Mar 25

The best views in Europe

Views in EuropeFrom natural wonders to beautiful man-made structures, Europe has a stunning view to please every sensibility. This isn’t a comprehensive guide to the best views in Europe, but a great starting point for planning your next adventure.

The London Eye While actually getting on the London Eye might involve queuing a bit, once you’ve paid your money (a standard ticket is 17.28) and queued, you can see one of the greatest cities in the world like never before. Spotting famous landmarks like the Houses of Parliament is fun in itself, but the real pleasure comes from being able to take in the whole city and beyond at once.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam Attracting around 10 million visitors a year, Vondelpark in Amsterdam is completely free of the canals that have made the city so enchanting. Instead you get a different kind of pleasure from strolling around the park on a summer’s day, discovering hidden delights such as a Pablo Picasso sculpture while fountains erupt from the man-made lakes, or taking a seat and enjoying sight of so many people relaxing and enjoying themselves, while listening to music that comes from the open air theatre.

Eiffel Tower, Paris As one of the most iconic structures in the world, climbing the Eiffel Tower is something that you have to do at some point in your life. To get right to the top of the tower and experience the best views you’ll need to take the lift, which costs 14.50 (it’s worth nothing that on particularly windy days the top floor may be closed). From here you can survey the city of love, from the River Seine to the Champ de Mars.

Charles Bridge, Prague The view from Charles Bridge in Prague is exceptional because of the contrasts. Looking up the vertical bridge, you can see statues of saints acting as punctuation marks, while into the distance the exquisite Prague Castle stretches across the horizon at the top of a hill. Catch this view at sunrise and you can treat yourself to a truly unforgettable image.

Park Gell, Barcelona Commonly known as Gaudi Park after its creator Antoni Gaudi, Park Gell is like an oasis to thirsty eyes, constantly surprising anyone unfamiliar with the architect’s work. If you want to venture beyond the magic of the park, just take a look out at the city for a different kind of amazement – the unfinished Sagrada Familia is the most notable building, but you can also see the natural beauty of the coast and surrounding mountains. Walking around the park can be tiring, especially in the hotter summer months, so bring refreshments.

Mt. Blanc, Italy/France Could there be a better view of Europe than from the highest point in Europe? To head to the top of Mt. Blanc you’ll want to base yourself in one of the three towns that surround it (Courmayeur in Italy, or Chamonix and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains in France). Getting to the top isn’t cheap – you can expect to pay at least 1,000 for accommodation and a guided trek – but it’s an experience that can’t be matched across the continent. Try to make the climb as easy as possible for yourself by heading up in the summer months.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome For one of the best views of the Italian capital you have to leave it and enter the Vatican City. Entry to the Vatican Museums (which are linked to the basilica) will cost you around 16, but you’ll be able to feast your eyes on the Vatican’s impressive art collection and take in the glorious atmosphere of the Sistine Chapel before you even climb St. Peter’s Basilica. By this point you will be ready for the amazing views you’ll be about to see of the Eternal City.

Northern Lights, Iceland Between September and March the Icelandic skies really come alive with the beauty of the Northern Lights; stay somewhere outside the capital to give yourself the best chance of seeing the sky at its most wonderful. Thankfully Iceland is a country full of dramatic scenery – one glance at Hekla, an active volcano, will confirm that – so even if you don’t see the Northern Lights there is plenty to dazzle the eyes.

The Welsh Coast Lonely Planet named the Welsh coast the best region in the world in 2012, as it became the first country on the planet to offer trekkers a completely uninterrupted path along the coastline – 870 miles of it. For the best sights, head to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which provides ramblers with stunning views at every turn.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria At 33 for a car day-ticket, you might think it’s a bit expensive to take a drive up the mountain, but as well as covering the cost of toll roads the price includes parking, access to trails and exhibitions, and panoramic views that your camera will not be able to do justice. If you want to see the fantastic views from the top of Austria’s highest mountain, make sure you come between May and October – during winter the bad weather forces road closures.

This list proves that a tour of Europe has something for everyone: an adventurous trek up a mountain to see unspoilt landscapes or leisurely journeys up a giant ferris wheel to see one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. There are fantastic views to be enjoyed wherever you turn – so what are you waiting for?