Europe is a continent that is often viewed as the birthplace of Western Civilization. It’s home to a large number of historic and cultural sites that make it a popular destination for tourists. It’s also a place where people from all over the world can find a lot of common ground.
Many travelers choose to travel to specific countries in Europe for a particular reason. They may want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre or street-side cafes in Paris, France; a variety of sausages, breads and beer in Germany; or the beautiful beaches and ancient history of Italy.
Although the continent of Europe is small, it’s a vastly diverse region. From the icebergs of the Arctic to the sand dunes of the Sahara, Europe is full of amazing landscapes and climates. In addition to its varied geography, Europeans have developed a rich cultural heritage that has contributed to the globalization of world civilization.
The physical features of Europe influenced the way that historic European cultures prospered and interacted. In turn, that culture shaped the continent of today.
Europe has a diverse resource base that includes abundant agricultural and mineral resources, as well as a large and highly skilled labor force. In fact, human capital is increasingly the dominant resource in Europe’s economies. While the continent still maintains an important manufacturing and mining role, service industries now dominate in most of its nations.
Located on the western peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the Black and Caspian Seas to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. This makes it easy for travelers to get around on foot, bus or train.
Most people who travel to Europe have some form of passport or identity card, and the continent’s countries are members of the Schengen Area, which allows for passport-free travel within its borders. As a result, traveling in Europe is relatively easy and affordable.
As an American, it’s helpful to check the visa requirements of each country you plan to visit, as some have stricter rules than others. It’s also worth remembering that there are some cities, like Rome and London, that have separate airports for domestic and international flights.
A good time to go to Europe is during the shoulder season, when temperatures are cooler but the crowds haven’t yet swelled. In addition to cheaper airfare and hotel rates, you’ll avoid the worst of the summer heat and winter cold.
One of the best ways to get an authentic taste of a European city is by staying in a neighborhood that sees fewer tourists. Whether that means taking a day trip to a smaller town or heading into the countryside, you’ll have a much more memorable vacation by getting off the beaten path.