Guest Post by Robert Baker
Europe is a continent rich in culture, history, and natural landmarks. There are countless activities you can enjoy in Europe that should be on your Europe bucketlist.
Here are 7 things to cross off your Europe bucketlist!
Climb an Active Volcano
The first thing in our Europe bucketlist is Mount Etna.
Mount Etna in Sicily is the tallest active volcano in Europe and is visited by millions of visitors every year. This Italian stratovolcano currently stands approximately 10,912 feet tall on the eastern side of the island. However, its height changes with each new eruption.
During the winter, Mount Eta is topped by snow and becomes a popular skiing destination. You can climb Mount Etna on a tour and walk past bubbling hot springs, volcanic vents, and views of the smoking cone.
Because this volcano is so active, it’s always best to visit accompanied by an experienced local. And you’ll need to stay hydrated on your climb, so ensure you carry plenty of bottled water in your backpack.
Hike Along a Glacier
Iceland is a wonderful destination for anyone interested in Arctic landscapes and wildlife. If you visit Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland, you can walk along the top of a glacier and explore inside fascinating ice caverns. But ensure you wear layers and good-quality hiking shoes.
Vatnajökull National Park encloses 14% of Iceland. Vatnajökull Glacier flows down to the glacial lake of Jökulsarion, where it breaks into icebergs. The lake is a popular location for Hollywood film shoots. The park also contains several volcanoes, and in the nearby vicinity, you can see geysers spouting water high up into the sky.
Enjoy a Romantic French Meal atop the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the most iconic landmark in Paris. Visitors often stand on the Champ de Mars to take memorable photographs with the tower behind them. Although the Eiffel Tower was designed as a temporary structure for the Universal Exposition in 1889, there is no sign of it ever being dismantled.
Unless you decide to cheat and take the elevator, you must climb 360 steps to the first level. Then there are 344 steps to the second level or another elevator. You can only ascend to the top level by elevator.
The highest level you can access is 906 feet high. When first built, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world.
On the second level, you can dine at Le Jules Verne, which is a Michelin-starred French restaurant. Alternatively, if you go all the way to the top, you can sip champagne in the bar while you admire the panoramic views across the city.
Visit the Birthplace of Western Civilization
Ancient Greece is where we gained our ideas of democracy, philosophy, classical architecture, and the earliest version of our alphabet. And the Acropolis in Athens stands today as a symbol of all that we have inherited from the Ancient Greeks.
Within the Acropolis is the Parthenon, which is the most iconic structure in Greece. But the Parthenon, built in 438 BCE, is only one of the many temples and other buildings atop this famous hill. The oldest structures on the Acropolis were built around 4,000 BCE.
The Theatre of Dionysus stands in the shadow of the Acropolis. This is the oldest theater in the world. The theater was first built in the 6th century BCE and rebuilt in the 4th century BCE. Famous Greek plays like Oedipus Rex were premiered in this historic location.
See the Northern Lights
The famous Aurora Borealis is most visible from within the Arctic Circle. The city of Tromsø in northern Norway is actually inside the circle. That means that for two months every year, Tromsø has 24-hour nights. This provides perfect conditions for seeing nature’s most beautiful light show in the sky.
The best time of year for viewing the Northern Lights is September through March when nights are truly dark. When planning your visit, avoid new moons. They can spoil your experience. And don’t bother coming to see the Aurora Borealis in Norway during summer. The nights are too short and the sky too light.
Visit a Working Royal Palace
Buckingham Palace in London has been the official residence of the king or queen of England since 1837. Every summer, the palace is opened to the public. You can walk through the ballroom where the Queen hosts banquets for visiting heads of state, see the throne room where she creates new knights and peers, and visit the white drawing-room where she meets with Boris Johnson for tea.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 11 am, the guards are changed in front of Buckingham Palace. The Changing of the Guard is a popular attraction for visitors that lasts for around 45 minutes. If you want to be in a good position to see the show, make sure you’re in a position in front of the palace before 10:15 am.
Pay your Respects at Auschwitz
Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland is one of the most sobering destinations in Europe. Here, over a million people were executed for the simple crime of being born members of the wrong race. Today, Auschwitz reminds us of the dangers of extreme politics and how even educated and efficient people can be twisted by propaganda.
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can learn about the history of the camp and its prisoners. Exhibits of the prisoner’s personal belongings often draw tears from visitors. You can also visit the original barracks, the railway prisoner unloading platform, and the ruins of the gas chambers.
Did we miss any of your Europe bucketlist?
About the author
Robert Baker is an Englishman who loves nature and history. He first became interested in travel during his youth when he enjoyed a year exploring China and learning about its history, culture, and language. Today, he loves walking around the British countryside and writing about the many places he’s visited over the years.
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