As Britain gets set to exit the EU, I thought I would celebrate it, by writing about some of the best places to visit in Europe. Some of these places I am yet to go to, but this is my nod to some of the best things our neighbours have to offer.
Naturally, one of the best locations to visit in Europe is Paris. The city of love, it has plenty on offer, from the Arc de Triomphe to The Louvre, where Mona Lisa sits on display, and of course the Eiffel Tower. Walk cobbled, sweeping streets, whilst stopping off for a romantic meal in the centre of the city. And if you’ve been to Paris before, why not look at other French locations? Including Metz, with riverside walks, and only 82 minutes away by train from Paris.
It’s not just red lights and sex museums in Amsterdam, but it’s culture, history and excitement. The gridlocked streets are busy with tinging bikes and clacking trams, but don’t let that bustle put you off. Take a walk through Vondelpark, visit the house that Anne Frank lived and hid in, and maybe even sample the legal marijuana that’s on offer. Amsterdam has something for everyone, whether that be Heineken, an LGBT nightlife, or absorbing local history.
I’m yet to go to Budapest in Hungary, but it is on my list. Safe for LGBTQ travellers, though with government attitude quite behind, Budapest is rich with historical heritage and architecture. A walk to Fisherman’s Bastion, or a visit to Buda Castle should be on your itinerary, along with sampling some Gastro pubs that have sprung up. And if that’s not quite your thing, take a relaxing dip in the thermal baths.
When you think of Portugal, you think of Lisbon, the city of colour. And yes, a visit to the colourfully painted city should definitely be on the agenda. It’s a must do, and it’s creeping to the top of my Europe travel bucket list. But why not look at The Algarve, and in particular, Tavira? Not on the tops of people’s minds, Tavira is a cosy, sleepy town, near the coast, with a great beach, known as Ilha De Tavira, accessed only by ferry. In Tavira, you can visit the ruins of a once famous castle, as well as churches. And if seafood is your thing, this is definitely the place for you!
Italy has a lot to offer. Whether it be Rome or Florence, there is plenty to see and do. A staple piece of Italian travel is the Roman Colosseum in Rome, one of the best standing Roman pieces that are still standing. Foodies will be able to get a lot out of Rome, naturally, of course, being pizza or pasta. Bask in the heat of Cinque Terre, or pose next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Flights from the UK can be reasonable, so do your best to find the best deal!
Greece is the perfect summer holiday destination, and recently it has become an Instagrammers dream. The white washed walls of Santorini, with deep blue sea views, has probably flooded your Instagram over the past year. And if that hadn’t, then you’ve definitely had travel envy from those who are tanning in Mykonos. If history is your forte, Old Town Rhodes should cross your mind, due to its medieval heritage.
Sea exploration, beaches, and exciting adventure, Croatia might just be for you. Indulge in water sports activities, take a bike ride, or absorb the sun on the beach. If that’s not enough, visit Dubrovnik, the historic town that was used as inspiration for Game of Throne’s Kings Landing.
And as the UK get ready to leave the EU, it’s important that we remember that we are still European. We may have lost our many benefits, we may have lost freedom of movement, and we may have to now pay for visas to simply cross the border and explore the rich culture of Europe, including destinations such as Barcelona, Venice and Vienna, but we must never forget our European status. Brexit may mean Brexit, but this certainly is no Independence Day. At least not for me. In my lifetime, hope we come back. And for now? Well, I accept, I move on, and I book that flight to Hungary!