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Top 10 destinations in Europe for 2012

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by www.europeanconsumerschoice.org

1.PORTO, PORTUGAL 

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With the variety of resources available Porto conquers all its visitors, from those who want it for its history and authenticity, to the ones who seek to explore a new, more cosmopolitan and contemporary city. Discovering Porto means discovering what makes it different : the famous Port Wine, an Historical Centre designated World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, Museums, Enchanting parks and gardens, fashion boutiques by national and international designers…

2.VIENNA, AUSTRIA

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Luxurious accommodation in Vienna almost invariably means living at the heart of the city. You’ll find exclusive hotels especially along the Ring, which, after all, is where most of the elegant former palaces are. The first district is home to a wealth of five-star accommodations including the Imperial, Grand Hotel, Bristol, Sacher, Palais Coburg Residenz and Marriott Vienna. At the end of 2010 the Luxushotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom opened in a spectacular high-rise designed by star French architect Jean Nouvel on the banks of the Danube Canal.

3.DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

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Make sure to begin your brief visit to Dubrovnik with a promenade in Stradun or Placa, the main street, while getting the first impressions of one of the Mediterraneans most beautiful cities. The astonishing city of stone is surrounded with 1,940 m long stone walls. A tour of the worlds second most frequented open-air museum will definitely take your breath away. The fantastic views will inspire you to take some photographs, and the sights that you will capture will continue to amaze you over and over again.

4.PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

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Since the Middle Ages Prague has been famous as one of the most beautiful cities of the world and has been attributed adjectives such as “golden“, “hundred-spired“, “the crown of the world“. The unique character of the city is also partly a consequence of its natural environment: Prague, similar to Rome built on seven hills, was built on nine hills along the Vltava river, which flows through the city for a distance of 31 km and forms a perfect unit with the city. 

5.BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

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There’s just something about Belgium. Maybe it’s the friendly & welcoming people who with three official languages still find it easy to converse in English, the 4th unofficial language. Or perhaps it’s the incredible cuisine found in the vast array of restaurants where each meal seems better than the last.  Brussels is multicultural, plurilingual, its population is cosmopolitan and the unexpected awaits you at every turn. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something happening : creativity here is contagious, good food is easy to find and the mood is festive. Add a dash of humour and a pinch of self-mockery and you have the recipe for the city’s legendary conviviality.

6.BERLIN, GERMANY

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Visitors to Berlin don’t tend to spend much time in their hotel rooms. Not with more than 9,000 restaurants and snack bars, more than 100 theatres with performances almost every day, and three opera houses to choose from. The German capital also has more than 175 museums, countless cabaret and variety theatres, and more than 100 concert venues – in Berlin there is certainly no excuse for not going out.

7.BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

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The Danube, which divides Budapest into two parts, is perfect for tourists to become acquainted with the most important sights slightly away from the hustle of the city centre, but still literally in the middle of the city. Of course you cannot see everything from a boat, but that is not the purpose of the cruise. You can select from a wide range of daytime cruises, night cruises or boat excursions of various durations and on boats with different sizes.

8.LISBON, PORTUGAL

The good weather and long days are an irresistible invitation to discover and experience the city with a relaxed and leisurely walk of its seven hills, taking breaks at the various sightseeing spots along the way. The viewpoints of Graça, Senhora do Monte, Santa Luzia, São Jorge Castle or São Pedro de Alcantara are just some of the scenic spots of Lisboa, where you can admire the most beautiful panoramic views of the Portuguese capital, also known as “Cidade da Luz Branca” (City of White Light).

9.FLORENCE, ITALY

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The historic centre of Florence contains such a wealth of masterpieces that it is difficult to separate the city from its art works. In 1982 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the motivation being that it encapsulates the whole history of the city, from the ‘Roman quadrilateral’ in the Piazza della Repubblica area to the narrow streets of the medieval city, the splendours of the 16th-century Pitti Palace and the changes wrought at the time when Florence was capital of Italy

10.EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

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Edinburgh is surrounded by hills which are perfect for a stroll and give a great outlook. Climb Arthur’s Seat, an iconic extinct volcano in Holyrood Park, or try the easy and short route up Calton Hill, just off Princes Street. This is the site of what should have been Scotland’s National Monument but the city ran out of money so the columns are all that was completed. Nelson’s Monument, in the shape of a telescope, is well worth the climb to the top. A ball at the top of its mast drops simultaneously with the firing of the One o’clock Gun from Edinburgh Castle.

 

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