Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is home to Mt Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. Additionally, the city is known for its beautiful architecture and historic sites. The Temple of Concord, for example, is one of the best preserved Doric temples in the world.
Paris, the capital of France, is the most populous city in the country, and the second most populous city of any country in the European Union (behind London). Its most prominent landmark is the Eiffel Tower, which was constructed in 1889, but that is not the city’s only attractive spot. The Luxembourg Gardens are an excellent place to relax. Prior to the French Revolution, they were open only to members of the aristocracy but today they are one of the country’s most popular attractions.
Rome, Italy – Rome’s history spans over two millennia, so it is no surprise that the city is known for its historic sites such as: the Colosseum, the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the Castel Sant’Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza della Repubblica, just to name a few.
Istanbul is known for its mosques, bazaars, Turkish baths, and distinct architecture. One of the most prominent sites is the Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), which was built by Ahmed I and still houses his body.
Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh is located in Lothian, on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Though it is the country’s capital, it is only its second most populous. It is an historic and natural city and part of its appeal is its characteristic green grass. The University of Edinburgh is one of the highest rated institutions of higher learning in the world and the country is known for its rich literary history.
Prague is the capital city of the modern day Czech Republic but before that it was the capital of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire. Long before that, the area was home to various Celtic tribes. Prague is known for its colorful buildings and some of the local attractions include Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter, and the Lennon Wall.
Frankfurt is known as the gateway to Germany, mainly because it hosts the Frankfurt Airport. However, Frankfurt is actually a beautiful city of its own merit. From the Main Tower, you can see the entire city, which is especially beautiful when lit up at night. The city is also the birthplace of Germany’s most important writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (He’s sort of like Germany’s Shakespeare). His house was destroyed in World War II but it has been painstakingly reconstructed, with all the original furniture, wall-hangings, paintings, and library. They’ve even restored his original writing desk so you can see where he wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther.
Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, is spread out across fourteen islands with views of the Baltic Sea. Be sure to visit the Old Town to see, well, old things… cobblestone streets, crooked buildings, the Royal Palace, and gothic churches. Stockholm is known for its vintage stores and upscale cafes.
Bath, Somerset – Bath is another city in England but it is nothing like London. The city is so significant that it has been declared a World Heritage site, in its entirety. That’s right, the entire city is an historic landmark. It is the only place in the UK in which you can bathe in naturally hot spring water, in Roman style baths. Bath is not just the city’s name but its main attraction.
Constantine, Algeria – Malek Haddad, an Algerian poet, wrote of Constantine, “You do not introduce Constantine. She introduces herself, and you salute her. She reveals herself and we discover each other.” The city was constructed on a mountain above a ravine where it stands, perched precariously above cliffs, surrounded by shrubbery. And carved into the surrounding cliffs? Evidence of ancient cultures.
Munich, Germany – Munich is the city of beer. Its most prominent brewery is Hofbräuhaus, which has been brewing the finest hops since 1589. And for recreation, you can ice skate in Olympiapark, or unwind with some people-watching at The promenade of Marienplatz.
Lefkada, Greece – Aside from its clear waters and clean sand, Lefkada also has some of the most beautifully gnarled shrubbery of any beach on this list. (And hey, it’s even been suggested that this is the location of Ithica… as in Homer… as in The Iliad and The Odyssey.)
Moscow, Russia – Moscow is a city of art. It’s filled with museums and even its buildings are works of art. The Red Square and Kremlin are two of the most known attractions for art-enthusiasts, and many say that the Tretyakov Gallery has the finest collection of Russian art in the world. If fine art isn’t your thing, you could always visit Saint Basil’s Cathedral, though it really is a work of art in its own right.
London, England – Not only is London the capital England and its most populous city, it is home to the Tower of London, the country’s number one tourist attraction. While you’re there, you might as well take in a show. How about Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre, which boasts a revolving stage for scene changes? This production is noted for being presented in its original, unaltered version, unlike the recent revivals.
Brussels, Belgium – So, what’s so great about Brussels? Well, brussels sprouts are said to have originated in this area of Belgium around the 16th century, where they were adopted from a Roman crop and selectively bred until they became the vegetable they are today. But I guess that’s not why you’d want to travel there. You’d probably go for the French-Dutch-Flemish cultures, which all coexist in this city. Plus, a little historical fun-fact: the city was founded by Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, a descendent of Charlemagne.