City highlights: Paris, Berlin, Salzburg & Barcelona

City highlights: Paris, Berlin, Salzburg & Barcelona

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

While stationed overseas, do not miss the opportunity to experience European culture, history and excitement. Travel beyond your local village to Europe’s incredible cities.

Paris, France

Because Paris is so diverse, every trip will seem like your first. Trek to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre and Notre-Dame. Climb the hill of Montmartre to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, or journey underground to the catacombs. Gaze at Sainte-Chapelle’s stained glass murals as they glimmer in the sunlight, catch a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge, and window shop along the Champs-Élysées.

Foodies can spend days sampling macarons, quiches, crème brûlée, escargot, sweet or savory soufflés and crêpes, flaky croissants, decadent panfried foie gras — the list goes on. Learn to recreate these dishes at Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy.

Berlin, Germany

Prussian capital. Nazi headquarters. East and West. Berlin’s history is quite the story. Discover the city’s dark past and the strength of a community that survived the devastation. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was destroyed during World War II and partially reconstructed. The Reichstag parliament building is a mix of old and new, with a glass dome that you can ascend. The Berlin Wall is a montage of masterpieces by local artists.

Whether visiting for a weekend or a week, there’s not enough time for Berlin’s museums. Consider the Jewish Museum, Ethnological Museum of Berlin, Topography of Terror, Old National Gallery, German Historical Museum and German Museum of Technology.

Salzburg, Austria

See where “The Sound of Music” was filmed, but don’t stop there. Tour the home where Mozart developed a love of music, and listen to his melodies during a dinner at the St. Peter Stiftskeller. Wander among the flowers and mischievous trick fountains of the Hellbrunn Palace gardens. Refuel at Café Tomaselli, a traditional coffee house open since 1705, where you can try the Austrian specialties of Linzer and Sacher tortes.

Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy fresh powder at dozens of resorts less than 75 miles away. Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Eagle’s Nest; the largest series of ice caves in the world, Eisriesenwelt; and the Berchtesgaden salt mines are also nearby.

Barcelona, Spain

Sandy beaches, abundant seafood, tapas at every turn, Antoni Gaudí — this is Barcelona. The lines are worth enduring to glimpse La Sagrada Família cathedral, Gaudi’s all-consuming project that is still unfinished. Hunt for his other standout apartments, mansions and park structures; they are easy to spot. Admire more world-renowned masterpieces at the Museo Picaso and numerous galleries. Meander the Gothic Quarter where Roman and medieval buildings blend seamlessly. Try to find the remaining 30-foot columns from the Temple of Augustus, tucked between apartment buildings.

Have a quick bite at a kiosk amid the bustle of La Boqueria before a late dinner and a night of clubbing. You’ll need a siesta!

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