Ultimate Europe Bucket List
Gabrielle – Boarding Call | Facebook | Instagram
Iceland has become the sweetheart of travel bloggers and the country seemingly at the top of everyone’s bucket lists lately, and it’s easy to see why! Iceland is easily one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world. Geologically speaking, Iceland is one of the “newest” countries in the world due to the collision of the North American and Eurasian plates, and the volcano-dotted land. These features make Iceland a truly otherworldly visit, and sometimes you might feel like you’ve landed on another planet entirely.
Love waterfalls? Iceland is full of them. You might even get what I call “waterfall fatigue”. Love hiking? Iceland really has endless possibilities when it comes to getting outdoors and hiking. Love animals? Iceland’s got incredible creature sightings as well – pull over and pet some of the infamous Icelandic horses, head to Dryholaey to spot puffins careening into their cliffside nests or book a whale tour to spot orcas off-shore on the west coast of Iceland.
Looking at these pictures by Gabby, I’m sure no one can go wrong with Iceland. Staring at these pictures, Iceland is on top of my Europe Bucket List, would it find a place in yours?
Marianna – Irma Naan World | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest
What do you think about when you hear ‘Russia’? Most likely, you immediately remember St Petersburg, Moscow, and Siberia. Some people might even think of the Lake Baikal and the Trans-Siberian Railway. But Russia is so much more than the royal palaces of St Petersburg and the Red Square in Moscow. Being the largest country in the world, it has incredible landscapes in Karelia, Altai and the Ural Mountains, and endless snowy plains in the North. The picturesque Putorana Plateau, Valley of Geysers, Manpupuner rock formations, Lena Pillars and volcanoes of the Kuril Islands are just some of the natural wonders of Russia.
And don’t forget about many historical cities with amazing architecture. These cities, like Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, form the so-called Golden Ring, which is a must-see. If you have ever wanted to visit the Arctic or the North Pole, Murmansk may be your starting point.
Besides visiting many tourist attractions of Russia, another way to get to know the country and its people is attending the local celebrations. New Year is the biggest holiday, and all cities turn into a fairy tale. Moscow is particularly stunning during the winter celebrations with lights, fireworks, concerts, merry-go-rounds, Christmas trees and Father Frost. Another notable holiday, full of traditions, is Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week when Russians celebrate the coming of the spring with crepes, songs, dances and burning effigies of straw. Russia has so much to offer, people just need to put their fears aside and come to see it.
Jacqueline – Nomad Epicureans | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter
Finland had been on my Europe bucket list for as long as I could think. And when I finally visited, I loved it so much I returned only a few months later and stayed for four years. Although living in Finland came with its own challenges, Finland is still one of my top destinations in Europe. And it should be one of yours as well!
Finland is most widely known for its incredibly beautiful nature. Dubbed the land of a thousand lakes, there are actually almost 200.000 lakes in the country. Cute red summer cottages dot the shores of these lakes as well as the Finnish coast on the Baltic Sea. A vast wilderness invites you to explore and beyond the Arctic circle lies a magical winter wonderland. Finland is perfect for those trying to reconnect with nature or with their inner child. After all, Finland is the home of Santa Claus! Adding to that, Helsinki is an emerging hub for art and design, bustling with life. How could Finland not be on your bucket list?
Sonja – Migrating Miss | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Portugal is definitely a bucket list destination in Europe. It has everything from gorgeous beaches to picturesque cities and villages. The capital of Lisbon is well known for its street art and beautifully tiled buildings, as well as its yellow trams and plentiful hills! Make sure you go to the Alfama district to listen to traditional Fado music, and along the river to the Tower of Belem.
Sintra is a popular day trip from Lisbon for its mountains, lush forest, and the stunning Pena Palace. In Porto, you can explore the Port wine cellars, taste test the port, and learn about how it’s history is intertwined with the city. Head to the Douro Valley to wander the ancient vineyards that supply the grapes for the port.
On the southern coast of Portugal is the Algarve, home to towering sand-colored cliffs framing secluded beaches with turquoise waters, it’s certainly worth a road trip!
Diamond – Ink for Miles | Facebook | Pinterest
My whole life I’ve played it safe. I’ve always worn my seat belt, saved my pennies and eaten all my veggies. I’m just one of those people who color within the lines. That was until I set off for my first solo backpacking trip through Europe. I had a whole ocean away from my well-ordered life and people’s expectations. I was determined to see who I could be when I was free to just be myself. Wait, let me be clear, I didn’t go hog wild or anything like that. I jumped off the plane ready for adventure, not a personality transplant. I just wanted, for the first time, to do something that scared me. Something that I deep down really wanted but never let myself have. I found that thing in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The human language has no words that properly convey how magnificent Interlaken is. I felt like the train dropped me in a fairy tale & I spent my days sitting next to Lake Brienz and gazing at the still blue water. Hiked through the mountains, went searching for waterfalls, ate ridiculously expensive, but delicious, food. I hopped on a train to Lauterbrunnen and witnessed the beauty of Trummelbach Falls, a waterfall of melted glaciers. Then on the very last day, I did what I came all this way for, I went paragliding.
Some might not know Interlaken is famous for its adventure sports. People come from all over the world for paragliding, hang-gliding, bungee-jumping, white-water rafting, the list goes on. I was ready to be one of those people. On a fateful day, we drove up the mountains, I got strapped up to a complete stranger, and then we ran off a hill and wind did the rest. It was, in a word, amazing.
There are so many reasons to visit a place and so much more reasons to put it on a bucket list but the reason that matters is if that place changes you and how you see the world. Switzerland is at the very top of my Europe bucket list because it’s a place where you can commune with nature and with yourself. My time there taught me that I wasn’t defined by the limits I set for myself. If I want to, I can fly. So, go. Between the picturesque town, incredible hikes and adrenaline fixes, you won’t be disappointed.
The country where I first solo-traveled to with nothing but a small backpack, lots of uncertainties and the curiosity of a wide-eyed 22-year-old girl. The rich history, the amazing castles, the beautiful romantic villages, the tasty brewed beer, the tough but funny language, the diverse and inclusive locals and the stunning landscapes. What’s not to love about Germany?
Berlin should be a stop on every European bucket list simply because there is so much to see, do and learn. The latest time I visited Berlin, I made sure to skip the regular city tour and go for an offbeat one instead. I took the counterculture tour which led us through the history, diversity, and beauty of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg Districts. Friedrichshain was surprisingly affordable and had unique boutiques, exhibitions, food and pubs all at the same time.
Besides great art and culture, Germany also has beautiful castles like the castle at Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Visiting this fairy-tale town will take you straight back to the middle ages. If you’re lucky you may even find a local festival with middle age clothes, festivities, beer, food and everything else a history buff’s dreams are made of.
If you’re looking to visit Germany for its romantic cities and Christmas markets, make sure to stop by at Nuremberg. The view from the castle alone is totally worth the visit!
Michelle – Young, Broke & Wandering | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest
So which one of these places would you like to add to your Europe bucket list? Share your thoughts with me.
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– The Wanderer