From the renaissance, neoclassical and baroque styles in France to the ancient ruins in Italy, history is written at every turn in Europe. This is where western civilisation was born, after all, and continues to evolve with the ebbs and flows of the modern world.

The continent may be at the top of the bucket list for backpackers, but this is the type of place you want to travel through when you have the time, budget and the knowledge to really appreciate what there is to see and do here.

Visit the origin of democracy in Athens or walk the same streets that Napoleon did in post-revolution Paris – and don't forget to soak in the moment while you do so!

If you feel like a student of the world and the planet is your university, then there’s no better place to begin your education than Europe. Despite the close proximity of 50 countries, there is a distinction between each and their culture, food and national identity.

Don't get us wrong, Europe is full of clichés, too, but there is still a lot of joy to be had from packing a picnic and munching on a baguette under the shade of the Eiffel Tower or taking a photo pretending to push the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But, like any destination, it’s the places the locals visit and the simplicity of everyday life in some of the smaller towns and cities that have the ability to capture the imagination of travellers from all over the world.

Often it’s not just the promise of history and architecture that lures people to Europe, but the distinct cultural differences that are worth writing home about, too.

Spain is the country of Flamenco music, bold flavours and late-night dining, where Moorish influence can be seen on the streets of the likes of Granada, where the Alhambra palace was built by the last Muslim dynasty to rule the country.

Italy, on the other hand, may be famous the world over for its food, but the country is rich with natural landscapes dotted along the Mediterranean Coast.

But there’s more to the region than just the western parts of the continent. Central Europe consists of Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, while the east includes Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Paris is always a good idea.
Audrey Hepburn
When to Visit
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Europe is arguably a great place to visit at any time of year, depending on whether the balmy temperatures of spring or the brisk mornings of a snowy winter are more your thing. If you’ve always wanted to experience a white Christmas, complete with markets and mulled wine, then a winter jaunt... view

Travel Cost
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The cost of travel in Europe depends on a few key factors: where you’re visiting, when you’re going and what you plan to do when you get there. Some over-60 travellers are of the mind that if you’re going to visit Europe you might as well do it properly and enjoy as many of the experiences the... view