Jason, a loyal MR reader, asks as a request:
I'm a graduating senior who is planning on taking the much cliched trip
to Europe after graduation. I'm also an economics major and, naturally,
want to maximize my time spent there. I have never been to Europe. Do
you recommend travelling around Europe and seeing a little bit of
everything, or is it perhaps better to focus on one particular area? If
you'd recommend focusing on one area, which would it be?
I am of the mind that when it comes to travel you won't know in advance where you will like — especially on a first trip — so diversify. Not long ago I offered up five spots to visit in the United States. My five spots for a first European trip would be:
1. Paris. Duh.
2. Rome, the major city of antiquity plus still a major national capital.
3. Süsten Pass in Switzerland, or Zermatt on a clear day. Rural Europe, and scenery, with a Germanic slant. I love Germany but am hard pressed to pick out a single locale to make this list.
4. Prague, with architecture from all major periods of European history since medieval times. Plus you get a dash of Eastern Europe and corruption, as well as some Germanic and Jewish history.
Don't tell Natasha I said this, but Russia to me is really a part of Asia. England belongs to the northern orbit, which maybe someday gets a post of its own.