destinations like Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia or Ukraine from Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Most flights are one-stop but direct flights can be availed too. Some of the busiest airports in Eastern Europe include Prague, Moscow, Budapest and Kyiv. Road travel is good in summer season but winters are harsh here and not recommended for road trips. High speed trains also ply to all the above countries from all over Europe. 

 

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

The best weather in Eastern Europe is unmistakably in summer. Winters are too harsh, autumns cold as well as rainy. Springs do see warm temperatures of around 20°C highs but it is still a little foggy to step out and enjoy. So our recommendation is to visit in summer if you are out for a nature-cultural vacation, while ski-resorts are the rage in winter.

 

Things to Do:

Hungary is mainly renowned for its breathtaking national parks, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. There are also many cultural delights like castles and cathedrals in its cities like Budapest. When in Czech Republic, visit Prague for its gothic architecture on streets and footbridges and benches, take a drive to Cesky Krumlov for its fairytale feeling and enjoy the nearby forests and hills by trekking. Russia is famous for Moscow’s Red Square, a drive through Bunker-42 and the Saint Basil's Cathedral, along with St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace.

 

What to Eat:

This part of Europe is renowned for its pastries and meats. Try the scrumptious Pala─Źinky or pancakes in Czech Republic, followed by Goulash stew and cabbage rolls. In Hungary, eat their favourite Lángos or fried bread with cheese, Dobos Torte and trifle. Chicken Kiev is famous in Ukraine and when in Russia, indulge in stuffed palmini, Blini, salad Olivier and Plov or local meat pulav.

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