At once natural and refined, folksy and cultured: the combination of mountain rusticity with old-world style captivates in Central Europe.
Destinations not to miss
With mountains covering so many Central European states, it's no wonder that the outdoors holds such an attraction in the region. The Alps rise to their highest in Switzerland, with jagged, Toblerone-like peaks such as the Matterhorn, and march on through southern Germany. You can hike, bike, ski or just ride the gondolas and funiculars to enjoy the Alpine views. Romanticism of Eiffel Tower in Paris or Loire Valley vineyards or Italian Tuscan countryside & cuisine is something you cannot miss. Golden Age canals lined by tilting gabled buildings are the backdrop for Amsterdam's treasure-packed museums, vintage-filled shops and hyper-creative design, drinking and dining scenes. There's a new part of nature to explore almost around every corner.
Nourishing yourself is more fun in a great atmosphere, and Central Europe's abundance of outdoor cafes, beer halls and coffee houses offer just that. When the temperatures rise in spring, outdoor tables proliferate along with the daffodils and tulips. Enjoy a plate of pasta while admiring the Slovenian coast, nosh pierogi (dumplings) on a Polish cobblestone street or dip into fondue lakeside in Switzerland. Beer gardens across the region offer an opportunity to enjoy hearty food, a convivial atmosphere and a good brew alfresco. Once the weather cools, move inside to a boisterous beer hall. Or, for something a little sweeter, try a cake at a coffee house or pastry cafe.