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European Magic Must-See and Must-Do

17 May 2012 trina said


I'm going on my first ever trip to Europe in 6 days! After 5 months of obsessively searching the internet for must-see's and must-do's during my time there, here is the list I've come up with. Any tips/corrections/additions will be greatly appreciated. Hope this helps! ; )

P.S. The places mentioned are in no particular order.


1) Trafalgar Square - Nelson’s Column, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Strand
2) Piccadilly Circus - Eros Statue
3) Leicester Square - caricature artists, “Theatreland” sign, celebrity handprints
4) West End
5) British Museum - Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles, Nereid Monument
6) The Monument - monument to the Great Fire of London
7) Tower of London - Beefeater tour, Crown Jewels, Cullinan I, Bloody Tower, Traitor’s Gate, ravens
8) Tower Bridge
9) St. Paul’s Cathedral
10) Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
11) London Eye
12) Westminster Abbey
13) Big Ben
14) Houses of Parliament
15) Buckingham Palace - Changing of the Guards
16) Wellington Arch
17) Portobello Road Market
18) Covent Garden - Royal Opera House, Bow St Police Station
19) Royal Observatory - Prime Meridian Line (stand on both east & west hemispheres of the Earth)
20) Royal Mews - by tradition, Windsor Grey horses pull the Queen’s carriage; Gold State Coach - used at every coronation for 300 years
21) Cleopatra’s Needle - brought to London from Alexandria; erected on September 1878 on the Thames Embankment;1 of a pair of identical obelisks (other in Central Park, NY); time capsule buried under it
22) Benjamin Franklin House
23) Queen’s Gallery
24) Harrods - famous shopping store
25) 10 Downing Street - residence of Prime Minister
26) escalator in Angel Tube Station - Western Europe’s longest escalator (318 steps); Northern Line (close to Russell Square)
27) British Library - see Shakespeare’s first folio and Magna Carta
28) Temple Church - home to Knights Templar
29) Kensington Palace - where England’s princesses lived, including Diana
30) Kensington Gardens - statue of Peter Pan
31) 221B Baker Street - official home of Sherlock Holmes
32) Little Ben - across Victoria station
33) Tyburn Tree in Hyde Park - site of tree used for death by hanging; London’s main site for executions
34) 10 Hyde Park Place - smallest house in London (3.5 feet wide)
35) smallest police station in London - southeast corner of Trafalgar Square; inside a lamppost; marks the exact center of London (?)
36) day trips: Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, etc


1) Anne Frank House
2) Red Light District
3) Royal Palace
4) Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)
5) National Monument
6) I Amsterdam sign at Museumplein
7) Van Gogh Museum
8) Heineken Factory
9) Floating Flower Market - only floating flower market in the world
10) Prinsengracht , Keizersgracht, Herengracht - canals; World Heritage Sites
11) The Jordaan - Amsterdam’s Greenwich Village with canals; see “hofjes” (tiny enclosed parks)
12) Dam Square - heart of the city
13) 8 windmills - De Gooyer is closest to city
14) Beurs van Beriage - top floor has panoramic views
15) The Tulip Museum
16) The Resistance Museum
17) Rembrandt House
18) Amstelkring Museum Our Lord in the Attic - hidden church
19) Royal Concertgebouw
20) West Church - Rembrandt’s grave


1) Rheinfels Castle
2) Loreley statue


1) Marienplatz
2) Hofbrauhaus - world’s most famous beer hall
3) Alter Peter - Munich’s oldest church; climb 297 steps for amazing views
4) Asam Kirche - baroque church
5) BMW Museum - only BMW museum in the world
6) Statue of Bavaria - one of world’s biggest bronze statues; 66 steps for city views
7) Allianz Arena - donut-shaped UFO architecture; building changes color
8) Munich Residenz - former royal palace of Bavarian kings
9) Andechs Abbey - abbey run by Benedictine monks with brewery that started in 1455
10) Siegestor - famous arc; “gate of victory”
11) Frauenkirche - old church; see Devil’s Footstep (according to legend, left by the devil himself); contains crypts of city’s former archbishops
12) Mariensaule - statue of Virgin Mary at Marienplatz
13) Nymphenburg Palace - summer retreat of Bavarian royalty
14) Viktualienmarkt - food market
15) Neuhauserstrasse/Kaufingerstrasse - shopping area
16) Dachau Concentration Camp - one of the first & most notorious German camps
17) Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavarian Alps - inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle; 2 hours away by train


1) bobsledding - 100km/min in Olympic rail
2) Royal Palace
3) Golden Roof
4) Schloss Ambras (Ambras Castle)
5) Cathedral of St. James
6) Church of Innsbruck


1) gondola ride
2) Bridge of Sighs
3) Doge’s Palace
4) St. Mark’s Basilica
5) San Marco Museum - Loggia dei Cavalli
6) Campanile di San Marco - bell tower
7) Doge’s Palace
8) Church of Saints John and Paul Ca’ Rezzonico
9) Rialto Bridge - famous bridge; with street stalls
10) Basilica of St. Anthony
11) Campo del Ghetto
12) Arsenale - weapons building
13) I Tre Mercanti - food gallery near St. Mark’s Square


1) Wooden Chapel Bridge
2) Lake Lucerne
3) Mt. Stanserhorn
4) St Peter’s Chapel - oldest church in Lucerne (circa 1178)
5) Musegg Wall - series of 9 towers that are part of the walls surrounding the city
6) Dying Lion of Lucerne Monument
7) Hof Church - main cathedral of the city; old Benedictine monastery
8) Rathau Luzern - Italian Renaissance city hall
9) Lake Como
10) Glacier Garden


1) Paris Catacombs - a series of long, winding tunnels stretching a couple kilometers under Paris, packed with millions of neatly stacked bones excavated from various Paris cemeteries during the 18th century
2) Les Invalides - burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte
3) Versailles - King’s Wing, Hall of Mirrors, Queen’s Wing, Hall of Battles, Orangerie, Trainons, Marie Antoinette’s Hameau
4) Notre Dame Cathedral - gargoyles in tower, Point Zero (center of France), inspiration for Hunchback of Notre Dame
5) Latin Quarters - Shakespeare & Company Bookstore
6) Moulin Rouge, Nouvelle Eve
7) The Louvre - Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Apollo Room
8) Ponts des Artes
9) Sainte Chapelle
10) La Conciergerie - gloomy prison famous as the last stop of victims of the guillotine including Marie Antoinette
11) Champs Elysees
12) Arc de Triomphe
13) Sacre Coeur Basilica
14) Canal St. Martin
15) Palais Garnier - inspiration for Phantom of the Opera
16) Eiffel Tower
17) Trocadero - best view of Eiffel Tower; 8 golden statues of 7 women + 1 man representing youth, flowers, the morning, nature, birds, gardens, spring & fruit
18) Saint-Germain-des-Pres
19) Montparnasse Tower - great views
20) Pantheon - at Luxembourg Gardens
21) Rodin Museum - amazing sculptures
22) Chateau de Pierrefonds - castle
23) Chateau de Fontainebleu - summer house of royalty
24) Chateau de Compiegne - summer house of royalty
25) Chateau de Vincennes - castle
26) Basilica Cathedral of St. Denis - where French royalty are buried
27) Passe Muraille statue - based on story about a man who can walk through walls then got stuck; Marcel Aymee square
28) Pere Lachaise Cemetery - burial site of Jim Morrison, Heloise & Abelard
29) River Seine
30) Place des Vosges in Marais district - oldest planned square in Paris
31) #22 Rue St Severin - skinniest house in Paris (2 windows wide)
32) Pont Neuf - Paris’ oldest bridge
33) Nicolas Flamel House on Rue de Montmorency - Paris’ oldest house (1407); philosopher’s stone to turn metal into gold
34) Pont Alexandre III - most romantic bridge in Paris (aka The Love Bridge)
35) Musee des Arts Forains - museum of carnival art; ride the bicycle carousel; seen in Midnight in Paris

  • Read the responses 6 responses so far
  • 18 May 2012 Explorer1201960 said


    Thanks! ill be doing this tour in September…now the question is how to narrow the list down haha. I would love to hear about the trip when you get back! Please try to post a review for your fellow contikiers.
    Have a great time=) In St goar I am dying to see Rheinfels castle however I hear we only get 2 hours in the AM there and the castle opens at 9am=( let me know if you make it there! Also, here is a link to my travel blog in case you need it for future travels, I went on Berlin to Budapest and Mykonos and Island cruising.
    -Hayley NYC

  • 18 May 2012 trina said


    oh so true, hayley. my head’s spinning trying to decide where to go and what to see. will definitely try to post a review when i get back. thanks for the link! : )

  • 11 Mar 2013 ryan123 said


    Thanks for sharing this one I’m planning to travel to Europe with my family this year and I’m excited about it.

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  • 7 Jan 2014 Jaybee Anne Ponce said


    Great list buddy. This would be more convenient for us readers when we would be visiting there. Thumbs up :)

  • 26 Feb 2014 Explorer1201960 said


    I did this tour is anyone has questions! I also did Mykonos and Island Cruising, as well as Berlin to Budapest. Here is a blog I wrote for the later two. Message me if you want to know about European Magic.

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