So I know the feeling. You’re planning to book your trip to Europe (or maybe you have already) and you’ve got all the main attractions checked: See the Eiffel tower. Check. Visit the Louvre Museum. Check. Visit Notre Dame. Check. This is all fantastic as you should see them if you have not seen them before. But then you start thinking, “since I’m already there” and you know since you are traveling a LONG way to get there, is there something unique I can do there? What are some good Europe day tour ideas?
So what does “unique” even mean? First of all, it does not have to be complicated. What it should be is fun and interesting to YOU. They can be excursions only insiders of the city can recommend or they can be a slight twist of many of the standard main attraction tours. So let’s look at some variations of the latter.
Let’s use Rome as an example. Visiting the Vatican is always a must-do experience while in Rome. You can book a standard Vatican tour that will probably have you quickly skimming the highlights while trying to hear your tour guide in a group of 30 people.
This works for a lot of people and that is perfectly fine. But if you’re thinking, does it have to be that way? The answer is of course not! There are ways to get more out of your Vatican tour if you desire something a bit more in-depth. There are Vatican Tours that offer longer extended tours that give you access to parts of the Vatican that are normally closed off to the general public.
These day tour groups tend to be smaller, and by opting for this tour you’ve just spiced up your Vatican sightseeing. Now if you want to get in-depth, there are private Vatican tours led by a scholar. If you’re intellectually curious or just want the best of the best kind of guide and attention, this is the day tour for you.
These tour groups are small (generally less than 10 people) and you’re getting completely in-depth knowledge about the history and meaning of the museums and architecture. These tours can also be a bit higher priced, but if have the “go big or go home” approach to travel, it’s a match made in Vatican heaven.
So let’s get a cappuccino and macaroon (yes, macaroon, I will explain soon) and travel to Paris. Lot’s of great things to do here. Like the Rome idea above, you can do private or scholar-led tours to the Louvre and there are some great private walking tours (also led by scholars or historians).
But if you’re into food or desserts (and not just eating) but learning how to make them, there are many fun choices out there. You can do a private cooking class, learning how to make French cuisine or macaroons (I just love these!) with a chef at his residence. Some tours offer a trip to the local outside market to pick the ingredients for the meal you will be making.
These excursions are small and offer just a little more immersion in the culture and a chance to experience something a little different than all the standard main attractions. Anybody can get a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, but how about a picture of you and your teacher chef holding a plate of the French dish you just prepared? Your friends will be jealous.
There is so much more than can be covered about unique days tours ideas, but I wanted to show that even the main attraction sites can be spiced up with a little thinking outside the box if you’re looking to experience the main sites or beyond.