With so many European cities to choose from, the task of deciding where to travel to with your friends can seem daunting. This list highlights our personal favourite cities to experience for an unforgettable Europe trip with your friends, and will hopefully inspire you to go somewhere new!
Lower prices and more group flight options are emerging from Canada to Europe, making it the best time to explore that part of the world. For both beginners and seasoned travellers alike, Europe is truly a destination with something for everyone and a great destination to take that trip of a lifetime with your friends! From Berlin, Budapest, and Paris, to the lesser-known Nordic city of Bergen, here is our list of top 8 places to visit on your Europe trip with friends.
Great Europe Trip Experiences with Friends
1. Dance the night away with your friends in Berlin
Start your Europe trip adventure right in the middle of the continent, in the historic yet modern and edge iconic of Berlin. After a few days of wandering around Berlin, you’ll see why this city is often called the ‘grunge capital’ of Germany. Once you understand the history of the city, this nickname makes a lot more sense. Spend the day with your friends exploring Berlin’s rich history through the Berlin Wall and the iconic graffiti at the East Side Gallery, Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, museums in Museum Island, and more.
Their ‘grunge’ reputation is also reflected in their nightlife, which is an experience you don’t want to miss out on! Hit up one of Berlin’s world-renowned techno clubs and dance the night away with your friends. As a general rule, nightlife doesn’t start until at least 2 a.m., so factor that in when making plans to go out. Make sure you do your research on the techno club you choose to go to. The good ones tend to be very selective and will sometimes require you to wait hours in line!
2. Explore the beauty of Bergen, Norway
People usually think Oslo when they hear Norway, but a far more underrated city is Bergen, located in western Norway. Bergen makes our list of top 8 places to travel in Europe with friends because it is home to some of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Spend a day walking around Bergen with your friends and bask in the picturesque fjords surrounding the city. If you plan on staying in Bergen a little longer, rent a car and drive from Bergen to Odda or hike the famous Trolltunga (literal translation: Troll tongue) mountain with your friends!
If you want to explore Bergen but don’t want to pass on Oslo, not to worry! One of the most beautiful rail trips in the world happens to be the train from Bergen to Oslo. You and your friends will get to see the vast beauty of Norway as you ride through patches of isolated, raw nature on your Europe trip adventure.
Looking for travels beyond Europe? Check out our guide to places around the world to visit this January!
3. Wander the streets of historical Plovdiv
Plovdiv is a city located in the southern region of Bulgaria and is Bulgaria’s second-largest city, after the capital city of Sofia. It was also recently named the 2019 European Capital of Culture! Plovdiv contains remnants of the groups that conquered them in the past, but the most notable are from the Romans. Head to the Roman theatre and the Roman stadium with your friends, where you’ll find parts of the original bleachers from the Roman era.
After a day exploring the sites of Plovdiv, hit up the bars in the trendy neighbourhood of Kapana to grab a drink with your friends. Kapana is a hip spot and a perfect place for group travel and people who want to experience the growing arts and music scene of Plovdiv.
4. Get lost in the city of Ljubljana
Ljubljana is a less popular tourist city, but it makes our list of top 8 places to travel to in Europe with friends as a city straight out of a fairytale. The streets are quaint, the people are friendly, and the city was named the 2016 European Green Capital. Three-quarters of the entire city is dedicated to green space! People sometimes mistakenly assume that Ljubljana still bears scars from the Yugoslav Wars. However, Slovenia was only in the war for ten days and shows little to no signs of war ever occurring.
A great group activity for you and your friends on your Europe trip is to go on a food tour. There are culinary tours that will take you straight into the outskirts of Ljubljana, where local farmers grow all the meat and produce that they consume. You and your friends can also check out landmarks such as the Ljubljana castle, the Tromostovje and Dragon Bridge, or go kayaking on the Ljubljanica River.
5. Party with your friends in Paris
People say that Paris is the city of love, and they aren’t wrong! However, there is so much more to the city than just romance. There’s always something new to explore in Paris, and this historic and beautiful city is a must-see on any trip to Europe.
After you’ve hit all the major landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, you and your friends can start to explore the real heart and soul of Paris. This may mean going on an adventure to find the different entrances of La Petite Ceinture, a now-defunct railway from the mid-1800s, or visiting one of 70+ museums in Paris with the Paris Museum Pass. Check out some smaller museums such as the Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée Cluny! End the night going out with your friends in the trendy Oberkampf district, or sharing a bottle of wine along the steps of the River Seine by the magical Notre Dame.
6. Share some pints in the pubs of London
London is perhaps one of the most well-known names on this list of top 8 places for a Europe trip with friends. There are perhaps more attractions in London than in any other European city – whether it’s the Buckingham Palace, or Big Ben, or the London Eye.
If that’s not enough, London is also one of the more diverse cities in Europe. This means that there are many unique restaurants, bars, and forms of entertainment in London, so be sure to take a step out of your comfort zone and discover something new. Don’t forget to try their famous fish n’ chips though – they are as good as they say! And be sure to grab a pint at one of London’s most famous watering holes the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which has seen the likes of literary legends Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, to name a few.
7. Take a bath and explore the ruin bars in Budapest
Budapest is perhaps best known for the extravagant Turkish baths scattered throughout the city. These make for the perfect activity to partake in with your friends for a nice, relaxing part of your Europe trip. If the baths aren’t of interest to your group, you can also choose from a variety of other activities.
Go on a free walking tour to learn about the history behind the two parts of Budapest, Buda and Pest, or walk up to the Fisherman’s Bastion to catch some stunning views of the city. Visit the gothic-style Hungarian Parliament Building, or gaze out onto it from across the Danube River. If you’re daring, you can even climb the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (though this might not be the best idea). End the night going to bars in Budapest’s famous ruins district. If all of this isn’t enough to convince you to visit, Budapest is also one of the more affordable cities on our list of top 8 places for your Europe trip with friends! Here are some more ideas for things to do in Budapest.
8. Eat all the tapas in Barcelona
Ok, maybe not all, but if you haven’t already, you definitely need to check out Barcelona! Barcelona is a beautiful city full of colour and life. If you and your friends are art lovers or food lovers, Barcelona is the place for you on your next Europe trip. Spend the day exploring Antoni Gaudí’s influences on Barcelona, from his numerous buildings around Barcelona to his two masterpieces – the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Sample some tapas (small plates) with your friends, sip some sangria or opt for the renowned Spanish paella.
At night, bask in all that Barcelona has to offer – whether it’s at an upscale beach-side club, or a traditional Catalan bar tucked away in a side alley. If you and your friends find yourselves in the city during the week, not to worry! There will always be exciting nightlife, even on Mondays! Barcelona is also one of the closest European cities to Canada, which leaves you with less flight time and more time to explore this fun and fabulous city!
If you and your friends are travelling to Europe on a budget, consider staying in a backpacker hostel. While these are more popular among solo travellers, renting out a room for your group could be not only a cheaper option but a more fun one! There are countless other cities that are definitely worth visiting on your Europe trip, but these are some of our favourites. Next time you and your friends are wondering where to go on a trip, check out one of the places on this list and find cheap flights to visit them!