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Europe

 

Europe may be the world’s second smallest continent, but its wide variety of culture and geography easily make up for its lack of size. From the Eiffel tower in Paris, to Buckingham Palace in London, it is filled with many recognizable tourist destinations. However, it also holds many less charted sites that allow a more culturally enriching visit.

There are 47 countries in continental Europe, although only 27 are members of the European Union. Technically speaking, however, Europe is not a true continent, only a peninsula of Eurasia, a continent comprised of Europe and Asia. But it has always been considered its own continent, with the Ural Mountains in Russia serving as Europe and Asia’s dividing point.

The many languages of Europe showcase the continent's diverse nature. Depending on who you talk to, there are between 30 and 40 major languages present in Europe. The most spoken languages are German, English and French, respectively. Europe has been a tourist destination for thousands of years. During the medieval period people traveled throughout the country on religious pilgrimages. Today, it seems most people either have, will, or want to plan a trip to Europe. A trip to Europe is often seen as a rite of passage. From college backpackers, to honeymooners, to retirees and everyone in between, Europe sees a wide variety of tourists. Part of its allure to people of all ages is the fact that there are endless options of types of trips to take.

Europe’s small size makes it possible, both logistically and financially speaking, to visit many different areas in one go. Airfare tends to be very reasonable between countries and the public transportation is excellent, with trains and buses extensively available throughout the continent.

Another perk to traveling in Europe is the wide selection of accommodations available. No matter what your budget and preferences may be you will be sure to find a place to lay your head at night.









24 Nov 2008

Top Hotels in Europe

Pousada Dona Maria

113362When the Portuguese Royal family lived in the splendid Queluz Palace, they needed a home for all of the servants, cooks, maids and other support staff. They built an attractive building for them ...
Hotel
Lisbon, Portugal

Pousada de Castelo de Ă“bidos

The Castle Inn of Obidos is an unforgettable experience: it is the only one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal where you can actually spend the night. Although the impressive walls encircle the entire ...
Hotel
Ă“bidos, Portugal

Palace Hotel do Buçaco

113658In 1888, King Carlos of Portugal decided he needed a hunting retreat and ordered the construction of an extravagant palace on the site of an old monastery in the Buçaco woods, which also happened to ...
Hotel
Luso, Portugal

Pension Vergara

Seville is one European city where you can still find a cheap hotel bang in the middle of the historical centre, and it won’t be a featureless budget chain. Pension Vergara is one of the best ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Hotel YH Giralda

YH Giralda hotel is located in the heart of the Santa Cruz quarter in Seville. The hotel is housed in a building dating back to the 18th Century, which is still nowadays preserving its unique ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Hostal/Pension Venecia

With only four rooms, this hostel on a quiet side street near Plaza Nueva gives a new meaning to the word “homey.” A converted, well-maintained space with traditional Andalusian décor, entering ...
Hostel
Granada, Spain

Pension Vergara

Seville is one European city where you can still find a cheap hotel bang in the middle of the historical centre, and it won’t be a featureless budget chain. Pension Vergara is one of the best ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Hotel YH Giralda

YH Giralda hotel is located in the heart of the Santa Cruz quarter in Seville. The hotel is housed in a building dating back to the 18th Century, which is still nowadays preserving its unique ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Things to do in Europe

El Escorial

114624Located about 30 kilometers away from Madrid, El Escorial (full name: The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo el Real) is a majestic royal palace and monastery. This is, in part, what makes it unique: ...
Historical Building
Madrid, Spain

The Alhambra

110865In 711, Islamic forces crossed into southern Spain, spreading the word of Mohammad and establishing Caliphates and kingdoms of their own. Before they were through, they had conquered all of the ...
Historical Building
Granada, Spain

Giralda Tower

110890One of the jewels of world architecture, the distinctive Giralda Tower has stood watch over Seville since 1198, when it was built on the orders of a powerful Moorish Caliph. It was designed as a ...
Historical Building
Sevilla, Spain

Real Alcázar

114449The Alcázar of Seville was once a Moorish palace not unlike the Alhambra in nearby Granada, bit its history is significantly different. It was a palace-fortress under the Moors, specifically the ...
Historical Building
Sevilla, Spain

El Prado Art Museum

The greatest art museum in Spain and one of the best in the world, the Prado is a can’t miss Madrid stop for any art aficionado. Even if you’re only vaguely interested in art and art history, the ...
Museum
Madrid, Spain

Sevilla's Archaeological Museum

110895One of the best museums of its kind anywhere, Seville’s Archaeological Museum features relics from all of the civilizations that dominated this area, from the Phoenicians and Carthaginians to the ...
Museum
Sevilla, Spain

Flamenco in Sevilla

110898A traditional dance from southern Spain, Flamenco is famous for colorful, flowing dresses, athletic spins and dips and Spanish guitar music. Seville is one of the best places in the world to see ...
Entertainment
Sevilla, Spain

Reina SofĂ­a Art Museum

Opened in 1990, the Reina Sofia is one of the world’s top modern art museums. Built on the former site of Madrid’s hospital, begun in the 16th century, the Reina Sofia art museum pretty much ...
Museum
Madrid, Spain

Sacromonte Abbey

Located on Valparaiso Hill outside the city, the Sacromonte Abbey was founded in 1600 and built over extensive catacombs, which had been established in an abandoned mine that dated back to Roman ...
Historical Building
Granada, Spain

Torre de Belém

113358Situated on the Lisbon waterfront, the bleached-white Belém tower is a local landmark and one of the city’s must-sees. It is a monument to Portugal’s glory as a great maritime nation. ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Oceanarium

113347Lisbon’s new Oceanarium is a true marvel of modern engineering. Built as part of Nations Park for the 1998 Expo, the Oceanarium has become one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist draws. Inside the ...
Museum, Entertainment
Lisbon, Portugal

Top Places in Europe

AndalucĂ­a

111911Andalucía is the southernmost region of Spain, and one of the larger ones. It contains the provinces of Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Sevilla and Málaga. Andalucía is one of ...
Region
Spain

Spain

110162If the planet has a crossroads, Spain has to be it. Although it is part of Europe, it is very close to Africa, with which it has a long history. It also has connections, mostly via trade, to ...
Country
Spain

Batalha

113462On August 14, 1385, King JoĂŁo I of Portugal and his army met the forces of King John of Castile on a small hill ringed by creeks near Aljubarrota. Despite being outnumbered, the Portuguese routed ...
City
Batalha, Portugal

Luso

113650Luso is a small, pleasant, traditional town that would be completely unremarkable if not for two things: first of all, it is home to some hot springs which have now been converted into a very fine ...
City
Luso, Portugal

Coimbra

113711Perched atop a hill alongside the Mondego River, Coimbra has been an important city since Roman times, when it was known as Aeminium. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was on its own for a ...
City
Coimbra, Portugal

The Roman Ruins of ConĂ­mbriga

113779Located about 10 miles (16 km) from Coimbra, the ruined Roman town of Conímbriga is one of Portugal’s best preserved and restored Roman sites. Archaeologists believe that it was settled long ...
Ruin
Coimbra, Portugal

Evora

113843Évora, the capital of the Alentejo region, is a picturesque, medium-sized city with more than its share of things to see and do. An important town as far back as Roman times, the town’s most ...
City
Evora, Portugal

Toledo

114536The city of Toledo is history incarnate. Get off a bus in the center of town and you can’t go three blocks in any direction without passing a half-dozen genuine historical sites. Here’s a ...
City
Toledo, Spain

Madrid

114613The bustling modern capital of Spain somehow manages to defy and define the nation at the same time. The Madrileños are quintessential Spanish, in everything from their love of fútbol and ...
City
Madrid, Spain

Castile-La Mancha

114684Castile-La Mancha is a large, sparsely populated region in central Spain comprising the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Toledo. The region, of course, is home to La ...
Region
Spain

Valencia

114828Located on the sunny Mediterranean coast, the region known as Comunidad Valenciana consists of three provinces: Valencia, CastellĂłn and Alicante. Valencia was once a powerful Kingdom, and it ...
Region
Spain
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