4 European historical hubs you have to visit


If you are packing your bags, renewing your passport, getting your EU health card and preparing to jet off for a spring break, you might be in search of some culture and history. While Europe has its capitals for food, nightlife and sun, there are also a few cities which are sure to be hits with those in search of interesting remnants from bygone eras. Here are four European hubs of history to visit once you have your EHIC in hand:

1. Berlin

The city where eastern Europe meets the western side of the continent is packed with history, much of it attached to crucial developments on the region’s timeline. Among the picks of the bunch are the Brandenburg Gate, an impressive German landmark at the entrance to the Unter den Linden, the boulevard which leads to the City Palace built by Prussian monarchs, and the Berlin Wall itself, which was spectacularly torn down in 1989 to mark the end of the Cold War.

2. Rome

If you are a fan of ancient history, there are few cities which can compete with the Italian capital, which was the centre of the Roman Empire. Stroll up to the magnificent Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built, and the scene of gladiatorial contests and other Roman sports played out before the imperial hierarchy, or marvel at the remains of the Roman Forum, which was often the scene of speeches and processions.

3. Budapest

Budapest is a beautiful city with a vibrant cafe culture, which lends itself to leisurely daytime walks. Among the most prominent historical sites is the parliament building, a tremendous example of neo-Gothic architecture which houses the Hungarian royal family’s crown jewels. Then there is Europe’s oldest underground railway, with several functioning stations that have retained their original appearance.

4. Seville

Seville is the capital of Andalusia, a region bursting with history from both Christian and Muslim periods of rule in Spain. The gigantic St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral is one of the largest in Europe, extravagantly decorated with gold, and opposite the Alcázar, a royal palace originally built by Moorish kings which will dazzle you with its intricate décor. There is also the Torre del Oro watchtower, a throwback to when the river was the city’s main form of defence against hostile forces.

Photo: Budapest by Eoghan OLionnain licensed under Creative commons 2