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Inter-railing round Europe is a rite of passage not to be missed. Just you, your best mate, your passport, a train ticket and a rucksack of essentials ready to lose yourself in the culture, beauty and mayhem of one of the world’s most varied continents. Even if you don’t have the extended holiday but you want to tick off a bit of Europe each year, these destinations are essential additions to your bucket list.
Rome is home to one of the most influential civilizations in the history of mankind, and you won’t be short of once in a lifetime landmarks to photograph. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon all need to be seen to be believed. And how about taking a trip to the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City, home to the head of the Catholic church and some of the most stunning frescoes the world will ever see in Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. After soaking up all this impressive history, reward yourself with some of the finest pizza you’ll ever eat and of course plenty of gelato. If you’re booking your trip to Rome, if you have time you should consider also visiting some other wonderful areas of Italy too.
If you prefer your history mixed with some coastal beauty, Dubrovnik offers both in abundance. This historic city boasts beautiful architecture, amazing fortresses and quaint old markets. You could then be sea-kayaking or simply lazing on a beautiful beach by the afternoon. Dubrovnik also has a vibrant cultural scene, with festivals and performances that are guaranteed to impress. After dark, you’ll find thriving nightlife, check yourself into Club Culture Revelin to catch a world class DJ before stumbling back to your city apartment for some shut-eye so that you can do it all again tomorrow.
When we think of European cities, London is without doubt top of mind. This throbbing, cultural metropolis is not only home to some seriously recognisable, historical landmarks but also a significant art scene, world class sporting heritage and of course unrivalled nightlife. Immerse yourself in London’s past by visiting the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey before taking a river cruise through the city, all super easy using a London Pass. Stop off at the Tate Modern to puzzle over the conceptual art or take in a football match. Then it’s time for a disco nap and outfit change, before hitting one of the world’s best nightclubs, Fabric, for a night of unbridled revelry. Check out my guide to the best things to do in London for under £10 here.
Istanbul offers a very different take on Europe and should not be missed. The city straddles the border between Europe and Asia, and you’ll see the cultural difference as soon as you arrive. Awe-inspiring architecture remains a theme, with towering mosques and impressive churches reflecting the city’s mixed heritage. A wander around the city’s many bazaars will really ingratiate you into the vibrant, colourful population. Shop for spices, tea, slippers, leather goods and glittering homeware or just lose yourself in the bustle for a few hours. A sunset drink on the Bosphorus followed by a delicious Turkish feast will round off a fascinating day. Make sure you also take the time for a traditional hammam, the baths are some of the loveliest buildings and you will come away feeling cleaner than you’ve ever felt.
Europe is without doubt a treasure trove of undiscovered delights, but these destinations are certainly not to be missed. If you really want to immerse yourself in these destinations, why not consider working abroad?
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