The European Commission recently lifted the Travel Ban it imposed on various airlines from the Philippines, leaving local carriers like PAL and Cebu Pacific and their passengers a wealth of travel options in Europe. The possibility of a more competitive rate is pretty high now that there are more ways to go to places you’ve yet been, so what are the best countries to visit in the European continent?
Recognized world-wide for making arguably the best chocolate, Belgium is definitely a must-visit place for people with a sweet tooth. They also produce some of the best beers on the planet, rivalling the majority of other options. As loyal as Pinoys are to local offerings, going to Belgium would be a match made in (beer) heaven. Belgium’s cities are also full of history, and visitors can look forward to the place where Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, as well as where The Belgians and British clashed during World War I.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: Musee Herge (yes, a Tin-Tin museum!), St-Baafskathedraal (home to Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, one of the medieval world’s most renowned paintings), and Moules (the Belgian national dish of mussels and fries).
Must Visit: Bruges, The Ardennes, Flanders, and Brussels
Austria is a country filled beautiful castles and damned good cakes. It’s also where The Sound of Music was set.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: All things Mozart, the picture-postcard perfect village of Hallstatt, Bad Gastein (budget skiing), and The Sound of Music Tour.
Must Visit: Vienna and Salzburg
Idyllic lakes, great vodka, and chocolate-box cities–Poland is home to a number of idyllic beaches, as well as mountainscapes that provide beautiful contrast to the lumbering sprawl of its cities.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: The Warsaw Nightlife (normally up in glass skyscrapers or ground-level in abandoned factories), The Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp, and the Wielicza Salt Mine (subterranean galleries carved from rock slat).
Must Visit: Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Kazimierz
Franz Kafka once said “Prague never lets you go. This dear little mother has claws.” Prague in the Czech Republic is so engaging that very few tourists ever leave the capital. Bohemia’s renaissance breweries and the underground bars of Moravia are worth a visit at least once in your life.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: The Home of Pilsner Urquell (the original lager), The Sedlec Ossuary, and the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov
Must Visit: Prague and Moravia
Budapest is cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is also home to a number of World Heritage Sites for those who are interested in European architecture, culture, history and conservation.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: The thermal baths in Budapest, The Parliament, The House of Terror
Must Visit: Budapest
One of the world’s most romantic cities, Spain is a world capital for fashion, music, art, and food. There is something for everyone in Spain, ranging from spectacular countryside views, authentic experiences, and a dazzling nightlife.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: Watching flamenco in Seville, Ibiza, the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, and the Alhambra in Granada
Must Visit: Barcelona, Madrid, and Andalucia
Italy has one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in Europe. Fans of the Godfather will be sure to note how the first part of the second film was shot in some well-known destinations in the country. The Grand Canal is one of the most iconic places to see as well.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: The Colosseum, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Roman and Greek Ruins, and the Last Supper in Milan.
Must Visit: Florence, Siena, Rome, Milan
No country is more iconic than France, home to Paris, the one and only City of Love and Lights. The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most recognizable structure of all time. The diversity one will find in France is something difficult to capture in words or photographs, even over the course of a lifetime of visits. It has everything one could want from a vacation: Delectable food, compelling and innovative art, moving music, picturesque countrysides, and jaw-dropping fashion. France is definitely the number one destination for a first-timer to Europe.
What You Shouldn’t Miss: Bourdeaux (the stronghold and the wine), Jardin du Luxembourg (Paris’s most beautiful park), The Louvre (for art and Dan Brown fans to enjoy), and definitely the Eiffel Tower.
Must Visit: Paris, Normandy, Provence, Corsica
What countries are you planning to travel to in Europe? Leave a comment and share your dream destinations, even your itineraries, with us!