By Jen Sincero with Andy Park
If you’ve already visited Europe’s major cities, think about visiting more. Don’t wait until you can afford it. Great lodging rates mean you’ll be more inclined to just stay and explore.
1. Capri. This bustling Italian island has long drawn the rich and famous. Led by their fantastic mountains, they offer things to do for people of all ages, including swimming, horseback riding, and zip lining. Check into the exclusive Amore or Le Bristol. Then rent a car and see how the locals get around.
2. Lisbon. It’s been destroyed, redone, and rebuilt countless times, and the newest building atop the old ones is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral of Madeira. Skylight mountain views are great when it’s cloudy, and the tropical sunsets are too.
3. Nice. This Parisian-named city has been fortified twice over and is still the most vibrant in the French Riviera. Where does it live? In the forest on the Parc National des Hyères, where gorgeous flora surrounds the palaces and mansions of the past.
4. Marrakech. Marrakech is a dream of a city. Whether you spend two weeks living for one month, or live here as a tenant, you’ll never want to leave. Check into the Nefertiti, which is close to the traditional souks. Take a safari, soothe your tired feet with a steam bath in a hammam, or see the creepy-crawlies in the cobblestone streets.
5. Dubrovnik. Amazing fortified medieval landmarks like St. Sophia and Marrakech survive while thousands of miles from their former glory. Visit the Blue Mosque, alleys with shops and restaurants like Ballyd’s or Irate, and stop by The Old Town for a long lunch in the piazza, or sunbathe on one of the world’s oldest decks.
6. Athens. The Greeks are infamous for their music and parties, and you won’t be able to resist both once you’re in the Greece of Eire, with its sparkling Phrygian Bay and the second-most active volcanoes on the continent.
7. Toronto. (Hint: go to Niagara Falls.) You can easily put on a big, national costume and dine as locals do, but all of Toronto’s charm is largely accessible, too.
8. Italy’s Black Forest. This rolling woodland in central Italy was dropped from Austrian maps as early as 1690. It’s protected today as part of UNESCO World Heritage. Nowadays it’s a welcoming area full of village shops.
9. Iceland. Not just anyone can see Iceland, so make sure you get as many diverse experiences as possible. The volcanoes offer a surreal trip, the subtropical weather is nice for biking, fishing, and kayaking, and Icelanders go crazy when you visit the Treif archipelago. But you can also visit central Reykjavik and give micro-doughnuts a try at the First Avenue Bakery.
10. Rome. Rome has incredible art and architecture throughout the city, and history lovers will find lots to do. If the weather’s good, hop on the bus to visit the ancient tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican.