Africa might be best known for its wildlife and Australia is well loved for its beaches. But if there’s one destination that’s renowned for fascinating culture, it has to be Europe.
Destinations like Paris, Rome and Barcelona offer the perfect blend of art, history, cuisine and entertainment. For any culture vultures booking a European getaway, here is a list of the must-see cities.
There’s more to Rome than just the city’s well-loved cuisine – pizza, pasta and gelato. Rome boasts a rich cultural landscape, with an excellent range of museums, art galleries and historic landmarks. The Vatican features some of the world’s most iconic artistic masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Dome and the 23 hectares that make up the beautiful Vatican Gardens.
No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the city’s fascinating historic locations, including the awe-inspiring Colosseum and Emperor Nero’s ancient villa Domus Aurea. For those who prefer their culture a little more on the modern side, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea features some of the best contemporary works by Italian and international artists.
The French capital offers visitors a getaway packed with cultural experiences, including stunning architecture and first-class exhibitions. Lovers of art are spoilt for choice with an exceptional range of boutique galleries, antique art stores and, of course, the expansive Louvre gallery.
The variation in architecture is equally impressive. Visitors can stroll from the traditional cobbled streets of the Montmartre district to the modern and ground-breaking Centre Pompidou.
If you prefer to steer clear of the tourist traps, some of the lesser-known museums and galleries include the Musée Marmottan Monet, which features the world’s largest collection of works by Claude Monet. The Musée d’Orsay is also well worth a visit, featuring a stunning collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces housed in a former train station.
While many tourists venture to Barcelona to enjoy its 4km of beachfront, the city also boasts a keen arts and culture scene. This widely popular Spanish city has, throughout history, been home to some of the world’s best artists and architects. Pablo Picasso called the Catalan capital home for several years. The Picasso Museum commemorates his time in the city. This museum features some of his early realist works, as well as his more famous Cubist paintings.
The Joan Miró Foundation and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation are two of the city’s major artistic museums, featuring a range of contemporary pieces. Alternatively, the National Art Museum of Catalonia features medieval frescoes from the Pyrenees region.
No cultural trip to Barcelona would be complete without visits to the Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera, surreal buildings designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Plan for peace of mind
Finally, it pays to keep in mind that even the most relaxing cultural getaway does come with a degree of risk. Whether you drop your camera or encounter pickpockets on a bus, it pays to always put your safety first with travel insurance cover.
There is a range of travel insurance for Europe packages available that can guarantee the safety of your possessions, so you can enjoy your time abroad minus the stress and worry.
Author Bio: Tracey Chandler is a freelance travel writer and a huge fan of independent travel. She regularly contributes to a wide range of travel blogs and female-interest publications.