What interesting things Europe’s top destinations have to offer

So, you’ve finally saved up the cash to fund your plane ticket across the pond; now, it’s time to get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Backpacking through Europe is one of the most romanticized travel experiences, and for good reason: European cities boast loads of impressive architecture, scenic vistas, and free museums and attractions for even the most economical traveller.

Changing of the guard london

Make sure to check out these top destinations and attractions when you travel to Europe:

1) London

London is a great place to start your trip because it offers a variety of free and budget attractions for backpackers. All of London’s national museums—including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the British National Museum—are free of charge. Wander through Hyde Park, Green Park, or the beautiful Kensington Gardens to take a break from the crowds. For an unbeatable view of the London skyline by night, take a ride on the London Eye. Consider purchasing the London Pass or the Oyster Card to help you maximize savings on London attractions with admission fees.

2) Paris/Calais/Lille

France has a lot to offer a backpacker beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. In Paris, admission to the world renowned Louvre Museum is free the first Sunday of the month, and stepping inside the enchanting Notre Dame Cathedral won’t cost you a dime. In Lille, pay a visit to the versatile Les Places, see the beautiful Vieille Bourse up close, and take a stroll through the winding streets of the Vieux Lille district. Do a walking tour of Calais to catch all its key attractions: the Town Hall, Rodin’s Six Burghers of Calais bronze statue, the Lighthouse, and the open air markets in the Place D’Armes.

3) Brussels

Belgium is home to some of the world’s best beers, so it goes without saying that one of the best things to do in Brussels to make a stop (or several) in a bar to try some of the local brews; Delirium Café leads the pack in terms of selection, with over 2,000 beers on the menu. Make stops in the Grand Place, Notre Dame du Sablon, and the Royal Palace for some historical highlights. Purchasing the Brussels Card will help you save by granting you admission to 24 museums and providing you with free public transport during your stay.

4) Koln/Aachen

In Germany, you’ll be awestruck by some of the world’s finest architecture. In Aachen, make sure to check out the beautiful Dom (cathedral), Elisa Fountain, and the two Ludwig-endowed museums, the Forum and the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum. In Koln, head to the Rhine Promenade and Deutzer Bridge for some stunning views of the city’s cathedral. Don’t forget to visit one of the city’s many beer gardens to enjoy some of the city’s signature chilled brews.

5) Amsterdam

The best way to get to know this Danish city is by pedaling your way through it; rent a bike from Starbikes in downtown, Bike City in Jordaan, or Mike’s in Kerkstraat to join in on Amsterdam’s cycle mania. Take a ride through Vondelpark to enjoy some tranquillity in the city, or head out to the countryside for some uninterrupted cruising. By foot, you can explore the bohemian Jordaan area or the Nine Streets shopping district. More daring travelers will be compelled to check out the Red Light district after nightfall.

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