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15 incredible experiences to do in Europe at least once in your life

by The Storytellers MTL

Traveling is one of our greatest passions, and with more than 17 countries visited in Europe, we can say without doubt that we have a soft spot for the “Old Continent”. Over the years, there have been exceptional visits that have marked us, so we wanted to share them with you to help you plan your next trips! Discover some of our favorite iconic destinations through 15 incredible experiences you must try in Europe at least once in your life!

 

1. Dive into history – Athens, Greece

If you’re passionate about history, Greece must definitely be on your bucket list, as is visiting the Acropolis! Perched majestically on a rocky plateau in the heart of Athens, this architectural treasure will offer you a gripping immersion into the tumultuous past of ancient civilization. By visiting this emblematic place, you’ll be able, among other things, to admire the Parthenon and the temple of Athena, while enjoying a sublime panoramic view of the city. To avoid Greece’s scorching heat waves, we recommend a visit in low season, in spring or autumn.

 

Athènes_Grèce

Crédit photo: Constantinos Kollias/Unsplash

 

2. Explore the Greek Islands – Greece

While you’re in Greece, you can’t miss a getaway through the heavenly landscapes of the Greek islands. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or partying, there’s something for everyone. Santorini will charm you with its whitewashed houses and spectacular sunsets over the caldera, while Zakynthos and Milos will seduce travelers looking for idyllic and mythical beaches.

 

mykonos-grece-voyager

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

Cyclades islands are ideal for a first visit, but don’t miss Dodecanese islands like Rhodes either if you’re a culture and history buff. You’ll be transported to another era while enjoying a breathtaking setting on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Among the other gems to add to your itinerary, Crete as well as the Ionian islands like Corfu, Kefalonia and Lefkáda are also quite spectacular.

 

3. Visit the Alhambra – Granada, Spain

Among the most famous monuments in Spain and Europe, the Alhambra is often considered the 8th wonder of the world! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, this sublime palace was built by the Moors in the 13th century and has fascinated travelers from around the world ever since. Home to treasures such as the Nasrid palaces, the sumptuous Generalife gardens and the Alcazaba’s fortifications, its impressive setting is complemented by the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. It couldn’t be more grandiose!

 

Alhambra de Grenade, Andalousie

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

4. Explore Croatia’s spectacular national parks – Croatia

Croatia’s national parks are among the most lush and magnificent natural spaces we’ve visited in Europe, particularly Plitvice Lakes and Krka. Whichever one you choose, you’ll have an unforgettable experience in the heart of a preserved nature, that’s for sure!

 

parc-national-plitvice-chutes

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

Plitvice Lakes National Park will amaze you with its turquoise waterfalls flowing through 16 interconnected lakes, while Krka National Park will dazzle you with its 17 majestic waterfalls and natural pools of rare splendor. Both offer trails for all levels of hikers as well as breathtaking views of local flora and fauna.

 

Chutes du parc national de Krka

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

5. Explore Copenhagen by boat through its beautiful canals – Denmark

The best way to explore the capital of Denmark is definitely by taking a boat trip through its canals. As well as giving you a unique perspective on Copenhagen, you’ll be able to admire the stunning colorful facades of Nyhavn harbour, the enigmatic Christiania district as well as iconic monuments like Amalienborg and Christianborg palaces. This picturesque experience will also allow you to learn more about the country’s maritime history, witnessing a past marked by Vikings and close links with the Baltic Sea.

 

Copenhague_ Europe

Crédit photo: Nick Karvounis/Unsplash

 

6. Venture into the Highlands – Scotland

Scotland is one of our favorite countries and our getaway through the Highlands clearly contributed to one of our most memorable trips to Europe. It’s the kind of place you could return dozens of times without having seen everything, there’s so much to explore! Ideal destination if you like mountain hikes, mysterious castles and majestic wild landscapes, you’ll also cross green valleys and mythical lakes like Loch Ness.

 

loch-shiel-highlands

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

Among the incredible places you must add to your itinerary, don’t miss Glencoe, Cairngorms National Park, Eilean Donan Castle, as well as Dunrobin and Dunvegan where you can delve into Scottish clans legendary  history. If you venture to the Isle of Skye, know that Kilt Rock, Old Man of Storr, Cuillin Hills, Sligachan, Fairy Pools and Portree are just some of the fascinating stops you’ll find on your way.

 

Eilean-donan-castle-highlands-ecosse

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

7. Relax in Budapest’s best thermal baths – Hungary

For a relaxing trip, a visit to Budapest’s best thermal baths will offer you a revitalizing escape in mineral-rich waters. An integral part of the traditions of the city known as “the pearl of Eastern Europe”, there are more than a hundred thermal baths in Budapest.

Among the most famous, the Széchenyi baths, located in a magnificent yellow neo-baroque building in the Pest part, offer an authentic thermal experience with their spacious indoor and outdoor pools. The Gellért Baths, on their side, impress with their Art Nouveau architecture, in the Buda part of the city.

 

Széchenyi_Baths

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

8. Visit Europe’s most beautiful library – Dublin, Ireland

If reading is one of your favorite pastimes and you’re always looking for magical destinations that transport you to your favorite novels universes, you absolutely must visit The Long Room at Trinity College at least once in your life!

An essential stop during your stay in Dublin, this incredible library will take your breath away with its majestic vaults, its shelves counting more than 200,000 old books and its impressive collection of manuscripts by great writers, including Oscar Wilde, Bram Stocker, Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett. Also home to the famous Book of Kells, as well as Ireland’s oldest harp, a sense of wonder will surely wash over you as you walk through The Long Room.

 

long-room-trinity-college-dublin

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

9. Admire geysers in the Golden Circle – Iceland

For an extraordinary experience in the heart of Icelandic nature, you can’t go wrong with an excursion to see the geysers in the Golden Circle. Among the must-sees, the Strokkur geyser, in the Geysir region, fascinates visitors by regularly projecting columns of boiling water into the air, creating an impressive spectacle.

Often associated with lunar landscapes, these natural hot springs are striking evidence of Iceland’s intense geothermal activity. The best time to admire them is in summer, when natural light persists and travel conditions are optimal.

 

Geyser_Islande

Crédit photo: John Thomas/Unsplash

 

10. Visit Pena Palace – Portugal

Perched on a steep hill, Pena Palace promises an escape in a setting worthy of a fairy tale. Beyond its vibrant colors giving it an air of a Portuguese Hogwarts, you can explore its lush gardens and its imposing ramparts offering a breathtaking view of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean. Also nearby is Quinta da Regaleira, an enchanting and intriguing estate dotted with caves, lakes and a staircase that might make you dizzy.

 

Sintra_Château de Pena

Crédit photo: Unsplash/Julia Solonina

 

11. Explore the Louvre Museum – Paris, France

For art lovers, it’s difficult to find better than the Louvre Museum in Paris. Located in the 1st arrondissement, not far from the banks of the Seine, you can admire masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo as well as famous paintings like The Wedding at Cana and Liberty Leading the People. You’ll also find numerous other treasures there, including an impressive collection of Egyptian artifacts. After your visit, enjoy a sunset picnic by the Eiffel Tower to end this day in style!

 

Musee-Louvres-fontaines

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

12. Wander through Harry Potter’s universe in Edinburgh – Scotland

If you rewatch the Harry Potter films every year, Edinburgh is definitely a destination that you must visit at least once in your life. Having served as inspiration for J.K. Rowling, a magical atmosphere emanates from every street corner, more charming than the next.

 

glenfinnan-viaduct-harry-potter

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

Among the essential places to visit to transport you into the wizarding world, don’t miss a visit to Edinburgh Castle, a stroll on Victoria Street and in the Greyfriars cemetery where several names will be familiar to you such as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” . The captivating atmosphere of the old town, with its cobbled and winding streets as well as its historic buildings, will certainly remind you of Hogwarts. If you want to treat yourself, you can even book yourself a stay at the famous Balmoral Hotel where the author supposedly finished the last pages of the last volume of the series.

 

victoria-street-edimbourg

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

13. Venture into the Julian Alps – Slovenia

Versatile destination that can appeal to both outdoor and history enthusiasts, the Julian Alps are a dazzling region located in the north of Slovenia. That’s where you’ll find the magnificent Lake Bled, with its island topped by a medieval castle perched on a cliff. Established on thermal springs, the water temperature is ideal for a refreshing swim after a ride on a pletna, a traditional Slovenian boat.

 

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Crédit photo: Neven Krcmarek/Unsplash

 

Nature lovers can also explore the spectacular Soča Valley, renowned for its crystal clear waters and sporting activities like rafting and hiking. Finally, Triglav National Park will offer you breathtaking alpine landscapes, with majestic peaks and incredible glacial lakes.

 

14. Delve into the past at Westminster Abbey – London, England

You can’t travel to London without stopping at Westminster Abbey, this grandiose place where all England’s kings and queens have been crowned since 1090. Betrayal, revenge and great romances fill the memories of the abbey and its permanent residents, including Elizabeth I, Mary Stuart and Henry VII. It’s also at Westminster Abbey that Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Lewis Caroll and Charles Dickens rest.

With almost 1000 years of existence, this Gothic architecture gem has also hosted several royal weddings, make sure to take an audio guide to find out more about the rich history of this British monument.

 

Westminster Abbey_Londres

Crédit photo: Zaymuel/Unsplash

 

15. Walking on the walls of Dubrovnik’s fortress – Croatia

To enjoy a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea, you cannot miss a walk on Dubrovnik’s medieval walls during your trip to Croatia. Built in the 13th century and stretching over almost two kilometers, the fortress route will allow you to stop at the bastions and watchtowers to admire phenomenal panoramas. Game of Thrones fans will be able to easily imagine themselves in the world of their favorite series since Dubrovnik has often been used as a filming location to represent King’s Landing.

 

dubrovnik-croatie-drone

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

We hope that these 15 incredible experiences to try in Europe at least once in your life have inspire you to explore the treasures of this fascinating continent. Whether it’s to marvel at breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in history or lose yourself in the wild nature, traveling to Europe will offer you the most precious memories, that’s for sure!

Have a good trip!

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