Your Europe Bucket List, Part 3/3: Eurail Countries P to T
Welcome to the third and final instalment of our European bucket list series! Part 3 is all about Eurail countries from P to T: Poland to Turkey. Missed the first two? Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.
The ultimate Europe bucket list (Part 3)
A beautiful and diverse country, Poland is gaining increasing interest from travelers. With its vast natural scenery in mountains, rivers and lakes, a long Baltic Sea coastline, and a fascinating mix of cultures, it’s no surprise at all.
Learn about the country’s troubled history: Nowhere is Poland’s stark and somber history more palpable than at Auschwitz. A trip here may be overwhelming, but it plays a crucial role in understanding one of history’s darkest moments.
Hike the Valley of Five Lakes near Zakopane: The High Tatras in the south offer unspoiled nature. It’s perfect for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Swim in the Baltic Sea: Head to the country’s northern reaches for a dip in the icy ocean. You may only last a few seconds, but few travelers will be able to outdo you on this feat.
Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe with unchanged borders. Today it’s a thriving destination for travelers looking to tap into its vibrant landscapes and distinct culture.
Explore Lisbon’s famous nightlife: The capital city’s younger residents and visitors head straight for Lisbon’s bars and clubs, most notably those in Bairro Alto.
Devour pastel de nata: These iconic Portuguese pastries are everywhere, from dusty train stations to high-end eateries. You should seize every opportunity you have to consume them.
Drink Port in Porto: There’s a wealth of things to see and do in Porto. But few are as bucket list worthy as drinking a glass of port in its birthplace.
Romania, on the western shores of the Black Sea, has a rich and diverse cultural heritage and vast natural beauty. It’s attracting more tourists each year, but the country is still full of surprises and has an understated charm.
Visit Dracula’s castle: With stunning scenery and around 100 medieval castles including Bran Castle (otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle), Transylvania’s popularity should come as no surprise.
Attend Romanian church: Romania is one of the most devoutly religious countries in Europe. Even if you are not particularly religious, attending an orthodox service can be surprisingly captivating.
Serbian hospitality is world-famous. When you combine this with a rich history, several castles, and an array of traditional villages, Serbia is a must-visit when on a journey through the Balkans.
Dine out or have a drink on Skadarlija: Belgrade’s vintage Skadarlija Street is the perfect place to sit back with a drink or traditional Serbian meal and watch the world go by.
Visit Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad: No enemy has ever managed to take the impressive fortress of Petrovaradin. These days it serves a more peaceful purpose with art studios, galleries, bars, and restaurants. In summer it also plays host to EXIT, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe.
Slovakia is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with ample skiing in the winter and incredible hiking in the summer. There are also bustling cities and charming small towns. Its proximity to Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary make it an increasingly popular destination.
Climb the High Tatras: The tallest part of the Carpathian Mountain Range, the High Tatras, offers stunning views and abundant activities. A trek to the top is an impressive feat in itself.
Look down on Bratislava: The vibrant city of Bratislava is full of life and interesting architecture, and there are no better places to view this than from the Bratislava Castle on the hill.
Slovenia is one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, and it seems as if tourists are just starting to catch on. Small, charming cities and beautiful lakes and mountains characterize this small country at the crossroads between the Balkans and Central Europe.
Row to the church on the island: Rent a rowboat and make your way across turquoise waters to the fairytale-like church on the island in the middle of Lake Bled.
Walk the Triple Bridge: The capital, Ljubljana, has a number of beautiful bridges. The three most famous of these are located side by side in the city center.
Party in Metelkova City: Explore the vibrant social center of the Slovenian capital after dark. Here cheap beer, loud music, and late night street parties are the name of the game.
Spain’s relaxed and vibrant culture has made this country one of the most popular in Europe. It’s the perfect destination whether you’re looking for interesting history, delectable dining, beautiful beaches, or stunning scenery.
Watch a local football game: Spaniards take their football very seriously. Fan or not, it would be a missed opportunity if you didn’t get to see at least one home game – preferably involving Madrid or Barcelona.
View the original Guernica in Madrid: One of Picasso’s most famous and influential paintings – Guernica – hangs in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Sweden is one of just two countries in Europe not to have been at war since 1815. This shows through in its friendly population and progressive policies. But that doesn’t mean Sweden lacks soul – the Scandinavian country is attractive, engaging and vibrant.
Go shopping: Sweden, and Stockholm in particular, is home to several iconic brands and companies, and it has earned a name for its high quality design and fashion.
Take a dip in Hellasgården: You may have to wait until summer for this one, but swimming in the Hellasgården is one of Stockholm’s hidden pleasures when the sun makes an appearance.
Switzerland has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most dramatic destinations. You’ll encounter soaring snow-capped peaks, crystal clear lakes, and some of the best chocolate and cheese you could wish for.
Take a train to the top of Europe: While not quite the highest point in Europe, the Jungfrau Railway offers an exhilarating journey to 3,454 meters above sea level.
Ski the Alps: The scale of the Swiss Alps is truly difficult to believe until you stand atop – or ski down – them. They’re beautiful in summer, but exhilarating in winter.
Escape the cold with a Swiss cheese fondue: The Swiss know cheese, and they know fondue. There are few experiences more pleasurable than eating a cheese fondue in a cozy Swiss restaurant while snow tumbles down outside.
Turkey sits in a unique position, straddling both Asia and Europe. The country has vast coastlines, sprawling plains, and even snowy mountains that will enchant you from the outset.
Lose yourself in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul: The former Greek Orthodox Church and imperial mosque is now a museum. It’s awe-inspiring from beginning to end.
Take a balloon ride in Cappadocia: Few experiences are as exhilarating as viewing the spectacular scenery of Cappadocia from a hot air balloon.
Arm yourself with a Eurail Global Pass and get ready to explore Europe. Let us know if you manage to tick off these ultimate European bucket list experiences!
More ideas for your European bucket list:
Your Europe bucket list, part 1/3: Eurail countries A to F
Your Europe bucket list, part 2/3: Eurail countries G to N
Beautiful countries in Europe you need to see by train