7 Most Important Countries to Visit within the Schengen Area
The Schengen area, an integral part of Europe, is made of 26 countries and over 400 million nationals. The area is well known for housing some of the most visited countries of the world especially with Europe popularly known to cover over half of the world’s travel market. Every year, it is estimated that over 300 million people visit Europe including the countries of the Schengen Area from all over the world. This is not surprising as the area is stuffed with attractive features that guarantee any migrant an experience of a lifetime.
Also Read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa in Nigeria
The Schengen area parades wonderfully unique and fascinating ethnology that draws tourists, beautiful customs and rich history that catches the attention of the inquisitive as well as exotic traditional cuisines for the adventurous. There are creative architectural pieces and historical buildings and an abundance of natural and man-made beauty ranging from cities decorated with hills such as Tuscany and Rome to those with beautiful and iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower in France and the stunning cathedrals in Spain. The multicultural population and the warm embracing people all create a center of attention for people from all over the world and present a memorable experience for visitors. Not to forget the boosting economy of the area and the rich history in trade exploits that comes in very eye-catching for the business minded.
It would be absolutely correct to conclude that there is no part of the Schengen area one must not visit. However, considering possible limitations in terms of cost of travel and time, I have streamlined the most important places to visit into seven based on the most visited countries in the Schengen area. This way you can also make your choices and decide the places you will most likely visit when you plan your trip to the Schengen area.
Schengen Area’s Most visited Countries
Every year, France receives over 80 million visitors making it the most visited country in the Schengen area, Europe and the world. The rich cultural and enchanting country is particularly enticing for a number of reasons including the following;
–The Eiffel tower: Paris, the capital of France is home to the world famous Eiffel tower, an iconic symbol of love and the major feature of Paris itself. The Eiffel tower is a world famous monumental structure made of three distinct levels and decorated with beautiful lights. A visit to the Eiffel tower promise a breathtaking experience with specially prepared shows for visitors, restaurants and bars where people can wine and dine, and a wonderful viewpoint of the city from the top of the tower. The Eiffel is always open to visitors.
– Louvre: the Louvre also called the Musée du Louvre is a famous art museum in Paris originally located inside a palace on the bank of the well-known Seine River. The Louvre was once regarded as one of the biggest palaces in the world during its time in the 13th century. The structure is a masterpiece of superb architectural design and sculptural embellishment. It became a public museum in 1793 and contained a number of Italian Renaissance paintings including the works of the infamous Leonardo da Vinci. The Louvre has exhibition areas, a glass pyramid entrance, an auditorium, galleries, fine restaurants, stores and parking services.
– The Avignon Festival: popularly known as the Festival d’ Avignon amidst the French, the Avignon festival is an annual theater festival in France with an average yearly attendance of over 150,000 spectators from all over the world. The festival usually spiced with music, arts, and drama is a highly cultural event that is of high national and international significance.
Basically, there is no period that one cannot visit France and enjoy amazing sights around the country. During the winter, the Alps provides a perfect terrain for skiers and a beautiful sight for tourists while the summer comes with an avenue to enjoy the sun from the different communities on the French Riviera, also popularly called the Côte d’Azur (Azure Coast).
Spain is the second most visited country in the Schengen area with over 55 million yearly visits from foreigners. The reason for this is not farfetched as Spain is a highly cultural and artistic city with numerous beautifully carved cathedrals and museums, a sunny climate as well as beaches.
– Cathedrals and Museums: some of the most important and famous cathedrals of Spain include the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia and the Prado museum which any tourist or visitor will not like to miss.
– The City of Barcelona: there is also the city of Barcelona; one of the most visited places and the second largest city in Spain and a renowned cultural centre in the entire Europe. The city is famed for its exotic beaches and intriguing sights including;
– La Rambla; a prominent street in Barcelona stretching about 1km long and ideal for getting a feel of the city. A walk through La Rambla will give you an experience of street artistry and delicious meals at fabulous restaurants.
– You should also visit the Gothic quarters and one of the beautiful islands that makes great locations for a beach holiday in Spain.
Italy is also another of the most visited countries in the Schengen with over 40 million foreign visitors annually. Italy is highly cultural city with its Capital, Rome taking the center stage. Places to visit in Italy include;
– The Colosseum: is nothing short of a breathtaking wonder and not any tourist wants to miss out on a first visit to Rome. Originally named the Flavian Amphitheater, it is an oval shaped ancient classical building said to have been erected over 2000 years ago. The Colosseum ranks as one of the most important classical buildings in Rome and has eighty (80) entrances and accommodation of about 70,000 people both sitting and standing.
– The Palatine Hill: the hill is one of the ruins nearby the Coloseum and is located at the center of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. The Palatine hill usually almost overshadowed by the fame of the Colosseum near it towers above the Roman forum and the Circus maximums. It represents an ancient history of palaces in Rome.
–St. Peter’s Basilica: is regarded as one of the largest churches ever built and also known as the Papal basilica of Saint Peter. The Basilica is a magnificent building, an Italian renaissance church located in the ancient city of Rome and is a must visit in the city. It houses the tomb of Saint Peter and is a great architectural and highly historical structure especially in Christendom.
– Ostia Antica: the Ostia Antica is one of the earliest Roman ports located in Rome exterior and provides visitors a sight to behold during their visit.
– Piazza Vittorio: the Piazza Vittorio can be described as the biggest square in Rome with an ice ring during winter that is very suitable for lovers and families to visit.
Generally, Italy is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year with its stunning picturesque countryside as well as diverse and fascinating landscapes. A larger part of the country enjoys lots of sunshine due to its mild Mediterranean climate.
Germany boasts of over 28 million international visitors on a yearly basis. It is the seventh largest country in Europe in terms of area and a highly industrialized country. Germany is famed as a complex historical and richly cultural country. One has to visit the country to enjoy its various arts and music as well as the renowned beautiful city of Berlin. The following are various reasons to visit Germany;
– Music Festivals: Classical music fans will enjoy the country’s various music festivals,
– Christmas markets: The famous German markets are usually a sight to behold and could provide an amazing experience for anyone visiting. During Christmas period which typically begins in the first week of December in Germany, the Germans have a custom of decorating an evergreen tree and the markets are filled with stall selling ornaments and several gift items. There was said to be a time in history when Germany supplied almost all of the decorative glass ornaments for Christmas trees in the world.
–Berlin: the city of Berlin, the largest and the capital city of Germany, provides numerous choices of places to visit within Germany especially for those who are interested in works of arts.
-The Museum Island: found in the highly ancient city of Berlin that originated in the 13th century and became Germany’s capital in 1871. The city is well known for its Cold war history, the famous Berlin wall that once separated east and West Berlin and also referred to as the Charlie Checkpoint. The museum island also accommodates numerous other cultural and historical artifacts, structures and buildings and is now classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Austria, a very mountainous country is located mainly in the Alps. The country welcomes over 23 million foreign visitors on a yearly basis and offers a lot of attracting sceneries and festivals.
– Eisriesenwelt: Austria is the abode of the world’s largest ice cave- Eisriesenwelt, located in the Alps, this icy cold cave is more than 40 kilometers long, naturally decorated with well sculptured structures of ice that catches the attention of visitors. The ice cave is usually open to visitors between May and October.
– Yearly music festival of Salzburg: provides a nice avenue for lovers of music to enjoy. The festival is of both national and international significance and is usually very colourful.
–Vienna: one should also visit Vienna also famed as the City of Music’ to enjoy the bets of Austria and its rich musical heritage.
Generally, Austria is also recognized for its numerous assortments of chocolate factories and desserts that provide more than enough for tourist with a sweet tooth so ensure you do not miss out.
Greece welcomes about 16 million international visitors all year round. The country provides numerous fascinating options for visitors ranging from stunning beaches to a wide array of cuisines and a number of beautiful islands. Apart from the beautiful and islands, there is also Athens, regarded as one of the finest cities in the world as regards history and culture.
– Athens: located in southeastern Greece, Athens is the capital and largest city of the country. It overlooks the entire economic, cultural, and political verve of Greece and has mountains rising in a semicircle around it forming a stunning view. The mountains include the peaks of Párnis, one Pendéli. From any street in the city, one can view the peak of at least one of the mountains. There are also two rivers, the Kifisós in the west and the Ilisós in the east that flow through the city and a number of museums devoted to Greek art, culture, and history.
– The Parthenon: the Parthenon is a famous architectural piece in Athens that provides a most fascinating site for tourists. Originally an ancient Greek temple which was dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos know as ‘Athena the Virgin’, the temple was a huge, rectangular marble temple with about 17 columns down each of its sides and 8 columns on every end. The Parthenon still creates a fascinating site despite the fact that a large part of it is now in ruins, it is highly considered a masterpiece of Greek architecture and a favourite tourist destination.
Poland receives over 13 million visitors annually. The country offers numerous attractions as well as an enthralling landscape including mountains, a beautiful countryside, beaches and a number of UNESCO world heritage sites. Places to visit in Poland include;
-Warsaw: the capital of Poland provides visitors with amazing sites to visit including elegant palaces, beautiful parks and markets squares. Warsaw was said to be Poland’s cultural center and currently a home to a number of fascinating cultural institutions including the National Museum, National Library, and Center for Contemporary Art.
– The Market square in Warsaw: located in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, the Warsaw’s Market Square provides tourists an experience of the open-air city life in Poland. The market originates from the 13th century and is occupied with wonderful buildings with medieval structural design.
With the afore-listed, it is obvious that there are numerous fascinating reasons for anyone to visit a country within the Schengen area and one can actually imagine why so many people visit year in year out. However, before visiting more than one country within the Schengen area, ensure that you have the ideal type of visa so as to avoid restriction of movement and hindering your travel plans.
7 Most Important Countries to Visit within the Schengen Area © www.travelvisa.ng