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Top 10 Things to Do in the UK and Europe

Eiffel Tower
Florence_Ponte_Vecchio
Canals forever
Open bus tour of London

Top 10 Things to Do in the UK and Europe

story by: Jo Wedlock

Check out some of the best European cities to experience multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, music, dance and more in one hit! Get a taste of small group, open double-decker bus, rail and Segway tours, river cruising, boat holidays, foodie trails and more. With options for couples, families or groups, you’ll be left with a to-do list filled with wonderful activities worth writing home about.

Here are the ‘best’ European cities to travel to... though note that this is just the tip of the iceberg as there’s SO much on offer in Europe!

Small Group Touring
Small Group tours are an ideal way to see the best of each country without the full hassle of a coach or large group tour. One example is Peregrine Tours who primarily promote guided tours across all of Europe. The tours can include cycling, walking and cultural tours of varying durations to suit everyone and anyone. More recently they’ve added Self Guided tours to their portfolio, excellent for those who like a little more independence. All of the essential items like accommodation and luggage transfers are booked prior to your arrival, but you have much more flexibility along the way without travelling in a group.

Open Top Double Decker Bus Tours
You can’t beat a ride around town on an open top double decker bus!  Sit up top in the open air (summer or winter its great either way) and plug in your headphones before spending an hour or two getting your bearings around the city and figuring out where you want to go back to visit. With local commentary and hop on/hop off ability, it’s a fun and easy way to check out your next city. Try it in Berlin, Hamburg, Geneva, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Inverness, Barcelona, Florence, Rome or Milan - bet you’ll get addicted!

Segway Day Tour in Paris
If you’ve always wanted to try the Segway but never had a chance – grab it now. Segways are those futuristic looking stand up bike type things that buzz people around cities. It’s ideal for those who want a bit more pace and excitement than just walking, but want to maneuver around high density cities such as Paris or Florence where cycles are a little more difficult. And what better destination to start your first Segway tour than Paris…

River Cruising
If you’re a fan of coach tours, then you‘ll love River Cruising – it’s basically the equivalent to a coach tour but on the water. Even better – you can combine your river cruise with a coach tour and get the best of both worlds. Europe and the UK have a lot of rivers for you to check out; so take a cruise, stop at a local pub on the river bank and get a taste of the fantastic waterways on offer.

Boat Holidays
  • Hotel Barging: If you like the river boat idea and want to spend a bit more time and really experience life on the barge, then take a high end Hotel Barging Holiday. Specialist companies such as European Waterways offer a super luxury experience, which is fully inclusive (meals, wine and activities provided – think luxury cruise ship but on a barge!), including being skippered.
  • Canal Boating is slightly different again and is hugely popular. This is a fantastic option for couples, families or groups of friends or those who are a bit more experienced with boats!

Eiffel Tower in Paris France
No trip to France is complete without a visit to Paris, the city of Romance. And no trip to Paris is complete without the Eiffel Tower climb. Climbing the tower is something everyone loves – from small kids to hard to impress teens! If you want to really experience Paris properly then don’t just stop at the Eiffel tower – grab yourself a Paris Museum pass and get access to the Tower, the Arc de Triomphe climb, museums, discounts and much more!

Florence Food and Wine:
If you lie awake at night dreaming of small vineyards in Chianti, then get yourself to Florence and Tuscany! Visit and sample small Italian cafes, restaurants and wineries that are off the beaten track – visit Chianti and Montepulciano and much more and really taste what this famous part of the world is all about.

Donegal Ireland:
In the North West corner of Ireland is one of the lesser travelled spots resulting in one of the most unspoilt. Fly directly into Donegal airport and on landing you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back 500 years to the way Ireland used to be. Make sure you Visit Marlin head – the most northerly point of Ireland. While in Donegal, take in the local entertainment (craic) and some good Gaelic food before heading down the coast to Galway.

Central and Eastern European History Tours:
The Anzacs and our history of fighting wars in Europe is never more in the fore of our mind than in the build-up to the 2015 Gallipoli centenary.  There are several tours that can take you to visit this iconic Kiwi remembrance point as well as small tours in Central & Eastern Europe that trace the 2nd World War. There is a poignancy to visiting Dachau in Munich, Eagles Nest in Austria and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

Europe by Rail:
As Kiwis who have limited access to rail transport, we seem to love the idea of travelling Europe by train. There are several ways you can do this – either on the budget with a Eurorail type pass (hope on hop off pass that is popular with backpackers and students) or for those who like a bit more comfort try the Specialty train in Switzerland Top of Europe or the Luxury Rail Journey in Spain like El Transcantabrico – both are amazing and offer luxurious travel reminiscent of the olden days and a beautiful and different view of these amazing European countries.

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