Visiting Europe is only complete with experiencing some unique cultural activities. From exploring ancient ruins to taking part in traditional festivities. Europe has something for everyone.

Here are some of the best ways to experience culture in Europe:

Visit an Open-Air Museum

There is nothing like visiting an open-air European museum to glimpse history and culture. From the charming streets of Amsterdam to the regal beauty of Vienna, open-air museums in Europe provide a unique experience that brings history to life.

The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre, Paris | @lil.whimsy

Open-air museums in Europe include:

  • The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway;
  • The Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria;
  • The Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Ljubljana, Slovenia;
  • The Musée de la Machine Agricole et Rurale in France;
  • The National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Visitors can expect to find various exhibits and activities at each open-air museum. In the Vigeland Sculpture Park, for example, guests can explore over 200 sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland in homage to Norway’s history and culture. The Hofburg Imperial Palace offers insight into the Habsburg dynasty and is home to spectacular works of art. The Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Ljubljana features exhibits showcasing Slovenian customs, while the Musée de la Machine Agricole et Rurale provides insight into France’s history of agricultural innovation. Finally, the National Museum in Stockholm offers a rich selection of artwork from Europe and beyond.

Attend a Music Festival

Europe is renowned for its world-class music festivals. From rock fests such as Rock Werchter in Belgium to electronic gatherings like Primavera Sound in Spain, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music. European music festivals offer a unique way to connect with locals and experience the culture.

Popular music festivals in Europe include:

  • Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop in Belgium
  • The Great Escape, Glastonbury
  • Tomorrowland, Belgium
  • Wireless Festival in the United Kingdom
  • Primavera Sound in Spain
  • Roskilde Festival in Denmark
  • and Sziget Festival in Hungary

At each of these festivals, visitors can expect to experience an eclectic mix of music from both local and international artists. From EDM and house to indie rock and pop, there are plenty of genres to explore. Additionally, many music festivals feature art installations, food stalls, and other activities that make the experience unique and memorable.

Tomorrowland Belgium
Tomorrowland – one of Europe’s most famous music festivals

Take a Food Tour

Every European visit is complete with sampling some of the delicious local cuisines. Taking a food tour is an excellent way to explore the culinary landscape of a particular region or city. From traditional dishes to modern fusion, exploring local flavours can be a great cultural experience.

Popular food tours in Europe include:

  • Taste of London
  • Tapas Tour Barcelona
  • Food Tours Milan
Spanish Tapas in Madrid - the best ways to experience culture in Europe
Spanish Tapas in Madrid | @strollingthroughthesuburbs

On each of these tours, guests can expect to explore the local restaurants and simultaneously learn about the history and culture behind the food. For example, the Taste of London tour takes guests to some of the city’s best restaurants while introducing them to traditional British dishes. The Tapas Tour Barcelona offers an intimate look at Catalan cuisine, while Food Tours Milan provides a gastronomic journey through northern Italian cuisine.

Explore Ancient Ruins

From the ancient Colosseum in Rome, Italy, to the world-famous Stonehenge in England, Europe is scattered with awe-inspiring ruins. Visiting these sites is a great way to gain insight into European history and culture.

Popular sites for exploring ancient ruins in Europe include

  • The Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Pantheon in Rome
  • The Acropolis of Athens
  • Stonehenge in England
  • The Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland
The Northern Lights over Stone Henge in the United Kingdom
The Northern Lights over Stone Henge in the United Kingdom | @stonehenge_dronescapes

On these sites, visitors can expect to find a wealth of information about the history and culture of Europe. For example, exploring the Colosseum allows guests to learn more about the Roman Empire, while Stonehenge offers insight into Neolithic Britain. The Acropolis provides an opportunity to study Ancient Greek civilization, while the Wieliczka Salt Mines offer a look into medieval Polish life. By visiting these sites, visitors can gain an understanding of Europe’s past and its continuing influence on the present day.

Visit Local Markets

Visiting local markets is one of the best ways to experience a city’s culture. Visit Europe’s vibrant markets, from the flower markets of Amsterdam to the Christmas markets of Vienna and Cologne. Sample local specialties, pick up souvenirs or soak up the atmosphere. Markets in Europe offer a unique mix of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local delicacies that delight the senses.

Famous markets in Europe include:

  • La Boqueria in Barcelona
  • Borough Market in London
  • Rialto Market in Venice

At these markets, guests can expect various products, from fresh produce to handmade crafts and souvenirs. Additionally, many of the markets feature food stalls offering delicious dishes unique to the region. For example, visitors to La Boqueria can sample the local delicacy pan con tomate, while visitors to London’s Borough Market can enjoy a variety of British cheeses. The Christmas markets in Germany feature traditional dishes such as mulled wine and bratwurst, while Rialto Market offers delicious seafood dishes.

Borough Market, London - the best ways to experience culture in Europe
Borough Market, London | @calledesign
Borough Market, London
Borough Market, London | @calledesign

Enjoy a Beer Tour

The beer lover’s paradise, Europe is home to hundreds of types of beers, ranging from Germany’s Oktoberfest to Belgium’s Trappist ales. A beer tour can be a great way to sample some of these drinks and learn more about Europe’s brewing traditions. On a beer tour, guests will visit local breweries and sample some of Europe’s best beers.

Popular beer tours in Europe include:

  • Munich Beer Tour
  • Amsterdam Craft Beer Tour
  • Belgian Trappist Ale Trail
  • Berlin Beer Bike Tour
Lowenbrau, Munich
Lowenbrau, Munich | @craftybarman

At each of these tours, guests can expect to visit various local breweries and learn about the brewing process. The Munich Beer Tour takes guests through the city’s most famous beer halls, while the Amsterdam Craft Beer Tour provides an opportunity to sample some local craft beers. Meanwhile, the Belgian Trappist Ale Trail offers a look into some of the country’s best Trappist ales, and the Berlin Beer Bike Tour allows guests to explore the city’s beer culture in an exciting new way. By taking part in a beer tour, visitors can gain an insight into the brewing traditions of Europe and sample some of its finest beers.

Attend a Folk Festival

Attending a folk festival is an excellent way to immerse oneself in local culture and celebrate the traditions of Europe. From traditional dances to regional delicacies, folk festivals provide visitors with a unique look into the culture of Europe.

Popular folk festivals in Europe include:

  • Oktoberfest in Munich
  • Boom Festival in Portugal
  • La Tomatina in Spain
  • The Edinburgh International Festival

At each of these festivals, visitors can expect to find a variety of activities, from traditional folk dances to local delicacies. At Oktoberfest, guests can sample some of Germany’s best beers and enjoy live music. At the same time, at Boom Festival, visitors can participate in some of the world’s best electronic music performances. La Tomatina offers an exciting look into Spain’s culture and cuisine with its annual tomato-throwing festival, while the Edinburgh International Festival provides a unique blend of theater, music, and art.

Take a Culinary Tour

Europe is not only home to some of the world’s most historical sites, but it also boasts amazing food from a variety of cultures. From Italy’s pizza to France’s croissants, a culinary tour can be an excellent way to sample some of Europe’s finest dishes.

Popular culinary tours in Europe include:

  • Italian Food Tour
  • Greek Gastronomy Tour
  • French Cooking Class
  • Spanish Tapas Tour

On these tours, guests can visit some of the most famous restaurants and sample some of Europe’s best dishes. The Italian Food Tour takes visitors through Rome, where they can enjoy pizza and pasta, while the Greek Gastronomy Tour offers a look into some of Athens’s best restaurants. The French Cooking Class provides an opportunity to learn how to make classic dishes such as coq au vin, while the Spanish Tapas Tour takes guests through Barcelona to sample traditional tapas.

A traditional Italian breakfast - the best ways to experience culture in Europe
A traditional Italian breakfast | @aspirefoodie

Go Tramping in Nature

Few places on Earth are as gorgeous as Europe’s natural landscapes, from Scotland’s highlands to Norway’s fjords. Tramping, or hiking, through these areas can be an excellent way to explore Europe’s beauty.

Popular tramping destinations in Europe include:

  • Scottish Highlands
  • Czech Republic’s Moravian Karst
  • Norwegian Fjords
  • Italian Dolomites
Incredible scenery in the Norwegian Fjords - the best ways to experience culture in Europe
Incredible scenery in the Norwegian Fjords | @greatrailjourneys

At each of these destinations, visitors can expect to find a variety of scenic trails and outdoor activities. Although small, the Scottish Highlands packs a lot of punch when it comes to hiking destinations – its picturesque hills and lochs are some of the best in Europe. Similarly, the Czech Republic’s Moravian Karst lets visitors explore an entirely different side of Europe through spelunking massive caves. Meanwhile, Norway’s fjords offer breathtaking views of its majestic mountains, and the Italian Dolomites allow you to admire some of the region’s most stunning mountain ranges.

Tour a Castle

Europe is also home to some of the world’s most impressive castles, from Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle to Poland’s Wawel Castle. A tour of these majestic structures can be an excellent way to learn about Europe’s history and culture.

Popular castle tours in Europe include:

  • Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
  • Windsor Castle in England
  • Buda Castle in Hungary
  • Citadelle of Namur in Belgium

At each of these castles, visitors can expect to find a variety of attractions, from museums and gardens to guided tours. At Neuschwanstein Castle, guests can explore the castle’s lavish chambers and enjoy the stunning views of the German countryside, while Windsor Castle offers a look into England’s royal history. Buda Castle provides an opportunity to explore some of Hungary’s most beautiful architecture, while the Citadelle of Namur offers guests an impressive view of Belgium’s Meuse Valley.

Buda Castle, Budapest
Buda Castle, Budapest | @krenn_imre

Explore Ancient Cities

Feel as though you’re stepping into a time machine by visiting some of Europe’s oldest cities. From Greece’s Athens to Italy’s Rome, these cities are filled with fascinating monuments and architecture that offer an unparalleled look into Europe’s past.

Popular ancient city tours in Europe include:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Rome, Italy
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Paris, France
Beautiful skies over Athens - the best ways to experience culture in Europe
Beautiful skies over Athens | @thanos_s_phtgrph

At each city, guests can expect to find ancient sites and attractions. Athens offers an opportunity to explore the ruins of the Acropolis and visit some of Greece’s most iconic monuments. At the same time, Rome provides a chance to wander through the Colosseum and explore the city’s sprawling streets. If you’re looking to explore some breathtaking historic architecture, Prague is the perfect city for you. Charles Bridge is an absolute must-see. Alternatively, Paris boasts iconic landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.

Take a Road Trip

One of the great ways to explore Europe is by taking a road trip. This way, you can really experience all that the continent has to offer – from its stunning natural beauty to its rich history and culture. From stunning mountain passes to winding coastal roads, driving through Europe allows visitors to explore its unique landscapes and cities at their own pace.

Popular road trips in Europe include:

  • Alps to Adriatic Coast
  • Granada to Barcelona
  • Amsterdam to Berlin
  • Athens to Istanbul

At each of these destinations, visitors can expect to find a variety of attractions and activities. The Alps-to-Adriatic route takes travelers through some of Europe’s most stunning mountain passes, while the Granada-to-Barcelona route looks into Spain’s picturesque coastline. Meanwhile, the Amsterdam-to-Berlin route takes guests through Germany’s historic cities and lush forests, and the Athens-to-Istanbul route provides an opportunity to explore some of the region’s most diverse cultures.

The ultimate camper van
The ultimate camper van | @littlebluevanlife

Live Like a Local

Living like a local is one of the best ways to experience Europe’s culture truly. Spend time in small villages, shop for local produce, and try picking up some regional languages. This will give you an insight into how people live daily in Europe.

Popular destinations for living like a local in Europe include:

  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Normandy, France
  • Galicia, Spain
  • Transylvania, Romania

At each of these locations, visitors can expect to find a variety of attractions and activities. Tuscany offers the chance to sample some of Italy’s finest cuisine, while Normandy provides an opportunity to explore the region’s beautiful countryside. Meanwhile, Galicia offers stunning views of Spain’s Atlantic Coastline, and Transylvania looks into Romania’s unique culture and history.


Europe is an incredible destination filled with stunning scenery, fascinating history, and unique cultures. Whether you’re looking to explore its impressive castles and ancient cities or take a road trip through the region, there’s something for everyone in Europe. Or if you prefer to experience the culture first-hand by living like a local, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you want a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, Europe has it all!