Europe is on everyone's bucket list, but let's face it. It's a very large continent, and it can get a little overwhelming trying to jam everything into your itinerary. Choosing where to go is like when I try to fit every pair of shoes I own into my suitcase, and then sadly have to narrow it down. There is no shortage of history, culture, food, adventure and fun to be had, but reading the guide books can start to feel like studying for an exam. To take the pressure off, I have put together my list of the 25 best places to visit in Europe.

Rome

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The smell of fresh Italian herbs wafting down the streets, and more archaeological sites than your high school history teacher could name (the Colosseum, the Basilica, the Sistine Chapel) – no trip to Europe is complete without a stop in Italy's capital, Roma.
 

London

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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See a musical in West End, wave to the Queen's guards at Buckingham Palace, and tour the Tower of London. You can do it all in a day, then take the tube to Paris!
 

Paris

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The city of love is an absolute favourite of mine. Get some baguettes and wine and admire iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
 

Florence

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Florence is Italy at its most authentic – stunning architecture and the best pizza I have ever tasted. Don't forget to check out Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia.
 

Barcelona

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Eat tapas along Las Ramblas, tour Gaudi's magnificent architecture spread across the city, and relax by La Barceloneta Beach with a jug of Sangria.
 

Amsterdam

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amsterdam is not just all "coffee shops" and red-light districts – the city also boasts some of the best museums including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.
 

Prague

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Prague is like stepping into a fairytale with its dreamy Gothic architecture and Old Town Square – check out Prague Castle and snap your own princess shots.
 

Santorini

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Kill two birds with one stone – stop off at the Greek Island of Santorini for some colourful sandy beaches and check out the local ruins while you're there.
 

Amalfi Coast

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For breathtaking once in a lifetime views, travel the Mediterranean cliffside towns of Italy's coastal region.
 

Venice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While famous for its canals and gondolas, Venice has lots more to offer – theatres, historical sites, and more excellent food – come for the photos but stay for the atmosphere.
 

Athens

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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History buffs assign a good chunk of time to Athens – highlights include the Acropolis, Parthenon and the neighbourhood of Plaka.
 

Swiss Alps

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the winter months, ski and snowboard enthusiasts can get some fresh powder during the day, and refill on calories by night with a tub of gooey choose fondue in front of the fire. Yum.
 

Vienna

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Vienna is best known for its music and its monarchy – if you can get tickets, dress up and visit the Vienna State Opera for a high-class experience.
 

Nice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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All the culture of a capital, but nestled alongside warm Mediterranean shores; Nice also has a vibrant and fun nightlife for the partygoers.
 

Dublin

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Literary nerds like me just have to stop in Ireland's capital – and why not have a little at the Jameson Distillery in classic James Joyce style while you're there.
 

The Azores

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This lesson known archipelago off the coast of Lisbon is a lush paradise perfect for a mid-trip recharge.
 

Lake Como

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Como has been a haven for the A-List for many years; its palatial villas and cobblestone streets is another place that is truly luxurious for relaxing and unwinding.
 

Budapest

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Hungary's capital is also known as the city of spas – be sure to soak in the world-famous thermal baths heated by natural springs.
 

Berlin

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Steeped in history, Berlin boasts everything from street art, to fashion, to all-night raves; check out the murals along the Berlin Wall and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.
 

Munich

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For a true German beer experience head to Munich and drink a stein in a traditional Biergarten – ward off the hangover with a bratwurst or a pretzel.
 

Lisbon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Portugal's capital attracts tourists with its colourful buildings, lovely beaches and tasty seafood; another of my favourite stops.
 

Istanbul

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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An ancient city with modern charm – stroll from historical monuments like the Blue Mosque to modern art galleries and shopping bazaars. Remember to pack layers as tourists are required to cover up when visiting some sites.
 

Edinburgh

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Green hills as far as the eye can see, hearty pub meals, and those charming Scottish accents – if you're feeling adventurous try some haggis.
 

Crete

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sandy beaches, Mediterranean food, stunning mountain hikes, and nightclubs – this Greek Isle has something for every traveller.
 

Madrid

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Last but not least, Spain's capital is a great way to round out your Europe trip. Take in a flamenco show or a soccer match, and fill up on your last helping of delicious Spanish cuisine.

As you can see, Europe is big, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. The best thing to do is dive in and start exploring for yourself. Cheap flights to Europe come up all the time, so set your alerts, and be ready to book your adventure.