Your Europe Bucket List, Part 1/3: Eurail Countries A to F
The beauty of traveling Europe by train is that you can tick dozens of unique experiences off your Europe bucket list in a single trip, or even in a single day. The cultural and geographical differences between most big European cities make them feel like they’re a world apart. But in reality, they’re often just a short train ride away.
The ultimate Europe bucket list (Part 1)
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Finland|
Austria is a stunning landlocked country bordering no less than eight other celebrated countries. It’s one of Europe’s most impressive winter wonderlands, but it’s equally impressive when the sun comes out to play.
Ski or hike the Austrian Alps: You can always immerse yourself in Austria’s natural beauty, whether it’s winter or summer. Most ski resorts morph into beautiful hiking territory in the summer months. You can reach Arlberg, Bad Gastein, Kitzbuehel, St. Johann im Pongau and Zell am See easily by train.
Schnitzel with an Austrian beer: Wash a Wiener Schnitzel down with an ice cold Stiegl, and you can tick the ultimate Austrian dining experience off your list.
Many people overlook Belgium for its more famous neighbors, but that would be a mistake. This small country offers a fascinating collection of iconic architecture, delectable food and drinks, and intriguing history.
Climb the belfry of Bruges: If you’ve seen the movie In Bruges, then this iconic structure needs no introduction. If not, then go anyway – this really is a fairytale of a city.
Eat a 1-euro waffle in Brussels: Skip the gourmet specialties and head straight for the waffles. They’re laden with cheap chocolate and sugar, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Underestimate the strength of Belgium beer: Belgian brews are delicious, potent, and world famous. Join the tourists at Delirium to sample up to 3,000 different beers.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the jewels in the crown of the Balkans. This relatively young country has all the ingredients for a fascinating trip – absorbing history, mountainous terrain, and the tiniest slither of a coastline.
Snap a picture of Stari Most: The Old Bridge in Mostar is perhaps the most famous bridge in Eastern Europe.
Eat a ćevapi in Sarajevo: When in the capital be sure to sample a popular Sarajevo ćevapi – essentially a small round kebab.
Kayak the Una River: Combine the country’s beautiful natural scenery and dramatic rivers in a once-in-a-lifetime kayaking trip along the turbulent Una river.
Bulgaria sits on the banks of the Black Sea, and it’s one of the continent’s most exotic destinations. Beautiful beaches, inspiring architecture, and endless outdoor activities make this a truly impressive Balkan state.
Hike the Balkans: These are the mountains that give the entire region its name.
Drink the (mineral) water: There are hundreds of mineral water springs throughout Bulgaria, so put down that beer and wine and stay hydrated with some of the local variants.
Swim in the Black Sea: The Black Sea covers the entire eastern border of the country. There are several beautiful beaches where you can immerse yourself in the unspoiled waters.
Croatia is one of the continent’s most popular coastal countries. With magnificent beaches on the Mediterranean, striking architecture, and an agreeable climate, it’s easy to understand why.
Visit the Game of Thrones set in Dubrovnik: The walled coastal town of Dubrovnik may now be most famous as one of the locations for television show Game of Thrones. But a visit here is about much more than popular culture – it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
Sail the Dalmatians: You can’t venture to this slither of the continent and not head for the seas. There are about 1,000 Dalmatian islands off the coast of Croatia and dozens of sailors who are willing to take you there.
The Czech Republic may be best-known for its iconic capital of Prague, but there are other amazing attractions located in this small landlocked Central European country – often just a short train ride away.
Drink a pilsner in Pilsen: Venture into Bohemia to sample a pilsner beer in its very birthplace, Pilsen. The Pilsen Fest in October coincides with the day the beer first came into being.
Explore the biggest ancient castle in the world: Prague is packed full of iconic buildings, but none as majestic as the famous Prague Castle.
Denmark was once one of the Viking capitals of Europe. These days it’s a modern, vibrant city that leads the way as far as progressive social policies go.
Buy Lego at the source: The small city of Billund happens to be the birthplace of Lego. Here you’ll find the original factory and first-ever Legoland, which opened in 1968.
Eat Danish pastries: Indulge in these world-famous delicacies in the very location after which they’re named.
Snap a photo of the iconic houses at Nyhavn: These little houses along the waterfront in Copenhagen are probably the reason you wanted to visit Denmark in the first place!
Finland offers a wide variety of towns and cities that are all worth exploring, but the country truly dominates on unspoiled natural scenery. There are approximately 188,000 lakes and vast forests that make it perfect for lovers of the outdoors.
Experience the land of the Midnight Sun: Head to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, and cross the Arctic Circle – the southernmost latitude where the sun can stay above or below the horizon for 24 hours.
Explore the Suomenlinna sea fortress: Suomenlinna is a stunning sea fortress that’s built across six different islands. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 15-minute ferry ride away from Helsinki.
France, and its capital Paris, are among the world’s most iconic tourist destinations. But venture out further and you’ll find stunning scenery, famous wines, and quaint villages unchanged for hundreds of years.
Scale the Eiffel Tower: Skip the elevator and walk the first 704 steps of the Eiffel Tower for an exhilarating experience and the best views of Paris.
Drink champagne in Champagne: There’s no better place to savor a glass of bubbly than in the beautiful region where it all began.
Experience the lifestyles of the rich and the famous: Venture to the French Riviera to see how the 1% live and party, if only for a few hours.
There’s simply no better way to tackle your Europe bucket list than by train. A Eurail Global Pass will get you to all these destinations. Of course, your Eurail Pass can take you to many more countries, but you’ll have to wait until the next article to find out the best of the other Eurail destinations!
If you want more to add to your Europe bucket list:
Your Europe bucket list, part 2/3: Eurail countries G to N
Your Europe bucket list, part 3/3: Eurail countries P to T
Why travel by train? 6 reasons to get a Eurail Pass