It’s all in the name. Ultimate Europe. Just from those two words, you can probably guess you’re going to see about a million and a half incredible things on this trip including all of those big name highlights like the Eiffel Tower or Vatican City in Rome. But what about the lesser known highlights? These off the beaten path features are often what can make your trip the most memorable.
Read on to get a taste for some of the stuff you may not have even known existed in this itinerary.
The Plaka in Athens: We know, we know. We tell you to pack light and not blow a bunch of cash in one place. “Make it last! It’s a long trip,” we tell you. That advice will never be harder to heed than in The Plaka in Athens. This shopping district is the perfect place to pick up some Greek souvenirs from jewelry, sandals or homemade olive oil soap. The best part? It’s all pretty darn cheap.
Innsbruck, Austria: Where the heck is that? Well, it is the capital of Austria’s Tyrol region, nestled in the beautiful Swiss Alps. Into architecture? Check out the Gothic Hofkirche Cathedral. Want to experience the local nightlife? Try the Hofgarten Cafe. Innsbruck has it all, from natural beauty to beer gardens to the best apple strudel you could possibly imagine.
Museum Berggruen in Berlin: Have some free time? Check out the Museum Berggruen. The museum is home to over 100 original Picasso pieces from his early student sketches through this Blue, Rose and Cubism periods, in addition to other famous artists like Matisse and Klee. You can see it all for only 6 euros.
Gelateria del Teatro in Rome: Being that this is a 35 day trip around Europe, gelato will likely become part of your routine. This tasty treat may be everywhere, but when in Rome (see what we did there?) check out the Gelateria del Teatro (Via dei Coronari, 65/66 00186 Roma). They have some of the most unique flavors you’ll ever see, like red wine and lavender, but also the age old favorites like peach, pistachio and dark chocolate. There may be a line, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Street food in Prague: Right in the same square as the famed Astronomical Clock Tower, you can find some awesome street food. Grab a whopping bowl of potatoes and sauerkraut or try a Czech sausage served on a piece of sandwich bread. Wash it all down with a giant Pilsner beer all for about $5. Both you and your wallet will leave full.
Montmartre, Paris: Hike your way to the top of the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris. Though it’s been discovered by tourists, it still holds to be one of the most magical places in the city. Famous for its street artists and Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Montmartre hosts a variety of shops and cafes with prix-fix menus perfect for lunch and a glass of wine. Be sure to try the French onion soup!
Paros, Greece: Move over, Mykonos, Paros is where it’s at. This hidden gem is the place to be for crystal clear water, white sand beaches and hiking trails known as “strates.” These trails were originally created by farmers to carry their goods cross-island. Hiking not your thing? Take a stroll through Parikia, Paros’ old town full of winding streets, the chillest cafes, ancient archeological sites as well as some of this region’s top restaurants.
Montjuic in Barcelona: One of the highest points in the city, Montjuic, is home to some of the best views Barcelona has to offer. Ride the funicular to the top, soak it all in, then walk down and visit a variety of parks, the Olympic grounds, the Catalan Art Museum and the World Fair Expo grounds.
Central Library (Openbare Bibliotheek) in Amsterdam: Before you start dubbing us “nerds” for recommending a library, hear us out! The Central Library in Amsterdam hosts some of the best views of the city from the top terrace (a bit too short for a full panoramic effect, but beautiful nonetheless) and also has an incredible music collection and books on books on books.
Take in the Best Views of Florence: Getting the perfect picture of an entire city is no easy task. From the river in the Florence’s center, walk the Viale Poggi to the winding, switchback path that takes you San Miniato al Monte atop one of the highest points in the city. The views from this church are absolutely breathtaking and you won’t be disappointed. The church is one of the oldest in the region, dating from 1081 – head on in, it’s free and the inside view of the mosaics is as breathtaking as the city views outside.
You can find all of these sights and plenty more on Ultimate Europe.