Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Best Places to visit in Europe in 2016

A new Year has begun and with it new travel plans. As the holiday season is winding down, we are all undoubtedly in the need for a fresh scenery. At least I am. While this post covers destinations previously visited by me and therefore tested, I'm also including places that are on my bucket list when it comes to Europe.

Of course a list like this can be expanded and reworked, but I also think that it includes a couple of gems that are not on too many "popular destination" posts I have previously read. Sometimes the list includes cities other times specific places, and I'll try to explain the reasoning within each selection. So without further ado here are in my opinion the Best Places to visit in Europe in 2016.

Best Places to visit in Europe in 2016



1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, the capital city of Germany is best known for its historical associations, internationalism and tolerance, lively nightlife, its many cafes, clubs, bars, street art, and numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest. The sprawling Alexanderplatz features he futuristic Ferneshturn (TV tower), and of course you can't miss the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor and Siegessäule (Vicotry Column). Berlin in winter features many wonderful Christmas Markets as the city lights up. Make sure to visit the Berliner Wall Memorial. Often missed by tourists but an absolute must for anyone interested in this part of the city's history. It's a memorial to those who died crossing and you will be left with a haunting feeling of what life with the wall may have been really like.


2. Prague, Czech Republic

This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague's medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Don't miss the Old Town Center, Prague Castle and Royal Gardens as well as the Charles Bridge.


3. Bran Castle, Romania


Home to Count Dracula, the Bran Castle is probably the most stunning landmark of Romania. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" it is the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, but it is nonetheless a hub of lovers of Gothic castles and Medieval architecture.



4. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


I know it seems like I'm on a Gothic trip, but bear with me. Watched over by the imposing castle, the symbol of the city, Edinburgh combines medieval relics, Georgian grandeur and a powerful layer of modern life with contemporary avant-garde. In Edinburgh, medieval palaces rub shoulders with the best of modern architecture, Gothic churches with amazing museums and galleries.Travellers should note that Edinburgh becomes overwhelmingly crowded (accommodation-wise) during the main festival periods of high summer (August to early September) and Hogmanay (around New Year's Day / 1 January). Visitors at these times should plan well ahead (even more than a year in advance!) for booking central accommodation and event tickets at these times.


5. Dublin, Ireland


Let's stay in the region of the previous place for a second and hop over to Ireland. Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are renowned and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. The center is relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in suburbs. The biggest reason I'm listing Dublin here are the various destinations outside the city that are worth a visit, like Howth. To the north, 14 km (9 mi) from the city center (still marked by 18th-century milestones), the peninsula of Howth is very nice for a walk and taking photos. Make note of places like Meath, Wicklow, Westmeath and Wexford as well.


6. Gothenburg, Sweden


Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden with approximately 500,000 inhabitants in the municipality. It is situated on Sweden's west coast at the outlet of the Göta river. It has a reputation of being a friendly place, even more welcoming than the Swedish capital. The most prominent feature of the city is Skansen Kronan (Crown Keep) which is a hilltop fortification, southwest of the city center, built in the 17th century. It has been used as a prison during the 19th century and as a military museum in the 20th century. Today, there is a restaurant and conference facility. Close to Skansen Kronan is Haga, a city district with picturesque wooden houses from the 19th century.


7. Sibenik, Croatia

Often overlooked by travelers who come to Croatia, Sibenik has many points going for it that make it a top tourist spot in the summer. Explore the old town, the many castles and fortifications inside the city. But make sure to travel afield, and see the Krka Waterfalls and Fortress of St. Nikola. Nearby you will also find the Solaris Hotel Resort which is perfect for family vacations.


8. Florence, Italy


Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Politically, economically, and culturally it was the most important city in Europe for around 250 years; from some time before 1300 until the early 1500s. Generally the north of Italy is much more fascinating to me personally. From Florence, make a road trip to Milan, then over to Bologna and eventually Venice.


9. Lisbon, Portugal


The capital of Portugal is often cited as the most beautiful city on the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. It's mild climate and friendly people make it both thrilling to visit as well as enjoyable.  Lisbon enchants travelers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy-going charm that makes it a popular year-round destination. Make sure to visit Belem. This monument-packed neighborhood is a must-see place.


10. Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul is a place where the east meats the west, as one part of the city is located in Europe, and the other in Asia. It is a trilling place to see and explore. You can find more in my three-part travel series. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul's population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it also one of the largest cities in Europe and the world.


11. Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina 


I wouldn't be fair to my own country if I didn't include at least one destination from it. During the last year I had the chance to visit Lukomir (the oldest village in Bosnia and Herzegovina). It enchants you as soon as you drive off the main road and into the mountains. From beautiful landscapes and scenes of the countryside, Lukomir is a must-stop during your stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Click here for the full Lukomir travel series.


12. Salzburg, Austria


Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, is a city in central Austria, near the German border. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music, you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. Admittedly, it is difficult not to spontaneously burst into song when you're walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews. Especially in the winter months it becomes a magical place. Plan a visit here during Christmas and be transformed into a winter wonderland.


13. Neuschweinstein Castle, Germany


This is the second castle to be featured in this post, but one without it wouldn't be complete. It's the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is a nineteenth-century romanesque palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures. Check out my visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle.



14. Budapest, Hungary


With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating night life increasingly appreciated among European youth and, last but not least, an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East". In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue. See our extensive six part travel series by clicking here.


15. Reykjavik, Iceland


Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland and with an urban area population of around 200,000, it is the home of the vast majority of Iceland's inhabitants. It is the center of culture and life of the Icelandic people as well as being one of the focal points of tourism in Iceland. The city itself is spread out, with sprawling suburbs. The city center, however, is a very small area characterized by eclectic and colorful houses, with good shopping, dining and drinking.



I hope you enjoyed my selections for Best Places to visit in Europe in 2016, and that you'll find this list inspirational. Lets see how many we can check off by the end of the year :)

30 comments:

  1. Very interesting places you picked, and yes they are a inspiration...but you forgot another best place in Europa→Tenerife *gg* (little joke by myself ;-))

    I am wondering what trips you are doing, and till then I will enjoy the places around your homeland.

    Greetings

    N☼va

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    1. Thanks Nova. :) I was expecting the "you didn't include this..." comments :) of course Teneriffe is great, as seen on your blog.

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    2. *laughing*...as I wrote: "just kidding", it fits. For sure for me is: if I am ever coming back to make vacation I will visit your homeland. I loved it as I was a child, and for sure I would love it today too ;-)

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  2. Wunderschöne Orte, gute Tipps, nur in wenigen davon war ich schon. Aber heuer ist Lissabon dabei. In Budapest im "Stadtwäldchen" kanns eine Kopie von diesem Schloß von Dracula sehen. Prag wäre bei mir schon sehr fällig, aber für heuer ist schon alles ziemlich vollgeplant und leider diese Kurztripe für städte bleiben dieses Jahr aus. Liebe Grüße

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  3. Berlin mi je želja već neko vrijeme, ali nikako da ga uklopim. I ostale destinacije su super, a o nekima poput dvorca Bran i Budimpešte mogu i lično da posvjedočim i preporučim ih. :)

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  4. Fantastic post... highly informative.
    I need to add to my bucket list!

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  5. Quit a list and lots of travelplans to make ...wishing you the opportunity to make that list from start to end a good long experience

    Have a nice abc-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ <abc-e-team)

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  6. i hope to someday see some of these places! love all the photos, especially iceland and it's colorful little rooftops!

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  7. It's all very good saying these places are worth visiting but in reality they are very crowded. You miss the real places out in the countryside

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    1. You have to visit them at right times in the year of course but I couldn't deprive myself visiting just because other people are visiting as well. Most of these actually arent't that crowded, like Sibenik, Lukomir, Bran Castle, Reykjavik, even Budapest amd Prague have their quiet spots, which we saw while visiting. So I wouldn't really see that as a problem. And as I have said in some of these, travelig further afield has its charm as well (i.e. Dublin)

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  8. I plan to visit at least three of those this summer for my second trip to Europe. Looking forward to it.

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    1. That's great. I hope you will enjoy your Europe trip.

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  9. since i don't fly or float there is no chance of me seeing them, but i can visit through your lens. i would love to visit if i could.

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  10. In der Hälfte der Städte und Orte war ich auch schon mal. England, Schottland und Schweden sind Länder, die ich noch nie bereist habe. Ich muss da unbedingt mal hin, je mehr du mir die Bilder unter die Nase hälst, desto mehr merk ich das! GlG Anne

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  11. Oh this is a great list! I wish I could visit all these destinations! Wonderful photos you've chosen.

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  12. Perfec list, All great places

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  13. I'm not much of a traveller these days... It's even been years since I last visited Gothenburg although it's only an hour away :)

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  14. Ah, a perfect list indeed, Mersad!! I've only been to half of them and wish I could visit the remaining half!! Your pics are always the next best thing to being there myself though, so I'm looking forward to the coming posts!! Hope your new year is off to a great start!! Enjoy!!

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  15. If I would have an opportunity I would probably will go to see Prague and then Berlin.

    You made me dream, Mersad. Great photographs!!!

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  16. Excellent post! I've been to five of these cities but now I'm inspired to go to some of the others on the list.

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  17. One of your best posts... Great pictures, well edited comments.

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  18. Love the Dublin sky, and the Romanian mist.


    ROG, ABCW

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  19. Dublin is first on my list of places to visit. Glad to see you mentioned it here.

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  20. We're planning a trip to Europe this summer, but none of our destinations are on this list. Someday, perhaps, we'll visit more of the places you've suggested. The world is so full of interesting sites and history and people.

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  21. Great list of wonderful places to vist and good to see Dublin on the list. But what about Northern Ireland? Shame on you ! ( only joking).

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  22. I do hope I could visit some parts of Europe in the future. It's a dream. Great shots! ♥

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  23. A wonderful list! I've visited a few, but have more to see.

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  24. I would be blessed just to visit ONE of those places!

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  25. Quite a nice list, and, as expected, beautifully illustrated. I have been to many of those places and hope to return for seconds. Of those I have not yet seen, Berlin, Lisbon, Istanbul and Reykjavik are highest. I think Iceland and Portugal will get on my travel plans in 2016 or 2017.

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