By now, just about everyone has seen The New York Times’ incredible list of places to travel in 2016. If that doesn’t entice you to travel, I don’t know what will. Upon feeling inspired, we decided to give you our take on the matter. With New Year’s resolutions fresh in everyone’s mind and the height of impulse to achieve them, here is the College Break list of can’t-miss European destinations for 2016.
Pour one out for the homie…This year marks the 90th anniversary of artist and architectural mastermind, Antoni Gaudí’s, death. Gaudí is the man around Barcelona, revered for his zany, modernist architectural style which is characterized by colorful, mosaic tile work, intricate stained glass and ironwork. His pieces can be found all across the city, but two of the most notable are the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Park Güell, and the still unfinished (but not unimpressive) Sagrada Familia. In 2016, Gaudí’s Casa Vicen, his first house, will open to the public.
Get there: London, Paris & Barcelona, Grand Tour of Spain, Grand Tour of Europe
99 bottles of beer on the wall… Beer enthusiasts will cheers, “Prost!“ all over Munich as locals and visitors alike celebrate Germany’s 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, or Beer Purity Law. The Germans take their beer seriously and passed legislation in 1516 stipulating how Bavarian beer could be made, guaranteeing its outstanding quality. In honor of this milestone, Oktoberfest celebrations are projected to be even more spirited in 2016.
Get there: Oktoberfest, Berlin, Prague & Munich, European Road Trip
Meet me in the Vatican. It’s going down… Pope Francis declared 2016 a Holy Year for the Catholic Church. The world’s Catholics are invited to visit Rome as part of the Jubilee of Mercy. The Jubilee commenced on December 8th, 2015 when the Pope opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica. This is a pretty big deal as the door is only opened during Holy Years. When do Holy Year’s take place? Back in the day, it used to be every 100 years starting with Pope Boniface VIII, then the Church decided, “Ya know what? Everyone should experience a Holy Year once in their lifetime. Let’s make it every 25 years.” So, there’s that, but PLOT TWIST, the Pope can also declare a Holy Year whenever he darn well pleases, ergo 2016.
It is projected that millions of Catholics will make the pilgrimage to the Vatican this year, and this historical milestone should inspire anyone considering traveling to Italy’s capital city in 2016.
Get there: London, Paris and Rome, Grand Tour of Italy, Ultimate Europe
Have your historical cake and party too… Back in 1916, Ireland was still under British rule and people were getting pretty sick of it. The Irish republicans planned a six-day revolt for their freedom, which is now known as the Easter Rebellion. Though Ireland didn’t earn their independence from Great Britain until 1919, this is the catalyst for the movement. This spring, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary, there will be several ribbon-cutting ceremonies and celebrations throughout the city, including one at the must-see Kilmainham Gaol, the spooky jail where many Irish rebels were imprisoned and executed. We suggest visiting during March, to also experience the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Get there: St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland, Grand Tour of Ireland, Highlights of Europe
Treat yo’self… Ok. Admittedly, every other destination on our list has some historical significance or anniversary relating to 2016, but while traveling makes you a more worldly, experienced member of society, it also lends opportunities to just enjoy life. Budapest is known as the “City of Baths” because it sits above 100 thermal springs that pump mineral water into the city’s baths and pools. If you’re looking for a relaxing spa experience, Budapest is your spot. The Szechenyi Baths are the largest and most popular and feature several mineral pools at varying temperatures. After all that traveling, you deserve a little R&R. This will probably be the only time taking a bath with strangers is an enjoyable experience. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
Get there: Highlights of Eastern Europe
Don’t see your top bucket list destination? Check out the rest of our trips here.