If you have ever dreamed of backpacking Europe, there is no better time than the present.
With some careful planning, you can save money and see some of the best sights. Here are some of the most popular European destinations:
When in Rome
Rome, the capital city of Italy, has a history that dates back to great leaders such as Julius Caesar. This city played a major part in shaping Western civilization as we know it.
You can visit iconic structures such as the Coliseum and the Pantheon. The city does a wonderful job of mixing the ruins of the classical world into modern architecture.
If you are an art aficionado, then you will not want to miss the treasures in the Vatican museums. Since the official language of classical music is Italian, you can attend some of the great opera houses in the city. Many of the songs you will hear were composed in Rome.
Italy is world-renowned for its cuisine. You can dine at 5-star restaurants or get a taste of local fare in a quaint bistro. Do not forget to try some handmade gelato while you are vacationing.
You will find excellent public transportation in Rome. A lot of people walk or ride motor scooters, also.
October through April is the best time to get a flight to Rome. The hotel rates are cheaper and the tourist groups are at a minimum. Italy has a Mediterranean climate and the temperatures stay in the mid-70s and lower 80s during these seven months. While there may be instances where you will need a coat, the temperatures rarely go below freezing level.
Paris: The City of Light
When you visit Paris during your vacation in Europe, you will never forget its unique ambiance. You will dine on haute cuisine and see some of the world’s most famous art collections.
You can view the city for miles from the Eiffel Tower and do some shopping in the boutiques along Les Halles or the Champs Elysees. There are classically-designed churches and other buildings along the Seine River, which flows through the city. You may want to take on a river cruise.
Paris has quality public transportation and is not difficult to travel some on foot. You will also want to tour the royal palace of Versailles and the Centre Pompidou. There are official hiking tracks all through France that will take you through the provincial areas.
International flights are the most expensive from June through August; however, it is a time when the temperature’s highs are in the 70s. Even though the city is very crowded during this peak season, you will enjoy plenty of sunshine. If you want cheaper rates across the board, you should visit in spring or fall. You can save a little more by grabbing a stylish coat and touring Paris during the winter season.
Take a Walk Through Amsterdam
The capital of the Netherlands is one of the most walking-friendly cities in Europe. Imagine walking or bike-riding down the quaint cobblestone streets that line the gently meandering canals. Among the colorful row houses, you can find delicious Dutch cuisine and fine shopping.
See the city that inspired great Dutch masters such as Vincent van Gogh. You will love the natural wonders of Vondelpark. Amsterdam is a historic place for Holocaust memorials, such as the Anne Frank House and Corrie ten Boom’s Hiding Place.
If riding a bike or walking is not your thing, you can always buy a daily pass that gives you access to all of the public transportation.
If you are interested in saving a few Euros, grab your coat and visit Holland in the winter. The hotel rates are much cheaper and the touring crowds are few. You will also have less wait in line for some of Amsterdam’s attractions. Although you will pay more money in the spring, it is worth it to watch the windmills twirling over fields of tulips in the countryside.
A Royal Stay in London
The old world meets the new when you travel to London, England. It is a city that is steeped in history; yet, it is a thoroughly modern metropolis.
You will be amazed at the classic architecture, such as the Tower of London. You can hear the chimes of Big Ben while you watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Some of London’s most famous attractions are free, such as the British Museum, the National Gallery, and Hyde Park. The money that you save can be spent in some of the classy restaurants and unique shopping excursions.
If you buy a travelers pass (known as an Oyster Card), you can save money on the subway and other means of public transportation.
London is infamous for its foggy and rainy days. You can still carry your umbrella and see the beauty of spring in this city. Even though the temperatures are pleasant, spring and summer are top tourist seasons and you will see higher prices on airfare and accommodations. Fall and winter do have cheaper prices; however, they will spike again during the holidays. Early fall would be the best time if you want to save on traveling to London.
Barcelona: The City by the Sea
This Spanish capital may take a week to enjoy all that it has to offer. Even the beach is a busy place around Barcelona.
There are many historic buildings and churches in the area. If you love art, you can tour masterpieces by Antoni Gaudi, such as La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and Casa Batlo. Be sure to visit Picasso’s Museum while in Barcelona. The center of activity in the city is a collection of streets and alleys known as Las Ramblas. You can walk on foot and enjoy the lively nightclubs, restaurants, and upscale shopping available.
If you buy the Barcelona Transport Card, it is good for all of the city’s public transportation. You will also get discounts on most of the main attractions. When you buy the card in advance of your trip, you will get a free ride by train from the airport to the city center.
If you want to tour Barcelona in comfortable temperatures, you can book your flight for May through June. There are a lot of summer festivals and interesting things to see during this busy time. If you can take the heat and humidity, the tourist population is at its lowest during hot June through August.