We’ve put together 25 travel tips for fun things to do in Europe, to help you discover some of the best places in Europe to visit.
While Germany is full of fun things to do (you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Oktoberfest springs immediately to mind!) but there is plenty of fun to be had off the beaten tourist track as well – for example, walking along Europe’s longest footbridge in Ronneburg in the eastern half of the country.
The Dragon’s Tail via Wikicommons
Something else I’d love to do the next time I make it to Dusseldorf is to get to the top of the Rhine Tower. It impresses me no end that you can, apparently, see all the way to the famous Cologne cathedral if the weather is clear.
View towards Rhine Tower by Gunnar Por Hafdal
I adore this post from Karen about snow sliding in Berwick upon Tweed - as Australian children visiting Europe when I was nine, our first experience with snow was very similar, sliding down some short slopes sitting on a plastic bag!
Snow sliding in Berwick upon Tweed
For something more well-known and not without its controversy, “flying” above London in the London Eye still appeals to me. Arwa wrote a great post describing what makes the London Eye worth its ticket price.
London Eye by arwa
What about a sea kayaking to the Farne Islands in Northumberland, which sounds like a lot of fun (and a bit of hard work!).
Farne Islands seal by Hugh Simmons
At least in the experience of Karen and I, storks are rife in Austria! Karen took a trip to the town of Rust and quickly spotted some stork nests (and some fascinating stork information). I saw numerous storks nesting in the Marchegg stork sanctuary close to Vienna. Dare I suggest that a fun thing to do in Austria is to stalk storks?!
Stork information in Rust, Austria
Kafka Museum by achimh
Alternatively, you may want to explore Czech beer culture – and one great way to do this is to try some of that famous Czech beer, the Pilsner Urquell, in Plzen in the Czech Republic.
Pilsner Urquell by bad9brad
Croatia is a stunningly beautiful country which is full of fun things to do (one of my first memories of it is stopping on a bridge where people were bungee jumping!). If you’re into something less heart-stopping, you could try following the Roman Trail. Neha, who lives there, has written a great post about the many Roman sites you can find in Croatia.
Pula amphitheatre by neha
If you’re after some edible fun in Croatia you might consider buying a gingerbread heart – it’s a charming (and delicious) Croatian tradition.
Gingerbread heart by neha
You can get all Shakespearean in Denmark if you head to Helsingor to see Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle. In fact, as well as being made famous via Hamlet, this castle is a world-class (and UNESCO-listed) attraction in its own right.
Inside Hamlet’s castle by Marcus Cederstrom
Another fun thing to do in Denmark is to check out the locals playing petanque at Copenhagen’s King’s Gardens. Karen stumbled across this activity when in Copenhagen and it’s a lovely way to get a taste of the local life.
Aphrodite’s Rock, Cyprus
Alternatively you might want to drive into the interior of Cyprus and a visit to Agios Demetrianos is recommended by Karen – as long as you’re feeling up to ducking your head to visit the saint’s cave.
The cave of Agios Demetrianos
This fun things to do in Finland are both inspired by my own trip to Finland one Christmas – a trip which I must say (since it included visiting Santa at Christmas time) was easily one of the most fun trips I’ve ever taken! One of my favourite activities was going snowshoe walking in Finnish Lapland. The walk itself was gorgeous, and then our break included hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies – perfect!
Snowshoe walking landscape by Amanda Kendle
Another enjoyable morning was spent at Helsinki’s Market Hall, exploring all manner of Finnish foods (by looking AND tasting!). Although I admit being a little disturbed by the prominence of reindeer as a food there – I kept thinking about Rudolph.
Helsinki Market Hall by Amanda Kendle
Here’s a fun activity that you probably never imagined doing in Poland: hunting for gnomes! Marcus discovered that Wroclaw was full of gnomes and that this in fact has its roots in a peaceful anti-communism movement. The gnomes remain to this day.
Gnomes in Wroclaw by Marcus Cederstrom
Probably the last place you would expect to find an Ice Museum in Europe is in Turkey, but there is indeed such a museum in Istanbul. It features all manner of intriguing ice sculptures and an ice bar as well.
Istanbul’s Ice Musuem by Inka Piegsa-quischotte
Inka also wrote us a post about a great day trip to Mary’s House near Selcuk. It features a wall where you can attached your written note explaining your wish or prayer and then hope that it will come true.
Wishes at Mary’s House by Inka Piegsa-quischotte
Russia is a fascinating place to visit for so many reasons, but something that doesn’t always rate a mention is the ridiculously long escalators you can ride on when you’re accessing the metro. You can actually plan to complete a task while riding on some of these (they can be up to three minutes long!).
Escalator in Moscow by Amanda Kendle
In Amsterdam, you can while away an afternoon watching street performers – especially on Dam Square. Along with numerous human statues, you can find performers like jugglers, musicians, fire-eaters and dancers.
Street performer in Amsterdam by neha
Sharks in Rotterdam by neha
What’s more fun than some shopping? (Well, especially for us girls). Great fun can be had in Paris by shopping for bargains in the annual Paris January sales. They are spread across the whole month (even into February) and you can find a “shopping itinerary” to suit your tastes.
Shopping in Paris by juggernautco
Alternatively, you might be more persuaded by a culinary pursuit, like eating oysters in Brittany, as suggested by Thomas.
Oyster beds in Brittany by Thomas Dowson
You might think Switzerland is the place for eating chocolate, skiing and buying watches – all of which are fun, of course – but you can also see piles of junk turned into museum art pieces in Basel’s Tinguely Museum.
Tinguely Museum by Amanda Kendle
Getting around in Europe
If you’re visiting Eurpean cities it’s better to stick to public transport than worry about getting lost when trying to find your hotel and having to pay for parking. However if you’re going to be in small towns or touring the countryside then car rental gives you more freedom and flexibility.