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Millions of people travel to Europe every year to get a taste of that rich history. Don’t get stuck in the past — these popular European cities have so many fantastic things to offer you. When you reach one country, exploring the rest is a cinch. Just make sure these top European cities are on your destination list. Europe is waiting for you!

Rome, Italy

Rome is with the Catholic Church at its side; European civilization revolved around Rome. The historic city has served as the backdrop for everything from the 1953 film. Visitors come from different countries for the ruins, the church, the art, and the food. So what are you waiting for? 

Paris, France

Oscar Wilde once said that “When good Americans die, they go to Paris.” So, you are encouraged to move to Paris to the top of your bucket list. It’s the city of history, and love, the height of European romance. Whether you come to Paris for the wine, the art or the high fashion, you’re sure to fall in love with what is universally recognized as one of the most important cities in Europe.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is located on the coast of Catalonia; it is full of personality and mystery. Lined with living statues, the pedestrian street La Rambla divides the Gothic Quarter from El Raval, an infamous neighborhood known for its cabarets, nightlife, and diversity. Be ready to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic and lose yourself among the mosaic walls and peculiar sculptures on the way.

London, UK

London is the New York of Europe. It’s a fantastic capital of the British Empire, and half the inspiration for “A Tale of Two Cities,” London can’t be compared. Make sure you have time to dive into this physically and culturally humongous city. Retrace history in one of the most famous cities in Europe, and don’t forget to look out the window of your double-decker bus as you cross the River Thames!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This is the quintessential kick-off to any student’s European adventure. Most of the people believe that the city has got two sides, but to the people of the Netherlands, these things coexist naturally. There are many more things to do in Amsterdam, but, as with any city, use your judgment. Also, be sure to spend some time by the water—in 2010 the Canal Belt neighborhoods were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dublin, Ireland

Here you’ll get the resilient spirit of the Irish people. You can easily take the bus to Kilmainham Gaol and stand in the courtyard where Joseph Plunkett. Dublin is a somber reminder of the country’s struggle for independence. If you find yourself falling in love with the emerald island, remember that it’s an excellent place to study or work abroad.

Athens, Greece

When Athena presented the Athenian people with an Olive Tree, a symbol of peace and prosperity, they chose her as their city’s namesake. With a thriving nightlife, Monastiraki Flea Market and plenty of hip cafes, it seems like she’s still watching over the ancient civilization today. Explore the old landmarks of the Acropolis, one of the most populous destinations in Europe.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Visitors typically flock to the Royal Mile, so take your time to explore the Edinburgh Castle and University of Edinburgh campus. J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from the back room of The Elephant House, a cafe tucked inside Edinburgh’s Old Town. Rowling has said that whenever she got stuck, she drew inspiration from the magical city around her.

Istanbul, Turkey

The city is formerly known as Constantinople, has long served as a bridge between Europe and the east, where cultures collide and evolve into an exciting new world. With a seamless blend of bars, bazaars, galleries, and bathhouses, the capital of the former Ottoman Empire is quickly becoming one of the hippest cities to visit in Europe. In the words of 1989 rock band, They Might Be Giants: “Why did Constantinople get the works? 

Milan, Italy

Here, locals hustle past grey limestone buildings and graffitied walls, rushing to work with an espresso in hand. At the outset, Milan seems to lack the historical romance of ancient Italy, the leisurely pacing of Florence and Venice. The urban atmosphere catches many visitors off guard, but don’t be fooled. Take your time discovering the many layers of Milan, traversing the cobbled streets of the world’s most famous shopping district. Quadrilatero d’ oro della moda and watching a fascinating new opera premiere at La Scala.

Of course, there are 100 other great cities to visit in Europe. These 10 won’t disappoint. Enjoy!

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