The only difficulty you face when planning a visit to Europe is deciding where to go. There is so much to see, so many beautiful cities and so little time that you are spoilt for choice. In no particular order, these are five cities that you should see. There are many, many more such as Barcelona, Madrid, Budapest, Prague ……
London. When you tire of London you tire of life as someone once said, and it is still true even now. London is dirty, noisy, crowded and the public transport isn’t the best in the world but there is something about London that has to be experienced. Hyde park, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, a walk along the Thames, Harrods, Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Soho. You can go on and on.
Paris. If you are planning a visit to Europe, how could you not spend at least a few days in Paris? It is probably the most chic city in the world, with its beautiful architecture, cafes, churches, monuments, art galleries and more. Walk along the Seine or take a bateau mouche to see the city from the river, climb the Eiffel tower, visit Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, eat, drink and be merry.
Rome. Like London Rome is noisy, crowded and amazing. It has great food and great wine combined with thousands of years of history. Visit the roman forum, Vatican City, the Coliseum., the Fontana di Trevi and the Pantheon. As with all these cities, the only hard decision is what to miss out if you only have a limited time. You could live in Rome for a month and only scratch the surface.
Venice. Simply, the most beautiful city in the world. It has to be seem to be believed. After visiting St Mark’s Square and the main tourist sites, I would suggest leaving the normal tourist areas and wandering through the back streets to see something of the real Venice. Even during the long tourist season these are relatively empty, and you will stumble across many hidden gems, not only architecturally but also gastronomically.
Berlin. In common with the other cities, there is a lot of interesting history attached although Berlin is different in that much of it is more recent. You can follow the track marking out the Berlin wall, see the last remaining bits of wall (now preserved), Checkpoint Charlie, the last remaining watch tower and so on. There are also an astonishing number of museums and beer halls within easy reach, and of course the Berlin State Opera.
Finally, a little bit of language helps. English is widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas, but people appreciate it if you make an effort in their language. This doesn’t have to be more than hello, goodbye but it usually gets a good response. You will also find that in places where you might expect an understanding of English, such as the metro in Paris, it can surprisingly be absent. Linguata would help here.