Europe is a popular continent for travel. There are so many cities to explore on this continent which makes it a great choice for a week visit or extended stay. Many travellers flock here year round for various travel experiences. It’s great for solo travellers as well as families and has so much history to explore.
On one side of Europe, Istanbul is a city with rich culture. It straddles both east and west, with one side of the city in Asia and the other in Europe. It may not be considered one of the top beach vacation spots in Europe, however, Istanbul’s location on the Bosporus and close to the Black Sea as well as the Mediterranean, makes it a city close to many of the beautiful beaches Turkey has to offer.
There is plenty to do in Istanbul as well. From the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire to modern Turkey, Istanbul is a testament to Turkey’s vast history. The Hagia Sofia (Ayasofya in Turkish), was originally a church built in 550 A.D. that was later converted into a mosque by the Ottomans in 1453. Currently, researchers are attempting to uncover old church paintings beneath the mosque’s walls that were displayed in the original church.
Just across the street from the Hagia Sofia is the other famous mosque, the Blue Mosque. Built by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in the 1500s, it is one of the biggest mosques in the world and entry is free.
While Turkey has it’s splendour, Spain is another place worth visiting. Barcelona, Spain is a big city mostly without the big city feel, meaning that it does not feel suffocating or overcrowded like many other large cities. There is unusual architecture in Barcelona as well as Gothic architecture that are well worth seeing. One of the most famous structures in Barcelona is La Sagrada Familia. It is still under construction, but follows the guidelines that Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi initially set forth.
Gaudi is most known for his famous architecture that is scattered throughout the city, but he also designed furniture and landscaped around Barcelona. Building of La Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and has been funded by donations ever since. When the church is finished, it will have 18 towers and be an iconic building in the center of Barcelona.
Barcelona and Istanbul are just two of many cities in Europe that have a lot to offer travellers. Learn about why Constantinople changed to Istanbul or why La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for over 100 years by paying a visit to Barcelona.
There so much history and interesting facts about these cities in Europe. However, there is much more to explore on this continent as well so don’t limit your travel options. Decide where to start and explore as much as possible and when you’re ready to return for another visit, simply enjoy more cities. You’ll always be fascinated. Carry a travel neck wallet with you to keep up with small essentials during your journey.