5 European Cities to Visit on Your Gap Year
You’ve graduated, and before you can even think about stepping through the office doors into your first full-time job or internship, you’ve chosen to flee the country in search of adventure. Like the thousands before you, you’ve packed your passport, picked up your euros and are heading to the cobbled streets of Europe for a spot of culture and a much needed post-exam break. Here are just five European cities to visit on your gap year.
Home to Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and the beloved Queen Elizabeth, England’s capital is full of fascinating sights and sounds. Getting around London is simple enough – just hop on a big red bus or navigate your way around the Underground. Take a sightseeing tour to see all the top landmarks such as The Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace.
When in London, explore the nightlife or head to the West End for world-class musicals. With hundreds of art galleries and museums to choose from, there’re plenty of great things to do in London, and remember to sample the tea.
The Danube River splits Buda and Pest in two, but you don’t have to choose between exploring historic landmarks or the cosmopolitan city. Budapest is easy to get around either on foot or by tram. Visit the zoo, famous ‘ruin bars’ and Hungarian Parliament Building. No matter the weather in Budapest, the indoor and outdoor thermal baths are a great way to warm up and relax.
Take your gap year to delicious realms and discover the delights of Italian cuisine in Rome. Whether pizza or pasta is your thing, have a whole new experience dining in streetside cafes, drinking wine and taking in the sights. Discover history at the Colosseum, Basilica di Santa Maria or with a day trip to Vatican City. In the evening toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to make a wish.
Explore Slovenia’s Ljubljana, voted the European Green Capital of 2016. Predominantly pedestrianised, ride a bike through the city, taking in the picturesque setting of the huge Tivoli Park. Green spaces, natural beauty and the curving Ljubljanica River splits the old town from the new, and you can also visit museums, street galleries or take day trips to the stunning Lake Bled and nearby Postojna caves.
A sandy beach, lovely hot weather, interesting history and culture; Barcelona has it all. Famous for its gothic architecture, Camp Nou soccer stadium and Gaudí’s stunning yet unfinished, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona is a firm favourite gap year destination. For traditional markets, delicious food (including many cheap tapas restaurants) and international shopping opportunities, head to Las Ramblas. This bustling district is Barcelona’s tourist capital and leads straight down to the picturesque harbour where you can enjoy seafood and even take a cable car to the sky for panoramic views of the city and ocean.
Those are just a handful of European cities to consider for your gap year. Do you have a favourite?