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What do Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Rome’s Colosseum, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia all have in common? They are arguably the most visited and photographed landmarks in the whole of Europe – and why wouldn’t they be? They are steeped in history, a deep-rooted part of the country’s culture and are all highly instagram-able! But what about all the other fascinating sights and landmarks on the continent that will forever sit in the shadows of the ‘Big 3’? With so many amazing hidden gems in Europe that are within reach with our flight and hotel packages, I’ve put together my Top 10 alternative attractions in Europe that I reckon should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. They’re certainly on mine…
#10. Vienna –Schonbrunn Palace
Undoubtedly the most visited attraction in Vienna, Schonbrunn Palace takes the term ‘royal treatment’ to a whole new level. Built back in the 17th century, this decadent palace was once the summer residence of the Imperial Family and Maria Theresia and has since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With grand chandeliers, sumptuous furnishings and perfectly preserved décor, stepping back in time doesn’t get much grander than this.
#9. Belfast – Titanic Belfast®
Being the birthplace of the Titanic itself, it seems only right that this incredible interactive exhibition was set up in Belfast. Untold tales of the Titanic tragedy have finally been documented along with dark rides and full scale reconstructions. Right in the heart of Belfast, the attraction guides visitors through the history of the famous ship from her construction to the fateful night she sank in 1912.
#8. Barcelona – Monserrat
After visiting Barcelona recently, I’m kicking myself that I never made time to visit this mountain top monastery retreat. Just one-hour north west of Barcelona, Monserrat boasts stunning views and the calming spiritual atmosphere of a working monastery all at a majestic 4,051ft. The Royal Basillica has been the number one pilgrimage site in Spain for centuries and is a real piece of historical Catalan culture. Tours from Barcelona make the trip easy to organise and are available with our Barcelona flight and hotel packages.
#7. Krakow – Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Known as one of the most moving memorials on Earth, I am extremely intrigued by the Auschwitz Camp tours and think they are a great way of educating people about the largest Nazi concentration camp and the history of the holocaust. If you’re looking for an uplifting experience, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you go with an open mind (and maybe some Kleenex!) it’s bound to be an eye-opening experience.
#6. Rome – Ancient Pompeii
With endless tourists flocking to Rome to see the famous sights, many don’t consider visiting Pompeii in Naples, south Italy. The ancient Roman town was buried under 6 meters of ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. 1700 years later the ash was lifted to reveal the perfectly preserved Roman town that has been frozen in time. Various day tours run from Rome which can be easily booked in combination with our flight and hotel packages to Rome.
#5. Berlin – The Reichstag
I think Berlin is a seriously underrated city whether you’re looking for mind-blowing history, amazing food or cocktail hotspots (I’d probably combine all three). Walking tours are a really popular way of squeezing in all the sights in one go and include visits to the infamous Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag Parliament building with its futuristic dome and the Berlin Wall. Now where’s that Cosmopolitan?
#4. Budapest – Jewish Heritage
The Hungarian capital of Budapest is home to the magnificent Dohany Street Synagogue, the second largest synagogue in the world after the Belz Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. With various other sights dotted around the capital such as the Jewish Quarter, ancient Turkish baths and Jewish Museum, Budapest is a city of rich culture and history.
#3. Amsterdam – Keukenhof
Keukenhof has been famed for over 60 years for its unrivalled collection of flowers and is one of the biggest crowd pullers in the Netherlands. The 32 hectare park is home to 7 million bulbs all of spectacular colours set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens. Get lost in the winding paths and stumble across stunning flower arrangements that take the term ‘green fingers’ to a whole new level! Daily tours from Amsterdam can be easily added to our flight and hotel packages to Amsterdam.
#2. Salzberg – Ice Caves and Salt Mines
Salzberg is the fourth largest city in Vienna and is famous for being the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Translating to English as ‘Salt Castle’, it’s no surprise that it’s home to a fascinating underground world of 500-year-old salt mines. As part of the action-packed Salt Mine experience visitors dress in traditional miners clothing, whizz down a 100-foot-long slide into the salt grottos and enjoy a raft ride on the salt lake – a great choice for adrenaline junkies!
#1. Reykjavik – Northern Lights & Blue Lagoon
Coming in at #1 for my Superbreak European Bucket list is Reykjavik for its mind-blowing Northern Lights and hot springs. We web content girlies here at Superbreak have been drooling over the prospect of a short break in Reykjavik for some time now and it has become an increasingly trendy destination on the travel market. The vividness of the Northern Lights depends on the weather, but on a clear night the Arctic sky illuminates with spectacular dancing colours which have to be seen to be believed.
What European sights are on your travel Bucket list?