Opportunities for transformative tours in Europe are plentiful. With centuries old architecture, world-class museums and infamous historical battles, Europe is over flowing with transformative travel.
Relive the Berlin Wall experience, appreciate the preserved city of Pompeii or learn the myths behind the ancient sites of Athens.
These are our top nine transformative tours in Europe.
1. Berlin, Germany
Visit all the major historical spots in Germany’s capital city with a small group or private tour. Spending a few hours with an experienced and passionate English-speaking guide is a priceless experience during your time in Berlin.
Start at Brandenburg Gate and encompass a long stretch of the Berlin Wall, still standing 30 years after the wall fell, on this Berlin Small-Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour. Get Your Guide says “make history tangible through encountering palpable historical sources.”
If an interactive experience is more your thing, you can see a Berlin that no long exists at THE WALL.
The artist Yadegar Asisi presents everyday life in the 1980s in Berlin’s Kreuzberg sector. THE WALL asisi Panorama Berlin Tickets are subject to free 24 hour cancellation, just in case your plans should need to change.
2. Pompeii, Italy
Have you ever wondered what damage an active volcano can cause? In Pompeii, see for yourself with a journey back to AD 79. We highly recommend a tour led by an archeologist who can answer all your questions about the famous excavations and preserved mosaics.
You can also beat long waiting times at this UNESCO World Heritage site with skip-the-ticket-line access. You won’t want to miss this ancient Roman city uniquely preserved in time.
Many people visit both Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius’ summit on a handy day trip from Naples or Sorrento. This Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour allows you to see people’s plaster casts and stand on the edge of Mount Vesuvius’ crater, all in one thrilling day.
3. Belfast, Northern Ireland
If you are looking to learn about the recent history of Belfast, we highly recommend taking a black cab tour. A Belfast taxi driver will help you to understand how the city has changed, receive accounts from both sides of the past and visit the murals.
Last minute availability is easy to check and tours are also hassle-free to cancel when you book your Belfast Political Taxi Tour with Get Your Guide. Don’t forget to sign your name on the famous peace wall when you visit!
You may also like our weekend trip to Belfast.
4. Athens, Greece
If you love the idea of transformative tours in Europe, why not book a trip to Greece where you can fill your heart and mind full of ancient mythology. No other city can tell the stories quite like Athens.
Skip the long tourist lines to see this city’s most vivid landmarks, and the fascinating myths behind them, in just four hours. On the Athens Mythology Highlights Tour you’ll visit the majestic Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus and the Ancient Agora, whilst also discovering their connection to the Greek gods and goddesses.
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We love this tour for many practical reasons, like last minute cancellation. It’s mainly a firm favourite with us and others because it affords the opportunity to learn about society in Ancient Greece and how Athens became the centre of the world.
5. Normandy, France
Transformative travel abounds in the historic region of Normandy in France. Some of the world’s best museums can be found inland whilst powerful memorials dot the coastline. The experience is greatly enhanced if you are following a veteran’s war story.
We could recommend endless tours and experiences in Normandy that are well worth your precious holiday time. If we had to choose our favourite it might have to be the interactive Bunker Tour at Juno Beach. Or the half a day we spent at the thought provoking Caen Memorial.
If transformative tours in Europe are your travel thing, make sure Normandy in France is on your bucket list. If last minute availability and easy cancellation would help make your trip hassle free, choose Normandy Tours and museum tickets from Get Your Guide.
You may also like How to Plan a Normandy Road Trip for Two.
6. The Highlands, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands are home to many wonderful travel experiences. A visit is not complete without a ride along the Jacobite Steam Train. Voted one of the world’s most scenic railways, it’s a glorious attraction that’s worth pairing with a full day Scottish Highlands tour.
If you want to understand better the historical battle that effectively wiped out the traditional highlander way of life here, be sure to incorporate the award-winning visitor experience at Culloden Battlefield. Get Your Guide offer this Culloden Battlefield Visitor Center Ticket with Audio Guide that’s great for all travellers.
Here, you’ll listen to first-hand accounts leading up to the 16th of April 1746 when the course of British history changed forever, walk the front lines where the Jacobites made their last stand and see inside the newly restored Leanach Cottage, the only building that survived the infamous battle.
7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam might not be the first European city that comes to mind when you think about WWII history which makes it an ideal destination for transformative travel experiences combined with more laid back, recreational experiences.
In fact, Amsterdam is one of our favourite spots for transformative tours in Europe. We love the variety of things to do available here and always enjoy a visit to this beautiful canal-side city.
Don’t miss the Amsterdam Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour. Learn about Anne Frank’s life growing up, the history of the Jewish Quarter and hear about the Dutch Resistance during this transformative time.
You may also like these other blogs categorised under School of the World.
8. Stonehenge, England
No list of transformative tours in Europe could be complete without this ridiculously old slice of history found on the open plains of Wiltshire. Stonehenge in England is a pre historic monument from around 2500 B.C!
We love walking tours and think Stonehenge is best enjoyed on a self guided stroll, giving you time to really take in what you are seeing. More than just a stack of stones, you’ll be amazed to learn about the weight of each one and the intrinsic manor in which they are laid out.
When we visited, we purchased these entrance tickets with audio guides included. When you book your Stonehenge tickets with Get Your Guide, you can also easily cancel up to 24 hours in advance for peace of mind and greater flexibility.
You may also like these 20 Walking Tours in England.
9. Auschwitz, Poland
Auschwitz survivors and those who work closely with the Auschwitz museum in Poland teach visitors that “the willingness to stay silent is the most dangerous thing of all.” If you already know that visiting Auschwitz will be a transformative travel experience that you must make time to do, set a date and get it booked.
Whether you need to find an Auschwitz tour including transportation from Krakow or are looking to book entrance tickets to Auschwitz without a tour guide, any visit is an incredibly moving and harrowing experience that is not to be rushed.
A guide comes highly recommended and you’ll want to dedicate one whole day for the experience. This is the tour we took: Auschwitz-Birkenhau Guided Tour.
You can read more about our day at Auschwitz in our detailed guide called How to Book an Auschwitz Tour. We incorporated Auschwitz into a weekend city break in Krakow and think this is an excellent way to balance this tragic yet important place with other local travel experiences.
When planning your trip to Europe, you could encompass one or all of these transformative experiences into your holiday. If you have the opportunity to enjoy weekends in Europe as a local traveller, how many of these locations have you visited far?
The school of the world has much to offer us and here at Transform Me Travel, we’re BIG believers in the saying ‘not all classrooms have four walls.’
Perhaps you’ll learn a little on one of these tours; perhaps you’ll learn a lot. Being open to how we view the world and our shared history, and learning from past mistakes, we think, secures a better future for us all.