Europe is starting to open up again
If you are itching to get back to travelling after the Coronavirus lockdown, now is a good time to start planning. While this list is not exhaustive, should you decide to visit any of these five best European cities, you can guarantee they will impress you with their beauty.
The current Covid19 pandemic has threatened tourism worldwide. You might be wondering if you will ever travel again. Of course that is not true, and while these are worrying times it will pass like all other pandemics throughout history. Italy is already seeing infection numbers drop, and many smaller European countries managed to contain the virus and have kept infection rates and deaths to a minimum.
Slovenia is leading the way
Slovenia is a prime example. Despite being right next door to Northern Italy and the fact that many Slovenes flooded to this region throughout January and February for skiing and other events, the current statistics are as follows: 1464 confirmed cases, 103 deaths. Over the last few days there have only been 14 new cases. As a result, the Slovenian government this week declared Slovenia’s epidemic at an end, and have now opened the borders. EU citizens are free to cross the border, while 3rd country nationals have to undergo a quarantine period. No doubt that will also soon be lifted.
So to help get your travelling head in gear, here is our list of five of the best European cities to visit.
Situated on the Adriatic Sea, this Croatian city offers ancient walls and a picturesque Old Town. Allow yourself to get lost in the limestone streets as you admire the baroque buildings, or enjoy a plate of fresh seafood while you sip local wine. The city has maintained its beauty despite being damaged by an earthquake in 1667 and once again during a war in the 1990s. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 due to its rich culture, history, and architecture. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans will also be delighted to know that the show is partly filmed in Dubrovnik.
If you love all the benefits of a capital city coupled with the feeling of a small town, then Ljubljana is definitely one of the best European cities to visit. The capital of Slovenia keeps a low profile, but that’s likely because locals want to prevent their gorgeous city from turning into a major tourist hub. You’ll immediately feel like you were transported into a fairytale as you wander Ljubljana’s quaint alleys and interact with its friendly residents. It’s beautiful in all four seasons, but Christmas is particularly magical. It’s virtually impossible not to make a few friends as you huddle around the outdoor heaters and sip kuhano vino, the Slovenian word for mulled wine. Also, from spring to autumn Ljubljana plays host to the Ljubljana Open Kitchen, where you can sample food from all around the world in a beautiful setting beside the river.
This hip destination is unique because it’s actually two cities – Buda and Pest – which are separated by the Danube River. The Buda side, situated on rolling hills, is home to Buda Castle, while Pest is flat and hosts a plethora of tourist attractions. Be sure to take advantage of the many thermal baths scattered across the Hungarian capital, particularly the ornate Széchenyi Baths. Enjoy the local wine on a summer evening, or warm up with a bowl of hot goulash in the winter. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to enjoy exploring Budapest’s many offerings.
Everyone knows it as the “Golden City of 100 Spires.” Prague is a feast for the eyes. The Old Town Square steals the show, featuring scenes worthy of a postcard. Cafés and restaurants line cobblestone alleyways while 17 gorgeous bridges provide photo opportunities on the Vltava River. A stroll down the Charles Bridge is said to ensure good luck if you touch its many statues as you walk. The city’s architecture boasts a wide range of styles, all of which are stunning. Be sure to check out the mechanical clock at the Old Town Hall, which puts on an impressive show every hour.
5. St. Petersburg
You might be surprised to find this city listed as one of the best European cities to visit, but if you’ve ever watched the Eurovision Song Contest, you’ll have noted that Western Russia is considered to be part of the European continent.
The best introduction to this beautiful city is a stroll down Griboedov Canal, which will take you past the extremely ornate Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Walk across Bank Bridge and admire the golden-winged griffons guarding the pathway. Admire the beauty of the enormous Winter Palace and visit Peter and Paul Fortress for a crash course in Russian history. It’s nearly impossible to escape the city’s over-the-top beauty, no matter how you choose to spend your time. St. Petersburg is also bustling with plenty of cool restaurants and bars due to the city’s large student population.
Things will book up fast
When the tourism season does open up, there will no doubt be floods of people wanting to visit, while at the same time social distancing rules could well mean some limitations on how many people accommodation providers can cater for in the post Covid19 summer. So get planning now, book your city break and get ready to visit one of these best European cities in 2020.