Many Americans fantasise about planning their dream vacation to Europe. For those having a hard time narrowing down the many attractive options, we offer this useful guide to the top tourist sites in Europe – all places that any American traveller can go for the trip of a lifetime.
An American's Guide on What to See and Do in Europe
1) Nature: The Swiss Alps – Switzerland
A milestone experience for any outdoor enthusiast, the Swiss Alps offer some of the most breath-taking vistas in the world. Take a train through these beautiful cascades to enjoy the fresh air and alpine sights. Looking for something a bit more active? Visit during the high season for your choice of exciting winter activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. Cap it all off with some lovely Swiss chocolate beside a warm fire.
Off-beat alternative: if you love cool climates and arctic sunsets, make a detour to Iceland and see the Northern Lights for an incredible natural spectacle.
2) History: Prague – Czech Republic
Americans come to Europe to see things that just don't exist back home: castles, gorgeous ancient architecture, and amazing works of art. Prague offers all of those things, and then some! Walk the medieval streets and take a step back in time. This Paris of the East also has many fantastic museums featuring classical, decorative and contemporary art. Enjoy a scrumptious Czech beer on a sidewalk café to cap it all off.
Off-beat alternative: Prague too touristy for you? Check out Krakow in nearby Poland, which offers many of the same attractions as Prague with a bustling nightlife and lower prices.
3) Sun: Barcelona – Spain
You don't have to go to the Caribbean or Mexico for some fun in the sun. Soak up the rays and culture with a visit to Barcelona, home to some world-famous playas filled with friendly, gorgeous people. After you finish working on your tan, pick up some delicious tapas and hit the town to enjoy the equally renowned nightlife. Anyone wanting to see more of the region should consider cycling in Catalonia. With such beautiful countryside, it's a pleasure to turn the pedals!
Off-beat alternative: Croatian beaches are quickly gaining a reputation for being amongst the most beautiful on the planet. Unspoiled by excess tourism, white sandy coastline and crystal clear waters await you in Dalmatia.
4) Shopping: Paris – France
The City of Love is known for its beautiful sights, sounds, and of course, wonderful things to buy. Luxury goods abound, and a shopping excursion here is sure to make you the envy of your friends back home. Choose between world-famous designer houses and independent boutiques – or do it all! Make sure you take the time to enjoy a croissant or macaroon between purchases.
Off-beat alternative: London may not seem like an unusual destination choice, but with the many independent markets around town you are sure to find something unique to take home with you. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of royalty while you're there!
If you still find it impossible to choose that perfect European destination, consider booking your vacation with one of the many available organized European tours. Doing so will not only save you time and hassle, but it may the best opportunity to see more of the best Europe has to offer. For more inspiration on where to travel in Europe, check out this post about getaway breaks in Europe and city breaks.