We were starting to think we’d never say it, but international travel is once again a thing! Many keen travellers will have an eye on Europe as a potential first-up destination; it’s a continent like no other, with ideal places to see in every season. Here, we remind ourselves of some of the stunning highlights of four fab spots, with suggestions for the best time to visit Europe, whether you’re solo, in a couple or with family in tow.
Autumn: Paris, France
There’s so much to adore about the City of Love all year round, but especially in the autumn months. Feast your eyes on the beautiful surroundings as the city’s green spaces become transformed by orange and amber hues. Pick up a warming café au lait and settle down in one of the many parks or gardens for some people-watching – popular Jardin du Luxembourg is a highlight.
Paris is a fashion mecca too, of course, so you won’t want to miss exploring the shopping districts; start on the Champs-Élysées (where else?), which is lined with luxury flagships and designer brands. (If you’re big on retail therapy, the city also holds annual summer and winter sales, so those are also great times to visit.)
And of course, besides the must-visit Eiffel Tower and iconic Arc de Triomphe, be sure drop by a world-famous museum for your art fix – starting with the Louvre!
Winter: Berlin, Germany
Germany was one of the first travel channels to open with Singapore after borders were closed during the height of the pandemic. And it doesn’t get much better than the historic German capital, Berlin.
The colder months make for an especially wonderful time to visit the historic German capital. You can soak up the holiday spirit at the city’s many Christmas markets, including the famous market at Charlottenburg Castle. Enjoy the festive lights and browse stores selling artisan gifts and mouth-watering treats, while staying warm and toasty with a cup of hot chocolate or Glühwein (mulled wine).
Cold getting too much to bear? Head indoors for an evening listening to the Berlin Philharmonic or book a table at one of the city’s numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. For a bit of history, you can’t go wrong with a walk along the Berlin Wall or an afternoon at one of the many museums (contemporary fine art, Jewish history, sausages – you name it!) across town.
Spring: Rome, Italy
Rich in culture and history, Rome is home to some of the world’s most amazing archaeological sites. From the famous Colosseum to the Roman Forum and the Pantheon, you can spend day after day exploring the various ruins and learning about their age-old mysteries.
Rome also allows you to visit a country within a city: The Vatican. St Peter’s Square is an iconic location, surrounded by imposing architectural features, including the Basilica itself, one of the most famous religious symbols on the planet.
Then, of course, there is the food. What more can we say about Italian food? Don’t come to Rome without trying a simple, perfectly executed carbonara pasta, or a scoop (or 50!) of gelato. Keep an eye out for a cooking class, too, as some of these include trips to the market to pick up fresh ingredients and herbs.
Summer: Copenhagen, Denmark
Another country already added to Singapore’s list of VTL (vaccinated travel lanes) is Denmark, and summer is undoubtedly the best time of the year to visit. You not only benefit from longer, warmer days, but much more is open to visit and see. The capital Copenhagen is a great place to start, with sidewalk cafés that are ideal for people-watching. You’ll eat well too, as this is a city with a growing reputation among foodies for its New Nordic cuisine.
Copenhagen is also a harbour city, so water is likely to feature prominently in any stay. Nyhavn harbour is a first port of call for many Instagrammers, thanks to its colourful buildings and tall ships. And don’t miss the experience of exploring the canals via boat or kayak.
Other must-sees include famous Tivoli Gardens, which is a playground for all ages, plus shopping on Strøget (a rival for Orchard Road as far as long retail streets go!), and browsing some of the great Copenhagen museums, including the Danish National Museum.
Fancy spending Christmas in Monaco?
The exclusive Principality of Monaco has always taken things to the next level at Christmas; decorations, festivals, feasts and other events are all a major attraction. The celebrations for 2021 are looking extra grand, too! They start with a special light-up ceremony in the legendary Place du Casino on 6 December. Food-wise, there’s everything on offer from luxury Michelin-starred restaurants such as Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, to the Monaco Christmas Markets, where you can really soak up the festive spirit. December 2021 will also feature a host of cultural events across the city-state; you can see ballets including Hamlet and La Danse Du Soleil, to performances by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. And don’t miss the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival at the Opera de Monte-Carlo! Find out more here.
Read on for more travel inspiration!