I Lived in Europe for 5 Years — These Are the Places I Tell All My Friends to Visit
This story originally appeared on Thisisinsider.com.
I lived in Zurich, Switzerland, for five years growing up, and my family took that time as an opportunity to travel as much as possible.
These travels exposed me to new cultures, and left impressions and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
From the beaches of southern Portugal to the canals of Amsterdam, here are the spots I consider must-sees.
Church of Peace in Świdnica, Poland
The Church of Peace in Świdnica, Poland, is one of three 17th-century wooden Evangelical churches built in Southwestern Poland. The magnificent interior is stunning.
The medieval town of Carcassone in France — complete with a castle and Gothic Cathedral — is still fortified, meaning it's completely surrounded by two lines of walls.
Astronomical Clock in Prague, Czech Republic
Located in the old town square in Prague, this 600-year-old astronomical clock features a procession of apostles, a skeleton ringing a bell, and a golden rooster among other characters in a performance that occurs every hour on the hour.
If you're looking for traditional Switzerland — rolling hills, painted chalets, cow bells, and goats — Appenzell is your answer. Natives of the town still sometimes wear traditional dress and follow customs that are centuries old.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Located in the Czech Republic on the banks of the Vltava River, Český Krumlov dates back to the 13th century, and its architecture has remained intact since.
Vienna's Demel will give you a glimpse into the city's café society. Enjoy your treat in the back seating area where you can watch the bakers hard at work.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
Located at the site of the 1881 assassination attempt on Alexander II, the colorful Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia, boasts an interior covered in mosaics.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Although it's not the hidden gem it used to be, Cinque Terre, Italy, with its narrow winding roads, pastel homes, and amazing views of the Italian Riviera, is still well worth a trip.