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15 European Cities Every Irish Person Has To Visit Before They Turn 30

Anyone fancy a bit of interrailing?!

The older you get, the less opportunities you have for travelling. Oh, if we could only have the summer holidays of secondary school back.

If you don't use your limited holiday time wisely and set out solid plans to tick dream destinations off your list, you may never get around to them. But we're here to help!

We've laid out 15 top destinations around this wonderful continent of ours for you to visit before you hit 30 (cos we figure it's good to have a deadline). We even threw in a few suggestions for bars, restaurants and places to stay.

Have you been lucky enough to tick many off your list already? Let's find out...

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is the kind of city you can fall in love with at first sight.

Its picturesque streets and alleys are bursting with history and the people are wonderful. Its castle on the hill is the centrepiece and it's truly awe-inspiring.

Also, when you take a stroll in this place it feels like you're walking around a Harry Potter movie.

Bar: Sofi's

Restaurant: Aizle

Accommodation: ibis Styles Edinburgh Centre

Edinburgh

2. Paris, France

One that calls out to lovers and gourmands.

The bustling City Of Lights is a place to be savoured while you're young to explore the place to the fullest. The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris — these are things everyone wants to tick off their bucket list at some point.

So get to it sooner rather than later.

Bar: Experimental Cocktail Club

Restaurant: Le Jules Verne

Accommodation: Vice Versa Hotel

Paris

3. Berlin, Germany

Probably the coolest city in this colourful continent of ours.

Germany's Hauptstadt has had a troubled past and it invites visitors to learn about it in a variety of ways. If you're more artistically inclined, however, you'll be more interested in perusing the city's omnipresent works of graffiti.

Exciting and vibrant, a trip to Berlin never fails to energise.

Bar: Windhorst

Restaurant: Monsieur Vuong

Accommodation25 Hours Bikini

Berlin 25 Hours

4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona pretty much has everything you could want.

Green hills to the north, beach to the south, and spectacular architecture courtesy of Antoni Gaudi smack bang in the middle.

Add in sun, tapas and drinks by the sea — what more could you want?

Bar: Polaroid

Restaurant: Uma

AccommodationVincci Bit

Bunker Barcelona

5. Belfast, Northern Ireland

It's so close that it's easily overlooked.

One of this island's biggest cities and one that's calling out to be explored, you need to visit Belfast on your next opportunity.

No trip to the Northern city is complete without stopping into the Titanic Belfast Museum, taking the Belfast Mural Tour and having a drink or two in the Duke Of York pub.

Bar: Duke Of York (obvs)

Restaurant: COCO

AccommodationFitzwilliam Hotel

Belfast

6. Reykjavik, Iceland

Journey to another world with a trip to the Icelandic capital.

Being a small island, Reykjavik is the perfect base from which to explore the nearby extraterrestrial-looking landscapes, geysers, flowing lava, and the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

Sound like your cup of tea?

Bar: Jacobsen Loftið

Restaurant: Sjávargrillið

AccommodationKex

Reykjavik Iceland

7. Riga, Latvia

Not your typical holiday destination, that's for sure, but definitely one that deserves a place on your radar.

Famed for its quaint cobbled streets and Jugendstil architecture, Riga's old city is a marvel. 

Art lovers will be happy with a trip here, with places like the Amber Museum, Art Gallery Templis and VLADLENA doll museum to enjoy.

Bar: Skyline Bar

Restaurant: Restaurant Domini Canes

Accommodation: Two Wheels

Riga Latvia

8. Prague, Czech Republic

The City Of A Hundred Spires simply oozes old world charm.

With sights like Prague Castle, the Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, a history lover could happily lose themselves in the labyrinth that helped shape the beautifully warped mind of Franz Kafka. 

The jewel in the city's crown is the pedestrianised Charles Bridge, which dates back to 1402 and is adorned with statues of saints.

Bar: Black Angel's Bar

Restaurant: La Finestra

Accommodation: Unic

Prague Bridge

9. Budapest, Hungary

If the place knowns as the City Of Spas sounds like your cup of tea, then Budapest is for you.

Once separate areas known as Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the Danube, and Pest on the east bank, they came together in 1873 to form the Budapest that we now know and love today.

If you do nothing else while you're in town, be sure to take a dip in Széchenyi Thermal Bath and soak your troubles away like one of the locals.

Bar: Ellato Kert & Taqueria

Restaurant: Arany Kaviár Étterem

Accommodation: Baltazar

Budapest

10. Copenhagan, Denmark

Copenhagen has come a long way from the Viking fishing village it originally was.

The capital of Denmark, there's no shortage of things to do and see in the area, like visiting the famous statue of The Little Mermaid, the old-timey amusement park Tivoli Gardens, and the local zoo where you can watch polar bears swim.

There's also the the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, the Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and The Round Tower, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. 

So, yeah, there's not exactly a shortage of stuff to do. 

Bar: The Jane

Restaurant: Kiin Kiin

Accommodation: Generator Hostel

Copenhagen

11. Stockholm, Sweden

Another beautiful Scandinavian city to be ticked off your list.

Spread across 14 islands, Sweden has nothing if not variety. There are tonne of castles and palaces to be explored, there's the Mindepartementet Art And Photography exhibition and, our personal favourite, Stockholms Spelmuseum, which is devoted entirely to old-fashioned video games.

It's a veritable smorgasbord of fun (sorry).

Bar: Corner Club

Restaurant: Pubologi

Accommodation: With Urban Deli

Stockholm 1

12. Zurich, Switzerland

This is currently the second most liveable city in the world, so you can be pretty sure it's a good place to be.

This picture perfect city is divided by the river Limmat and surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Everything about the place denotes sophistication, so if you consider yourself the fancy type you'll feel right at home.

Bar: Raygrodski

Restaurant: Kronenhalle

Accommodation: Kameha

Zurich

13. Bruges, Belgium

Forget what you learned from the movie In Bruges — this is actually a really gorgeous city.

The place is so beautiful, in fact, that it draws more than two million visitors every year. They come for its medieval buildings, the canal tours, and the charming locals.

Bar: Comptoir Des Arts

Restaurant: Pomperlut

Accommodation: 1669 Bed & Breakfast

Bruges Belgium

14. Salzburg, Austria

It's no wonder Mozart was born in this city — it's the kind of place that inspires.

To walk Salzburg's streets is to delve into its rich history, still visible from centuries-old buildings like the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Getreidegasse and Hellbrunn Palace.

It's worth visiting just to see for yourself why it's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage city...

Bar: Monkeys cafe.bar

Restaurant: Restaurant Wasserfall

Accommodation: Meininger Salzburg City Centre

Salzburg

15. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

It's one of those places that sounds so familiar, yet you probably know next to nothing about it.

Sarajevo is a religiously diverse city — it's known as the 'Jerusalem of Europe' — which is reflected in its distinctive architecture and exotic ambiance.

If you're journeying here, you've got to make it your business to visit the war-experience Tunnel Museum, Vratnik Citadel and Baščaršija (also known as Pigeon Square).

Want some advice? Make this your next holiday destination.

Bar: The Brew Pub

Restaurant: Mala kuhinja

Accommodation: Colors Inn

Sarajevo

Written By

Seán Kenehan

Seán is known for eating, drinking and writing, making him uniquely qualified to work for the Lovin Group. Seán enjoys skipping stones wistfully, puns that'd make a dad blush, and referring to himself in the third person.

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