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Plan a different Euro trip – check out these 5 unmissable holiday destinations for 2019

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With the end of the year quickly creeping up on us all, it’s time to start planning adventures for the new year. Let’s talk about the quintessential Euro trip. Exploring this beautiful continent – whether as a backpacker or a luxury jet setter – is something that should be on every traveller’s must-do list, at least once in his or her life.

Next year could be your year for an incredible trip around Europe – a different one. Oh, of course there are the old favourites – Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona; all gorgeous places, but rather over-visited and at many times teeming with hordes of tourists.

It’s time for the spotlight to fall on other stunning places in Europe that are just crying out to be explored. We’ve put together an exciting list of five offbeat, unmissable holiday destinations that you absolutely must check out in 2019 for that genuine European experience.

1. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway/Youtube screengrab

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This group of islands in northern Norway is an archipelago known for its dramatic scenery, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, colourful fishing villages, and the most beautiful, jaw-dropping show in the sky – the aurora borealis, or the northern lights.

Lofoten Islands, Norway/Youtube screengrab

Witness and be mesmerised by bands of light dancing across a huge sky, at times green, pink, yellow or purple. If you want to experience the utter magnificence of nature, a visit to Norway’s Lofoten Islands is a must.

Lofoten Islands, Norway/Youtube screengrab

The best times to see the northern lights are typically during March and October, when there is the greatest occurrence of solar activity. Wait for around 8 or 9PM, and let the greatest show in the world begin.

Flights from Singapore to Oslo and back start from SGD 1167.

 

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal/Youtube screengrab

The hilly, coastal city of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is often overlooked as a destination in Europe when it should be at the top of every traveller’s wish list. It has everything – gorgeous beaches, a thrilling nightlife, a deep cultural heritage, beautiful architecture and crazy-delicious food.

Lisbon, Portugal/Youtube screengrab

Lisbon has become a foodie’s dream destination to watch out for. Check out these amazing food markets – Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, where renowned Portuguese chefs serve up authentic cuisine and play with new flavours to create modern and trendy fusion recipes; Bairro Alto, a lively night market of food and drinks with a party atmosphere (tip: go to Bairro Alto after 11PM for the best nighttime market experience); and Rua Augusta, where traditional Portuguese cuisine is at its finest and most pure.

Lisbon, Portugal/Youtube screengrab

Flights from Singapore to Lisbon and back start from SGD 1089.

3. The Cairngorms, Scotland

The Cairngorms, Scotland/Youtube screengrab

The Cairngorms, a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland, is regarded as one of the wildest places in mainland Britain. This breathtaking national park is a haven for the truly outdoorsy, with all sorts of sporting activities on offer – on the mountain, on the water, down in the valley, on the golf course or on your bike.

The Cairngorms, Scotland/Youtube screengrab

Immerse yourself in the wild beauty of untouched nature. On the mountains, you can go skiing, hiking, snowboarding and rock climbing. The Cairngorms National Park is home to some of the cleanest rivers and lochs in Europe – go fishing, sailing, windsurfing, paddlesports, rafting, and swimming.

The Cairngorms, Scotland/Youtube screengrab

When we say that there is something for everyone to do, we mean it. From horseback riding to archery, from wildlife watching to bungee jumping, you will not run out of exciting, outdoorsy activities, all set against the backdrop of astounding natural beauty.

Flights from Singapore to Edinburgh and back start from SGD 1115.

 

4. Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii, Italy/Youtube screengrab

Pompeii, still a perfectly preserved ancient city, was buried under ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. Unlike any other place in Europe, it is the most-visited archaeological site in the world, thanks to a multitude of well-preserved ruins.

Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, Italy/Youtube screengrab

The lost city of Pompeii is truly frozen in time, kept intact, brimming with rich history, culture and archaeological wonders. Walk and explore the old baths and brothels, and old Roman houses from the modest to the majestic. Marvel at ancient ruins and study the amazing frescoes at the Villa of the Mysteries, the meanings of which have stumped scholars for many, many years.

Pompeii, Italy/Youtube screengrab

For those who love their vino, go on a wine-tasting tour on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius for some of the best vintages in the Neapolitan region.

Flights from Singapore to Naples and back start from SGD 935.

5. Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf, Germany/Youtube screengrab

Once a series of tiny villages, Düsseldorf is now an international cultural arts and fashion destination. If you love to dress up fashionably, go on expensive shopping sprees and appreciate art of all kinds, Düsseldorf is your kind of town.

Düsseldorf, Germany/Youtube screengrab

Grab an Arts Card from the Tourist Office and get entry for a year to most of the city’s 26 museums. Besides museums, Düsseldorf is home to more than 100 art galleries for your perusal, featuring cutting-edge, contemporary art. Don’t miss the yearly Art Düsseldorf art festival, which is the leading contemporary art fair in Europe.

Düsseldorf, Germany/Youtube screengrab

With loads of parks and marked bike lanes, Düsseldorf is best explored by cycling. Check out Königsallee street, which is lined by shops of famous, high-end fashion brands like Gucci and Chanel. If you’ve got the money to spend, this is where you want to be.

Flights from Singapore to Düsseldorf and back start from SGD 1128.

 

There you have it – five unmissable holiday destinations offering a wide variety of activities and sites, from the ruggedly natural to the edgy and contemporary. Your Euro trip does not have to be old, overused or overdone; it can be original and outstanding. Think about it, read about it, talk about it, plan it, and then just do it! Europe awaits, standing by to offer you something different each time around.

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