The Best Places to Visit in Europe, by Someone Who Lived There for 5 Years

Updated 08/15/17
Talisa Sutton for Badlands

No matter how many times you visit Europe, it's difficult to ever feel like you know the region well. After all, the continent is comprised of 50 countries—it can take years to explore a few, let alone all of them. If you're planning a European vacation but aren't quite sure where to go, former Swiss resident Sarah Schmalbruch has some suggestions. The Insider writer lived in Zürich for five years and spent much of that time traveling throughout the region. "These travels exposed me to new cultures and left impressions and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life," she writes in the article.

When friends ask her where they should go first, these are the top recommendations on her list.

1. Morcote, Switzerland. "Morcote is located on the shores of Lake Lugano, in the Italian part of Switzerland. It has the best of both worlds: Italian charm and Swiss cleanliness," she says.

2. Amsterdam. Schmalbruch says this popular city lives up to the hype.

3. Świdnica, Poland. "The Church of Peace in Świdnica, Poland, is one of three 17th-century wooden Evangelical churches built in Southwestern Poland. The interior is stunning."

4. Carcassonne, France. This medieval town looks like a scene from Game of Thrones.

5. Prague. Head to the old town square to find a 600-year-old astronomical clock, and then climb the tower for stunning views of the city.

Have you been to Europe? Tell us which destinations you recommend to friends.

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