Europe is a place that has it all: Culture, art, food and history. With so much to do, it can be hard to narrow down activities. To help, Contiki created the ultimate European bucket list to use as a guide for what to do in Europe.
1. Ride A Bike Around Amsterdam
A causal bike ride is the perfect way to view all the interesting architecture of the Netherlands. Wander around the endless canals, drop by a coffee shop or go to one of the many museums, like the Anne Frank Museum.
2. Sip Coffee With A View Of The Eiffel Tower
Or have a picnic, or a glass of wine, or a night cap under the tower’s dancing lights. Whether you’re on a river cruise, in one of the many parks, or looking out the window from your hotel or restaurant, there is no wrong way to view the Eiffel Tower.
3. Don A Dirndl And Chow Down Bratwurst At Oktoberfest
This huge, 18 day beer festival is located in Munich and attracts people from all over the world. This quintessential festival is the perfect place to drink a liter (or 2!), make some friends and sing along to the oompah band.
4. Swim In The Crystal Clear Waters On The Amalfi Coast
If swimming isn’t your thing, take a vespa ride up the coast and see this one grand balcony suspended between the sea and the Lattari Mountains. There are numerous towns, coves, vineyards and olive groves that show off the great natural beauty of the landscape.
5. Take A Picture With The Mona Lisa
Visit other pieces of precious art in the world’s largest museum, the Louvre. Home to over 35,000 pieces of art, this 650,000 square foot building was constructed in the late 12th century. Helpful hint: If the line is too long to enter through the Pyramid, try walking to the Carrousel entrance or the Portes des Lions.
6. See If A Member Of The Queen’s Guard Ever Flinches At Buckingham Palace
Try to catch the Changing of the Guard performance and watch the colorful and striking spectacle of British pageantry. This free presentation is where the old guard, whose shift has ended, trades spots with the new guard, who is just coming onto duty. To get a good view, get there about 30 minutes early. The ceremony takes place on different days, depending on the month, so be sure to take a look at the schedule.
7. Make a Snow Angel On Jungfrau
Topping out at over 13,600 feet, Jungfrau is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. A railway now goes to almost all the way to the top (11,332 feet) and it’s the highest in all of Europe.
8. Shop For Treasures In The Grand Bazaar In Istanbul
The Grand Bazar is the oldest covered market in the world. Built in the 15th century and expanding over an area of over 54,650 square meters, there are so many unique, hand crafted décor and gifts for everyone to enjoy.
9. Dance At The Moulin Rouge In Paris
Since it opened in 1889, Moulin Rouge has dazzled the world and become the most famous cabaret. This iconic place, full of flamboyant color and talent artists, is the perfect place to enjoy gourmet French food and champagne.
10. Visit Two Continents In A Day As You Cross The Bosphorus River in Istanbul
The Bosphorus Bridge connects the European and the Asian continents over the river that divides the two continents. It was built in the style of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and boasts pylons higher than the Eiffel Tower.
11. Celebrate Midsummer In Sweden
Midsummer is a traditional festival that is usually held outside around late June on a Friday where locals and visitors gather with their communities, friends and families. Delicious food and drinks are in full swing, including a classic lunch with boiled potatoes, pickled herring and salads.
12. Party At King’s Day In Amsterdam
Celebrate King Willem Alexander’s birthday with music, street parties, art, markets and fairs in Holland on April 27. Be sure to bring your best orange outfit, the more exuberant, the better.
13. Go to the Top of the Duomo in Florence
Clocking in at over 460 steps, this climb is not for the faint of heart. Once you get to the top, there will be an outdoor terrace with views of the whole city. If climbing isn’t something you’re interested in, the architecture of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori can be appreciated from the ground level.
14. Visit The Smallest Country In The World, The Vatican City
Clocking in at less than half of 1 square Kilometer, gaze in awe at the Sistine Chapel as you walk around the Vatican. The 100 acre country is completely surrounded by Rome and attracts more than 4 million visitors. Visit St. Peter’s basilica, the largest Catholic church, while in this small country.
15. See In The Half New Year On Korcula Island, Croatia
On June 30th, a huge party is hosted on one of the most beautiful islands. This unique event is filled with live performances by music groups and masqueraded crowds singing and celebrating the start of the half new year.
16. Take A Horse And Carriage Ride Through Krakow’s Old Town in Poland
There is no better way to see the remains of the medieval Krakow fortifications, St.Mary’s Basilica or the Renaissance Cloth Hall. Get a unique view of the city while getting up close and personal with the Polish landscape.
17. Attend The Opera In Vienna, Austria
Helpful Hint: If you decide to go last minute, they sell day of, standing room only tickets for 4 Euro. The standing room section is close to the stage, on the ground floor. The operas call for fancier attire, but if you are going to be standing for 5 hours, definitely wear nice, comfortable shoes.
18. Ski Down The Slopes Of Hopfgarten
This market town has a variety of slopes ranging from black to bunny. Non-thrill seekers have plenty of options in Hopfgarten as well. Grab some schnitzel and strudel at a traditional Austrian restaurant.
19. Play Chess With A Local At The Szechenyi Baths In Budapest, Hungary
Or do both at the same time! There are 18 pools, most of which are spring fed, and you can witness a spectacle of men playing chess while immersed up to their chests in the steaming water. Make sure you bring a towel, sunscreen, flip flops and a swimsuit.
Related: Save Big On Contiki Vacations
20. Dance Under The Northern Lights In Iceland
A gorgeous place to witness the Northern Lights is by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, in southeast Iceland. Ice also has many waterfalls, such as the Gullfoss waterfall.
21. Explore The Fjords Of Norway
Witness a landscape of towering cliffs, ice-capped mountains and deep blue fjords so majestic it almost defies belief. Sognefjord is the longest fjord in Norway, the steep hills and winding waters are full of beautiful scenery.
22. Pay Your Respects At The Jewish Museum In Berlin
With over 30,000 objects and 4,000 years of art, this is the perfect place to learn about the Jewish culture. Discovery more about history while in Berlin and walk alongside the Berlin Wall.
23. Learn About One Of The Longest (And Still Unfinished) Construction Projects Ever, The Sagrada Familia
The church’s construction started in 1882 in Barcelona, Spain and is supposed be completed in 2026. The architecture of the building is influenced heavily by Antoni Gaudi, who took over the design in the early months of construction.
24. Soak Up The Sun In Nice, France
Grab an ice cream sandwich, pick up something from a bakery or dine at a local restaurant while relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches France has to offer. Most of the beaches in Nice have pebbles, rather than sand, so wear water shoes and bring a beach towel. Make sure you add Nice to your list of what to do in Europe.
25. Snap A Photo On The Picture Perfect Island Of Santorini
The sunsets in Santorini are majestic and are definitely a highlight for any beach loving person. Walk along the caldera to see the whitewashed houses and take a dip in the crystal clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Every corner you turn you will be greeted with a postcard moment.
26. Have A Pint Of Guinness At Temple Bar In Dublin
Temple Bar is in one of Dublin’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods and it’s one of the most famous establishments. If this popular bar is busy, try the other local drinking holes on Dame Street or walk up to Georges Street and Aungier Street for a pint.
27. Step Back In Time At The Acropolis In Athens
This is one historical site you can’t miss while in Greece. The Parthenon and a few of the other main buildings on the Acropolis were built in the 5th century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements. It was the safest and most secure place in town.
28. Skydive Over The Swiss Alps
If you think Switzerland is stunning from the ground, imagine seeing it at 13,000 ft up in the air. The sights will be a perfect, once in a lifetime view of the Swiss Alps
Europe is an interesting and vibrant destination that attracts travelers from all parts of the world. While you visit, let the atmosphere of all the unique counties soak in as you explore everything they have to offer. There is plenty to do in Europe and something to see around every corner.
Did we miss your favorite thing to do in Europe? Leave us a comment below.