The pandemic absorbed all the joy out of 2020, and ruined everyone’s bucket list for the year. Many people saw their lives turning upside down, with many experiencing loss of jobs, salary cuts, and wide distance from friends and families.
Back before the pandemic, we had one effective way to get rid of all the stress brought by the world: traveling. But this year, we cannot reap the benefits of traveling and tick off activities in our bucket list ideas. Strict quarantine protocols require us to stay at home at all times, and for good reason.
While 2020 has dampened our traveling spirit, we can always make new and better travel goals. Take inspiration from this article with 27 bucket list ideas for a trip to Europe after the pandemic.
One of the best solo traveling tips is to build relationships with other travelers as well, to have priceless memories. But if you’re on this trip and just want to go somewhere to vent your frustrations, scream them out at the Rhine Falls in Rheinfall, Switzerland. Known as the largest waterfall in Europe, the current is so loud and strong that you can feel the vibrations of the gushing water.
Other than watching the roaring waters from a platform, you can also explore other sights by the Rhine Falls. The Wörth and Laufen castles can be explored through a boat ride, and there is the Historama or the interactive exhibition about the falls.
Do you love hiking? Then strap up and add Appenzell to your bucket list. Appenzell is a village in Switzerland with a jaw-dropping landscape of beautiful rolling hills. There are exciting trails to take, such as the nature trails or circular chapel trails.
Aside from its numerous experience trails, the place itself is a great location where you can immerse yourself in the local culture. One of the traditions that you shouldn’t miss is the ceremonial descent of the cattle, matched with folk dance and music.
In the lovely city of Versailles, France, the Palace of Versailles is a must-add to any traveler’s bucket list. The palace has rich Baroque interiors that are truly mesmerizing and Instagram-worthy. So don’t forget to get your essential travel skills ready, especially your photography skills.
The Palace of Versailles is more than a royal home, as it is also a symbol of Louis XIV’s power and a standard for European court interiors. Once you’re there, you can’t help but fall in love with the dazzling interior design at the Hall of Mirrors, the picturesque gardens at Les Jardins, and the magnificent structures at the Domaine de Trianon.
In the mood for some sun and fashion? Cote d’ Azur in France is a nice addition to the bucket list of any fashion-forward individual, or anyone who just loves the seaside. The coastline is famous for its glimmering blue waters, which is also the meaning of Cote d’ Azur or Coast of Blue.
Also known as the French Riviera, the towns of Nice and Cannes are famous stops on this coastline. Nice is well-known for its vast and marvelous seaside views and fascinating art museums. Cannes, which is famous for its celebrity film festival, is a nice place to dress up and indulge in film culture. So don’t forget to observe travel skincare habits to rock that sunny outfit!
Are you interested in documentaries on conspiracies and mysteries? Well, the Stasi Museum in Berlin, Germany is no conspiracy or mystery. The Stasi is an infamous secret police force that was used to spy on citizens and ruin enemies during the 1970s.
Inside the museum, you will find artifacts of microphones inside church hymn books and wristwatches with wiretaps. Other interesting finds include brainwashing systems for children, such as flashcards that show lock picking and camera surveillance. If you love to learn more about it, better add Stasi Museum to your bucket list.
Most of us travel to relax and unwind. And what better way to unwind than to experience a high-tech spa? Book a trip to Liquidrom in Berlin, Germany for the ultimate spa experience that seemed like a venue for a science fiction movie.
The Liquidrom spa has lots of baths and saunas, with the highlight being the saltwater floating pool. You get a high-tech spa experience with multi-colored lights and a wide variety of music that you can hear underwater.
Perhaps, you are familiar with Frankenstein? Most literary buffs would say that it is the name of the doctor, not the monster. In reality, however, Castle Frankenstein, which is situated inMühltal, Germany, is the home of alchemist Johann Konrad Dippel who is believed to be the inspiration behind Mary Shelley’s novel.
Much like the novel’s protagonist, there are rumors that Dippel performed electric therapies and gruesome experiments. As of this writing, the only remaining structures in the mad scientist’s castle are two towers, a chapel, and a vegan restaurant. Still, it’s worth adding to your bucket list for an interesting stroll on what could possibly be the Frankenstein novel’s inspiration.
Though a result of a devastating eruption in 79 AD, the ruins of Pompeii in the province of Naples, Italy is a remarkable archaeological site. On the site, you will see the preserved structures of ancient life, like houses, shops, temples, and more.
A macabre yet interesting fact in the history of Pompeii is that 17 years before the fateful eruption of Mount Vesuvius the city folks experienced a huge earthquake. The damage caused the once 20,000 population of Pompeii to evacuate. The 2,000 men, women, children, and some animals who stayed after the eruption were buried in mud and ash during the eruption.
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy is one tourist attraction that any traveler shouldn’t forget to add on their bucket list. As the world’s biggest amphitheater, its gigantic dimensions and tales of its ancient and often macabre gladiator battles are definitely a must-see and must-hear.
Aside from its glorious walls, the Colosseum’s hypogeum is a place you shouldn’t miss. Hypogeums means underground in Greek, and this is where the gladiators and animals were kept before the start of any battle. There are 36 hidden trap doors, to add excitement and special effects to the spectators seated at the Colosseum’s bleachers and arena.
Would you like some fresh spring water from an ancient bath place? The Roman Baths in Bath, England is an elaborate site that was built on a natural hot spring. It was said to be the only bath place that used natural hot spring water, compared to other Roman baths that have artificially heated water.
It also has a must-see 18th century Pump Room, where socialites of ancient Rome relaxed and mingled. The place was also considered as the inspiration for novelist Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
When in the UK, visiting a castle is a must-add to your bucket list. Windsor Castle in Berkshire is a good option, with it being an active working castle where the Royal Family actually holds ceremonial events.
If you’re interested in royalty, you will enjoy roaming around the grand ceremonial rooms, viewing the art treasures of the royal collections, and learning about Queen Mary’s Doll House with interesting collections like tiny works of art and music manuscripts. But prior to your visit, book a ticket at the Windsor Castle website to ensure entry to the castle.
Are you a fan of Shakespeare? If you are then you should know that he was born in Stratford, England. Don’t forget to include in your bucket list a trip to the famous writer’s birthplace. Stratford is the most visited literary landmark in the UK because this was also where Shakespeare raised his family.
Some of the attractions here are the Mary Arden House (the beautiful farmhouse of Shakespeare’s mother) and the Hall’s Croft (the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susannah and her husband). Also, don’t forget to watch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theater when you have the chance!
Like the Romans, the Greeks are known for their massive yet artistic architecture. And to anyone who is a fan of ancient architecture, visiting the Acropolis of Athens should be part of your list of things to do in Europe, particularly in Greece.
As one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Acropolis of Athens was constructed by different architects and sculptors during the 5th century BC. The rocky hill became a citadel, a temple, home of mortal kings and mythological gods, and where Greek thoughts like democracy and Greek arts such as theater were born.
Santorini, Greece looks amazing, even in pictures. What more if you actually go there? But other than its magnificent landscape and scenic beaches, Santorini is also a great place for a Greek gastronomic experience!
Some interesting foods that you should try are their white eggplants, capers, and the hloró tyrí, which is fresh goat cheese. Pair your meals with flavorful wine varieties such as Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Mavrotragano which are also found in Santorini’s wine museums.
Aside from its beautiful tulips, Amsterdam in the Netherlands is also known for its beautiful canals. The waterways themselves are a tourist attraction, and definitely a worthy addition to your growing bucket list for a Europe trip.
Explore the city by taking a boat ride or a water taxi. If riding a boat is not your thing, you can also stroll near the waterways and bike along the pathways near the canals.
Who wouldn’t love the sight of a beautiful garden filled with flowers? Visiting the Keukenhof or the Garden of Europe in Lisse, the Netherlands will surely take your breath away.
The Garden of Europe is like a crayon, with flowers of different hues in vast fields. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are some of the flowers in this garden. There are also flower exhibitions and incredible restaurants around the area.
The Second World War sure was a devastating time, and the story of Anne Frank immortalized the horrific events that the Jewish people endured during that period. If you are a history buff who wants to learn more about Anne Frank’s story, then make sure you include the Anne Frank Museum in your bucket list.
The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands is the building where Anne Frank used to live, including her family’s hiding place. Tragically, she died before the war ended and her diary has since been one of the most significant autobiographies in the world which recount the true tragedy of war.
The town of ToruÅ is well-known as the capital of gingerbread, with the ginger and cinnamon cookie pierniki as the main highlight. But aside from its iconic cookie treat, the whole city is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site!
This medieval town in Poland has beautiful architecture, which is inspired by Baroque, Gothic, and Mannerist styles. Also worth noting is that the town is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who theorized that the sun is the center of the universe, and the earth revolves around it.
Poland’s Kraków has so much to offer, and that you should not forget it in your list of places to visit in Europe. You could go sightseeing along the medieval streets and appreciate St. Mary’s Basilica’s grandiose towers and the impressive Wawel Castle. Or you could go and party the night away in Kraków’s vibrant and interesting nightlife.
To relieve your hungover the next day, you could pick a cozy cafe in the endless lineups of cafes. Relax with a cup of coffee, paired with medieval scenic views, in one of the notable coffee shops like Wesola Coffee and Cheder Cafe.
Professional and hobby photographers alike should definitely add Charleroi in Hainaut, Belgium in their growing bucket list. The city is where the Museum of Photography is located. The museum contains photographs that date back to the 19th century up to the present day.
Another museum that is worth visiting is the Glass Museum of Charleroi. Put your photography skills to the test as you snap on more than 6,000 pieces of glass and other tools in the museum.
Namur, Belgium is a must-visit for anyone who loves castles. The city has amazing forts and towers, depending on the kind that you prefer to see. For one, the Castle of Vêves is a top pick for those who want the creepy castle vibes. It has dungeons and six towers that were made back in 1410.
Another popular castle is the Castle of Annevoie, built in the 18th century. This castle is for those who love the fairytale vibes. It has scenic gardens with picturesque fountains and waterfalls, mainly because generations of the de Montpellier family of Annevoie used the French art style to design the garden, which aims to achieve a painting-like appearance.
Waterloo in Belgium is the site of many historical battles, particularly in the World Wars and the famous Napoleonic Wars. So it’s no wonder that now, Waterloo has many historical destinations that should be included in any history buff’s bucket list.
Tour the battlefields of Waterloo, Napoleon’s Headquarters, the Lion’s Mound monument, and the Wellington Museum. And of course, the re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in the place itself is a must-see every June.
Are you a fan of the arts? If you are, then exploring Vienna should top your list of things to do in Europe. The city of Vienna in Austria is well-known for its cultivation of everything artsy, from music to fine arts and architecture.
Known as the home of many famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, numerous classical music concerts are held in the city every year, notably the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. You may even attend a grand ball or two, given that the city holds over 200 balls a year!
The city of Salzburg, Austria is truly a sight to behold with its historical buildings set against the backdrop of the vast and beautiful Alps mountain range. So aside from historical and artistic destinations, you can always just sit back and enjoy the view of the mountains.
Aside from that, did you know that Salzburg is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace? This is why Salzburg also has a long and rich history of musical traditions in their city. And this is also why you shouldn’t miss it on your bucket list for Europe!
The region of Salzakammergut in Austria is perceived as an amazing mountaineering destination. Well, it really is, due to its vast hills and magnificent mountain ranges. But aside from mountaineering, there are other recreational activities that you can do in this region.
Salzkammergut is also known as a resort area because of its glimmering blue lakes. You can go swimming here, and even book a luxury spa or premier hotel resort nearby.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park in PlitviÄka Jezera, Croatia should make it on your bucket list no matter what season it is. It showcases a delightful view as the pine, fir, spruce, and beech trees change at the start of every season.
In addition to the beautiful trees, the hiking trails where you can see the blue lakes, calming brooks, and comforting streams are great places to relax or just spend countless hours in.
When you’re a TV show fan, you would want to visit the shooting sites of your faves even if the show is over. The medieval city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is one of those sites that has been a tourist destination for years. Founded in the 7th century, the city was once called Ragusa and was a sanctuary for residents who fled the Roman city of Epidaurum. Today, the current influx of travelers have tripled all thanks to the backdrop of city walls, towers, and gates featured in the famous HBO series.
Roam around the city and reminisce about your favorite scenes in the famous TV show. Of course, do not forget to take pictures of the church towers, cobblestone lanes, and the amazing terracotta roofs during your stroll.
Canceled plans may really dampen any person’s spirit, especially if you’ve plotted it months ahead. But we can’t get mad at the world and stay disappointed. Instead, we can just look forward to better and more awesome travel goals. So stay positive and start building a new travel bucket list for a Europe trip now!