8 Of The Most Popular Places To Visit In Rome

Rome was once the seat of power for the most expansive and important civilization to walk the Earth. The Romans not only conquered a major part of the known world, but they also facilitated many leaps forward in sanitation, technology, and architecture. With amazing structures like the Colosseum and the Forum, Rome is one of the most impressive historical cities you can visit. The city draws millions of travelers from all around the world and for good reason. Witnessing the remnants of the Roman Empire is a truly unique and inspiring experience. Below you will find 8 of the most popular places to visit in Rome.

Colosseum

The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world and no trip to Europe is complete without a stop to see this impressive structure. It has been featured in movies, literature and artwork and seeing it is something that everyone should do at least once. Of all the places to visit in Rome, the Colosseum is definitely one of the best.

Roman Forum

Many of the most captivating and inspiring Roman attractions can be found in the Roman Forum. It is the sight of countless historical sights including Arch of Constantine, Arch of Titus, Temple of Saturn, Basilica Aemilia, and Mamertine Prison just to name a few. With so many incredible structures in such a concentrated area, the Roman Forum makes for an excellent place to explore.

Trevi Fountain

Considered by many to be one of the most impressive fountains in Rome, Trevi Fountain features an impeccable design and beautiful sculptures. One of the most popular activities for people visiting the fountain is to throw a coin over their left shoulder to guarantee a return visit to Rome.

Sistine Chapel

Located in the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel is world famous for its architecture which is said to be modeled after Solomon’s Temple. The Chapel is home to several incredible frescoes including two which are considered to be Michelangelo’s most amazing works of the art; the Last Judgement and the Creation of Adam.

Pantheon

One of ancient Rome’s best preserved structures, the Pantheon features a striking interior and an amazing dome which is yet another great feat of Roman engineering. It was constructed nearly 2000 years ago on the remains of an even older temple which was destroyed by fire. There is no doubt about it, the Pantheon is one of the best places to visit in Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Dating back to the 15th century, St. Peter’s Basilica is regarded as one of the most holy Catholic sites on Earth and is considered by many to be the greatest church in all of Christendom. It is also the burial site of Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. For those with a taste for both history and architecture it doesn’t get much better than this. There is no doubt about it, visiting St. Peter’s is one of the most memorable things to do in Rome.

Piazza Navona

Built on top of the Stadium of Domitian, the Piazza Navona is lined with restaurants and cafes serving traditional Italian food. Along with delicious cuisine, you will find several fountains which in themselves are incredible works of art. It is a popular place to visit for both tourists and citizens of Rome.

Trajan’s Column

Standing almost 100 feet high, Trajan’s Column’s is a beautiful piece of Roman architecture and sculptural art. Winding around the column is a frieze illustrating the battles between Rome and Dacia in early 100 AD. It is a captivating sight and one which the Romans are truly very proud of.

These are just 8 of many amazing places to visit in Rome. Each of them will provide you with a lasting memory and an exceptional travel experience. Rome is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy and no matter what your tastes, this city has something for you.

What To See While Backpacking In Italy

Italy is home to a rich history, beautiful terrain, and incredible history. Backpacking in Italy is one of the best ways to experience all the amazing places that make this country so popular. From the impressive ruins of ancient Rome to the rugged landscape of the Italian Riviera, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable and memorable time while traveling here. One of the main reasons people backpack in Italy is to witness the remnants of what was once the most powerful civilization to walk the Earth. In this article, we are going to look at 3 places that will captivate and inspire you on your journey through Italy.

The Colosseo District

The Colosseo District in Rome is home to historical monuments like the Colosseum, the Baths of Trajan, and the Temple of Julius Caesar. It is one of the most popular locations in Rome and people from all around the world travel here to witness these amazing structures. There are enough historical attractions here to keep your busy for your entire trip and it’s easy to see why it is one of the most popular places to visit in Rome. Below you will find the most notable sights to explore in the Colosseo District:

  • Capitoline Museum
  • Roman Forum
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Mamertine Prison
  • Arch of Titus
  • Temple of Saturn
  • Palatine Hill
  • Piazza Venezia
  • San Clemente
  • San Stefano Rotondo
  • San Pietro in Vincoli
  • Colle Oppio
  • Santa Maria in Aracoeli
  • Basilica Aemilia

Upon arrival to the Colosseum don’t be discouraged by long lines. Head over to Palatine Hill, and upon admittance there you will find access to the Colosseum from an alternative entrance. It’s a good idea to buy your ticket prior to arrival as the line at the ticket office is usually long and slow moving. Also, near the Arch of Titus, look out for young English speaking students who run free guided tours of the Forum. No catch, they do these tours as a lead in to promoting other related tours in Rome. Take them up on their offer and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of insight into the most important historical area in Rome. With so many things to do in Rome, if you’ve only got a short period of time, then you should definitely check out the Colosseo District.

Pompeii

Most people have heard the solemn story of the ancient city of Pompeii which was destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2000 years ago. The city is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and it offers a unique look into the lives of the ancient Romans. Pompeii is still undergoing excavation to this day, but much of the city has been uncovered and exploring its ruins is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences you can have while backpacking in Italy. The ruins here have been a popular tourist destination for over 200 years and with over 2 million visitors per year, it is one of the most highly trafficked archaeological sites in the world.

Cinque Terre

A trip backpacking in Italy isn’t complete without a visit to the Cinque Terre. Located in the Italian Riviera on the coast of the Mediterranean are the 5 towns of the Cinque Terre. This region of Italy is lesser known among travelers, however, it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places you can visit. If you’re looking for a destination off the beaten path, you can’t do better than this. The towns of the Cinque Terre sit precariously on the edge of the rugged coastline and look out over the Mediterranean Sea. Incredible food, delicious wine, and some of the best coastline hiking in the world are what awaits backpackers here. The area is so impressive that many travelers end up staying here longer than expected.

Venice

Last but not least is the romantic and unique city of Venice. Easily one of the most captivating places to visit in Europe, Venice is home to classic Italian cuisine, storybook scenery, and incredible architecture. From its many historical churches and museums to its charming culture, Venice will give you a true taste of Italy and leave you with a lasting memory. Take a ride on the famous gondolas which will allow you to see all the best of the city while enjoying an experience which can only be found in Venice. Popular sights to see here include Saint Mark’s Basilica, Correr Museum, and Doge’s Palace to name a few. No matter what you’d like to see most, a stop in Venice is essential for anyone backpacking in Italy.

These are just 3 of many places to visit in Italy. The country has many more worthwhile destinations to visit and no matter where you decide to go, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience.

The Five Best Places To Visit In Italy

Home to what was once the greatest civilization to walk the Earth, Italy is easily one of the most popular destinations in Europe. From the beautiful natural scenery of the Cinque Terre to the incredible history of Rome, there is no shortage of amazing places to visit in Italy. In fact, there are enough exciting places to explore, and enough art and history here to keep a traveler busy for months on end. If you’re planning a trip to this amazing country, but you’re not quite sure which cities you’d like to see most, check out our choices for the five best places to visit in Italy.

Capri

The Italian island of Capri is located in the Gulf of Naples and has been of the most popular places to visit in Italy for thousands of years, yes thousands. The island was a favorite for Roman emporers and the most elite of the Roman Empire. It is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery, and those with a taste for the natural world will definitely enjoy a stay here. Capri is the perfect destination for active travelers with exciting activities like hiking, swimming, and boat tours to name a few.

Florence

Birthplace to the Italian Renaissance, Florence was considered by some to be the the cultural and political center of Europe for nearly 250 years. One of the defining achievements of Florence is the use of vernacular which is the basis for most European languages including English, Spanish, Italian, and French. Classic Italian architecture, amazing museums, and some of the world’s most renowned artwork can be found here. Impressive places to visit here include Galileo’s Tomb, the Piazzale Michelangelo, and the Santa Maria del Fiore, just to name a few.

Abruzzo

Located just 50 miles east of Rome on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, is the classic region of Abruzzo. Visiting this beautiful region will give you a true taste of the Italian countryside, and one that will leave you with a lasting memory. Abruzzo is home to medieval castles, villages, monasteries, and Roman ruins, along with many popular beach resorts which line its beautiful coastline. It is a popular destination for skiing, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain climbing, making it an amazing place for those with a taste for adventure.

Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is considered by many people to be one of the best places to visit in Italy. Meaning 5 lands, the Cinque Terre features beautiful and enchanting views straight out of a movie. Visiting the Cinque Terre is like taking a step back to a time before televisions and cellphones. It is often overlooked by people traveling to Italy, but anyone who does find this amazing destination will have nothing but good things to say about it. It is home to picturesque views, classic Italian cuisine, and some of the best coastline hiking in the world.

Rome

No trip to Italy is complete without a stop in Rome, the capital city of the great Roman Empire. There is no other place on Earth with such a wide variety of impressive historical structures, and such a vibrant culture as Rome. From the Colosseum to the Roman Forum, it would be easy to spend a lifetime exploring the many incredible sights here. It is the perfect destination for people of all ages, and no matter what your tastes, you will enjoy a stay in Rome. With so much to see and so many things to do in Rome, the city is by far one of the most amazing places to visit in Italy.

Enjoying France: Seeing The Most Popular Tourist Attractions In Paris

Paris is one of the most beautiful and iconic places to visit in Europe. It is known for its extensive culture, art museums, historical landmarks and recreational activities. With countless attractions in Paris, it is one of the most exciting places to visit for a traveler. The city has a unique culture, delicious cuisine, impressive artwork, and some of the most inspiring historical sites in the world. Whether you plan to visit the city for a day or to while traveling through Europe, or it is the destination for your entire vacation, don’t miss these top attractions in Paris:

Arc de Triomphe

This is one of the most symbolic structures in all of Paris, although an influx of tourists is inevitable whenever you visit. It is located at the end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where many upscale shops and restaurants can be found. The scenery along the avenue is beautiful, and the arch is significant because it serves as a memorial for fallen French soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolutionary War. It truly is one of the most inspiring places to visit in Paris.

Musée national des Arts et Métiers

This museum houses some of the most fascinating exhibits in the city, but is frequently left off of tourist guidebooks and brochures. The museum, located in the 3rd arrondissement of the city, boasts the first prototype of hundreds of inventions, including Foucault’s Pendulum and even the Statue of Liberty.

Eiffel Tower

This structure is one of the most recognized on earth, and is an iron lattice tower that reaches over 1,000 feet in height. Found in the Champ de Mars, it was created as the entrance to the World’s Fair of 1889 and today comes in as the number one paid monument in the entire world. Three levels can be visited with tickets, but many choose simple to take photos from a distance.

Arenes de Lutece

This is an ancient Roman theater, built sometime in the 2nd century AD and with several key pieces remaining that is worth a tour. It originally seated over 15,000 people, and incredible amount for nearly 2,000 years ago. It is the only Roman remains in the city, and is now an archeological park in the 5th arrondissement.

Sacré Coeur

Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, this Catholic Church is one of the true beauties of Paris. Found at the base of the mountain Montmarte, it is a truly breathtaking structure that has both a historical and religious significance. If you’re going to be spending any time in Paris, the Sacré Coeur is something that you don’t want to miss.

Musée d’Orsay

While the Louvre Museum is the most popular with tourists, many true art enthusiasts actually prefer the quieter feel of this museum, full of incredible paintings that rival the Louvre’s, without the crowds. The building itself is a piece of art, and is a renovated train station built in the late 19th century. The majority of the works featured in the museum are French impressionist paintings, several by well known artists like Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas.

These are just a few of many amazing attractions in Paris worth a visit. From museums to architecture to national historical monuments, the city of Paris truly has it all. Visiting the city will leave you with a lasting memory and stories to tell for the rest of your life.

Five Incredible Places To Visit In Spain

Of all the European destinations you can visit while backpacking through Europe, Spain ranks right near the top of the most popular alongside France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. There are a variety of reasons to visit this amazing country, the most impressive being its diversity.

In reality, Spain consists of several distinct regions with unique traditions, dialects and cuisines. In fact, one of the most difficult things for backpackers is deciding on which places to visit in Spain. Ultimately, where you visit depends on your specific tastes, interests, and time frame.

Madrid

While Madrid might seem like just another large, crowded European city, it continues to attract travelers from all around the world for a variety of different reasons. Many come to see the Museo del Prado and the Palacio Real, two iconic Spanish landmarks. Others come for a more urban version of the famous Spanish nightlife that the smaller towns have to offer. Madrid is also a great place to meet fellow travelers and brainstorm ideas for where to head next.

 

Barcelona

Of all the places to visit in Spain, Barcelona is one of the most impressive. The city holds a much more relaxed pace than Madrid, yet features a wide array of exciting things to do. Set on the coast of Catalonia, there are many great places to visit in Barcelona. The city is teeming with art deco architecture, punctuated by the one-of-a-kind creations of Antonio Gaudi. Many visitors find themselves completely absorbed by the ambiance of Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. However, other areas of the city, like Montjuic and the Barceloneta, deserve a visit for those with enough time. Make sure to allow yourself several days to fully explore the city and see everything that makes it what it is.

Seville

Seville usually finds its way to the top of almost every backpacker’s itinerary of places to visit in Spain. Beautiful, historical towns in Spain number in the hundreds, but Seville is completely packed, giving it the air of an open museum. The Cathedral of Seville towers over the city, as the Giralda Tower looks on, a reminder of the Moorish influence on Spain’s history. This is definitely one place that you don’t want to miss.

Granada

Granada is another very popular destination and to truly get a sense of the cultural legacy of Spain, you should plan on making a stop here. The city houses La Alhambra, a vast complex of multi-purpose buildings built by the sultans of the 14th century and added to over the centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is enough of a reason to make a stop here, but the low-key atmosphere, lesser known venues, and the world-famous tapas provide plenty of other things to do in the meantime.

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela

If you’re looking for a more physical activity while traveling in Spain, then the Camino de Santiago de Compostela is definitely for you. This medieval pilgrimage route runs from central France to Spain’s border with Portugal. This is an ambitious hike set out from more distant points all over Europe, and if you’re pressed for time you can start and exit at any point on the route, which runs through northern Spain.

These are just a few of the most popular places to visit in Spain. There are many more worthwhile places to explore. If you’ve got time to spend, make sure to ask around and you won’t have any problems finding more off the beaten path destinations. No matter where you decide to visit, Spain is one place that will always leave you wanting more.

Top 5 things to do in Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece is one of the oldest and most historic places on the planet. Athens is one of the few places on earth where you can soak up rich ancient history from the moment you arrive. Athens is a city of extremes with it’s stone and marble ruins surrounded by modern steel and glass. Whatever your fancy, you are guaranteed to find the best of both worlds in Athens. Continuing our journey of excellent European destinations here is your guide to the top 5 things to do in Athens.

The Acropolis
This is the biggest attraction in Athens bar none. It’s visible from even the smallest corners of Athens and is illuminated all night long. It towers above the historic city of Athens and is crowned by the world renowned Parthenon. Every inch of the Acropolis was hand-made from solid marble. The paths leading up to the site are stone paved and lead you a world away to be surrounded by amazing towering white columns.

Delphi Ruins
Athens is home to an array of awe-inspiring monuments and ruins that make up the majority of the attractions in Athens. In their prime, the Delphi Ruins site was so famous that it was considered to be the center of the universe. It had a huge impact on life, spirituality and trade due to the importance of the site. It was the location of Athens’ famous Oracle where ancient Greece came to discuss their biggest questions for kings and countries. The importance of these ruins and the absolute beauty of the landscape make this one of the best things to do in Athens.

Ruins of Agora
The beautiful weather in Athens provides the perfect opportunity to experience the Ruins of Agora. It is one of the top attractions in Athens and is a must-see for every backpacker. The ruins are located in the northwestern corner of the Acropolis base and can actually be seen on the way to the Acropolis. During the summer months the weather in Athens will give you the perfect opportunity to see every inch of the ancient and column-rich Agora site.

The Melissani Cave
This is one of the most fun things to do in Athens. To access the world famous cave you need to travel by gondolier. The Melissani Cave was first discovered in 1951 when it was completely enclosed by solid rock. After many excavations and oceanic wear and tear, the roof of the inner cave started to collapse. What would usually be considered a disastrous event, the collapsed roof opened the cave to allow beautiful natural light to flood in. The entire cave is now visible and is a beautiful place to behold.

Odeum of Herodes Atticus
The Odeum of Herodes Atticus is a second-century theater that was built into an Athens hillside. Once a year, Athens throws a festival giving its visitors the opportunity to enjoy this incredible theater. The Odeum will often be crowded during these celebrations, but it’s well worth the time and effort to experience the drama and presence that the Odeum delivers.

Looking for accommodation? See our post about the most popular hostels in Athens. Check out our great tips for backpacking around Europe on a budget and our handy travel tips!