European Travel Guide by Country

Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

If you want to travel, Europe offers an almost endless supply of destinations. A thorough European travel guide would include dozens of volumes of history and information, but there are some sights in each country that are perennial favorites. Whether you plan a sabbatical year traveling the continent or a whirlwind two-week tour, Europe will amaze you with its sights, culture, and cuisine.

Countries to See in Eurpoe

The following attractions for each country are just the tip of the iceberg. If you see countries here that appeal to you, visit their official website by clicking on the country name link to get more information.

Austria

Situated just to the northeast of Italy, Austria, features scenic landscapes and a robust musical history. Gorgeous Alpine views and a thriving winter tourism business are common attractions. In Vienna, visit:

  • Schönbrunn
  • Belvedere Palace
  • Museum of Art History
  • Imperial Palace
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral
  • Danube Park

Towns that also attract a lot of visitors are Saltzburg and Innsbruck.

Belgium

Nestled on the western coast between France and the Netherlands, Belgium has two distinct cultures and languages. Visit the capital city of Brussels, or the picturesque towns of Bruges, Liege, or Ghent. In Brussels must-visit sites include:

  • Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts
  • Grand Place
  • Royal Art and History Museum
  • Atomium

Britain

Britain is the most popular destination for tourists from the U.S. Not only is the language barrier erased, but this country has a rich history of style and culture many people love to experience. Take in the following in London:

  • British Museum
  • Tate Gallery
  • Westminster Abbey
  • The Tower
  • London Eye
  • Madame Tussaud's

Denmark

Denmark is a small peninsular country near Norway and Sweden. The main draw is one of the world's greatest walking cities, Copenhagen, which features the following must-visit attractions:

  • Tivoli Gardens
  • Christiania
  • Kronborg Castle
  • Amalienborg Palace
  • The Round Tower
  • Canal tours
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Finland, Norway, Sweden

The three sister Scandinavian countries to the north are a nature lover's delight. Miles of pristine lakes, forests and mountains paint the landscape between booming cities. Each country is a unique destination in itself, but all three sport lavish natural beauty. The following are the main attractions of each country:

In Finland visit:

  • Finnish National Museum
  • Finlandia Hall
  • Rock Church

Norway:

  • Viking Ships Museum
  • Munch Museum
  • Akershus Castle

Sweden:

  • Riddarholm Church
  • Wasa Museum
  • Nordic Museum
  • Gripsholm Castle

France

France has a strong cultural heritage and breathtaking historic landmarks. Paris is one of the best-known cities in the world. France is also filled with Celtic and Roman ruins and castles that are hundreds of years old.

While in Paris, visit:

  • Notre Dame
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Louvre
  • Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Versailles
  • Champs-Élysées

If you have time to venture outside of Paris, consider visiting these sites:

  • Mont St-Michel
  • Normandy Beaches
  • Châteaux of the Loire Valley
  • Provence
  • Pont du Gard

Germany

Thousands of medieval castles dot Germany's varied landscape along with massive museums, famous festivals, and more kinds of beer than you knew existed. Visit some of the following attractions:

Berlin

  • Zoological Garden
  • Charlottenburg Palace
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Pergamom Museum

Munich

  • German Museum
  • Marien Square
  • Schleissheim Palace
  • Amalienburg
  • Cathedral Church of Our Lady

Hamburg

  • St. Michael's Church
  • Museum of Art and Industry
  • Ahrensburg Castle

Greece

Greek architecture inspired the western world to build strong, sturdy buildings with long pillars and marble floors. Greece is seen by many as the origin of western civilization, and they have the landmarks to prove it. While in this amazing country consider visiting the following:

Athens

  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Acropolis
  • Parthenon
  • Lycabettus Hill

Greek Islands

  • Mykonos
  • Santorini
  • Crete

Italy

The heart of Europe was once the heart of the world. Italy now offers rolling hills, an enormous coastline, and an almost infinite supply of ancient ruins. Italy will also charm you with its amazing cuisine and art.

While in Rome don't miss:

  • Colosseum
  • Pantheon
  • Fontana di Trevi
  • Vatican City
  • Catacombs of St. Callixtus

Italian Cities to Visit:

  • Naples
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Pisa

The Netherlands

The Dutch are known for several things, namely their uncanny ability to keep the Netherlands, most of which is below sea level, dry, and the fact that everyone there speaks English. Outside of the cities, Holland offers idyllic tulip fields and windmills.

While in Amsterdam be sure to visit:

  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Anne Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Canal tours
  • Red Light District
  • Marken
  • Broek-in-Waterland
  • Ouderkerk
  • Volendam

Portugal

A small country, which borders Spain and features water on all other sides, Portugal is a relatively quiet country in terms of tourism, making it a hidden gem. Full of breathtaking sights and cultural richness, this country is an affordable destination full of beauty.

While in Lisbon consider visiting:

  • Museum of Ancient Art
  • Gulbenkian Museum
  • Hieronymite Convent
  • Belem Tower

Spain

Arabic, Roman, Jewish and Gothic art and architecture can be found in this diverse country. Spain offers gorgeous weather and limitless culture.

While in Madrid make time to visit:

  • Retiro
  • Palacio de Cristal
  • Barcelona
  • Museo del Prado
  • Cibeles
  • Botanical Garden

Practicalities of European Travel

Traveling in Europe can be quite different than vacationing within the States. Cramped inner cities make traveling by train and bus advisable instead of renting a car.

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European Travel Guide by Country