Visit Northern Europe Art Nouveau capital
Inspired by natural forms and structures, especially in the curved lines of plants and flowers, Art Nouveau is an internationally recognized art-architectural style that emerged as a reaction to the stoic academic art that characterized the 19th century, from 1890 to 1910. Riga was one of the most active cities in the style and its remaining examples are truly audacious and vibrant. Visitors can take a tour of the Art Nouveau Museum, or explore the eponymous architectural district which has UNESCO World Heritage status, following on the footsteps of Riga’s revolutionary artists of the 19th century.
Visit a temple dating from 447 BC
It is like a journey back in time visiting the Acropolis in Greece! This former citadel includes remnants of many buildings, including the Parthenon, which dates from the 5th century BC and are of major historical and architectural importance. Built by Pericles as the memorial of the cultural and political success of the people of Athens, the Parthenon and other major buildings on the Acropolis, is famous for their most perfect buildings created by the most advanced civilization in the world. One of Greece’s must-see places is without doubt the Acropolis.
Drink one coffee in a coffeehouse in Vienna.
Coffee forms a key part of Europe’s coffee culture, and Austria is one of the best places in europe for this. The elegant coffeehouses in the Vienna area have been recognized by UNESCO as an element of immaterial cultural heritage. Enjoy a ‘Einspänner,’ or ‘Großer Brauner’ at one of these cultivation hotspots which local coffee connoisseurs have described as ‘places in which time and space are consumed, but only coffee is available on the bill.’
Follow in the footsteps of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona
Known as one of the most prolific practitioners of Catalan modernism by its unprecedented geometrical mass juxtaposition, Antoni Gaudí shook up the architecture status quo in the late 1800s. Her work was so critical that no fewer than seven properties were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site or located in Barcelona. This is a testament to her exceptional creativity in the development of the 19th and early 20th centuries of architecture and building technology. Naturally, the best-known is the still in construction Sagrada Família and an obligation for art lovers. Any exhibition and celebration of the works and life of Gaudi are worth a visit. Here’s a wonderful website for Gaudi exhibits and information.
Take your Hygge on Christmas in Copenhagen
Hygge is the hip new philosophy for lifestyles, which is common to everybody and has always been a Danish way of life. Though Danes live in one of the most inhospitable areas of the planet, they are known all over the world as one of the happiest nations in the world, and that has been large because they enjoy cozy and loving self-handling (called Hygge). This notion of innate happiness can be enjoyed wherever you are by taking pleasure in a little comfort, but especially in Copenhagen in the holidays when the whole city lit up with aromatic gløgg and candles.
Learn more about Russian vodka culture
The tradition of vodka made in Russia is 500 years old and St. Petersburg is the best place europe to learn more about the ancient art and history of vodka distillation. Visit the Russian Vodka Museum and then try a few local aquae vitas.
Eat Trdelnik (and learn how to pronounce it!
The freshly baking Trdelnik is just the way to make the fridge in Prague bearable, sweet, cinnamony-y, and essentially Czech. This delicious treat is often filled with ice cream or other fillings, made out of a rolled dough, then grilled and topped in sugar and walnut mix, and deliciously filled with a warming shot of espresso.
Walk along the Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana
One of Ljubljana’s most recognizable images was the Dragon Bridge, originally called Emperor Francis I Joseph Jubilee Bridge and known for the epic statues of the dragon that dominate both directions. Walk the bridge and take time to learn about Ljubljana’s sweeping legend and how it became the emblem of the city.
Get a little melancholic to Fado music
Fado has been an extraordinary branch of expressive Portuguese folk music since the earlies 1800s and has been marked by a mournful style of Saudade, a feeling of permanent, irreparable looseness. Fado has been synonymous with Portugal. We know it sounds super depressing but unbelievably soulful and lovely. Fadistas, which are commonly used in restaurants, are known as fadistas. Here are a few places to experience the fabulous early music of Fado in Lisbon.