Europe is one of the most diverse and truly inspiring continents on our planet. The number of cultures and languages that collided and mixed with one another is astonishing. What's more, different climate zones allow you to experience various natural landscapes within relatively close distances. Additionally, after the sunset the old continent is getting even more exciting! In this article, I want to present 10 things you can do and see while traveling in Europe at night. Apart from those obvious ones (like enjoying beer in pubs and clubbing), I would also like to open the door for you to the unknown parts of Europe which you can rarely find in tourist guides - head a little more to the East, and a different, colorful, exciting and undiscovered world will unveil itself in front of you!
Monaco at night - Casinos and Formula 1
Monaco is quite a peculiar place in Europe. It's the second smallest country in the world (after Vatican City) where you can walk the entire country and visit most of its attractions in a day. Although it has a small historical area, it's best known as the center for the rich. European Las Vegas. The new part resembles a perfect, little artificial enclave. Monaco receives mixed reviews from travelers - you either love it or hate it.
If your wallet is thick enough, you can enjoy shopping in world's most expensive malls, staying in the most luxurious hotels and have fun in the fanciest casinos. The Monte Carlo Casino, surrounded by Ferraris, is one of the most famous on Earth. However, if you’re on a budget, or if you want to learn how to play before trying to play in a real casino, you can still enjoy playing games in online casinos, which offers you to practice first, without breaking the bank!
Although Monaco wasn't the place I usually visit, it was quite interesting to see and experience it. Especially at night, when the bay and the city's monuments get beautifully illuminated. Have a look at the full article about Monaco I've prepared here!
Restaurants and cafes in Skopje's Historic Center
Macedonia (FYROM) is probably the exact opposite of Monaco mentioned above - undiscovered, underrated and no one goes there. What a mistake it is! During the summer, the country's capital - Skopje is alive until late night hours where whole families dine and have fun in the historic center. Besides the old Ottoman market, along the Vardar River, there are monumental, somehow controversial yet incredibly impressive buildings - especially at night with the fountains and all the lights are on.
Another great thing about Skopje is the prices - you can get an amazing dinner with a pint of beer for around 5 EUR! Take a look at my post about Skopje.
Prague Pub Crawl
There are many perfect places for beer lovers - in London, Dublin or Germany, for example. However, Prague remains my favorite. I usually prefer quiet, less famous destinations, but I must admit that I was truly enchanted by the fairy-tale like old town in Prague. Visit in April/early May - not too cold and not that crowded!
Not only Prague is one of the most attractive cities in Central Europe but also it's very cheap comparing to the West! And it's not only about beer! You can enjoy the ice bar (entirely made of ice block), many clubs and discos. And, it's hard not to stop over and admire the Charles Bridge illuminated after dark!
Santorini after the sunset
I'm always skeptical about places that claim to offer the best sunset views. Often, when we travel somewhere (especially to a famous place), we have really high expectations that are brutally shattered by reality. That was the case with me in London and Paris - I failed to see anything romantic in the gray concrete buildings and the Big Ben was such a disappointment.
But Santorini was different - it turned out to be exactly the same in reality (or even better!) as it was in the pictures. The sunset was probably the most picturesque I've seen and the white-washed houses illuminated after dark on the cliffs created an unforgettable view after dark. The only annoyance is the unbelievable crowds - to avoid them, visit Santorini in late October. I'll write a full post about Santorini soon.
The most colorful city - Batumi
Batumi lies in a mysterious and completely ignored by the western tourists country - Georgia, on the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Batumi is probably the most colorful seaside town I have seen. At night, virtually every single palm tree is illuminated. All the ultra modern buildings have a strange, original shape and some monuments are striking, for example the moving statue of love - 2 shining figures come close and literally pass through one another. Some may call Batumi tacky, but it's so different, original and unexpected that, for me, walking in the evening along the promenade was a feast for the eyes! Also, if you liked Batumi, you'll love the Georgian capital - Tbilisi which is also absolutely incredible at night! Have a look at my posts about Batumi here and Tbilisi here.
Porto Old Town
The city of Porto in Portugal is especially charming. Much less popular than Lisbon, in my opinion, it's even nicer. I went there in late November and, surprisingly the temperatures were very pleasant - perfect for visiting. Also, the prices were pretty low and the old town at night - absolutely spectacular! The Luiz I Bridge is and the boats on the Duoro River create an unforgettable atmosphere. The views from the bridge are astonishing and the old town with its colorful buildings, cafes and restaurants is incredibly cozy. I'll describe Porto in one of the future posts.
Dancing fountains in Yerevan
I bet you've never heard about Yerevan. It's the capital city of Armenia - a country which also lies at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Completely unpopular and visited by few tourists from the West. They have no idea what they lose! In the main square, every night during the summer you can have fun until late in restaurant, clubs and cafes and enjoy laser shows combined with colorful dancing fountains. What's more - climb the cascades and enjoy astounding views of the city lights with the biblical Mt. Ararat in the background - the one where Noah's ark landed after the great flood.
Lake Bled Festival
Lake Bled with its blue waters and the little island in the middle is the main landmark of Slovenia. This tiny country has so many attractions that it could easily share some of them with other, bigger states. Not as popular as Croatia, Slovenia still attracts a lot of tourists and party goers. In the summer, at the weekends, there are amazing concerts organized at the shores of Lake Bled. Thousands of candles are placed on the surface illuminating the lake and you can enjoy live singer performances, fireworks and laser shows. With absolutely amazing natural scenery, it's an experience one of a kind! I'll write about Bled soon.
Istanbul at night
Istanbul, for me, is much more attractive at night than during the day. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are beautifully illuminated as well as numerous fountains in the historic center. The area is very busy with restaurants, cafes and discos and the view from Galata tower over the Bosphorus and night city lights after the sunset is mesmerizing. Read my post about Istanbul here.
Chasing the northern lights
This is probably a little bit different activity from all those described here. But it was definitely the most magical and memorable. Nothing can compare to the green (and also colorful, if you're extremely lucky) lights dancing in the sky. It's not that easy but it's a must while visiting Iceland or Norway! Of course, there is no guarantee that you will see the lights on the first night, but you can repeat the tour until you finally see them, for free! I've described this amazing experience here.
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