Thinking about a move to Europe? There is so much to see and do. You’ll find everything here, from fabulous culture, history and architecture, to outstanding nightlife and delicious food, and wine. The wonderful thing about living in Europe is that, as the second smallest of the seven continents, accessible transport options are plentiful throughout Europe’s tight geography. Flights between European destinations are increasingly cheap, while the European rail system extends from dense cities into the quiet countryside. Once based in Europe, you become the envy of the world, with literally countless countries and opportunities at your fingertips. Here we’ve
listed 15 European locations that you can’t afford to miss during your time off.
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most visited cities — and rightly so. Much of the city’s activity revolves around Las Ramblas, a series of narrow streets and alleys filled with restaurants, bars and a lively pedestrian market. From these tree-lined streets to the city’s the beachside nightclubs, from its dozens of spectacular churches and cathedrals to its unique modernist architecture, this city by the sea has something to offer everyone.
Dubrovnik is increasingly popular as a ‘must-see’ European destination. Wander around the medieval city walls to enjoy stunning views overlooking the calm blue
waters of the Adriatic, while inside these walls lies the city’s beautiful, pedestrian-only Old Town. Its marble streets are filled with elegant Baroque buildings and aristocratic palazzi, while a grid of narrow alleys harbour countless cafes and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by. Add to this pristine beaches, chic hotels and adventure sports facilities, and Dubrovnik becomes a destination you just can’t pass by.
As one of the most elegant cities in Europe, it would be hard not to include Vienna in one of our go-to destinations. Few cities can boast the imperial grandeur of Vienna, once the centre of the powerful Habsburg monarchy. Furthermore, the city’s world famous coffee scene can be enjoyed amidst its palatial, yet welcoming cafés. Austria’s capital is also one the most musical cities in the world, which is partly due to the great number of great composers and musicians who were born or lived and worked here. Visiting Vienna therefore means experiencing the works of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven and many others.
Prague, Czech Republic
A grand city with extraordinary historic and cultural sights, Prague is definitely somewhere not to be missed.
The city’s views are breathtaking: although the Czech capital is nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’, in fact it is filled with nearly a thousand towers and spires, with a huge diversity of architectural styles. Nightlife in Prague is diverse and plentiful, from trendy clubs, to sophisticated wine bars, to late-night cellar bars. On top of all this, Prague wins hands down over most other European destinations in its affordability.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
From the hstory-drenched medieval tenements and narrow lanes of the Old Town, to the sweeping elegance of the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and captivating cities in the world. You can spend hours wandering the city’s cobbled streets, marvelling at its character and charm. Not least among Edinburgh’s magnificent buildings is the 900-year-old Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city’s iconic skyline. The whole city comes together in August each year for the largest arts festival in the world — often described as one big party — which is not to be missed.
The tiny yet glitzy principality of Monaco sits along the French Riviera, and is perfect for a luxurious
getaway. One of the many great aspects of Monaco is Monte Carlo, which has arguably one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. Perhaps what makes it so spectacular are the dramatic cliffs and sky-blue waters, not to mention the multi-million dollar mega-yachts. While Monaco is full of glitz and glamour, visitors are often surprised by the laid-back vibe found in the Old City (or Monaco Ville), on a high promontory called the Rock. This is where you’ll find the Prince’s Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral (where Princess Grace is buried), as well as sweeping vistas of the Mediterranean.
For a small, riverside city, Florence looms large on the world’s ‘must-sees’ list as a historic and beautiful destination. The city is considered the cradle of the Renaissance, and its urban fabric has hardly changed since that time. Even for the least arts-savvy visitor, it’s possible to feast on the city’s breathtaking
architecture and magnificent, world-class art galleries for hours. The Uffizi Gallery is home to some of the most famous paintings in the world including Botticelli’s masterpiece,The Birth of Venus. Tuscany is no doubt one of Italy’s most revered wine regions, so when in Florence, you are well placed to sample
such delights. In fact, the city’s food and wine are so wonderful that the tag ‘Fiorentina’ has become an international label of quality assurance.
London, United Kingdom
London is an iconic, diverse and exciting city. Rich in history, culture, fine cuisine and shopping, the city has something to offer everyone. Having been the capital of the world’s greatest empire, history really comes to life when you’re walking through the streets of London. Westminster is a town unto itself within the heart of London, and it is home to some of the city’s most famous images and architectural structures, including one of the most beautiful government buildings in the world, the
Palace of Westminster. London is also a multicultural paradise, and this is especially so when it comes to food. Check out some of London’s many markets to experience this — and many other delights— first hand.
Overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy, Sorrento is a peaceful and pretty town, with colourful buildings, refined restaurants, and every excuse to relax. When the sun shines, both the city and the azure waters are said to genuinely sparkle. Come to Sorrento for some great sea fishing, diving and boat cruises, as well
as excellent hiking trails cross the peninsula. Sorrento is also an ideal base for exploring Europe’s most compelling archaeological site: the ruins of Pompeii, as well as the famous volcano responsible for the town’s destruction in 79AD, Mt. Vesuvius.
Athens is a must-do for culture buffs. Having long been referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation, Athens is home to many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Wandering about these ancient landmarks may just cause you to pinch yourself. Amazingly, the city’s cultural and social life takes place amid this historic centre, merging past and present. Since its pre-Olympics revamp, contemporary Athens boasts one of the most happening nightlife scenes in Europe, which now centres on the urban-chic bars and cafés between Syntagma and grungy Monastiraki (at the foot of the Acropolis).
Budapest is a city steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. Having been the location of several significant historical events – including the Hungarian Revolution – it’s the kind of place where you are really breathing in history as you wander its streets. Notable sites here include Heroes Square, St Stephen’s Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building. Budapest is often referred to as the city of spas, as it offers the opportunity to bathe in an astounding array of thermal Turkish baths. It’s the perfect way to unwind, whilst enjoying centuries old architecture. Round off your time in Budapest in one of the city’s edgy, alternative bars.
Full of bleached white limestone buildings and intimate alleyways, Lisbon has a wonderful mix of contemporary culture and traditional architecture. Eating out in Lisbon is a delight – from the revered Portuguese custard tarts, to fresh, locally caught sardines – the diverse dining scene is one of the many great things about Lisbon. Another great thing is that you are not far from the sea: the coastal town of Estoril is in close proximity to the city, so when you want to get away from it all, you can hop on the train and enjoy a calming coastal walk with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
St Petersberg, Russia
Russia’s imperial capital is today a dazzling metropolis whose sheer grandeur never fails to amaze. St Petersburg is replete with long boulevards, narrow canals, and grand public squares, and is an almost unrivalled treasure trove of art and culture. You can spend days in the Hermitage, seeing everything from Egyptian mummies to Picassos, while the Russian Museum, spread over four sumptuous palaces, is perhaps the best collection of Russian art in the world. On top of that, the city offers an exciting nightlife and restaurant scene — certainly enough for several repeat visits.
The capital of Germany is an unmissable destination for those who appreciate history, culture and vibrancy. It really has an exceptional variety of attractions, including top historic sights like the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, not to mention the famous Berlin Zoo. The city has a relaxed vibe and lots of open spaces, from forests, to lakes, to sprawling parks. In summer, Berlin moves outdoors to the beach bars along the banks of the Spree, pavement cafés and open-air cinemas – perfect for capitalising on the warm summer nights.
The City of Lights; the City of Love; the Capital of Fashion — this elegant city has a plethora of alluring names. Paris draws millions of visitors ever year with its unforgettable ambiance and unparalleled reputation as a mecca of culture, art, fashion, gastronomy, history and architecture. The city’s world-famous museums and monuments are worth a visit in themselves — these include the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré-Coeur and Notre Dame, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower, to name but a few.
Europe is a fantastic location to live and work – there is always a country nearby to explore! If you’re a Chartered Accountant thinking about an international move, get in touch with Think Global Recruitment and hear more about the opportunities that we have on offer!
This article was contributed by Kirsten McKinlay