Published: 2018-02-05 01:19
Last Updated: 2018-02-05 09:50
Editor: Arwad Khalifeh
This year, Ryanair, one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines, will officially begin operating from Jordan to 14 European destinations.
This will finally give so many of us the chance to tick some countries off our bucket list.
And in celebration of this epic move, we have compiled a list of the top three things you can do in each one of those cities.
Founded in 1088, Europe’s oldest university town is a haven for intellectuals, anyone into history, politics, art, architecture and culture.
When in Bologna:
1. Hike to the top of the gorgeous San Luca hill until you reach the 253-year-old Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca.
2. Pisa is not the only Italian city with a leaning tower. Garisenda and Asinelli are the traditional symbols of this city, and are more commonly known as the Towers of Bologna.
3. Shop at the massive open-air Piazza Mercato. With 400 street vendors selling anything and everything, you will not go home empty-handed.
Brussels Zaventem, Belgium
There is more to Brussels than chocolate and beer. The city has almost 90 museums, gorgeous architecture, markets, parks and fun attractions.
When in Brussels:
1. Visit the Grand-Place: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city’s central square is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city's Town Hall, and the King's House or Breadhouse.
2. Take a stroll down the streets of Mini Europe, where 350 carefully crafted models of Europe’s top landmarks and historic events will leave you both amazed and thrilled.
3. You can’t leave Brussels without talking a walk in Cinquantenaire Park. Its gardens are dotted with monuments and museums, including a triumphal arch with three arches.
Once known as the “Little Paris of the East,” the Romanian capital is dynamic, elegant and diverse.
When in Bucharest:
1. It’s your chance to gawk at the world’s heaviest building: the Palace of the Parliament. Built in the 1980s, with more than 1,000 rooms, it is the second largest administrative building in the world and is even visible from the moon.
2. If you’re a bookworm, then you’d want to visit Carturesti Carusel in the Old Town. The bookshop looks more like a designer shop, but its elegant walls are lined up with books, stationery and novelty items.
3. If you’re in the mood for music, head to the city’s landmark and concert hall, the Romanian Athenaeum.
Bisected by the River Danube, Budapest is one of the largest cities in the EU. The city hosts a unique mixture of art, nature, nightlife and history.
When in Budapest:
1. Head underground and discover the 7,200-meters-long, 11-meters-high Pálvölgyi cave. It is the longest cave in the Buda Hills and has a constant temperature of 11 degrees Celsius.
2. The gorgeous Castle of Vajdahunyad on the Széchenyi-island in Városliget, Budapest is also the biggest museum of agriculture in Europe.
3. Promenade along the River Danube or take a river cruise and enjoy seeing many of the most famous sights in the capital.
According to legend, Krakow was founded on the defeat of a dragon. What’s not a myth though is that the city was the central site of the Nazi General Government during WWII.
When in Krakow:
1. Walk up to Wawel Hill, a complex surrounded by water and history. You can visit the Royal Castle where kings ruled for 500 years, and the Wawel Cathedral where national heroes were buried.
2. Visit the unique the Kościuszko Mound, which was built by the citizens of Krakow to honour Polish nationalist Tadeusz Kościuszk. The mound is surrounded by a beautiful brick fort, which is definitely worth a picture.
3. Hit two birds with one stone by visiting the Main Market Square, where the striking brick Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica is also located.
Milan Bergamo, Italy
The city needs no introduction: it is the global capital of fashion and design.
When in Milan:
1. Before hitting the shops, drop by to the The Duomo (Milan Cathedral) and get blown away by the beautiful architecture of this white marble cathedral - that took centuries to build.
2. Gain serenity by visiting the Parco Sempione. The scenic park was opened in 1888 and there’s even an aquarium there that you can visit.
3. If you’d like to see masterpieces by Italian and foreign artists dating from the 13th to the 20th century, then Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery) is the place where you need to go.
Paphos is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation.
When in Paphos:
1. Speaking of Aphrodite, relax to the sound of falling water at the love nest of Adonis and the goddess of love at the Adonis Baths Waterfalls.
2. See something different by visiting the Ayios Neophytos Monastery, which was carved out of mountain rock in 1159.
3. Sunbathe on the sandy beaches of Coral Bay, before going for a swim or dive in sparkling clear waters.
Prague, the Czech Republic
Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is easy on the eye, with its colourful Baroque buildings and Bohemian style.
When in Prague:
1. Tick tock, you must look, and watch the Prague Astronomical Clock strike 12 o’clock.
2. You must have a little dance outside the famous Dancing House Hotel. It’s too quirky to miss.
3. Walk around the Old Town Square and feast your eyes on the colourful Gothic buildings dating back to the 14th century.
A bustling city with a rich history.
When in Vilnius:
1. Don’t be fooled by the exterior of the Church of St Peter and St Paul, because its white interior will take your breath away.
2. Head to the city’s Old Town, which some describe as a “mini Prague,” which has a unique blend of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, classicism and medieval layout.
3. Find tranquility in Verkiai Regional Park, green lakes, monuments and a palace, as well as enjoy swimming, kayaking, fishing and horse riding.
Warsaw Modlin, Poland
A colourful city with a colourful history.
When in Warsaw:
1. If you’re a fan of both classical music and museums, you must visit the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, which is located inside a baroque-classical jewel of a building.
2. Or you could check out the Neon Museum for a look at Poland’s era of “neonization,” which occurred after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.
3. Rebuilt several times, the St. John's Archcathedral is one of the oldest churches in the city and has a rich history that’s definitely worth learning about.
Visiting Athens, one of the most ancient cities in the world, never gets old.
When in Athens:
1. You can’t go to Athens and not visit the famous ancient citadel, the Acropolis of Athens.
2. Plaka means fun in Greek, and the Plaka neighbourhood is indeed a lot of fun, with its many traditional jewelry, clothes and ornament shops and restaurants.
3. Just like you would in London, you’ve got to watch the changing of the guard outside the parliament building on Plateia Syntagmatos. The traditionally costumed guards change every hour on the hour.
2000 years of history in one city.
When in Cologne:
1. For a real-life Willy Wonka experience, visit the delicious Schokoladenmuseum (chocolate museum), where you can learn all about the history of cocoa and even arrange to try your hands at making your very own chocolate.
2. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the 509 steps to the top of Cologne Cathedral and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
3. Enjoy a relaxing river cruise on the Rhine River, with a spot of dinner and sightseeing.
Rome Ciampino, Italy
Rome is the capital of Italy, history, fashion and art.
When in Rome:
1. The Colosseum is the first historical landmark that comes to mind when we think of Rome, and one must not go without visiting the centuries-old grand amphitheatre when visiting the Italian capital.
2. You also can’t go all the way to Rome without visiting the home of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City.
3. Climb up the famous Spanish Steps between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, until you reach the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.
The city is often overlooked by tourists who prefer going to ski resorts and beaches in other parts of Bulgaria.
When in Sofia:
1. Ditch traditional shopping for the Bitaka Flea Market, where you can find all things weird and wonderful.
2. How about visiting a monastery? The colourful Rila Monastery is located on the outskirts of Sofia in the heart of the picturesque Rila Mountains - it has over 30 drawing rooms, a hospital, a rich library, four big-floor chapels and a museum.
3. Visit Bulgaria’s largest museum, the National History Museum, to learn about the development of social, cultural and political life on Bulgarian soil.