Study Abroad 2014: Top Cities to Visit in Western Europe

The study abroad experience does not have to end at the classroom doors.

The study abroad experience does not have to end at the classroom doors. For those who have opted to study in Europe, traveling from country to country can be both easy and affordable - making it inexcusable for you to not to travel outside your study abroad destination. Do you already know you want to travel, but don’t know where to go? That’s okay! Below are the top 5 cities that you should try and see before heading home.

  1. Barcelona, Spain - Making it to the very top of our list is impressive, but not surprising as it is already one of the most popular study abroad destinations. The combination of the bullfighters, flamenco dancers, and endless sightseeing attractions will make you want to stay for days. But the Barca energy will make you want to stay for the remainder of your trip. Barcelona is also home to one of the world’s most famous futbol teams (American Soccer), FC Barcelona. Olé!

  2. Paris, France - This study abroad hotspot seems to have it all: history, culture, academia, and let’s not forget romance. Although it is impossible to see and do it all, buying a tourist pass is your first step. This will allow you to see the top Parisian attractions in the most convenient way. If you are not trying to spend the majority of your time in France in a history lesson, then the restaurant scene is definitely worth
    bragging about. And if you are on a budget, then have a picnic by the Eiffel Tower
    - just don’t forget the wine and cheese!

  3. Italy - Although this travel guide was supposed to be directed solely at the top 5 cities to visit while studying abroad in Europe, it seemed logical to list Italy as a country rather than have this top 5 list dominated by Italian cities. Remnants of Italy’s Renaissance are still highly visible. The art, culture, architecture, and delicious cuisine seem to consume country - obviously, no one is complaining! A quick city breakdown goes as follows: shopping - Milan; history, art, and architecture - Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice; and beaches - Palermo, Cagliari. If you know Italy falls somewhere in your itinerary, do your research! Don’t forget to take a picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

  4. London, England - With plenty of sights to see and tourist attractions to pose with, this city earns its place on this list of top destinations to visit while traveling through Europe. If you aren’t personally studying in London, then chances are you have a friend studying there. What a perfect excuse to go for a visit! With one of the world’s most comprehensive public transportation systems, this will be your best bet for traveling within the city. But don’t forget your walking shoes because the landmarks, galleries, and museums are already calling your name! Also, don’t worry about a language barrier, the only thing you might have to listen to is an accent - and who doesn’t love an English accent?

  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Amsterdam is known for many things to different people. Some instantly think about the history, culture, and its financial and creative centers. Others are more aware of its liberal drug policy, the Red Light District, and the “I Amsterdam” sign. Regardless of your reason for traveling to this European city, there is certainly something for everyone. But if you plan on going to the Red Light District, leave your camera at home or run the risk of getting it taken away.

Now that you have a better sense of these Western European hotspots, you can start planning your Euro-trip! Know of a city that everyone should know about? Add it below in a comment - we would love to hear all about it!

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