Areas of Interest


Zurich is Switzerland?s largest city and also the main cultural and commercial centers. Zurich is the world?s six most expensive cities, Europe?s wealthiest city and in addition it is also named as ?best quality of life? in between the years of 2006-2009. It is also Switzerland?s second most expensive city and Europe?s third most expensive city.Zurich covers an area of about 92 square kilometers and the population here is about 1.68 million. The city has its history from the 2nd century AD where a tombstone was discovered here at this period. The city is located close to the Lake Zurich on the North West end. The city is bounded by wooden hills such as Zurichberg, Kaferberg, Oettlisberg and Adlisberg. The places to be seen here are Rossmunster Church, Fraumunster, St. Peters Church, Museum of Designs Zurich, Swiss National Museum


Of course the most popular European tourist attraction in Paris is the Eiffel tower. You can see pictures of the Eiffel Tower at Eiffel Tower Paris along with facts and further information. It may well be the top vacationing attraction in Europe. Over 100million people have ascended it since it's opening. If you do decide to vacation in the more popular months you will probably find yourself queueing, especially for the lifts. However if you choose to go up via the stairways you will have the opportunity of seeing a set of pictures at each turn in the stairs giving information and historical facts about the tower.


Venice is a city in northern Italy known both for tourism and for industry. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities. The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the PO(south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.


See the Vatican City, the Spanish Steps, the Collusseum, Trevi fountain, Piazza Navona, and of course the leaning tower of Pisa. It's a massive european delight of a city. The city is, in addition, an important centre of pilgrimage in the Christian, notably the Roman Catholic Church, and St Peter's Basilica, found in the Holy See, is often called "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". Rome's architectural and archaeological sites, and its rich artistic and historical heritage, contribute to it having many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its global influence in politics, literature, high culture, the arts, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine lead it to being considered an Alpha- world city, according to Loughborough University and GaWC in 2008. Rome is also a hub of the cinematic and filming industry.


Construction of the Colosseum was started under the emperor Vespavian and was completed by his son Titus in 80 A.D. Originally named the amphitheatre of Flavio, it became known as the colosseum because of an enormous bronze statue of Nero which in the second century A.D. was placed near by the monument. The building was used for gladiator fights, hunting simulations involving ferocious and exotic animals and similar entertainments. The building was constructed with blocks of stone and brickwork. The outside is composed of four levels , the first three of which are made up of 80 arches while the fourth is divided into sections interspersed with windows.Holding up to 73.000 spectators, entrance to the Colosseum was regulated through a ticket system, with each ticket indicating where the holder should go through the internal passages and corridors to find his or her seat.


In the heart of the Mediterranean, on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is fast becoming one of the world's most interesting getaways. Still relatively unspoiled by globalization, tourists will notice an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures - making this European country truly unique. Albania is home to three World Heritage Sites. There are Butrint, an ancient Greek and Roman city.Gjirokast?r, a well-preserved Ottoman medieval town, together with Berat, the town of a thousand and one windows.


A visit to Austria provides the opportunity to view stunning mountain vistas, explore beautiful pastoral landscapes, discover world-famous cities and walk in the footsteps of history. Austria is a destination that has much to offer and like a good wine, is a destination that you should "savor". We recommend that you sample the local cuisine, try Austrian beers and wines, and attend the opera or a symphony to listen to some of the classical music for which this country is so well known (although jazz and other types of music are also popular). If you have some extra time, consider walking, hiking or bicycling in rural areas to experience the richness of this idyllic country. Read on for our recommendations on the best places to visit in Austria.


Although small in size, Belgium has big influence in Europe as the hub of the European Union in Brussels, its capital city.First time visitors shouldn't miss the iconic Manneken Pis, probably the most famous statue in all of Brussels, along with other top attractions including the twin towers of the Cathedral of St. Michel & Gudle with its heady mix of romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. However, the very heartbeat of the city can be felt in the main square, year-round dominated by the Grand Palace and in summer covered by a carpet of flowers and buzzing with cafe goers.As an international power center, Dutch, French, German and English are widely spoken throughout Belgium's three major regions - Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.For the casual traveler, Belgium's other top attractions continue to retain an old-world charm in Brussels and Antwerp; vivid medieval majesty in such towns as Ghent and Bruges; contrasted with a stark reminder of war's tragic consequences in a memorial to the 20th century fallen at Flanders Fields.


Once known for tragic reasons, Bosnia and Hercegovina now features in travel plans as people realise what this country has to offer: age-old cultures, stunning mountain landscapes, access to the great outdoors and a sense of adventure. This most easterly point of the West and the most westerly point of the East bears the imprint of two great empires. Five hundred years of domination, first by the Turks and then briefly by the Austria-Hungarians, have inexorably influenced the culture and architecture of this land


For most foreign holidaymakers, Bulgaria?s main lure is its long, sandy Black Sea Coast ? which still boasts swaths of stunning beaches and picturesque bays despite the expansive construction work ? but there is so much more to this country, and so much of it remains largely untouched and unvisited by overseas tourists. Networks of well-maintained hiking trails and horse-riding routes allow you to discover Bulgaria?s lush mountainous and forested landscapes, especially around the Rila and Pirin Mountains, inhabited by bears, lynx, rare birds and other kinds of wildlife now becoming scarce elsewhere in Europe.


Hike through pristine forests watered by mountain streams in the west. Let the waterfalls of Plitvice moisten your face. And then there's the culture. The country that endured Roman, Venetian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian rule has a unique and slightly schizoid identity. You?ll find a strong central European flavour in the baroque architecture of Zagreb, and Italian devotion to the good life percolates up from the coast, permeating Croatian food and style. During holidays and festivals the country?s Slavic soul emerges, as colourfully costumed dancers whirl about to traditional folk melodies.


Floating on the waters of the European Mediterranean, but pointing longingly towards the shores of Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, Cyprus is an odd mixture. It is a kaleidoscopic blend: its cultural influences are dominated by Western Europe, but its geographic proximity to Asia and Africa gives it more than just a hint of the East. In the tourist centres of places like Pafos, Agia Napa or Lemesos (Limasol), you might feel as if you?ve entered a sunny, scorching Essex suburb with lobster-red Brits letting it all hang loose with a lukewarm can of Foster?s in tow. But if curiosity draws you out of the cities, you?ll discover the small villages of the Akamas Peninsula and the heavenly golden beaches of the Karpas (Kirpasa) Peninsula.


Denmark is one of the happiest nations on earth with some of the best quality of life. Along winding cobbled streets Danes shop and dine at some of the most exciting places in Europe. Beyond the capital and the bigger cities, Denmark offers a mix of lively towns such as Ribe and Odense plus rural countryside, medieval churches, Renaissance castles and tidy 18th-century villages. Neolithic dolmen, preserved 2000-year-old ?bog people?, and impressive Viking ruins are just some of the remnants of the nation?s long and fascinating history. Denmark continues to stamp its effortlessly cool style on the world with its furniture, fashion, architecture and graphic design, as it has done for the last half-century or so.


There's something pure in the Finnish air and spirit that's incredibly vital and exciting. Although socially and economically it is in the vanguard of nations, parts of the country remain gloriously remote; with the trendsetting modern capital of Helsinki counterbalanced by vast forested wildernesses in the north and east, like Lemmenjoki National Park and Oulanka National Park. These wilds are perfect for treks among the pines and lakes in summer. Finnish towns, too, have much to offer. Whether cosy wooden churches, avant-garde design, quirky museums or passionate Finnish rock music are your thing, you'll find them in abundance, as well as caf?s warm with the smell of baking cinnamon, and boisterous nightlife - the latter particularly in chic, cultural Helsinki.


The fabled land of good food and wine, of royal chateaux and perfectly restored farmhouses, of landmarks known the world over and hidden landscapes few really know. Savour art and romance in the shining capital on the River Seine. See glorious pasts blaze forth at Versailles. Travel south for Roman civilisation and the sparkling blue Med; indulge your jet-set fantasies in balmy Nice and St-Tropez. Ski the Alps. Sense the subtle infusion of language, music and mythology in Brittany brought by 5th-century Celtic invaders. Smell ignominy on the beaches of Normandy and battlefields of Verdun and the Somme. And know that this is but the tip of that gargantuan iceberg the French call culture.


Beer or wine? That sums up the German conundrum. One is at the heart of a pilsner-swilling culture that draws kegloads of visitors annually, is the very reason for one of the world?s great parties (Oktoberfest) and is consumed with pleasure across the land. The other is exported worldwide, is responsible for gorgeous vine-covered valleys and is enjoyed everywhere, often from cute little green-stemmed glasses.And the questions about Germany continue. Berlin or Munich? Castle or club? Ski or hike? East or west? BMW or Mercedes? In fact, the answers are simple: both. Why decide? The beauty of Germany is that rather than choosing, you can revel in the contrasts. Exploring this country and all its facets can keep visitors happy for weeks.


With 44 sites, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage sites than any other country on earth. Its great citt? d?arte (cities of art), like Rome, Venice and Florence, have been attracting visitors for centuries, and with good reason. At times, it seems like the country rests on its artistic laurels. This is not entirely true. Milan, the country?s financial hub, has created one of Europe?s biggest and most modern trade fairs and is planning a major residential development, the CityLife complex, in the heart of the city. Venice is possibly the city that has, in appearance, changed least down the decades but it has recently opened a sleek new bridge over the Grand Canal and a spectacular contemporary art space at the Punta della Dogana.


It?s true, Liechtenstein makes a fabulous wine-and-cheese-hour trivia subject ? Did you know it was the sixth smallest country?? It?s still governed by an iron-willed monarch who lives in a Gothic castle on a hill? Yes, it really is the world?s largest producer of dentures? But if you?re visiting this pocket-sized principality solely for the cocktail-party bragging rights, keep the operation covert. This theme-park micronation takes its independence seriously and would shudder at the thought of being considered for novelty value alone. Liechtenstein would rather be remembered for its stunning natural beauty


Luxembourg is fairy-tale stuff?complete with the happy ending. The story of this land?s tumultuous history beguiles with its counts and dynasties, wars and victories, fortresses and promontories. Only the dragon is missing. It's no surprise that Luxembourgers are a proud people whose national motto, Mir w?lle bleiwe wat mir sin (?We want to remain what we are?), sums up their independent spirit. The population of 469,000 is predominantly rural based ? the only centres of any size are the capital, Luxembourg City, followed by Esch-sur-Alzette.


Mountainous Macedonia still has an air of mystery to it. Simultaneously ancient and brand new, it?s struggling to find its place in the postcommunist world. Black-clad Orthodox monks are just as much a part of this renewal as the hordes of teenagers, bedecked in the latest Italian fashions, sipping coffee in the stylish bars of the capital. Quite apart from Macedonia?s spectacular peaks, lakes and rivers, it?s the hospitality of the people of this most southern of Slavic nations that will make your visit truly memorable.


After scaling Monaco?s steep terraced steps, shiny escalators and gleaming marble corridors tunnelling through the rocks to a series of free public lifts running up and down the hillside (not to mention navigating the 3D road system encircling its towering high rises!), you could be forgiven for thinking you?re inside a life-size MC Escher illustration of an illusionary maze. Monaco is most famed for its glamorous Monte Carlo casino, Formula One cars roaring through the streets during its glamorous Grand Prix, and the scintillating lives of its glamorous royal family, the Grimaldis.


Start with the Dutch cities. Who hasn't heard of Amsterdam, the capital of culture, coffeeshops and canals? Its mesmerising beauty is hard to overestimate, and yet a surfeit of stunning metropoles are only hours, or even minutes, away by train. Haarlem, Groningen City, Rotterdam, Utrecht City, Den Haag, Leiden, Delft, Maastricht - the list seems endless, a mind-boggling concept considering the size of this small nation. Outside the cities, the Netherlands once again borders on over-achievement. Its bucolic splendour of national parks and sheep-patrolled polders is perfectly complimented by shimmering lakes, sandy coastlines, and a chain of windswept islands. Best of all, it can all be seen from the comfort of a bicycle seat.


Norway is a country at a crossroads, although given Norway?s natural wonders and significant wealth, it?s a situation in which most countries in the world would love to find themselves. Norway is, by any standards, one of the most beautiful countries on earth, but that beauty brings with it a responsibility that weighs heavily upon Norwegians. For here is a people with an enduring love for the natural world that is profoundly etched into the national character. In the past, this was expressed in the Norwegian tradition of isolated farmsteads that colonised the most secluded corners of the country?s wilderness.


While the country?s cities rapidly modernise, its countryside continues to retain its rustic allure. In Poland?s southern reaches, dominated by tree-clad mountains, the clich? of horse-drawn carts transporting hay from the fields still holds true. Bucolic splendour spreads from the outskirts of urban centres as far as the eye can see, and pockets of primeval forest in the northeast shelter herds of wild bison. The clear waters of the Great Masurian Lakes prove irresistible to sailors and kayakers, and the long, sandy beaches of the Baltic coast provide ample opportunity for summer seaside sojourns.


While it's true that Portugal is no longer the Iberian Peninsula's best-kept secret, it's fairly easy to escape the crowds. Even at the busiest resorts in the Algarve, it only takes a short bus ride or a walk across countryside to reveal rarely visited places that still offer the feeling of discovery - a sentiment close to the Portuguese soul. Portugal has an old-fashioned charm, with medieval castles and picture-perfect villages scattered over meandering coastlines and flower-covered hillsides. Sun-kissed beaches like Cascais and Sagres offer enticements of a more hedonistic sort.


Travelling in Romania, the EU?s newest member, is like being somewhere between an eternal Halloween and the Led Zeppelin IV cover that features a twig-carrying farmer. Even in cities where Audis zoom across highways under video-camera speed traps, Romanian life is defined by its sweet country heart. Most anywhere, you?ll spot horse-drawn buggies crossing the (often cratered) paved roads ? up green mountains, past cone-shaped haystacks and herds of sheep ? which bounce along as if the roads themselves are aliens to the land. And then there?s that Dracula thing. Many visitors, lured by bloodcurdling tales, make full trips out of Transylvania?s castles and lovely medieval Saxon towns like Sighisoara, where the ?real Dracula? (Vlad Tepes) first grew his teeth.


Serbia (Srbija) is yet to come within most tourists' comfort zone, but having got rid of Slobodan Milo?evic and become a democracy, the nation is now knocking on the doors of Europe, and in the meantime is a safe and welcoming place to visit. The most exciting spot is undoubtedly its capital, Belgrade, a gritty, energetic city. Cultural buffs can revel in its architecture and museums, foodies in its restaurants, while party animals will get no rest exploring its incessant nightlife.


Slovakia isn?t among the most-touted destinations. Big mistake. Here, you can climb alpine peaks in East Slovakia like the High Tatras, explore a clifftop castle in Trenc?n, ski in Mal? Fatra National Park and sit in as many old-town caf?s as your rear can stand in Bratislava. Having emerged from its frumpy, communist-era chrysalis in time to welcome a horde of low-cost carrier junkies, the increasing numbers of flights and EU membership have pushed costs up in the capital. Outside the city and you?ll find traditional villages, terrific trails and prices a fraction of those in Western Europe.


It's a tiny country, about half the size of Switzerland, and counts just over two million people. But the only way to describe pint-sized Slovenia (Slovenija), an independent republic bordering Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, is that it's 'a mouse that roars'. Slovenia has been dubbed a lot of things since independence in 1991 - 'Europe in Miniature', 'The Sunny Side of the Alps', 'The Green Piece of Europe' - and, though they may sound like tourist-brochure blurbs, they're all true. From beaches, snow-capped mountains, hills awash in grapevines and wide plains blanketed in sunflowers, to Gothic churches, baroque palaces, historic castles and art nouveau civic buildings, Slovenia offers more diversity than countries many times its size.


Stretching sun-drenched and untamed to the south of the wild and majestic Pyrenees, this passionate nation works a mysterious magic. Spain is littered with hundreds of glittering beaches; flamenco bailaors (dancers) swirl in flounces of colour; and toreros (bullfighters) strut their stuff in the bullrings. Summer holidaymakers gather around great pans of steaming paella (at its tasty best in Valencia) and pitchers of sangria? Beyond these clich?d images, a vast, unexpected panorama unfolds before you. Emerald green mountains seem to slide into the wild blue Atlantic in the north.


The midnight sun, the snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, ABBA and the Hives - whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden may be, a visit to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them. Though you?re unlikely to be greeted at the shore by throngs of mead-swilling berserkers in longships, evidence of the Vikings and their pillaging days is easy to find. A stroll through the Swedish countryside will often lead to a picnic on some ancient king?s burial mound. Cycling routes frequently pass through fields crowned with ship-shaped stone graves. In cities and alongside roadways, rune stones staunchly declare the historical equivalent of ?Ingmar was here?. But Sweden?s days as a warlike nation are long gone. Instead, its domestic and international policies serve as models of neutrality and consensus-building.


If you could travel through only one European country, which might you choose? Italy? France? Germany? How about a taste of three in one? That can only mean Switzerland! Known as a summer and winter sports paradise (just look at those glistening white 4000m-plus Alpine peaks and glittering lakes), Switzerland is where people first skied for fun. Illustrious names evoke all the romance and glamorous drama of the mountain high life: Zermatt, St Moritz, Interlaken, Gstaad, the Jungfrau, Verbier and more. Cities like Geneva (the most cosmopolitan), Z?rich (the most outrageous), Basel and Lausanne heave with heady artistic activity and sometimes incendiary nightlife.


London assumes the mantle of one of the world?s great cities with ease, crowning itself Napoleon-style by hosting its third Olympic games in 2012. London has been called a ?world in one city? and that?s not just empty rhetoric. The brilliant feat carried off here is that while immigrants, the city?s life blood, continue to flow in and contribute their energy and cultures to the capital?s already spicy melting pot, London nevertheless feels quintessentially British, whether it?s those boxy black cabs, the red double deckers or those grand symbols of Britain ? the mother of all parliaments at Westminster, the silhouette of Tower bridge above the muddy Thames or the already world-famous London Eye, barely a decade old.


At 110 acres, the Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world, but it compensates with overstuffed museums and the papal complex around St. Peter's Square. Step inside its medieval and Renaissance walls to marvel at Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes and St. Peter's Basilica, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. A climb to the top of the basilica's dome affords expansive views of Rome. To avoid the lengthy lines, try a guided tour or visit in the afternoon.

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