1) Dresden, Germany
Dresden is a beautiful city in East Germany situated along the river Elbe. The city offers a great stop especially if you are on your way from Germany to Eastern Europe.
From the Zwinger Palace, built-in 1964, to the Opera House, there is enough in this city to keep various traveler types entertained. If you are a nature lover, you can also head to the Saxon Switzerland National Park. The area is a beautiful place to visit, relax and hike. Especially in the autumn season. While there, you can also add the Koenigstein Fortress to your list to see one of the largest mountain fortresses in all of Europe. In addition to its incredible sights, Dresden has developed a great nightlife scene, making it one of the best cities in Germany to visit. For hotels in Dresden CLICK HERE
Royal Palace Madrid
2) Madrid, Spain
Madrid’s Broadway”, its a mixture of new and old, with Art Nouveau facades and big screens somehow blending together. The most famous buildings to keep an eye out for are, the Edificio Carrión the Telefónica building, and the Schweppes Building.
Just down the road, you’ll see Plaza Oriente. It’s a beautiful square with a semi-circular layout lined with plants and statues of Spanish Kings. There are actually 44 statues of Spanish monarchs that date all the way back to the Gothic 15th Century.
The largest royal palace in western Europe El Palacio Reale, or simply The Royal Palace is the largest building in all of Madrid. Its almost made completely of stone and sits looking west over the hills of Madrid. In addition to being the official seat of Spanish Royalty, it’s one of Madrid’s most important museums.
Puerta del Sol is the most famous central square in Madrid and is often called the nerve center of the city. It is pedestrian-friendly and is definitely worth checking out before heading to different monuments. All the nearby parks, shops, bars, restaurants, and museums are easy to get to. If you don’t want to go any further the square comes alive at night, as a destination instead of somewhere people pass through, so is a good spot to spend the evening!
Plaza Mayor Madrid Spain
Plaza mayor has over four centuries of history and has been developed on multiple occasions as can be seen with the different architectural styles of the buildings surrounding it. With 9 entrances it’s the gathering place for most Spaniards in central Madrid. A lot of people stop here for a coffee and a rest, we opted for the traditional hot chocolate with dipping churros.
Retiro Park is a 320-acre park with 15,000 trees, abundant greenery, exhibition halls and palaces all around the central lake. It sounds like a brilliant place to spend the rest of the afternoon! People from all over Madrid gather here to take escape the city into nature, read, meet their friends or even work-out (more often enjoy a Sangria in one of the open-air cafes). Originally build for Philip IV and other royalty, it’s now open to everyone and has free entry year-round.
In the center of Retiro park is the Crystal Palace. Originally built as a greenhouse for exotic flora and fauna it now holds contemporary art exhibitions. Really, its an empty greenhouse in a really pretty place. The light streaming through the glass and the pond full of ducks and turtles still makes it worth a stop on your walk around Retiro Park! For hotels in Madrid CLICK HERE.
Prague, Czech Republic
3) Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is probably one of Europe’s most beautiful and enchanting cities. The capital city of the Czech Republic is full of medieval buildings, remarkable churches and almost countless bridges crossing the Vltava river. With its cobbled streets and historic facades.
Charles Bridge is an architectural masterpiece, created in the 15th century and is more than 600 meters long. Connecting Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town area, it’s the main tourist route and always packed with people. Therefore it’s strongly recommended to go there early in the morning to avoid all the crowds.
Old Town Square, is the most central place in the city and located between Wenceslas square (a great shopping area) and Charles Bridge. Besides two of the most beautiful and well-known churches, you can also find the Old Town Hall with the astronomical clock in this area.
The Prague Astronomical Clock, or Prague Orloj, is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. Every full hour when the skeleton on the right side of the clock rings the bell, there’s a small presentation of statues above the clock, all accompanied by a lovely sound.
Built on a hill overlooking the Czech capital, Prague Castle offers the most spectacular panoramic view of the entire city. With an area of more than 45 hectares, it’s one of the largest castle complexes in the world and therefore a paradise for every photography lover as it’s an endless labyrinth of historical palaces, churches, gardens, and other hidden gems. For hotels in Prague, CLICK HERE.
Bruges, Large Market, Belgium
4) Bruges, Belgium
Located just a short train ride away from London or Amsterdam, Bruges is the perfect destination for a weekend escape. The historic city is built atop a series of canals, earning the nickname “the Venice of the North” You can stroll along the city’s numerous canals and winding streets, visit the famous 13th Century belfry located in the town square, view centuries of Flemish art and the only Michelangelo sculpture believed to have left Italy, or hire a bicycle for the day and ride out to the sea. While you’re there, be sure to sample some delicious Belgian beers, chow down on waffles and frites, and take in all this small town has to offer. For hotels in Bruges, CLICK HERE.
Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary
5) Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is by far one of Europe’s most beautiful (and affordable) cities. The Hungarian Parliament building is one of the city’s most easily recognizable landmarks, and the city’s vibrant culture makes for an unforgettable experience. Be sure to grab a delicious plate of goulash (traditional Hungarian beef stew), visit one of Budapest’s famous ruin pubs, and stop by the Szecenyi spa baths for the full experience!
Budapest is also known as the Capital of Festivals, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly so that you can participate in one of the city’s many cultural offerings. The city hosts Sziget Festival each August. The island festival has grown to be one of Europe’s largest summer music events, drawing in artists from around the world. For hotels in Budapest, CLICK HERE.
6) Dublin, Ireland
Dublin has quite a reputation for being an expensive city to visit. In 2018, it ranked at number 72 on the ECA internationalist of the world’s most expensive cities, overtaking Silicon Valley and Abu Dhabi. Yikes! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit this vibrant, charming and welcoming city though. There are plenty of really cool things to do in Dublin that are completely free.
In recent years, Dublin city center has been transformed by a captivating street art scene. Long gone are the blank concrete side streets and alleys with old, wilting promotional posters. Instead, street art has taken its place and it has become a way of expressing political messages and highlighting peoples’ struggles through street portraits.
Many people come to Dublin and head to Temple Bar to seek out Irish music. However, Temple Bar is mostly a tourist trap and more expensive than other parts of the city. It’s nice to walk around the cobbled streets and check out some of the art.
There are lots of museums and gallery’s in Dublin, but the coolest, quirkiest and most interesting of them all is The Science Gallery. What was once an unknown part of Trinity College, soon became a thriving place where both science and art collided. There is always something going on here and the students who help keep it going are a wealth of information and knowledge. Dublin is a great city to visit so make sure you check it out soon. For hotels in Dublin, CLICK HERE.
Hamburg Town Hall, Germany
7) Hamburg Germany
If we ask which city has the most bridges in the world, many people would say either Amsterdam or Venice. But it is Hamburg that has the most (with almost 2500) – more than Amsterdam and Venice combined! This has to do with Hamburg’s location. If you take a look at the map, you will see that Hamburg is surrounded on all sides with water. There is River Alster feeding into the two lakes in the middle of the city, the Inner and Outer Alster (Binnenalster and Außenalster), and the River Elbe flowing into the North Sea.
When exactly is the best time to travel to Germany?
If you want to enjoy nice weather and avoid the crowds, the best time to explore Germany, or Hamburg specifically, is around April and May. Temperatures are comfortable during this time. It is also when the flowers start to bloom!
You don’t need to drive to get around Hamburg city – thanks to its extensive public transport system. Subways, buses, rapid rails, and ferries make up the Hamburg public transport (HVV) and will get you to all corners of the city!
Hamburg is a creative hub for young designers and art lovers. With its vibrant art scene, you can find inspirations to fuel your creativity. Hamburg’s HafenCity, for example, is a hybrid area of old and new structures seamlessly fused together. The contrast of modern buildings like Elbphilharmonie and historical UNESCO site, Speicherstadt, makes the area particularly charming and interesting. You can probably understand why this is our favorite place for photographers. For hotels in Hamburg, CLICK HERE.
8) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is the most well-known city in the Netherlands and is a popular tourist destination. But before their arrival, many visitors don’t know much about the city other than the famous red-light district and liberal policies on marijuana and prostitution. Those are interesting of course, but there is so much more to the city including Amsterdam Old Town.
The Oude Kerk is Amsterdam Old Town’s oldest building. Founded in 1213, it now stands in the middle of Amsterdam’s famous red-light district. You can take a tour of the building or step inside to see the latest art installation.
A visit to Amsterdam Old Town is not complete without a canal cruise. The city looks so different from the water. Hop on a boat and watch the beautiful 17th-century grachtenhuizen pass by as you float along the canals and under arched bridges. You can book a normal canal cruise or even enjoy special ones with candlelight dinners or all-you-can-drink beer.
If you happen to be in Amsterdam Old Town on a sunny day, be sure to take a break at one of the city’s wonderful canalside terraces for a drink and a snack. You’ll find one on almost any corner of Amsterdam Old Town but a few favorites include Cafe ‘t Smalle, Van Zuylen and Spanjer en van Twist. If you haven’t tried them yet you should order some bitterballen, they are a very popular Dutch snack that goes well with a cold beer. For hotels in Amsterdam, CLICK HERE.
9) Venice, Italy
Venice is located in northern Italy. Every year more than 12 million people from all around the world travel there which makes Venice one of the most visited places in Italy. In today’s Venice the town is filled with small cafes, restaurants, students and of course way too many tourists. There is a rich cultural life with an international film festival founded in 1932 as its highlight. Approximately 100 canals with over 400 bridges are the pride of Venice so it’s no surprise that the transport around the city is mainly by boats.
If you want to be transported back in time to when the city was at its full glory, to Renaissance Venice, when the town was one of the most fashionable cities in Europe filled with high power, full of cultural significance and the sharp contrast between the wealthy and the poor. To see the differences up close you should head to the Academia and have a look at the paintings of Veronese. Making sure you see the Accademia should be one of your priorities, especially if you are an art lover. Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace are definitely worth the visit as well as San Marco Campanile or Rialto Bridge. For hotels in Venice, CLICK HERE.
Valencia Town Hall, Spain
This beautiful Spanish city offers just as much as the more popular ones at a quarter of the price. Valencia has an iconic food market, known as the Central Market of Valencia. Walking through this large market will give you an authentic feel of how the Valencies live. Or head to the beach to sit and relax. Valencia has many beaches that are unspoiled and uncrowded with tourists.
Valencia also has a lot of options for some retail therapy. A lot of the barrios, or neighbourhoods, have their own street market once a week. You can find many special pieces in these markets for the most unique look. For hotels in Valencia, CLICK HERE.