Our 10 favourite Euro destinations for a good old jaunt
Exploring Europe is like a box of chocolates. A new country is only a slither of plastic packaging away.
Okay, our version of the famous simile needs work. But hopping around Europe is practically flawless with modern transport and technology at a premium.
The only problem is first getting to the continent. Why, Australia, must you be so far from everywhere? Fortunately, part of this dilemma has been solved with seriously discounted airfares in Student Flights' Europe Earlybird promotion.
To celebrate, we've narrowed our mile-long wish list down to 10 of our favourite places to visit in Europe.
1. Rome (Italy)
The Colosseum; Trevi Fountain; the Vatican; the Sistine Chapel. Rome is where you forget how boring history was in high school and become fascinated with centuries-old masterpieces.
Street-side pizza, cheap bottles of wine and home-made gelato taste better than anything we can replicate back in Australia. Sit on the Spanish Steps with one or more of these in hand and you'll know why we've fallen in love with the city.
2. Frankfurt (Germany)
With the Main river running through its centre, Frankfurt is a picturesque metropolis responsible for inspiring renowned writers and artists.
Amalgamating old with new, you can leave the silver skyscrapers behind and step into the reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) to see street performers, traditional cuisine and clothing, and the annual Christmas market.
3. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
You step back into the 17th century when you visit Amsterdam. Narrow canals are sidled up against historic houses with intricate facades and elaborate museums on the world's greatest artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
We love the city's obsession with cycling – there's something utterly relaxing about cruising along the bike paths through Vondelpark. You can then turn the day on its head with Amsterdam's ever-eventful nightlife.
4. Paris (France)
Oh Paris you've been on our minds of late. Everyone seems to have a different reason for loving you: your striking Eiffel Tower, the fascinating Catacombs, artisanal macaroons and dive bars along Bastille.
But we're barely touching the surface. With Disneyland Paris, the world-famous Louvre and the other-worldly Champs-Elysees, a few days in Paris can go by quickly.
5. London (England)
Hopping across from mainland Europe to the motherland is rarely a bad idea. It might not be the brightest city year-round, but London has its own welcoming traits, such as a cosy corner pub where a drinking buddy is never far from hand.
During winter you might want to stay indoors, possibly at the Sea Life Aquarium or The London Dungeon. But in summer, prepare for the entire city to be out in force, populating the various parklands, inner-city swimming pools and rooftop bars.
6. Zurich (Switzerland)
Zurich is quirky and unique; the type of friend who might say or do the most random things. The locals also seem to be having just as good a time as the visitors.
Join in on the fun during massive music events, in the bars along Langstrasse or out on Lake Zurich for a bit of wakeboarding or kayaking.
7. Greek Islands (Greece)
So Greece might not be in the best spot financially at the moment, but that has posed only minor detriment to its picturesque islands. Whether you're searching for a beach party or a quiet seaside retreat to rejuvenate, the Greek Islands can accommodate.
From the whitewashed towns on Santorini and the nonstop nightlife on Mykonos, to the seemingly endless beaches on Kos and welcoming tavernas on Skopelos, it's easy to find your perfect island.
8. Berlin (Germany)
Life is a little wild in Berlin. Whether it's culture, art, music or nightlife there always seems to be something going on in Germany's capital city. Yet Berlin doesn't even need all the events to keep you occupied.
Filled with historic monuments, high-street shopping, relaxing waterways, clubs at the top of skyscrapers and urban adventures, Berlin isn't the city for staying in your hotel.
9. Croatia Sailing
Sailing along Croatia's coastline can be a week-long party, a luxurious retreat, an exploration through history, a romantic getaway or a combination of the four. With multiple sailing events year-round, such as The Yacht Week, you don't even need to know how to sail (but you can learn if you want to).
Bring friends or go it alone – travellers from around the world meet, mingle and party during a sailing holiday from Split to Solta, Hvar, Vis and many more of Croatia's idyllic islands.
10. Barcelona (Spain)
Very few cities can lay down the claim of having a beach as popular as Barcelona's. Perfectly designed to accommodate the Spanish way of life, Barcelona is home to numerous late-night bars and clubs, a vibrant local restaurant scene and plenty of quiet areas for an afternoon siesta.
Head to the coast, explore the city, browse through the Boqueria market or socialise in a tapas bar. Barcelona might be the place you've been searching to find.
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