New Year’s Eve: 10 last-minute city breaks in Europe

Ditch Auld Lang Syne and greet 2019 in a new setting: concerts and walks in Madeira, markets in Vienna, skating in Budapest … and fireworks everywhere

Why go Hungary’s capital sparkles in winter and likes to party, so it’s a great place to see in the new year. There’s festive cheer on tap, with fairylight-strewn streets, chestnut sellers and ice-skating in City Park (the largest rink in Europe), to a backdrop of Vajdahunyad Castle. The Christmas markets on Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica run until 1 January, with concerts, folk dancing and stalls selling mulled wine or pálinka (fruit brandy) and traditional chimney cake (cinnamon and sugar-coated dough). New Year’s Eve (Szilveszter) is celebrated with fireworks over the Danube, and it’s worth booking one of the many river cruises with dinner and DJs. Fisherman’s Bastion at Buda Castle offers a near-perfect panorama over the city (free and open 24/7, but likely to be crowded).

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The most beautiful churches in Europe

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Europe has a lot of beautiful sights to see, and that makes it a desirable destination for anyone going traveling. There are so many different countries to visit, all with their own unique culture and tourist attractions. One thing that almost every European city has in common, however, is a church. Now, churches are relatively beautiful buildings as it is, but some of the churches in Europe are absolutely breathtaking. Here are some of the most beautiful churches in Europe.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

One of the most famous churches in the world, let alone Europe, is the Sagrada Familia. One of the reasons it’s so famous is because it’s not even finished! There’s still not an end date in sight, and yet it’s already been around for a very long time! It currently stands at over 160 meters tall and has some gorgeous, brightly colored stained glass windows to admire. If you’re hoping to pay a visit, you better book well in advance, because the queues can last for a good couple of hours.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Of course, the church within the confined walls of the Vatican City was going to feature pretty high on our list! The artwork within the church is absolutely stunning, created by some of the most world-renowned painters that we know and love today. Each room of the church has a different design, so whether you’re in the main hall looking up at the depiction of heaven on the ceiling, or in St. Peter’s crypt looking at the carvings on the wall, you’re going to find yourself being blown away.

Borgund Stave Church, Norway

Norway is a very popular European country to visit, but one of their most famous tourist attractions is the Borgund Stave Church in (you guessed it!) Borgund. It looks like no other church you’ll ever see! Small and stout with a rounded tiled roof, the church dates all the way back to the 12th century and actually looks a bit like a Nordic hut – which is probably what it started out as. However, it’s cute in comparison with other churches that tower over you with their spires and columns. This church feels more like a home.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

Located in Moscow’s famous Red Square, most people will recognize St. Basil’s Cathedral from the minute they lay eyes on it, due to its brightly colored walls and its unique and somewhat flamboyant domes. No other church in the world looks even similar to St. Basil’s Cathedral and this is part of its huge appeal to tourists from across the globe; everyone is desperate to catch a glimpse of this bizarre (yet beautiful) looking cathedral.

Pechersk Lavra, Kiev

If you want to visit a church that could very easily be mistaken for a palace, then Pechersk Lavra in Kiev should definitely be at the top of your list! White and gold in color, the exterior of the church is ornately designed with engravings, golden details and just looks absolutely dazzling when the sun shines down on it. And if you think outside is beautiful, well, just wait until you take a step through the doors of the church and catch a glimpse of the interior. It’s unlike anything else you’ll see.

If you’re planning a trip to any of these European cities then make sure you take in some of their beautiful churches. These should all make it onto your traveling bucket list.

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