Essential Cities to See While Traveling Europe for the First Time

This is a vast world with many exciting places to see. Planning a European trip is your first step in seeing even just a small portion of it. When planning a travel itinerary, it’s crucial to have a layout of what you want to see and when you want to see it. If you’re looking at the long list of places to visit in Europe, it’s best to narrow down your options.

To help with the process, here are three essential cities you should see while you're traveling through Europe for the first time.


Paris, France

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When you think of dream destinations or romantic getaways, chances are Paris is high on that list. It may seem like the atypical choice for European getaways, but there are plenty of reasons why the City of Light is such a crucial stop.

One could focus on the obvious choice of the Eiffel Tower, which is a spectacle that the Las Vegas iteration barely does any justice, but the city of Paris is brimming with cultural wonders, other historic landmarks, and restaurants just waiting to stuff patrons full of staple French cuisine.

During your stay, you’ll want to stop at awe-inspiring sights like the Pere Lachais, the largest park and cemetery in the city, Cathedrale Notre-Dame, the Louvre Museum, and the Tuileries Garden. When you’ve expended your energy, you can reenergize at one of the many cafes found streetside. Croissants, macarons, and an over-abundance of additional pastries will leave you full but still wanting more.

For first-time European travelers, Paris is relatively easy to navigate. French is the primary language, but it won’t be too difficult to find someone who speaks English.


Venice, Italy

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Venice is an entire city built on a network of mud islands and canals. It already sounds like the perfect place you would want to visit during your European vacation. Right off the bat, the waterways that cut through the city are a sight to behold as they serve as viable routes to get from point A to point B.

Being an Italian city, there is no denying that the food is going to be everything you could want. Pasta dishes will be made with freshly-rolled dough, and bread will have that unmistakable freshly-baked taste. There is no shortage of restaurants to grab a seat at, but you’ll have to pry yourself away from the exquisite food at some point.

Many sights showcase the history of the watery city. The buildings that line the canal are an important part of Venice’s history, but attractions like the Campanile di San Marco, St. Mark’s Square, the Correr Civic Museum, and the Peggy Guggenheim are going to be what drives the trip.

If you can pry yourself away from the incredible food, there are many experiences to be had. While it’s always best to learn the native language, it’s not impossible to get around only knowing English.


Edinburgh, Scotland

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When you travel to Scotland, you’re treated to some of the most beautiful views and unforgettable experiences, making it a shoo-in for the most essential city to visit during your first-time trip to Europe. There is no getting over the rolling plains, the historic architecture, and the friendly people, and that’s only a small piece of why Edinburgh is an ideal choice for your vacation.

If you need your fill of castles, Edinburgh has them. It is also home to Arthur’s Seat in the highest point of Holyrood Park, the Royal Botanic Garden, St. Giles Cathedral, Calton Hill and the Scottish National Monument. There is plenty to see in Edinburgh, and these adventures and activities just barely scratch the surface.

There is a lot to enjoy in Edinburgh, but there is no denying that the views top that list. A steady emerald green courses through the city, contrasting the old look and feel of its existing buildings. If you can pry yourself away from the architecture for long enough, you may even be able to indulge in the delicious cuisine and whiskey-barreled, aged-right in Scotland.

Cover image credit: loan Panaite / Shutterstock.com


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