Following is a list of some of the most historically significant, mystical, magical, visually stunning and fun cities to visit in the Old World.
The “City of Love and Lights” is and really always has been a hotspot for Euro-travelers seeking culture, romance and fun. You won’t find a better place in the world to drink the finest French and European wine, eat the most delicious cuisine, and view the most celebrated artwork and architecture this planet has to offer. Take a boat trip down the Sienne, which stretches throughout the entire city with gorgeous trees, cobblestone walkways, and Neoclassic and Roccoco architecture peppering the shorelines. You’ll find many Parisans stand-offish if you try to practice your French language skills on them for the first time — ask them if they speak English first!
- Plan a day tour to the iconic Versailles.
- Visit the Eiffel Tower and take panoramic photos of the city from the top.
- Take in some art and culture at Centre Pompidou
- Hit up Paris’s version of Rodeo Drive at Champs Elysees.
- Go to Les Halles for a French boutique shopping adventure.
- Eat the finest cuisine by stopping in at any restaurant or street vendor (look for “Prix-Fixe” signs outside fine dining restaurants at lunchtime to get discounted gourmet meals).
It’s said that Greek-god brothers Romulus and Remus, fathered by a Greek-god father and she-wolf mother, founded the “City of Seven Hills”. This is Italy’s capital city and city steeped in religious and historical culture. Rome’s home to the Vatican and its current pope, Pope Francis. Whether you’re a Catholic, Christian, Islamic, or Atheist; Rome is a city worth visiting just for the sights, sounds and amazing food contained within its city walls.
- Visit the awe-inspiring Vatican City (join Pope Francis for Sunday mass).
- Find a local trattoria for some traditional Italian pasta.
- Check out the Colosseum (watch out for the ghosts at night!)
- Enjoy a lazy Italian cafe-hopping afternoon in the Piazza Navonna square.
- Jump on the Frecciarossa Train for a day trip to Pompeii.
Samuel Johnson once said of the UK’s posh Capital that “When a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life.” So then it should come as no surprise that London is a definite must see for anyone seeking to see the very best in sights, cuisine and all-round culture that Europe has to offer. The only trouble with London is that it is UK’s most expensive city to live and travel in — and you just plain can’t experience everything the city has to offer in one fell swoop! This city is home to British Royalty and has seen its fair share of struggles, being the site of the famous “Blitz” aerial bombings by the Germans during WWII. Londoners are rough around the edges but at the same time willing to open their arms to all cultures. London’s one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet next to Toronto, Canada.
- Jump on the London Eye Ferris Wheel to see more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks in less than a half-hour.
- Visit the Royal Museums in Greenwich to view the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory or the infamous tea trade-era ship the Cutty Sark.
- The Tower of London is a 900 year old architectural marvel that you must visit (this history rich site has been a palace, prison, execution site, and even a zoo!)
- Check out the Tate Modern; the most visited art gallery on the planet.
- Head over to the Ritz or Dorchester for High Tea with Londoner’s most posh.
Perhaps most famous for its public acceptance of brothels and “coffee shops” that sell non-prescription narcotics, Holland’s famed Amsterdam has so much more to offer than their unorthodox legal system (btw: foreigners aren’t legally permitted in the coffee shops). Amsterdam is Old World Europe at its best with tons of criss-crossing canals, pitted Renaissance era architecture, and museums — lots of museums! Anne Frank hid from the Nazis with her family her during WWII and wrote her famous “Diary of a Young Girl” during that time. Vincent Van Gogh’s work is heavily displayed at the Vincent Van Gogh museum in the city square. There’s plenty to do and see in this relaxing throwback city. Like Paris, don’t attempt to practice your shaky Dutch with the locals; nearly all speak English.
- Jump on a bike or in a rented boat and travel through the swirling maze of canals, check out the endless aged canal houses along the way.
- Visit the boutiques in and around the Nine Streets area, famous for selling modern and traditional Dutch, Euro, and American high fashion.
- Check out one of the many museums scattered throughout the city, including the Van Gogh.
- Head to Vondelpark where you’ll find a culture like none other anywhere in the world: public entertainment, picnicers, forests as far as the eyes can see, and much more.
- Visit the De Pijp neighborhood for some cheap traditional ethnic Dutch cuisine or head to the Canal Ring area for some upscale dining.
Main Image: La Citta Vitta