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Where to Spend Your Gap Year in Europe: Top 5 Countries to Work Abroad

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Where to Spend Your Gap Year in Europe: Top 5 Countries to Work Abroad

Are you dreaming of taking a gap year in Europe but not sure where to start? With so many incredible destinations to choose from, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your options. Fortunately, we're here to help you plan the adventure of a lifetime! 

1. Spain: Experience the Magic of Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands


If you're thinking about spending your gap year in Spain, you've got some awesome choices! Barcelona is for exploring breathtaking Gaudi architecture and hanging out at the beach. You can visit the famous Sagrada Familia church and wander around the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter. Plus, there's always something fun happening in the city! Don't forget to try some delicious tapas in el Born and catch a flamenco show for a taste of Spanish culture at its best.

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But if you're into a more relaxed vibe, Valencia might be more your style. It's got a mix of old and new, with futuristic buildings and historic landmarks. You can try delicious paella, bike around the city's parks, or just chill by the beach - the weather is sunny all year round! Make sure to visit the stunning City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic complex that looks like it's from another planet!


And then there's Malaga, a coastal city with a laid-back vibe and a rich history. You can visit the Picasso Museum, stroll along the palm-lined promenade, or soak up the sun on the sandy beaches. Don't miss the chance to explore the Moorish Alcazaba fortress and the viewpoint on it and the city and enjoy some fresh seafood at the local restaurants.

Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera)

Or maybe you're craving some island adventures? The Balearic Islands are calling your name! Ibiza is famous for its wild parties, Formentera has some of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see, and Palma de Mallorca is perfect for exploring historic streets and soaking up the sunshine. No matter what you're into, Spain has something for everyone! Be sure to take a boat trip to explore the hidden coves and crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands, and don't forget to sample the local specialities like ensaimadas and sobrasada.

2. Portugal: Discover the Charm of Lisbon and Porto


Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is known for its colourful neighbourhoods, historic landmarks, and vibrant street life. Wander through the winding streets of Alfama, where you'll find charming cafes, fado music bars, and stunning views of the city.

Be sure to visit the iconic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, and take a ride on the historic Tram 28 for a scenic tour of the city.

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Porto, a city in northern Portugal by the Douro River, has a special mix of old-time charm and modern energy. Walk around the Ribeira area, where colourful buildings line the river, and there are lots of cosy cafes. You gotta see the big Dom Luís I Bridge - it's got the best views of the old city. Don't forget to check out the Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for some tasting fun. And if you're into art, the Serralves Museum is a cool spot to see some modern stuff. Porto's got loads of history, good food, and cool things to do around every corner.

3. Greece: Immerse Yourself in the Ancient History of Athens and Thessaloniki


Greece is a country steeped in history and mythology, making it the perfect destination for history buffs and adventure seekers alike. Start your journey in Athens, where you can explore ancient landmarks such as the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Temple of Olympian Zeus.


After soaking up the history of Athens, head north to Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, known for its lively waterfront promenade, vibrant nightlife, and Byzantine-era monuments. Be sure to visit the White Tower, Rotunda, and Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki for a deeper understanding of the city's rich history.

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4. Italy: Experience the Magic of Milan

Milan, known as Italy's fashion and design hub, is a busy city with lots to see and do. It's famous for its cool buildings, fancy shops, and lively culture. When you're there, take a walk around the old part of town. You'll find the Duomo di Milano, a huge cathedral with fancy spires that look really cool. Nearby, there's the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a fancy shopping mall with glass ceilings where you can shop, eat, and people-watch. And don't miss the Teatro alla Scala, a fancy opera house where you can see amazing performances. Milan is a city full of fun and interesting things to explore, making it a must-visit spot on your European adventure!

5. Turkey: Explore the Beauty of Antalya and Istanbul


Turkey is a country where different cultures mix up, giving you a taste of both East and West. Antalya, one of its cities by the sea, is super pretty with its awesome beaches, old architecture to see, and lively markets where you can buy all sorts of cool things. You have to check out the ancient city of Perge - it's like stepping back in time! And if you're into hiking, the Koprulu Canyon has some amazing views you won't want to miss. Or how about taking a boat tour to see the Duden Waterfalls? Sounds pretty epic, right?


You can also spend your gap year adventure in Istanbul, a city that's packed with history and energy. You can dive into its past at places like the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, which

are seriously impressive. And don't forget about the Blue Mosque - it's so beautiful inside! Plus, wandering around the markets in Istanbul is a whole adventure on its own. And if you want to see the city from a different angle, hop on a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. You'll get to see the skyline and some amazing views that'll leave you speechless!

No matter which destinations you choose for your gap year adventure in Europe, you're sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Why You Should Do a Gap Year

Beyond the sightseeing and adventures, a gap year in Europe offers something even more valuable: the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself in new ways. Whether you're navigating language barriers, trying new foods, or figuring out unfamiliar transportation systems, every experience will help you grow and learn more about yourself.

And let's not forget about the people you'll meet along the way – fellow travellers from around the world who share your sense of adventure and curiosity. Whether you're sharing travel tips over a pint of beer in a Lisbon tavern or telling stories around a campfire in the Greek islands, these connections will enrich your journey in ways you never imagined.

So pack your bags, say "yes" to adventure, and get ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Europe is waiting for you – are you ready for it?

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