Planning a trip to Europe means lots of decision making when it comes to choosing which destinations to visit. It would take a lifetime to see and do it all. Even narrowing down the bucket list experiences isn’t an easy task, but any of these tour options are sure to make for an unforgettable time.
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Visit Acropolis Hill & Sail the Greek Islands
There are multiple bucket-list experiences in Greece, but it’s easy to check off a couple of them by starting in Athens with a visit to Acropolis Hill home to the Acropolis, one of the world’s most important ancient landmarks. Afterward, explore the Acropolis Museum which holds many of its important archaeological finds. Sailing the Greek Islands is an ideal way to discover multiple gems while enjoying the beauty of the Adriatic. This 5-day tour not only includes mainland highlights but famous Zakynthos and its stunning Shipwreck Beach as well as Turtle Island.
Walking Tour Through Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Croatia’s oldest national park was relatively unknown until just a few years ago with the increase in visitors to the country thanks to the hit show “Game of Thrones” filming in some of its medieval cities. One of Eastern Europe’s most spectacular natural landmarks, it’s a maze of 16 dazzling lakes in shades that range from brilliant turquoise to emerald, countless waterfalls and lush greenery. A walking tour will bring you along the meandering paths to marvel at this incredible landscape, with the return on a panoramic train ride.
Guinness Storehouse Tour, Dublin, Ireland
The highlight of a visit to Ireland’s most popular attraction, the Guinness Storehouse, is the chance to enjoy the 360-degree view of the city from the Gravity Bar. Take a tour and you’ll learn all about the drink which has been made for well over 250 years now, including the process used to brew it through floor-by-floor exhibition walks. Once you reach the top, you’ll find the Gravity Bar where you’ll get a complimentary Guinness to enjoy while gazing out at a bird’s eye view of Dublin from the panoramic windows.
Tour Stunning Lake Bled, Slovenia
Backed by the dramatic peaks of the Julian Alps, the emerald waters of Lake Bled and its little church that sits on an islet in the middle looks like it comes straight out of the pages of a fairytale. A private guided tour from Ljubljanais a great way to enjoy the scenery without having to focus on the road and includes a visit to Bled Castle too.
Tour Iceland's Highlights and Cap it Off with a Soak in the Blue Lagoon
Many people choose to visit Iceland on a layover between Europe and North America with airlines offering the chance to stay for free. To make the most of that time, take a bucket list tour that includes the Golden Circle with its geysers and legendary waterfalls, all capped off with a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. One of the most famous attractions in Iceland, this geothermal pool and spa lies in the middle of a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula and the soothing milky turquoise waters are an ideal 98 to 102 degrees year-round. Swim out to the bar in the middle to sip strawberry champagne, beer or green smoothie. There are also in-water massages and skin-enhancing treatments like algae face masks.
Watch for Nessie on a Sightseeing Cruise in Loch Ness, Scotland
Watch for Nessie, Scotland’s legendary Loch Ness monster, and marvel at the ruins of Urquhart Castle on a two-hour tour that includes a tour on an open-air boat where you’ll be surrounded by magnificent scenery. The medieval fortress is mostly in ruin, but it’s an ideal place to capture photos and enjoy a breathtaking view. You’ll also have the chance to learn about its bloody history on a guided tour.
Step into Stonehenge on a Private Access Tour, England
Visiting ancient Stonehenge is on the bucket list of many travelers, but you should do more than simply stand behind a fence and look at it. A private access tour, available through Lion Tours, will provide a true bucket list experience that will take you inside of the stone circle after the site is closed to the public. Guided by an archaeologist who can put the story and mysticism of the site all into perspective, it’s truly a life-changing experience. You’ll walk through the landscape dotted with burial grounds that surround the stones before getting a close-up look for photos without the crowds, and then step into the inner circle to contemplate one of the greatest mysteries of ancient times.
An Aurora Hunting Tour From Tromso, Norway
If the Northern Lights are on your bucket list, plan to visit Tromso which sits in the middle of the auroral oval above the Arctic Circle, an area that boasts the best chance of viewing the colorful shimmering in Europe. To increase the odds even more, join a small group tour, hunting down the aurora by heading into the nearby countryside and into Finland. The excursion even includes hot soup enjoyed around the campfire while waiting for the colorful lights to appear.
Experience Life as a Gladiator at the Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Standing inside Rome’s most famous recognized symbol is an experience you won’t want to miss. This classical ruin was inaugurated in the 1st century AD, with an audience of over 50,000 watching the brutal fights between man and beast. The last battle occurred in 523, and despite centuries of neglect, including its time as a quarry all the way through the 18th century, it has remained remarkably intact for the most part. If you want to avoid lines and big crowds, take an after-dark tour that provides special after-hours access.
Take a Tour to a Real Life Disney Castle in Germany
Germany is full of charming castles, but “Sleeping Beauty” Castle as Neuschwanstein is often called, is said to have been the inspiration for Disneyland’s Castle. Set atop a rugged cliff in Germany’s Bavaria Alps, this 19th-century palace is truly a real-life fantasyland. While it’s magnificent to see year-round, if you visit in autumn it will be highlighted by the brilliant colors of fall. And you can enjoy Oktoberfest too, another European bucket list experience, making a tour from Munich an ideal way to do it all.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride at Sunrise in Cappadoccia, Turkey
Cappadoccia is renowned for its striking landscape of bizarrely-shaped rocks and deep canyons that are even more impressive when seen from above on a hot air balloon flight. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the ethereal “fairy chimneys,” with the limestone spires and pillars dotted with subterranean churches and dwellings that are etched right into the rock. Flights leave at sunrise with the early morning light creating an especially awe-inspiring scene.