Europe travel guides
“Let’s go to Europe!” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.
It would be indeed…unless you’ve been tasked to do all the planning. If you’ve been arrowed to be the dreaded holiday planner, wrapping your head around finding things to do in Europe can be pretty daunting - especially when every city looks stunning enough to visit.
But not to worry. We’ve put together 3 travel guides for Europe to help you narrow it down - and reduce any planning headaches.
Tip: Fly in and out from the same airport to save costs. Find out more about flight promos with Singapore Airlines below!
1. Milan, Rome, & Barcelona
Rustic summer vacation for culture lovers
For those of you looking for the ultimate summer vacation, the trio of Milan, Rome and Barcelona is your answer. These cities are situated closely to each other too, and you can get from one to the other by car, train, or the ferry easily.
Cobblestoned paths, gorgeous architecture, and weather perfect for a vacay, these historical cities are also more affordable compared to other spots in Europe - grad trip kids, I’m looking at you!
Known as the fashion hub of Italy, this chic city is where you’ll discover an unlimited range of clothing and accessories. But go beyond its bustling streets and you’ll find gorgeous sights like Lake Como to spend your summer at.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
Image credit: MyLittleAdventure
If you find yourself with some cash to spare, outlet stores in Milan are locations shopaholics can’t afford to miss. We hear you can get discounts of up to 70% off here, so get ready to add some new items into your closet. The bigger outlet malls include:
- Serravalle Designer Outlet - largest designer outlet in Europe
- Fidenza Village - over 120 boutique stores
- Franciacorta Outlet Village - top international brands, with reduced prices year-round.
Now that you haven’t busted your entire trip’s budget on a limited edition Prada bag, take your savings and head to Milan’s other amazing attractions such as the serene Lake Como, which is just an hour and a €5 (~S$8) train ride away from the city.
Image credit: @lionsdesign
The lake is huge and spans 50km across - that’s longer than the whole of Singapore - with colourful houses and shops dotting its rocky shores. Booking a boat tour or ferry, or simply grab a latte at one of the many cafes and head down to explore the lake.
Other top attractions in Milan include museum Santa Maria della Grazie, Gothic cathedral Duomo di Milano and opera house La Scala.
Getting around: Milan is easy to navigate with a walkable city centre. The transportation is interconnected as well, comprising of buses, trams and an extensive metro.
Average daily expenditure*: S$73 - S$167
*Accommodation + food + transport + entertainment for budget to mid-range travellers
A popular trip destination, the vibrant city of Rome is like a history textbook brought to life that’ll bring you back 2,000 years in time. Besides the usual suspects like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, below are some lesser known gems.
Pyramid of Caius Cestius
Think pyramids and you’d probably visualise the deserts of Egypt, but we’d bet all the coins in the Trevi Fountain that you didn’t know there was one in Rome.
Image credit: @cancaodeamorfilmes
Located in the bohemian Trastevere neighbourhood is ancient Pyramid of Caius Cestius, that was built waaaay back in 12BC. Snap a pic here to bamboozle your friends into thinking you’re in Cairo!
Admission: €5.50 (~S$8.50)
Address: Via Raffaele Persichetti, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Opening Hours: 3rd and 4th Saturday and Sunday of the month. Guided tours only; advanced booking required. Book here.
As any true ice cream lover would know, Rome is the origin of the lovely, creamy gelato.
Before you leave this picturesque city, make sure to hunt down the oldest gelato store in the country - Giolitti.
We repeat, you cannot leave Rome without having a taste of Giolitti.
Image credit: @hikyuro
Perfectly creamy and with a variety of mouth-watering flavours, these gelato cones are to die for - especially during the hot hot summer. There’s a flavour for every palette with its wide selection, from the classic chocolate, to wild ones like rose petal, black rice and basil.
For €2.50 (~S$3.80), you can get a cone with two gelato flavors topped with whipped cream.
Opening hours: 7AM–1AM daily
Their outlets can be found here.
Getting around: Rome has an extensive transport system that consists of the Metro, bus, tram, and suburban railway lines. Rides on all public transport here costs €1.50(~S$2.30). If you’re planning to move around a lot, get a Rome Pass for €28 (~S$43) for 48h of unlimited rides and one free museum entry.
Average daily expenditure: S$46 - S$77
Travel to Barcelona and see that this cosmopolitan Spanish city is more than its famous soccer clubs, and is one that’s filled with a fantastic art and architecture scene.
Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Park Güell
Image credit: The Crazy Tourist
If you love quirky buildings, make sure to explore architect Antoni Gaudi’s best works that include Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Park Güell. Look forward to imaginative designs carrying Gaudi’s trademark eclectic and wacky style, which you’ll see peppered all over the city!
Encants Vells Flea Market
Image credit: @cabuf
Unlike outlet shopping in Milan, head to Encants Vells Flea Market for a slightly different shopping experience. This is one of the oldest markets for second-hand goods in Europe that dates back to the 14th century, but that isn’t what makes this so special - Encants Vells is set in a 3-storey structure with a mirrored canopy roof, under which you’d find close to 500 stalls selling anything and everything, such as antiques, clothes and even hardware.
Address: Carrer de los Castillejos, 158, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9AM - 8PM
Getting around: Hop-on-hop-off tour buses are a great way to reach Barcelona’s main sights. Alternatively get around using the city’s Metro - use a T-10 ticket which gives you 10 journeys for €9.95 (~S$15).
Average daily expenditure: S$68 -179
2. London, Paris, Amsterdam & Düsseldorf
The basic checklist for first time travellers to Europe
You’ve been dreaming about Europe for the longest time, and your travelling friends’ Instagram feed isn’t doing anything to quell that wanderlust. If that sounds like you and your travel crew, it’s time to head down to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf for the first-time-in-Europe experience.
These cities are accessible from one another by train or bus too.
There’s something for everyone in the diverse city of London. Besides the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace that might take up your first day of your itinerary, spend your next few days at these lesser-known must-dos:
Make sure to catch a show here for an experience like no other in the theatre capital of the world. London has the world’s biggest theatre audience, with more than 241 theatres hosted in the city.Image credit: GoLondon
If you could only pick one show, head to the Palace Theatre to catch the the award winning two part play of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Currently tickets are on sale till 29 September 2019.
Price: £15 - £175 (~S$27 - S$313)
Address: 113 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 5AY, UK
Other shows available in the city that you can’t find in Singapore include:
- Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre
- The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre
- Macbeth at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
Image credit: The Blonde Abroad
Situated next to the London Bridge, Borough Market is one of the biggest and baddest food markets in town - it’s been around since 1014. Look forward to filling your bellies with all kinds of food, from traditional English snacks like scotch eggs to freshly baked treats. Save up some space in that tummy before heading over!
Other great markets in London include:
- Camden Market - arts and crafts and souvenirs
- Broadway Market - arts and crafts, vintage clothes and flowers
- Greenwich Market - jewellery, clothes and furniture
- Portobello Road Market - antiques
Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 10AM - 5PM | Friday: 10AM - 6PM | Saturday: 8AM - 5PM | Closed on Sundays.
Getting around: Most people navigate London by the extensive Tube network and frequent bus services. Get an Oyster Card - that gives you a set number of rides for a week - for convenient and cheaper travel.
Average daily expenditure: S$96-256
Ah, Paris, the most romantic city in the world. You already know it; the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre-Dame are already locked into your to-do list. After you’ve completed those, delve deeper into the City of Love with these spots.
Image credit: Get Your Guide
See Paris from new heights by heading up to the Montparnasse Tower to view the entire city and its key landmarks from above. The best time to head there is during the late evenings, when you’ll be able to catch a bird’s eye view of the golden hour.
Price: Adult: €18.00 (~S$27.80) | Child: €9.50 (~S$14.60)
Address: 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 9:30AM - 10:30AM | Friday to Saturday: 9:30AM -11PM (Note: The lifts to the top leave 30 minutes before closing)
La Droguerie Crepe Shop
Image credit: @sgnomster
Just like how Chicken Rice is Singapore’s ‘thing’, Paris is all about its pastries - crepes being one of them. For no-frills crepes made the OG Parisian way, be sure to stop by La Droguerie.
Light as air and packed to the brim with filling, the food here is bound to make you go holy crepe. The menu offers a selection of both sweet and savoury options, including Nutella, Banana, and Oriental (that comes with chicken, cheese, and capsicums), with prices ranging from €2-6 (~S$3-9). We’d recommend going on your first day in Paris, cause you’d need time to come back another day for round two!
Getting around: Paris has one of the world’s most efficient transport systems. Get around with their metro, RER (express train lines), buses and tramways. Buy a Paris Visite Pass or Passe Navigo Découverte for cheaper and easier travel around the city.
Average daily expenditure: S$91-249
Known for its iconic canals and quaint architecture, Amsterdam is truly a quirky city like no other.
Free cheese tastings at Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Image credit: @natalia.milko
Say cheese, cause you’d be smiling at pounds upon pounds of cheese blocks when you’re in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Cheese Museum is one place to find them and is for those who love cheese with a passion.
Although more like a store than a museum, the sheer amount of cheese - from Gouda to Dutch and far beyond - will blow your mind. The best part is of course, that you’d be allowed to try the cheese for free!
Address: Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Opening Hours: 9AM-7PM daily
While you’re in the land of beautiful canals, make sure to pop by the world’s only floating flower market at Bloemenmarkt, especially if you have bae right beside you. And while you’re here, swoop up some bouquets to go too - whether tulips, geraniums, or any other flower you can think of, you’ll probably be able to find it here.
Image credit: @izumanix
Address: Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 9AM - 5.30PM | Sunday: 11AM - 5.30PM
Getting around: Amsterdam’s public transport network includes metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains. For unlimited public transport, free entry to 60 museums and a free canal cruise, get an I amsterdam City Cardamsterdam I amsterdam City Card, for 24, 48 or 72 hours, priced from €60 (~S$92) onwards.
Alternatively, cycling is a popular and affordable form of transport in the city. Rent a bike from €9.50 (~S$14) per day.
Average daily expenditure: S$76-192
Tucked in western Germany is Düsseldorf - a city that teems with a vibrant nightlife and art scene. Most people think of Berlin and Munich when they hear Germany, but if you’re headed over from the Netherlands, Düsseldorf is a nearby and convenient alternative with just as many exciting things to do.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Decked in pastel pink and a distinct baroque style in and out, Schloss Benrath, or Benrath Palace, will make you feel like 18th century royalty.
Image credit: @kisu
Explore the photogenic building on your own, or book a tour if you’re interested in finding out more.
Address: Benrather Schloßallee 100-108, 40597 Düsseldorf, Germany
Image credit: The Crazy Tourist
However, what you’d really want to do in Düsseldorf is try some of their Altbier at Altstadt. Unlike most beers, this brown ale is as smooth as water, with a tinge of malt and is served in 6 oz glasses! Now that’s a perfect way to start your night out, or end a great trip with your friends.
Getting around: The local favourite form of transport is bike. However, if you don’t cycle, you can get around using the U-Bahn (metro), tram or bus. The prices depend on which Zone you are in, but cost about €2.70 (~S$4.20) per trip. If you travel around a lot, consider a day pass which costs €7 (~S$11).
Average daily expenditure: S$97 - S$215
3. Stockholm, Copenhagen & Bergen
A Scandinavian adventure for a breathtaking getaway
For all those who want every waking moment of their holiday to look like a perfectly curated photo feed, head to the Scandinavian countries up North, where things look good from every angle.
These cities are further apart from the ones above but you can still get from one to the other conveniently via rail.
Doused in history at every turn of the road, the Swedish capital of Stockholm is the sort of place where you could walk along the streets with something to see at every turn
Stortorget, Gamla Stan
Founded way back in 1252, Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, is where the streets and meeting squares are full of character. Every row of shops here is a potential Instagram background, so make sure to have your cameras ready.
Image credit: Mstyslav Chernov
Start your exploration at Stortorget, the main square, from which you can easily reach most of the attractions in the area such as The Royal Palace, the Swedish Parliament and Vasamuseet.
Image credit: @annakormendi
Meatball is love, and meatball is life. If you find yourself going to IKEA solely for the meatballs, the legit ones from Meatball For The People are just waiting for you to come knocking.
Image credit: @t.eckerskog
Address: Nytorgsgatan 30, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11AM - 9PM | Friday & Saturday: 11AM - 11PM
Catch the midnight sun
Not your typical sunset
Image credit: Flickr
The sun’s only up in the day. Or is it?
Not in the Scandinavian countries. Between June to July every year, the sun in Sweden does not set, meaning there’s 24 hours of daylight. Even at 12am, you can catch the sun hanging around in the sky!
Getting around: Most of Stockholm’s attractions can be accessed by a short ride on the metro, which serves the entire region. Get a SL Access card for unlimited public transport rides from 115 SEK (~S$17) for 24 hours.
Average daily expenditure: S$87-216
Copenhagen is essentially a traveller’s playground, dotted with amusement parks, historic sights and nightlife.
Image credit: Visit Copenhagen
Nestled in Copenhagen is the world’s oldest theme park, Tivoli Gardens. The park has a pastel colour scheme - something I’d imagine getting if Wes Anderson were to direct a Disney film.
An interesting blend of 19th century aesthetic and modern theme park rides, Tivoli Gardens is a die-die must visit if you were to visit Copenhagen, especially if your travelling crew is made of adrenaline junkies.
Fatamorgana- a 45m tower ride. It’s not as scary as it looks!
Image credit: viator
Price: from 120 DKK (~S$25) for 8 years old and above, 50 DKK(~S$10) for children aged 3-7, free for children under 3. Find out more here.
Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11AM - 11PM | Friday & Saturday: 11AM - 12AM
Reffen Street Food Market
Image credit: @reffen_copenhagenstreetfood
A hip market by the sea with container stores and fairy lights? I’m sold.
You’ll be able to chow on meals from all over the world here - all with a view of the sea right next to you. Food to add to your to-chow list are the classic Danish sandwich Smørrebrød, that’s made of buttered rye bread topped with cold cuts, and Medisterpølse, which are pig intestines stuffed with pork and spices and smoked herring.
Address: A, Refshalevej 167, 1432 København, Denmark
If you’re looking for a quaint getaway by the sea where the breeze takes with it all your worries, add Bergen to your itinerary. Getting here requires a day or 2 by car from Copenhagen, but the drive is a scenic one and the view right below screams “it’s gonna be worth it!”.
Alternatively, you can take a bus, train, or ferry.
Image credit: @fafko
The key attraction of Bergen is Mount Floyen, that stands up above the cityscape. Take the funicular up from the city centre and enjoy the views of the nearby islands, fjords and mountains. While you’re there, activities you can do include hiking and mountain biking, and if you’re down in the summer, mountain bike rentals are available too.
There’s no Scandinavian guide complete without a mention of Northern Lights.
Image credit: Gunnar Kopperud
If the weather permits, keep an eye out for the curtains of aurora borealis hanging over the peaceful town. You can find the forecast here.
Getting around: Most of Bergen’s attractions are located in the compact city center. Get around by walking, or using the local bus or light rail system. You can purchase your single tickets for the central zone, which stretches well beyond the city centre, for 37kr (~S$7.70) in advance, and 24-hour tickets priced from 95kr (~S$19.70).
Average daily expenditure: S$67-151
Fly direct to your next European getaway with Singapore Airlines
Planning a trip to Europe isn’t all that difficult, and it’s made easier with Singapore Airlines, that offers direct flights from Singapore to these European cities:
Other cities include: Frankfurt, Istanbul, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, Zurich
Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines, 2018
Going to Europe might be a dream come true, but the prices there can be pretty steep, so make sure you get the best flight deal you can so that you can splurge more on your vacay.
Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines, 2018
To get some great deals, check out Singapore Airlines’ SingaporeAir Games, where you can play games to score exclusive promo codes to the destinations in the region of the month. In the month of February, there are deals for the above listed 6 locations in Europe!
Images courtesy of Singapore Airlines, 2018
All you have to do is play the game, and the top player of the month will win an economy class ticket to a destination of choice within the region of the month. If you’re among the first 3 to complete all achievements across 6 regions, you’ll also be awarded 80,000 KrisFlyer miles too!
Check out our other guides with Singapore Airlines here:
- 9 Things To Do In Seattle For First Time Visitors With Singapore Airlines' Non-Stop Flights To USA
- 5 Night Markets In Southeast Asia That You Can Conquer On Short Weekend Getaways
- 10 Exotic Photoshoot Destinations With Direct Flights From Singapore That Can Double Up As Pre-Honeymoons
This post was brought to you by Singapore Airlines.