Features // Europe

Why Pula should be your next Croatian city break
Why Pula should be your next Croatian city break

So you’ve circled Dubrovnik’s city walls and wandered the ancient alleys of medieval Split? Then the laidback and cosmopolitan city of Pula, home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins outside Italy, should be next on your list. While some Croatian destinations along the glittering Adriatic coast can sag beneath the weight of the…

33 astonishingly beautiful pictures of North Wales
33 astonishingly beautiful pictures of North Wales

Landscape photographer Kris Williams shares his best pictures of North Wales.  North Wales has a fantastic variety of mountains and coastlines. As a landscape and night-scape photographer it offers me everything I want within a short distance, whether its Anglesey surrounded by its stunning coastal views, lighthouses and medieval churches, or the diversity of Snowdonia National…

Where to eat the best pizza in Rome
Where to eat the best pizza in Rome

Naples may be the birthplace of pizza, but the Roman version is just as tasty. A thinner crust than the doughier Neapolitan pizza, and the addition of olive oil in the dough – not used by the purist Neapolitans – make for a crunchier finish. A handful of historic pizzerias are a must on any…

Bournemouth: more than just sun, sea and sand
Bournemouth: more than just sun, sea and sand

Bournemouth’s main draw has always been its long, wide and immaculate yellow sandy beaches. It was once the playground of rich Victorians – Charles Rolls (as in Rolls-Royce) and Edward VII both enjoyed its shores – and has been extremely popular ever since it was founded as a purpose-built resort in the early 1800s. But…

6 of the best road trips in the UK
6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter the destination, a road trip unfolds at the same, ascending rhythm. Back roads are followed (whenever possible), motorway service stations are avoided (at all costs), and the countryside flits by…

7 things every family must do in the Scottish Highlands
7 things every family must do in the Scottish Highlands

Wild landscapes and deserted beaches. Fine food and outdoor adventure. Deer, dolphins and mythical monsters. As Rough Guides Managing Editor Keith Drew discovered, the Scottish Highlands have all the ingredients for a family holiday to remember. 1. Row, row, row your boat Where better to start your family sortie into the Highlands than at Scotland‘s most picturesque loch? Ferries connect some of Loch…

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Copenhagen
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Copenhagen

Once a low-key underrated city, Copenhagen has recently been showered with superlatives. First a survey rated its citizens as the happiest on the planet. Then in 2010 local restaurant Noma was declared the world’s best place to eat – a feat it has repeated almost every year since. More recently the city was voted as…

Croatia’s top foodie experiences
Croatia’s top foodie experiences

Why go to Croatia? The unspoiled coastline, with its hundreds of islands and crystal clear waters. The gorgeous ancient walled cities, their beauty so unreal they find themselves starring in the Game of Thrones series and Star Wars movie. The food… wait, the food? Perhaps that last reason is an afterthought, or maybe you’re concerned that…

How Hastings has become Britain’s must-visit seaside town
How Hastings has become Britain’s must-visit seaside town

The East Sussex coastal town of Hastings isn’t exactly a go-to beach break for Brits, or visitors to the UK. But with a brand new pier and the world’s largest underground BMX skatepark, it’s just put itself firmly on the British seaside map. Lottie Gross went to find out what makes Hastings one of Britain’s…

In pictures: the great British seaside
In pictures: the great British seaside

Trips to the seaside, rain or shine, are a great British summer tradition. So what better way to welcome in summer than a round up of some seriously British moments captured by Picfair’s best photographers? Here are some of our favourite photos of the great British seaside. Woolacombe beach, North Devon By Steve Meddle /…

Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy
Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Italy has long been one of Europe’s most popular destinations. From the magnificent remnants of ancient Rome to the coolest in contemporary culture, secret beaches to snow-covered peaks, tranquil countryside to frenetic city streets, plus an all-pervasive passion for food – the allure of this boot-shaped nation has proven itself timeless. With so much diversity, deciding where to go in Italy…

6 great places to visit by train in Europe
6 great places to visit by train in Europe

There are few better ways to see Europe than by rail. Budget flights might abound, but nothing can match the experience of travelling by train. Forget about tedious airport transfers and unsociable departure times, by rail you’ll get glorious views, spacious seats and – best of all – the ability to hop off a train…

We slept with the lions in London Zoo – and now you can too
We slept with the lions in London Zoo – and now you can too

Wondering where to stay when you next visit London? London Zoo just made your decision a bit easier. Forget glitzy hotels in Covent Garden or banged-up hostels in King’s Cross, you can now book a night at London’s first ever lion safari lodge. Rough Guides editor Greg Dickinson slept over in London Zoo’s brand new…

A first-timer’s guide to the Faroe Islands
A first-timer’s guide to the Faroe Islands

Way out in the cool North Atlantic Ocean, there’s a cluster of craggy islands inhabited primarily by sheep and puffins. The Faroe Islands are Scandinavia’s ultimate off-the-beaten-track destination. Here’s our guide to what to expect on your first trip to this remote archipelago. What and where are the Faroe Islands? Contrary to popular misconception, the…

The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 
The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

Ticked off Rome’s big sights and wondering where to go next? Natasha Foges picks some of the city’s off-the-beaten track highlights. Lose yourself in the Quartiere Coppedè There’s so much to grab tourists’ attention in central Rome that a magical spot like the Quartiere Coppedè can go unnoticed. Tucked away in the Trieste quarter (tram…

A coastal trail with a difference: sea kayaking in Northern Ireland
A coastal trail with a difference: sea kayaking in Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish coast is justifiably famous for its beauty, all craggy inlets and brooding cliffs topped by crumbling castles. Most people explore this coastline from the land, walking along the clifftops and driving the winding road that snakes along from the Scotland-facing east coast to the large inlet of Derry in the west. But…

Video: a 1 minute guide to France
Video: a 1 minute guide to France

There’s little wonder that the land of châteaux, Champagne and croissants regularly tops lists of the world’s most visited countries. France beguiles travellers from around the globe, whether they come to laze on the beaches, ski in the mountains or soak up the culture in the capital. From the rugged coastline of Brittany to the charming villages of Provence,…

Split or Dubrovnik: where should you go first?
Split or Dubrovnik: where should you go first?

Split and Dubrovnik are the stars of Croatian tourism. Both have an ancient core historic enough to be listed by UNESCO yet vibrant enough to remain home to a sizeable local population. Both have beaches backed by clear waters, fresh local seafood and plentiful bars with Adriatic views. And both have appeared in Game of…

An Instagram journey through Albania: 11 beautiful pictures
An Instagram journey through Albania: 11 beautiful pictures

During two weeks researching in Albania for the Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget, Web Editor Lottie Gross took over our Instagram account to document her travels. Here are some of her best photos.  It’s nigh-on impossible to take bad pictures in much of Albania. There’s a wealth of natural beauty and historical charm that just…

6 reasons to love Leicester
6 reasons to love Leicester

In the future, British children won’t study the Biblical story of how David triumphed over Goliath with the sling of a stone. Oh no. They’ll study the shock 2015/16 English Premier League season, when underdogs Leicester City won the title despite starting the campaign with odds of 5000/1 to become champions. But there’s more to…

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

Reykjavík, a bustling port and the world’s most northerly capital, draws visitors from across the globe in record-breaking numbers – and its popularity shows no signs of waning. This is a city with a reputation for hedonistic revelry, where highbrow museums mix with colourful streets and buzzing nightlife. Ready to see what all the fuss…

11 tips for travelling in Greece
11 tips for travelling in Greece

Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many reasons to visit this delightful country. From its stunning beaches and superb mountain scenery to great food and, above all, its warm Hellenic welcome. Here, co-author of the Rough Guide to Greece,…

The great British seaside: how Margate got cool
The great British seaside: how Margate got cool

Not all that long ago Margate was a forlorn seaside town rejected by even the bucket-and-spade brigade. In a sad story echoed across England, the already struggling high street was devastated by the opening of an out-of-town shopping centre; pubs and restaurants were closing, and the future of this once thriving seaside resort looked grim.…

Madrid or Barcelona: which should you visit first?
Madrid or Barcelona: which should you visit first?

Spain’s two biggest cities have long had a friendly rivalry – and it goes far beyond football. Madrid is, of course, Spain’s capital city and as well as being more or less geographically at the centre of the country, it is also the centre politically, economically and culturally – as well as the home of…

Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it’s gorgeous
Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it’s gorgeous

During a trip to Keukenhof in the Netherlands, travel photographer Nori Jemil captured Holland‘s tulip season through her lens and the results are beautiful. Here are 22 stunning images from the region’s striking tulip fields. Every spring the bulb fields of Holland’s Bollenstreek region flower in perfumed stripes as visitors flock to Keukenhof, the world-famous spring garden that’s…

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Barcelona
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Barcelona

Barcelona – Spain’s second city – sets the template for urban style, hip design and sheer nonstop energy. Where others tinker at the edges, time and again Barcelona has reinvented itself. Visit for the first time or the fiftieth, Barcelona never fails to surprise. The city’s popularity means finding a hotel vacancy at any time…

You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year
You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

The ICEHOTEL, constructed from snow and ice each year, has long been Swedish Lapland’s blockbuster attraction. It features in our list of the top 21 things to do in Sweden, and crops up on bucket lists the world over. Yet when the weather warms in the spring, this extraordinary hotel just melts away. This year,…

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in London
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in London

Historic, sprawling, sleepless: London is a wonderful place to visit. Monuments from the capital’s glorious past are everywhere, while you’ll also find cultural and culinary delights from right across the globe. In other words, it really is the archetypal buzzing metropolis. Accommodation in London, however, is expensive. Compared with most European cities, you pay top…

Flamenco to fortresses: the top things to do in Granada
Flamenco to fortresses: the top things to do in Granada

Set in Andalucía, Spain’s southernmost region, Granada is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason. The city is in an astounding setting at the confluence of four rivers, backed by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and there are plenty of things to do. The extraordinary palace and fortress of…

The 10 best beach holidays in Europe
The 10 best beach holidays in Europe

For a relatively small continent, Europe has some extraordinary coastlines. Their variety is dizzying, from sheltered rocky coves fringed with olive trees to vast stretches of soft sandy beaches. Whittling down the list for possible beach holidays in Europe can be tough, so here are a few places that will get you in the mood for lazy days…

Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide
Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

With its mountainous coastal backdrop, scattering of tawny islands and giddyingly translucent waters, the Croatian Adriatic offers one of the most compelling seascapes in Europe. Indeed it’s something of an island-hopper’s paradise, with a veritable shoal of ferries providing the opportunity to stride up the gangplank, sprawl on the sun deck and soak up the…

12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids
12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

With its canals, narrow cobbled alleys and trams, the novelty value of Amsterdam can prove entertaining enough for many kids. There’s also a whole host of attractions specifically aimed at young children, ranging from circuses and puppet theatres to urban farms and one of the best zoos in Europe. There are also plenty of opportunities…

Šibenik: Croatia’s hottest long-weekend destination
Šibenik: Croatia’s hottest long-weekend destination

Richard Mellor explores Šibenik, a city tipped as Croatia’s next best tourist hotspot thanks to a new luxury hotel.  It’s appropriate that the parachute’s inventor – one Faust Vrančić, if you’re asking – was born in Šibenik, for this Croatian backwater has its feet firmly on the ground. Having a recent history of battle and bombs…

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived shore excursions. But that, as they say, was then. Cruising today, and especially river cruising, offers an entirely different experience, from celebrity chef-driven cuisine to stargazing lounges to bike rides along leafy canals.…

7 stunning European islands you’ve probably never heard of
7 stunning European islands you’ve probably never heard of

We’ve all heard of the big hitters, such as Ibiza, Corsica and Sicily, but what about Europe’s lesser known islands? Have you ever dreamt of mixing it up with a windswept, heart-pumping hike on the remote hills of Foula? Or kicking through the sweeps of sand that pass for roads on La Graciosa? It pays…

Make the most of Malta: a first-timer’s guide
Make the most of Malta: a first-timer’s guide

For a few chunks of rock in the southern Mediterranean, Malta is a hugely versatile destination. Like its unique language, the country is an intriguing blend of Italian, Arabic and British influences, a legacy of centuries of invasion and assimilation. As its capital, Valletta, gears up for a stint as European City of Culture in 2018, Andy…

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don’ts of Icelandic spas
Hot tub happiness: the dos and don’ts of Icelandic spas

Going for a spa in Iceland can feel wonderfully alien. Against a backdrop of barren moonscapes and denuded hills, the waters are so preternaturally blue, so exaggerated and preposterously warm, that a simple dip can feel borderline indecent. Venture from the capital Reykjavik as far as Reyðarfjörður in the extreme east and you’ll also find…

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam

Almost fifty years since John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoted world peace from room 702 of the Hilton, Amsterdam’s hotels are more worthy of the spotlight than ever. Even for seasoned travellers, it’s fair to say that the city’s accommodation options are among the most exciting in Europe. Take your pick from handsomely converted old…

Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try
Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greeks love their food. They love to eat and love to feed others; this is one place you’re guaranteed never to feel hungry. Unlike the typical British or American three square meals a day, the Greeks eat up to five times a day. Greek food uses mainly fresh local ingredients such as Mediterranean vegetables, olive…

7 must-visit places in Spain you’ve probably never considered
7 must-visit places in Spain you’ve probably never considered

Spain’s massive size means that it’s thankfully not as hard as you might expect to wander off the well-beaten tourist track. Whether it’s quiet coves, tucked away old villages or eerie landscapes you’re after, here are seven places that you’ve probably never heard of but really should visit in Spain. 1. Las Alpujarras, Andalucía South…

1500 chefs around the world will celebrate French food next week
1500 chefs around the world will celebrate French food next week

When it comes to food, the French don’t do things by halves. It should come as little surprise then that this year sees the launch of the second Good France event, a global celebration of the country’s gastronomy to surpass all others. The day was created in 2015 to mark the inclusion of French cuisine on…

6 of the best beach holidays in Italy
6 of the best beach holidays in Italy

Italy’s sun-kissed coastline is undeniably easy on the eye, but that doesn’t always translate into great beaches. Take the Amalfi Coast: surely one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the world, but its pockets of grey sand (or silver, as the locals spin it) can come as an anti-climax. In general, Italy can’t…

The 10 most beautiful places in Europe – chosen by you
The 10 most beautiful places in Europe – chosen by you

To celebrate publication of the new Rough Guide to First-Time Europe, we took to Facebook and Twitter to ask our followers to vote for the most beautiful places in Europe. After much debate, it was whittled it down to the top ten. These are the most beautiful places in Europe – as chosen by you. 10. Iceland Exploring…

Why London is the world’s most eccentric city
Why London is the world’s most eccentric city

London is celebrated for many things. And rightly so; it’s up there with the most progressive, creative and historic cities in the world. But here at Rough Guides the thing we love most about London is its marvellous eccentricities. While editing the latest Rough Guide to London, Greg Dickinson took note of some of the…

30 things to do on your first trip to Europe
30 things to do on your first trip to Europe

Europe offers more architecture, wine, music, fashion, theatre and gastronomy per square kilometre than any other continent. It boasts over seven hundred million people, in excess of 450 World Heritage Sites and more renowned paintings than you can point your camera at. Which means heading off the main routes will still land you waist-deep in…

6 must-visit places in Wales you’ve probably never heard of
6 must-visit places in Wales you’ve probably never heard of

For a small country, Wales offers an incredible diversity of landscapes and experiences, many of which remain surprisingly undiscovered. From pristine white-sand beaches and rolling, quintessentially Welsh valleys to tucked away villages, here six places you really should visit – but which you’ve probably never heard of. 1. The Tywi Valley, south Wales In the…

The best rooftop bars in London
The best rooftop bars in London

On those precious sunny London days, there’s no better feeling than sitting outside with a drink. Pub gardens have their time and place, but in a city growing taller by the day, there are more and more places where you can get up high. Here’s our pick of the best rooftop bars in London. Frank’s,…

In pictures: when a little town in Italy went to war with oranges
In pictures: when a little town in Italy went to war with oranges

When we heard there was going to be an orange fight in Italy, we had to be there. Here are some of the best photographs taken by our roaming writer-photographer, Kiki Deere. The small town of Ivrea, 55km north of Turin, hosts one of Italy’s most exuberant carnivals. Dating back to the end of the…

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