To avert the risk of coming across as just another one of the many clichéd destination guides published around the topic of some cities to visit in Europe, I’m going to do things a little differently so as to highlight the element of practicality I always seek to maintain in any content I publish on this blog. So I’m going to list and briefly discus those cities which you should visit if you seek to travel to/within Europe from the point of view of a traveller such as one which comes from a country like South Africa. There are more and more of such travellers, but exploring prospective destinations through their eyes will ensure you get the full measure of these cities, simply because a traveller from a place such as South Africa would seek to make the most of the limited time they’ll naturally have in any city they visit in Europe.
Not to mention the indicative costs associated with the whole exercise, given the exchange rates as well as the strength of the currency.
On the political front, we’ll assume you want to hit the EU, for which you’ll need a visa and the best of these to get is the Schengen visa. What that means is that you can enter in one of the countries listed as part of that trading block of nations and then cross over into any of the others within the duration of the validity period of your visa. Handy hint – Portugal and Spain appear to be the easiest of these countries for travellers from the likes of South Africa to get this Schengen visa from!
If you’re an EU citizen then all you probably want at this point would be some ideas about which cities to visit, but it does help to explore these suggested cities from the point of view of someone who requires a visa. As mentioned, it’s simply a matter of ensuring you make the most out of your visits and get full value for whatever money you spend.
Prague, Czech Republic
Well, after all that talk on EU countries one would probably have guessed we’d start with the likes of Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Santorini, etc, as these probably make for the most popular European cities to visit, don’t they? Well, we kick things off with the Czech Republic’s Prague because it’s fast emerging as a destination of choice, both for travellers within the EU and those coming from further away. Don’t let the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture fool you into believing this is a destination all about culture, because Prague is emerging as one of the go-to spots for nightlife as well. Not to mention how affordable it is, relative to pretty much every other progressive European city.
Check out the Schönbrunn Palace and grounds in Austria’s Vienna for another atypical EU city destination to hit, along with the many museums which could very well make for the main theme of your trip to this part of the world. Enjoy some of the most breathtaking natural beauty which complements that beauty which can be credited to some fine architectural work, complemented by great food, drinks and shopping.
With the world’s general move in the direction of matching Amsterdam as far as 420-friendliness goes, more and more visitors who are flocking to this iconic European city are discovering the many layers to her depth. There’s a lot more to do than just blaze it up in some coffee shops, explore the world famous Red Light district and drink and party it up!
If you want to meet some like-minded travellers as well as those with whom you can share some notes, Amsterdam is the city to visit.
This city is set against a backdrop of some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. There is so much to see here and in the surrounding areas, that if you can cope with the cold temperatures, you’ll be wanting to stay for weeks. Known for its bustling nightlife and delicious seafood, there really is something for everyone in the capital of Iceland. Many tourists also choose to go now and hire a campervan, as this will allow them to explore other stunning sights such as the Blue Lagoon, Gulfoss Waterfall and the Golden Circle.
Barcelona, Venice, Berlin and Paris (and maybe Rome/Milan as well)
These remaining cities of Barcelona, Venice, Berlin and Paris should probably be bundled up into one quick-fire blitz, because although they have their own unique charm each to offer, their relative close proximity makes them best explored in one go. It doesn’t have to be in one day, but perhaps you can throw in Rome or Milan as well, if you have the time.
These are bundled together because as a group they effectively make up the quintessential European city destination the culture-seeking traveller would have loved to experience in just one city.