We all know the deal with bucket lists. Whether you love the cliché term or think it’s too mainstream for you, the wish list lifestyle made popular by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the must-see movie “The Bucket List” immortalised the mentality for all future generations. Amongst all the things we wish to do, travel tops it all.
As home to iconic attractions, some of the world’s greatest civilisations and Old World charm, Europe is bursting at the seams with historical and cultural highlights that have to be experienced.
With so much on offer to explore in these 50 countries, it can be confusing knowing where to start. So, if you’re looking to build your travel checklist, here are 7 bucket list destinations in Europe you need to capture on your Instagram:
As the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is the hottest, yet coolest up and coming destination sprawled all over your newsfeed.
With its spectacular glaciers, lava caves and thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, it’s not hard to see why the destination is highly regarded as one of the best places to visit on the continent.
And once you’ve had enough of those majestic nights of watching the Northern Lights dance about the sky, head to Reykjavik to hit one of its many bustling bars or understated music joints.
Audrey Hepburn immortalised the words: “Paris is always a good idea”, and who are we to question her wisdom?
If you live in Europe and haven’t posed in front of the Eiffel Tower, your whole time on the continent becomes questionable. Of all the delights (and there are too many!) the French capital has to offer, a visit to the landmark is a quintessential Parisian experience you cannot miss.
Once you’ve crossed that off, visit the Arc de Triomphe and stroll down the Champs-Élysées to savour the flavours of Paris’ intimate cafés, before appreciating the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
If you find yourself looking for that extra something-something to truly cement your time in the City of Love, spend one night at the Moulin Rouge to enjoy the oldest cabaret in Europe!
Roma, the Eternal City, is the capital of Italy and encapsulates la dolce vita in tutti. Having been the cradle of one of the world’s greatest civilisations for over a millennium, it’s no wonder the historical city is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in celebration of its cultural heritage.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do and channel your inner Gladiator at the Colosseum; visit the head of the Roman Headquarters in the smallest country of Europe, The Vatican, and admire the most famous works of Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel; toss a coin over your shoulder at the Trevi Fountain; climb the Spanish Steps; and try not to lose your hand by telling lies at the Bocca della Verità.
When all that is done and dusted, stroll down the Centro Storico at sundown and enjoy the finest gelato at every small ice cream stand. If you’re more of a night owl, make sure to spend your evenings at Trastevere’s bustling bars.
If you’re really looking for a way to remember your trip, hunt for the door to the Priory of the Knights of Malta up on the Aventine Hill, peek through the secret keyhole just past the orange grove, and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Saint Peter’s Basilica. We promise, it’s impossible to be disappointed.
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is full of great joints… literally. Home to fantastic festivals, a raucous nightlife, incredible art galleries featuring the works of the greats such as Van Gogh, and 250 curious cannabis-selling coffeeshops, the beautiful Dutch city will have you snapping everything.
Colloquially known as Venice of the North because of its connecting canals that criss-cross the city, take a cruise to Vondelpark and join the locals with a summer afternoon spritz of beer and bitterballen.
After that, take a break from the city and escape to the Dutch countryside to stroll through the Keukenhof Gardens and witness the famous tulips of Holland. Capture the kaleidoscopic colours of all the flowers in bloom and on your return to the city, stop off at the Heineken brewery for a tour and free tasting session.
The culture capital of southern Spain, Sevilla, located on the smooth banks of the slow drifting Guadalquivir River.
With its seductive sunsets, dusky pink plains with wild horses, Moorish monuments, unkempt orange groves, and plethora of quaint eateries, Sevilla is the perfect place to discover the art of “slow travel”. That is, taking the time to savour every sight, sound, and scent the city has to offer. Given that it’s the city where tapas were first invented, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice.
Having cast a spell of enchantment over visitors from the moment they step onto her colourful cobblestone lanes, there’s nothing more magical than watching a mesmerising flamenco dance in its home of Andalucía.
Situated on the River Thames in South East England, Greater London is the largest city in both England and the UK.
Renowned for its sights including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Royal Opera House, British Museum, Harrods, and Hyde Park (and the list goes on and on), London is a multicultural metropolis that has a treasure trove of riches to uncover.
As home to a cool 8 million citizens, the cosmopolitan city is celebrated the world over as an epicentre of global politics, fashion, music, tourism, and culture, and by being a global city, it’s no surprise that London’s markets, pop-up restaurants, and downtown diners offer the widest choice of cuisines on the planet. Among all the best experiences to be had, one cannot visit the home of the Queen without enjoying Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s is a must, but if your budget just won’t stretch, you’ll find it on offer in most restaurants. The art of tea, after all, is an institution in itself. There’s nothing more classically British than sitting down to scones, clotted cream, homemade jam, finger sandwiches, and artfully prepared pastries with an unlimited slurping of a cuppa.
The largest country in Central Europe bordered by eight countries, Germany is home to soul-stirring scenery, colourful copious cultures all nestled in its big cities, hundreds of years of history that has impacted the world, and an abundance of gastro delights to be devoured. Amongst its world-class offering to tourists, however, the one not to be missed is the classic German beer.
Whether you choose to opt for its home in Munich, at one of Berlin’s abundance of Biergarten or in cultural Cologne, you will not be disappointed. According to legend, monks started to brew beer in Munich as far back as 800 b.C., and by the 15th century there were 600+ breweries throughout the country exporting throughout the continent, so how can any list of bucket list adventures in Europe be complete without this gem?
Remember, if you choose Munich, pair it was a day trip to the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle because your social media followers will not forgive you if they miss out of vicariously visiting the magical establishment too.
If you pick Berlin, take a day trip to Kromlauer Park to get a shot of the incredible Rakotzbrücke Devil’s Bridge, which according to popular myth was constructed by the devil in exchange for the first living soul to cross it once completed. Kinda creepy, but that sums up the quirks of this incredible country.
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What other countries in Europe do you think should be a part of the ultimate bucket list? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.