If Hollywood has any impact on our travel choices, chances are, it’s inspired by these top European destinations. From Switzerland portrayed in Walt Disney’s Third Man on the Mountain to Norwegian backdrop, of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Europe is a hotspot of enchantingly beautiful landscapes. But, the countries on our list, take the cake away with their surreal beauty, architectural marvels, and the well-preserved cultural heritage. While we learned a great deal exploring the stunning coastlines, fashion hubs, Mediterranean cuisine, European cafes, and infinite good things; we thought why not put it up for a look, for frequent international travelers.
Austria has been captured best, in the backdrop of the Hollywood blockbuster, the Three Musketeers. Located in the heart of Europe, this German-speaking nation features baroque architecture, Alpine terrain, mountain villages, and Imperial history of the Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces. Other than that, Austria is also traveled for, its celebrated Traunsee Lake, Bohemian Forest, and countryside vineyards.
Every time, we think Belgium, it’s followed by an instant remembrance of Godiva Belgian Chocolates. The entire world loves Belgium’s chocolates but we, in particular, were moved by the Belgian Renaissance architecture and medieval towns. We may have scored a glimpse of Belgium from Hollywood movies; fifth estate and the Brussels by night. However, when we landed at the bilingual Belgian capital, Brussels, we couldn’t help but gasp with awe at the ornate guildhalls flourishing with elegant art-nouveau buildings like the Grand-Place.
Read More: 5 Best Things To Do in Belgium
If digitization has changed the world then, Estonia has changed the way we work. Being the sub rosa startup wonderland of Europe, Estonia hosts a major-chunk of corporate headquarters in Tallinn, its capital city. But, if that doesn’t excite you then, let us tell you that world’s ninety percent models hail from Estonia as well. Add to that, the beauty of medieval cobblestone streets, 13th-century Wall, antiquated Main Square, and Gothic Town Hall. E-Estonia is a package of map colors imbued in unique architectural designs.
Everything you accentuate with a French accent sounds poetically sexy! Thus, our trip to the land of the French Riveria, Perfumes, Eiffel Tower, Mousse Au Chocolat, and Disneyland, was nothing short of spectacular. We rather experienced France, like a soft flowing song, embracing natural sounds. The French capital, Paris, maybe the fashion-capital of Europe; however, its tourism crown is adorned by the Louvre Museum, Lyon’s Roman Theatre, Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Versailles Palace and the monumental Eiffel Tower. Authentic France begins the moment you decide to take the road to the wild-wild countryside. Which by the way, encompasses alpine villages, medieval cities, vineyards, and the Mediterranean beaches.
Read More: 5 Best Cities to Explore in France
Whether it’s Manuel Neuer striking a football stadium, or, Audi or BMW slaying the motor car industry; Germans are the masters of their game. Germany is the father of innovations and also the historical bearer of WWII sites. Venture out in the countryside to be welcomed by plenty of rivers, mountains, forests, castles, and beaches. Munich, Frankfurt, and capital city Berlin is where all the action is! Home to nightlife, beer halls, Oktoberfest, and the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus, these cities are the musical messengers of Germany.
Before we first landed in Holland (The Netherlands), we knew nothing about the country except; it’s overhyped nightlife and pot culture. On our arrival in this flat land of canal landscapes, we discovered a whole new world of cheese farms, tulip gardens, miniature Holland, cycling routes, and windmills. However, the Hollandish capital Amsterdam is where we found the best art masterpieces. Along with, the house that provided shelter to the Jewish Anne Frank during WWII. From Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum Museum to Canalside mansions and 17th-century architectural wonders, Holland turned out to be so much more than what we had expected it to be.
When we first saw Julia Roberts in Eat-Pray-Love, embarking on an Italian journey to rediscover her true self, we knew we had to visit Italy soon. Our Roman holiday had us travel through long Mediterranean coastlines, ancient ruins and landmark cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. Rome is the heart and capital of Italy, featuring the best of Roman architecture, frescoes, and culture on display. Florence, on the other hand, is home to Renaissance masterpieces by Brunelleschi and Michelangelo. Venice turned out to be a great surprise, as we were awestruck by its trending fashion and canals. While you are here, do savor the authentic pasta, pizza, and Risotto with a glass of Italian wine.
When we were driving from Austria to Switzerland, we happened to stop by at Liechtenstein, a German-speaking principality. One fascinating country, thriving with alpine landscapes and medieval castles. Liechtenstein is famous in Europe for its network of railway and spell-bounding villages. We stayed at Vaduz (the capital city) for a night and made it a point to visit the Kunstmuseum galleries of modern and contemporary art before, leaving.
Read More: 6 Best Things to Do in Liechtenstein
We planned a trip to Monaco while traveling from France to Italy. Located near Cannes and Nice, Monaco is an independent city-state lounging on the Mediterranean coastline. We had heard a lot about Monaco’s yacht-lined harbor, luxe casinos, and the acclaimed Grand Prix race. We stopped by, at Monaco’s busiest district, Monte-Carlo; where we wandered around the Salle Garnier opera house, boutiques, restaurants, and belle-époque casinos.
The monarchy of Spain is worldwide famous amongst the soccer fans. Spanish being World’s second-most spoken language, has splintered all the language barriers. Even though, it’s the vibrant culture of this European Peninsula, is what makes it a favorite destination of frequent international travelers. On our first trip to Spain, we traveled to the capital city, Madrid and the artistic beach-territory of Barcelona. Sprawling across diverse cultures, the museums, medieval castles, and the Madrid Royal Palace is where you get a glimpse of medieval Spain. Barcelona, on the other hand, is the bona fide Catalonia capital, marking off Antoni Gaudí’s modernist creations, such as the Sagrada Família church.
We would like to believe that Switzerland became more popular as a tourist destination, after the release of Bollywood super hit DDLJ. So much so, that after the movie’s success, the Swiss Tourism board put up a Kajol-SRK cut-out on display at Mount Titlis. This Alpine terrain is in Central Europe, surrounded by numerous villages, lakes, and snow-clad mountain peaks. Even though, the best way to explore Swiss enclave is to take a trip through the Zytglogge clock tower, Mount Titlis, Ice museum, gondola ride to glaciers, and the chapel bridge of Lucerne. When you return from your adventurous trails, end your day by indulging in Swiss cheese and chocolate fondues. We couldn’t resist but buy a couple of watches, while visiting this watch capital of the Earth.
12. Vatican City
During our week-long trip to Italy, we also ventured out to explore Vatican City, an independent city-state near Rome. We had heard a lot about the Vatican Museums and the Roman Catholic Churches prevailing in this area. To our surprise, Vatican City turned out to more gorgeous in real life. We wanted to be lost in the iconic architecture and art! Only to find ourselves filled with wonder; led by ancient Roman sculptures, Renaissance frescoes, and the Sistine Chapel, flaunting Michelangelo’s ceiling. Visiting Vatican City, indeed, is an artistic assignment.
Read More: Visit Vatican City, World’s Smallest Country