The most visited city on Earth, Paris is a city that lives up to the hype. Home to some of the world’s most famous attractions, the City of Light is more than just historic monuments and high fashion, it's a place that fully engages the senses with romance, beauty and nostalgia.
Divided by the river Seine and split into 20 arrondissements, Paris's architectural beauty is its most obvious appeal - Haussmann-era urban planning implemented building restrictions that have frozen the landscape of the inner city firmly in the late 19th century. Combine Haussman's renovation of Paris with the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower and already Paris is almost overwhelmingly endowed with architectural marvels.
Rome is one of the world's greatest destinations. Fully deserving of its moniker as the Eternal City, people have been enchanted by Rome for millennia. Former seat of the Roman Empire, Rome may not be the political force it once was, but as a tourist destination and an all-round cultural capital it's tough to outclass and millions of travelers visit every year to enjoy its food, arts and an overwhelming sense of history.
Divided into several zones, Rome's most famous landmarks are either in the city center or within walking distance of it. The Colosseum, the 8th-century BC Palatine ruins and the Roman Forum are all located close to Colosseo metro station, a short walk from the shopping of Via del Corso. In the city center, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Stairs are all within a ten-minute stroll of each other; the Piazza Navona, nestled by the Tiber, is also close - just south of Vatican City.
More than 20 years since the wall fell, Berlin has regained its position as one of the world's most influential cities. In rebuilding from the rubble of WWII and the subsequent tensions of the Cold War, this city has gone on to become one of the world's most modern metropolises. Yet, evident still in the sleek new Berlin's glass-and-steel towers, tourists will stumble upon poignant mementos of the past - The Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie. Berlin is also rife with atmospheric corners where Berlin hotels occupy restored heritage buildings.
Kurfurstendamm (Ku'Damm for short) was at the center of West Germany's financial success. Even today this street hosts the best shopping in Berlin.
London is one of the world's most exciting capitals. The starting point for many travelers visiting Europe, its cosmopolitan atmosphere, beautiful historic architecture and vibrant arts scene make it a great destination. London is served by five airports: Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted and the newest, City Airport. Hotels near Gatwick Airport are the most convenient for quick stopovers and considerably cheaper than hotels in central London. For travelers arriving via train, hotels in Bayswater and Paddington are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive.
Getting around central London is easy via the tube - a vast connection of subway lines that service the inner city. Nevertheless, when the weather is dry, the walk between the most famous sites, like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London is a pleasant one.
Capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is Spain's hippest and most cosmopolitan city. It boasts beautiful architecture, world-class museums and art galleries and some of the most fashionable shopping in Europe. Tourists arrive via Barcelona Airport, a dual-terminal facility just a few miles outside the city center. Business travelers and passers-through can stay in hotels near Barcelona Airport, but tourists will want to be as close to the buzz of the city center as possible.
There are many hotels in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona's historic quarter. The architecture in these neighborhoods went up between the 13th and 15th centuries, spilling over the old Roman walls and laying the foundations for what has become the most complete Gothic quarter in the world.