Top 5 things to do on your first trip to Europe

Top 5 things to do on your first trip to Europe

So you’ve finally decided to take that big leap and go on your first trip to Europe. Now that you’ve made up your mind, it is time to start taking care of the little details. You’ll need a packing list, currency exchange, and most importantly, a things to do in Europe list. With our ready guide of top five things to do in Europe, you’ll have one less item to worry about while preparing for your unforgettable first trip to Europe. 

Visit a Castle

Castles are to Europe like flowers are to spring, you cannot fully experience one without the other. Having grown up on Brothers Grimm books and Disney movies, visiting an actual castle has been a dream for most of us, so here are some popular ones to put on your Europe things to do list. The beautiful 1,000 year old Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic is possibly the largest ancient castle in the world; the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland was formerly the official residence of the Polish monarchs for several centuries; the Heidelberg Castle in Germany is a beautiful Renaissance era castle surrounded by carefully curated gardens, peppered with serene water features; while the Dürnstein Castle in Austria looks like it has been taken right out of a famous fairy-tale, precariously perched atop a hill.
Explore Heidelberg Castle, Germany

Explore the Historic Architecture

The remarkable architecture of Europe’s historic buildings is the continent’s crowning glory. From the Romanesque architecture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the ancient Roman architecture of the Colosseum, the wonderfully varied styles are every tourist’s delight.

Take the time to admire the imposing Gothic architecture of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the French baroque style of the Palace of Versailles in France, and the quirky art nouveau style of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. 
Explore the Palace of Versailles, France

Try the Local Cuisine

Indulging in delicious exotic dining is half the fun of travel. In France, visit the many vineyards and wineries around the Burgundy region. Take a guided tour around the wine-producing commune of Tain l’Hermitage, and go on a tasting tour in the beautiful Beaujolais province, famous for producing the luscious and fruity Beaujolais wine. In Lyon, the “gastronomic capital of the world”, delight in authentic Lyonnaise cuisine at Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse, where more than sixty stalls will offer regional cheeses, cured meats, breads, gourmet chocolates and other local specialties. The local weekly food markets are usually the best place to try authentic cuisines from the local vendors. Don’t forget to try some goulash in Hungary, warm crepes and croissants in France, bratwurst in Germany, and freshly brewed beer in Belgium. 
Sample Europe's local cuisine

Shop at the Markets

While you’re busy sampling local cuisine at the local markets, allocate some time to explore the various wares on sale to find something to take back home. The weekly markets are the perfect spot to pick up souvenirs that are authentic and locally made. If you time your trip between the months of November and December, you will have the good fortune of visiting some of Europe’s glittering Christmas markets enveloped in soft white snow, for the most unforgettable first trip to Europe

During the Christmas period the entire city of Amsterdam sparkles with fairy lights and Christmas cheer, as the Dutch indulge on oliebollen and appelbeignets, while in Cologne, Germany, the wafting aroma of freshly roasted chestnuts and gluhwein will welcome you. Germany’s Rüdesheim hosts the “Christmas Market of Nations”, where more than a hundred stalls represent more than a dozen nations. With each market delightfully unique, you should definitely try to include a few in your things to do in Europe list. 
Cologne Christmas Markets, Germany

Soak in the Culture

The beating heart of a destination lies in its culture and traditions. You will discover Europe’s riches amongst its various cultural arts and practices.

Some of the cultural experiences to add to your things to do in Europe agenda include, a traditional Hungarian folklore show, and an exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss. You could even participate in a cooking class of the local delicacies, such as a gingerbread baking class in Germany or arrange to be part of a home-hosted meal in your destination to truly understand a local’s way of life.  
Watch a Hungarian Folk Dance Show in Budapest
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Top European Tours For First Time Travellers