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Five must-see cities on a trans-Europe trip

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    The 124-year-old tower is normally open 365 days a year, but occasionally closes because of suicide threats, bomb threats or strikes.

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    Zoologischer Garten [Zoological Garden] (Wolfgang Scholvien/visitBerlin)

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    Gardens the Schönbrunn Palace (WienTourismus/MAXUM)

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    Feb. 24, 2012: Petr Skala performs his weekly maintenance of the famous Astronomical clock at the Old Town Square. (AP)

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Nowhere in the world is as densely populated with rich and distinct cultures as the European continent. In all of Europe, you'll find countless cities brimming with culture and charm, each with its own unique history and identity.

Travelers have been traversing the continent for generations, looking to broaden their horizons and immerse themselves in the quintessentially European blend of old and new. Today, explorers continue this tradition by crossing the continent, one city at a time, using the impressive network of trains and airplanes. While the possibilities for adventure are endless, here's just one route you might take on a trans-Europe trip.

Paris, France

There's no greater introduction to the European continent than one of its most famous and beguiling cities. Paris is effortlessly cool, sophisticated and blessed with a unique and vivacious personality. Many tourists spend a brief trip to Paris rushing to take in all the renowned sights like the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and the Louvre. But perhaps the best way to experience this magical city is by simply strolling through its meandering alleys and streets. Ogle at luxury fashion boutiques, savor the intoxicating aromas from a local boulangerie, and stop for a three-hour dinner at an authentic French restaurant.

Venice, Italy

You don't have to spend long in Venice to realize what a special pace it is. The distinctive canals that divide the city seem oddly familiar, having been immortalized in countless film and television productions. While there, visit the Palace of the Doge to behold its terrifically opulent living quarters, and marvel at frescos in rooms where the old Venetian government once ruled. 

Sure it can be very touristy at times, but there's no denying that a boat ride through the picturesque canals of Venice has a certain unique and timeless appeal.

Vienna, Austria

History lovers will delight in Austria's capital city, which was once the epicenter of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Reminders of the nation's former glories are strewn throughout the city, in places like St Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace, where the Habsburgs Monarchy resided for over 600 years. Music lovers should delve into Vienna's unmatched musical pedigree at the Haus Der Musik, or better still, catch a performance at the magnificent Vienna State Opera.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is an impossibly beautiful place. The cobbled streets, history-laden castles and scenic squares of the “City of a Thousand Spires” will dazzle even the most road-weary travelers. Prague's complex and checkered history of war and revolution has endowed it with an endearing personality that can be explored in the many excellent museums around the city. For a glimpse at some true architectural wonders, head along the picturesque cobbled streets of the Old City.

Berlin, Germany
Making Berlin your final stop will certainly allow you to go out with a bang. Aside from being one of the continent's oldest and most interesting metropolises, Berlin also ranks among the most exciting cities in the world. Thanks to the town's remarkably young population, Berlin is teeming with trendy bars restaurants and cafes. Nightclubs are remarkably affordable and cater for all tastes just remember that Berliners party hard, so don't expect to get home before dawn.