Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis of Athens, and the canals of Venice – all spectacularly diverse attractions, all located in Europe!
No matter what kind of traveller you are, whether you prefer backpacking or love indulging in luxury as you travel, it is a well-known fact that Europe is a part of almost everyone’s bucket list. The entire continent seems to have sprung out from fantasy land and can quench the wanderlust of any kind of traveller.
Here are some of the most popular, bizarre, fun, and informational facts about Europe. However, be warned! They may leave you with a hankering urge to dedicate your next vacation to explore the continent with a Europe tour package.
Some Facts about Europe’s Popularity among Tourists
There is no dearth when it comes to the different types of experiences you can indulge in when you visit Europe. The diverse and culturally unique countries in Europe, each have their own charms and varied, scenic landscapes that attract visitors from across the world. Visit fairy tale villages, walk in the footsteps of Julius Caesar in Rome, get a taste of the happening nightlife in Amsterdam, and indulge in the hubbub of city life in Berlin – It isn’t hard to see why almost every traveller plans to visit Europe at least once in their life. Here are some other facts about Europe that you may find interesting:
- The smallest country in the world, Vatican City, and the largest country in the world, Russia, are both a part of Europe.
- Everyone has heard of Swiss bank accounts and has joked about them, but did you know that Switzerland actually has more banks than it has dentists?
- Finland is popularly known as “The Land of a Thousand Lakes”, which is a tad under-exaggerated. Finland has more than 1,88,000 lakes with 98,000 islands.
- The National Anthem of Spain, Marcha Real (Royal March), was composed in 1761 and is one of the only four national anthems in the world that have no official lyrics. The other three national anthems are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino, and Kosovo, which are also located in Europe.
- The highest volcanic peak in Europe, Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is almost always in a state of activity. What is interesting about this volcano in Europe is the fact that its geological characteristics indicate that the volcano has been active ever since the end of the Neogene Period, almost 6 million years ago.
- Some unreachable, some with populations of less than 10 people – Russia is home to more than 13,000 uninhabited villages.
- Europe’s longest town name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch or Llanfair PG for short. An interesting fact about Europe’s Welsh village with the long name is that the name used to be shorter (Lanfairpwllgwyngyll), but in the 1880s, a tailor added more syllables to it as a joke, in a bid to attract more tourists and the town’s name became a 58-letter word, which even includes four “L”s in a row.
In English, the name translates to “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave”. They also have a website, where regular competitions for saying the Welsh name properly are held.
9 Quick Facts about Europe Backpacking Trips
Packing a few necessities and hopping a train going anywhere to see where the winds of fate may take you is a wonderfully romantic notion. Supported by seamless rail connectivity and easy to traverse routes, offering the most diverse landscapes to explore, Europe is the backpacker’s dream destination. Here are 9 tips and interesting facts about Europe backpacking trips:
- The Eurail Pass won’t get you on trains owned by some individual companies. So, read the fine print and avoid the fee-charging trains.
- Train staff not speaking much, or any, English is common (more common in Eastern Europe and small provincial towns). Stay wary of unscheduled stops that will leave you stranded and always carry maps.
- Sapphire lakes, towering mountains, and much more – train travel through Europe comes with some of the best, ever-changing, and diverse landscapes you will ever witness – all through your train windows.
- Depending on the places you’re covering, sometimes, renting a car may be cheaper than a Eurail pass.
- Summers are popular among tourists visiting Europe and accommodation fills up fast. Make bookings in advance if you don’t want to end up sleeping in a park (which is also OK).
- The best way to experience local culture and cuisine is to find restaurants owned by locals.
- Need serenity and peace but it’s the holiday season? Head to lakeside beaches instead of seaside beaches (which tend to get crowded).
- South-West France, Costa Verde and Costa De La Luz in Spain, and Nazaré, Portugal are the best spots for hitting the surf.
- Walking boots are a must when backpacking, even if you don’t plan on hiking!
The Varied Experiences and Destinations of Europe
One of the most interesting facts about Europe is that it is among the most popular continents for travelling, offering varied experiences. Tourists can focus on a single country, or they can explore numerous countries on their vacation. The welcoming climates, diverse geography, cultures, and rich historical facts about Europe invite people from everywhere to visit. Another interesting fact about Europe is that it also has several initiatives in place that encourage tourism. The continent is, without doubt, an amazing destination, and things like the simplified visa requirements, Schengen Visa that allows you entry into 26 countries, and the vast, super-efficient, and extremely comfortable rail network that connects even the smallest villages, make travelling in Europe even easier. If you need more convincing, here are some amazing fun facts about Europe and its destinations to pique your interest:
- If some asked what the most visited destination in Europe is, you may think of the Eiffel Tower, Venice, London, the Colosseum, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, it’s actually Disneyland in Paris.
- It will take you 35 days to see all the work that is displayed at the Louvre, even if you spend no more than 30 seconds on each piece.
- The first place in continental Europe to get electric street lighting was not London or Paris, but a small town in Romania called Timisoara.
- Chocolate and Europe go hand in hand however, it is not Switzerland or Belgium, but more chocolate is bought at the Brussels Airport than anywhere in the world.
- The British royal family may be more popular, but it is the Kingdom of Denmark which is Europe’s oldest monarchy.
- The Czech Republic is home to 932 castles and 1,187 stately homes. Visiting 1 castle a day will take you 2.5 years to get done with this country’s castles.
- Though a continent with a sparse population, Europe has more than 200 languages spoken across its lands. English is the most common language in the continent but only 38% of the European population can speak it.
- An architectural masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, has been under construction ever since 1882 (140 years). Though Gaudi did not get to see his work get completed, Barcelona aims to complete the construction by 2026, which will mark 100 years after Gaudi’s death.
- One of the well-known facts about Europe is that the British Museum has room for displaying only 8,00,000 art pieces, which is only 1% of its entire collection.
- Victor Hugo is the most famous writer and poet of France and has a street named after him in every city of France.
- One of the facts about Europe that will interest you is that there is a fountain in Caldari di Ortona, Italy, which spills red wine instead of water.
- It is a widely known fact in Europe that no matter where you are in Switzerland, you are never more than 10 miles away from a lake.
Fun Facts about Europe’s Culture and Life
Here are some facts about the culture of Europe:
- The continent was named after the Phoenician princess, Europa, who according to Greek mythology, was once kidnapped by Zeus.
- Another fun fact about Europe and chocolate is that more than half of the world’s chocolate is consumed by Europeans.
- A less known fact about Europe is that the first Europeans are believed to have come from Central and West Asia around 38,000 BC.
- It is believed that blonde hair in humans developed in the northern regions of Europe.
- Another the well-known fun fact about Europe is that the continent is responsible for the production of almost 50% of the world’s wine.
- The world’s oldest zoo, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo, dates back to 1752 and is located in Austria.
- The famous Oktoberfest of Germany is actually held in the month of September.
- Italians do not drink cappuccino after 11 A.M. To them, coffee with frothy milk is strictly for breakfast
More Fun and Probably Unknown Facts about Europe
There are several rules, laws, and traditions in Europe that may seem a bit confusing and sometimes even downright bizarre.
- There are more than 3000 types of mosquitoes in the world, but you’ll still be hard-pressed to find one in Iceland!
- A penguin was knighted by Norway. Sir Olav of 2019 is the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard is the third of his name and lives at the Edinburgh Zoo.
- You are not supposed to clink glasses when you are in Hungary. It reminds them of their loss in the 1848 revolution when Austria celebrated the victory by clinking glasses and toasting, and Hungarians have not clinked their glasses ever since.
- Denmark has a list of 7000 baby names that are government approved. Permission must be taken from the government if one wants a unique name. However, Jakobp, Ashleiy, Anus, Monkey, and Pluto are 5 names that are outright banned.
- Sunday is for rest and the Swiss take their Sundays seriously. It is illegal for people to mow their lawn (noisy), wash their car (annoying), or hang out clothes for drying (eyesore) on a Sunday.
- There are 10 villages in Scandinavia with names that are only one letter long.
- Napoleon created a law during his time, making it illegal to name a pig Napoleon in France. No one bothered with the law since then and it’s still illegal to name a pig Napoleon in France.
- In Switzerland, any pet deemed a “social animal” must have at least one companion. They believe it’s cruel to the animal so it is illegal to have only one ‘social pet’.
- An almost forgotten law, France (The City of Love) had made it illegal to kiss on a train platform in 1910 to help keep the crowds moving and keep the trains on schedule.
- There are too many pigeons in Venice, so the city made it illegal to feed them, hoping they would leave. While there hasn’t been much change in the pigeon population numbers, feeding them can attract heavy fines.
Fun, laid-back, adventurous, nature retreat, luxuriant – no matter what kind of vacation you want to plan, Europe is more than perfect for your next trip.