5 places you need to visit in Europe

*Reading articles in English will help you improve your English reading and writing skills. These articles by Absolute English will also help you learn English vocabulary and phrases to help you improve your fluency.
*After reading this article, see the reading comprehension exercises with answers.

English Vocabulary:22 words
English Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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Discovering ancient monuments, eating sensational food and experiencing new adventures make the perfect holiday. Thankfully, Europe has something for everyone, but narrowing down the top places in Europe to visit is a difficult task especially with so many unique and interesting cities to discover.

London and Paris are indeed wonderful cities to explore.  However, there are many other beautiful and interesting places worth a visit.

Check out these cities when you decide to do a little exploring!

Number 5: Verdun

Verdun in France is probably most famous for the battle fought there during World War I. During this time, much of the town was destroyed. It has since been rebuilt but there are still surrounding areas left in ruins as a reminder of the past. Battle-scarred hills and war memorials can be seen, as well as an 11th century cathedral, which has been restored. A must-visit place for history buffs and anyone interested in World War I history.

Number 4:  Bruges

(Source: visitbriges.be)

Bruges is packed with people exploring its narrow lanes and ancient buildings, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out. Stepping into this city is like stepping back in time. The streets are cobblestoned in much of the city. There are lots of old buildings to see and traditional food to taste. You’ll feel part of the medieval world.

Number 3: Bulgaria

(Source: http://www.interrail.eu/)

Bulgaria is an entire country that had, until recently, been largely overlooked by tourists. An ancient nation, it holds important information about people and civilizations past. Tombs and monuments, temples and jewels, all exist from the time of ancient Thrace. This is a country that has such a rich past and beautiful modern culture that anyone would enjoy.

Number 2: Valencia

(Source: http://www.tourist-destinations.net)

If you’re interested in delicious food and stunning parks, Valencia is the place for you. This city is large – Spain’s third largest – but it is not as busy as some other places in the country. Valencia is renowned for its futuristic modern architecture and charming traditional neighbourhoods.

Number 1: Kvarner Islands, Croatia

(Source: http://unforgettablecroatia.co.uk/)

Croatia used to be a secret of a few travellers. Now, however, it is a popular tourist spot but there are still places to check out that are less well known. The Kvarner Gulf, with its unique islands, features all the aspects of Croatian culture that attract visitors. There are mountains, quiet fishing villages, warm waters to swim in and the flora on these islands is large, lush and tropical. Croatia is definitely worth a visit.

Travel broadens the mind, so grab your bags and go!!!!

Language Focus

English Vocabulary and Expressions

1. Sensational – (adjective) amazing, incredible

  • She looked sensational in her new dress

2. narrowing down the top places in Europe – making the list of places to visit smaller / choosing a few of the best places to visit from the big list of possibilities.
*To narrow down sth – (Phrasal verb) to make a number or list of things smaller, by removing the things that are least important, necessary, or suitable

  • When I wanted to buy a car. I liked 6 cars I saw and drove. I have narrowed the list down to my favourite two cars but it is difficult to choose which one I will buy.

3. task – a piece of work, a small single job not lasting a long time, a responsibility (in work)

  • In my job I have the task of hiring new staff.

4. Check out these cities – have a look at these cities / try and visit these cities
*to check out sth – to have a look at sth / to try sth new / to visit sw new

  • My friend is checking out the price of flights to France for next month.

5. in ruins – in a state of destruction, destroyed

  • The city was in ruins after the earthquake.
  • The house was in ruins after the birthday party. (non-literal – means ‘a mess’)

6. Battle-scarred hills – this means that the hills still have physical signs or “scars” of the battle that happened during the war.
*Battle – a fight between two armies in a war.
*Scarred – to have a mark of a “scar” on your body after a cut, damage or injury.

  • The prisoners back was scarred from the torture he received in prison.

7memorials – a statue or structure built to remind of person or event

  • There is memorial in New York for the people who died in the September 11th attacks.

8. has been restored – has been fixed, rebuilt, repaired, renovated to be as it was originally
*To restore sth – to return sth old to its original condition

  • The church in my town is being restored at the moment.

9. history buffs – people who are know a lot about History
*A buff – (noun)  someone who knows a lot about a particular subject. (usually used with ‘History buff’ and ‘movie buff’)

  • My friend is a movie buff. He has seen every movie that exists!

10. Packed – (adjective) full

  • The bar was packed after the match.

11. narrow lanes – small streets (in width)
*Narrow – (adjective) small in width
*Lane – (noun) small street or path

  • The streets in the old city are too narrow to drive through.
  • John lives in the house at the end of that lane.

12. Cobblestoned – adjective used to describe a street that is made with natural rounded stones.

13. medieval world – from the period of time called the ‘middle ages’ when a lot of castles were built.

14. been largely overlooked by tourists – tourists didn’t considered Bulgaria as a (good) place to visit
*To overlook sth – to fail to notice or consider sth or sb

  • The accountant said that she had overlooked some of the expenses when she did the accounts.

15. Tombs and monuments, temples and jewels……
*Tombs – place underground built of rock where sb is buried, usually someone important
*Temples – a building where people go to worship their god
*Jewels – precious stones and jewelry that have a high value.

16. ancient Thrace – geographic and historical region of Greece and Bulgaria

17. stunning parks – (adjective) beautiful, visually amazing

  • She looked stunning in her wedding dress.

18. Valencia is renowned for – Valencia is known or famous for
*to be renowned (for something) – to be known for something, to have a good reputation for something.

  • People from Ireland are renowned for being very welcoming to foreigners.

19. charming traditional neighbourhoods – delightful or attractive traditional neighbourhoods
*Charming (adjective) – delightful, attractive

  • Charming men always get what they want. (If somebody is charming they are able to make people like them or become attracted to them)

20. Flora –  plant life occurring in a particular region

21. Travel broadens the mind – this means travel helps you to understand the world and become more accepting of other people, cultures and their beliefs.

  • Learning another language broadens the mind.

21. Grab your bags – take your bags in your hands quickly and with force.
To grab – (verb) to take something in your hand suddenly and roughly.

  • The thief tried to grab the woman’s handbag.

Practice Exercises in English

Comprehension Questions
Find the answers to these questions in the article..

  1. What is Verdun most renowned for?
  2. Why do people like to visit Bruges?
  3. What still exists from the time of ancient Thrace in Bulgaria?
  4. What is Valencia famous for?
  5. Why is the Kvarner Gulf worth a visit?

Comprehension Questions: True or False ?
Say whether the following statements are true or false. If they are false, say why.

  1. Not many tourists visited Bulgaria in the past.
  2. Valencia has narrow streets made of cobblestone.
  3. The city Verdun has been rebuilt or restored since WW1.
  4. The Kvarner Islands are a popular tourist spot.
  5. Valencia is a small town in Spain.
  6. Bruges is a very old city with ancient architecture.

Complete the sentences: EXERCISES
Complete these sentences with a highlighted word or phrase from the article.

  1. I bought a house in the countryside. I am going to …………. it and live in it. (fix, rebuild)
  2. Prague and Edinburgh are two examples of …………. cities in Europe. (from time period called the ‘middle ages’)
  3. The hotel is not very modern but it is ………….. (delightful, attractive)
  4. …………. your jacket! We need to leave now! (take it quick)
  5. France and Italy are …………. for their food. Germany and Ireland are …………. for their beer. (famous for, know for)
  6. Before I went to work I wrote a list of …………. for the cleaner to do in my house. (small jobs to do)
  7. The views from the mountain are ………….. (beautiful)
  8. Reading about different religions …………. ……. .….. (makes you more accepting)
  9. I heard about a new restaurant in town that is cheap and has good quality food. I want to …………. it ……… . (try, have a look)
  10. The company interviewed 20 people for a new job but they ………… ………. their choice to 5 people who were called for a second interview. (made their choice smaller)

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