The county of Dorset in the south-west of England is a picturesque spot on the coast; it’s largely a rural area but is also home to hundreds of historical sites and ancient ruins, too. There’s a wide variety of things to do in the county; our tips on what to do in Dorset, illustrate its attraction for all kinds of visitors throughout the year.
Corfe Castle dates back to the days of William the Conqueror – he had it built in the 11th century. Today the ruins are owned by the National Trust and the site receives around 200,000 visitors a year.
Corfe Castle by treehouse1977
The coastline Dorset shares with East Devon is known as the Jurassic Coast because of its amazing geological value – with rocks dating back to the Jurassic period. It was England’s first natural World Heritage Site and whether you’re intrigued by the geological technicalities or just the beautiful landscape, it’s worth a visit.
Jurassic CoastÂ by jackmalvern
The city of Worcester is not on everybody’s must-visit list but it has plenty to entertain, and if you’re a fan of Worcestershire sauce then you owe it to your tastebuds to visit the place where it originated. So here are our travel tips on what to do in Worcester.
The Worcester Cathedral dates back almost a thousand years, although there’s been a place of worship on this spot since 680 AD. Over the summer season (approx. April to October), you can climb the tower and get a great view over the city and to the Malvern Hills.
Worcester Cathedral by avail
Austria might be a small country, but it’s full of culture. Of course, Vienna is a focus point for music and the arts but you can find a wide variety of festivals taking place across the whole country. Here’s a list of ten festivals in Austria that take place outside the capital – ranging from high culture to more quirky festivals and the obligatory music festivals too.
International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival
The International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival (or in German, Internationales Berg und Abenteuer Filmfestival) is held each year in Graz, usually in November. Obviously, Austrians know something about mountains so a film festival focusing on these kind of films makes sense!
Austrian mountains by tomkellyphoto
AlpenKammerMusik or Chamber Music in the Alps is a chamber music festival that takes place every July or August in the Alpine village of Liesing. Professional musicians from around the world come to play with the Austrian Alps in the background.
Chamber music by LianaAn
Estonia is one of my favourite countries in Europe to visit and it has always been a real surprise packet, with all kinds of interesting towns in each corner and even relaxing island resorts – plus a whole lot of interesting history and culture to discover. Outside of the capital city of Tallinn, there is a lot to see and here are my travel tips for things to do in Estonia.
The south-east city of Tartu is the biggest Estonian city after Tallinn, and it’s considered aÂ universityÂ town – which makes it both an interesting and fun place to be. There are a lot of literary highlights of Tartu, related both to Estonian and to international writers; a great art gallery in a particularly interesting leaning building, and visitors can also explore parts of the University of Tartu – including my favourite part, the Student Lock-Up, where in times past students were “imprisoned” for such crimes as not returning their library books on time!
Oscar and Eduard Wilde statues in TartuÂ byÂ Alastair Rae
PÃ¤rnu is the “summer capital” of Estonia, a small town on the south-west coast with lots of sandy beaches and a full calendar of summer attractions. These include numerous music festivals, a medieval arts and crafts festival, various concerts and fun fairs near the beach.
PÃ¤rnu beachesÂ byÂ Antonio BonannoÂ
The gorgeous Danish capital of Copenhagen is full of history and culture and can easily keep you busy for an extended stay. This post features 25 things to do in Copenhagen so I can guarantee you’ll find a few of special interest to you.
Say Hello to the Little Mermaid
Undoubtedly the most well-known symbol of Copenhagen is the statue of the Little Mermaid, the title character from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales. While she may be smaller than you imagine, it’s probably difficult to visit Copenhagen and not stop by for the obligatory picture.
The Little Mermaid by blackplastic
Take a Canal Cruise
Like many northern European cities, you can really get a great view of Copenhagen by taking a cruise through its canals. It’s picturesque, relaxing and there are several guided versions that supply you with all kinds of interesting bits of information about the city as you cruise.
Cruising down Nyhavn
When I travel, I love to bring home something typical from a country that I can also enjoy and use at home – a way to remind me of my travels. And of course, I sometimes even bring gifts home for family and friends (although mostly only if I see something particular that makes me think of them!). Rather than buy mass-produced souvenirs like T-shirts, I like to find a typical local souvenir. Here are ten travel tips for shopping for local souvenirs in various parts of Europe.
Knitwear shop in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
If you are after some unique jewellery then a trip to Croatia might be just the thing – Neha wrote a great post about the many boutique jewellery stores in Dubrovnik. They are often run by families who have been making Croatian-style jewellery for generations. You might also want to take a shopping trip to Groznjan, where Neha says there is also excellent jewellery to be found, along with locally-produced artworks and wine.
Dubrovnik jewelleryÂ byÂ neha
Our articcles on things to do in Croatia.
In the south-west of Spain, part of Andalusia, the city of Cadiz is full of history and some claim it’s even the oldest city in the whole of south-west Europe. Whether you agree or not it is still a city with numerous reasons to visit – and here are our travel tips on what to do in Cadiz.
Cathedral of Cadiz
One of the many historical buildings in Cadiz, the cathedral is beautiful inside and out but the best activity there is a climb to the top of the northern tower for views over the entire city.
Cadiz Cathedral byÂ mikeisgoing
Carnival in Cadiz
The Cadiz version of Carnival celebrations are widely known and are up there with the top five places to celebrate Carnival. Obviously it’s a busy time to be there (usually February – the weekend before Ash Wednesday), but book ahead and you can experience something spectacular.
Carnival in Cadiz by _DODO
Plaza de Mina
Cadiz is full of small squares but Plaza de Mina is often described as being the most beautiful. Historical houses originally owned by upper-class Cadiz residents surround it and it is also home to the Museum of Cadiz.
Plaza de Mina by CORMA
Finland is a fascinating part of Europe with a large variety of activities depending on whether itâ€™s summer or winter â€“ because there are certainly seasonal extremes here! Itâ€™s a country full of lakes and islands and incredible nature, as well as modern technology (hello, Nokia!) and indigenous culture, too. Here are ten travel tips for things to do in Finland, outside of the capital Helsinki.
My favourite part of Finland outside of Helsinki is Rovaniemi, largely because I had such a wonderful white Christmas experience there. It has a lot of tourist infrastructure (but without feeling over-touristy) and an exceptional museum in the Arktikum.
Snowmobiles in Rovaniemi by Amanda Kendle
Being close to the Russian border has given Lappeenranta quite an interesting history but as far as tourism goes its biggest attraction is actually a sandcastle! Artists build an enormous (and impressively decorated) sandcastle every summer at the harbour and there is family entertainment to go with it.
Sandcastle in Lappeenranta by Antti M
Budapest, in Hungary, is one of my favourite eastern European cities and it’s a great mix of culture and history, as well as being full of friendly people. This compilation offers travel tips for what to do in Budapest.
Visit a Hungarian Bath
Thermal baths are easy to find across Hungary, and especially in Budapest. Locals frequent them for health and relaxation and you may have seen some of the oft-used tourist brochure pictures of people relaxing in a thermal bath and playing chess at the same time! Two excellent baths in Budapest are the Gellert Baths (part of the Gellert Hotel complex) and theÂ Szechenyi Baths. Set aside at least half a day to visit one of these.
Szechenyi BathÂ byÂ Jeremy Branham
Cruise the Danube
The mighty Danube River runs through many beautiful cities of Europe, and the views of Budapest – both the Buda and Pest sides of the river – are fantastic from a boat, with many historical highlights to see. You can also make a stopover at the very green Margaret Island from most cruises.
Danube in Budapest byÂ michael clarke stuff
I’m a real sucker for any biggest, longest, widest, smallest or narrowest tourist attractions – I think a lot of us are! This post puts together ten European superlatives, including a few already in our archives and some others that I had lots of fun discovering. Of course, some of the superlatives are a bit controversial – every place wants to be able to advertise itself as the furthest point or the highest spot, and it’s tricky to figure out how to measure them – but it still makes a fun reason to travel somewhere.
Smallest nation in Europe
This place is in fact apparently the smallest nation in the world, not just Europe – but like many contenders for such a title, it barely seems worthy of being called a nation! But the Principality of Sealand – a sea fort off the British coast – claims to be the smallest nation (although nobody else recognises it as such). According to Wikipedia, a casino is due to open there soon!
Sealand by octal
Longest streets in Europe
Andy wrote an interesting post for us on the longest streets in Europe. Nobody can quite agree which one is the winner! The longest-sounding street may be the Cours Jean Jaures in Grenoble City, France – it’s not only long but also very straight.
Cours Jean Jaures byÂ Guillame Cattiaux