Stand in awe before the works of Michelangelo in Italy or Gaudi's distinctive architecture in Spain. Wonder at delicate masterpieces in Oslo's Hadeland Glassworks. Witness the remains of ancient civilizations in Greece and Turkey. Tour Palace Square in St. Petersburg, Russia. From the fjords of Norway to the waterways of Venice to the ruins of the Mediterranean, explore the richness and beauty of Europe.
Known for warm, brilliant waters and arrestingly picturesque towns, the islands of Greece offer a lifetime’s worth of discovery. Explore a few different locales, or acquaint yourself with just one. Friendly smiles and the freshest seafood imaginable are in abundant supply.
In Italy, where no town is complete without a Roman-era theatre or aqueduct, the ancient and the modern live in harmony. Many travelers still consider this vibrant land an essential destination. With famous cultural treasures, Italy beckons with its legendary hospitality and relaxed lifestyle.
Sunny Greece was the divine playground of the Olympian gods, and now welcomes visitors from more earthly realms. Olive trees and classical ruins dot the countryside of the mainland, while urban centers surge with energy. The city founded by Athena, the goddess of wisdom, anchors this legendary land.
The cafes of Paris, the nightlife of Nice, and the inns of Provence are just some of the many faces of France and Monaco. The French excel at gracious living. The delectable fruits of that passion: artisanal foods, superb wines, and impeccable taste in all matters non-gastronomical as well.
The second largest country in the European Union, Spain has a proud tradition of hospitality and distinct regional cultures. The mountains of Catalan and the plains of Seville have their own unique charms. Whether in the form of savory paella or a sensual flamenco dancer, Spain has excitement to spare.
Dense forests and bustling cities coexist in Germany, Europe’s economic and cultural powerhouse. Neuschwanstein Castle in picturesque Bavaria, near Munich, continues to delight visitors with its fairy-tale turrets, and urban travelers are lured to the prodigious energy and modern chic of Berlin.
Switzerland is renowned for discreet hospitality and a sublime sense of order. The denizens of this small, mountainous country prize their traditions, too. This well-earned pride is evident in the precision of their products, from Teuscher’s champagne truffles to world-famous timepieces.
Known for windmills, canals, and tulips, the Netherlands is a favorite destination for art lovers and party goers alike. There’s nothing like a canal cruise for viewing the best architecture of historic Amsterdam. Another great way to see this compact city is on foot. Or, do like the locals and hop on a bike.
Blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate and a colorful culture informed by its nautical heritage, Portugal is known for its wines, cuisine, and craft industries, such as azulejo ceramic tiles. Bearing the mark of many settlers and overseas colonies, this coastal nation is a kaleidoscope of cultures.
The Czech Republic is famous for its many artisanal industries: glass, crystal, porcelain, and, of course, beer. Prague is the shining jewel of the Czech Republic. Prague’s Hradcany district contains a microcosm of this city’s history, from medieval structures to the 18th century Cernin Palace.
Turkey’s eclectic heritage reflects its position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This vast country’s well-preserved classical sites include the ancient cities of Ephesus and Pergamon. The urban delights of Istanbul include Byzantine art, Ottoman mansions on the Bosphorus, and nightlife in Beyoglu.
Once the domain of the Hapsburg Empire, Austria still dazzles with natural splendor and refined culture. Dramatic Alpine scenery makes the vast Austrian countryside well worth a visit. And Vienna, home of Freud, Strauss, and Beethoven, is the traditional center of Austrian arts and culture.
One of Europe’s fastest-growing countries, Hungary boasts elegant cities and hauntingly lovely countryside. Grand old Budapest, one of the most cultured cities on the continent, offers renowned museums and world-class performances at the prestigious Opera House, not to mention charming cafes and legendary spas.
The “crossroads of Europe,” proper Belgium inspires devotion to civic duty as well as haute cuisine. The cosmopolitan capital city of Brussels is chock full of whimsical cafés and diamond merchants. Check out the world famous Bourse, and don’t forget to pick up a sample of the renowned Belgian lace.
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