Driving through Europe is one of the best ways to really immerse yourself in this fascinating continent and why not do it from the comfort of your Avis hire car?
We have car hire locations at every major airport, railway station and city centre in Europe – we’ll see you there, ready and waiting to help you unlock the world.
On a journey of discovery by car
Europe is highly diverse, from the Northern Lights to its southern shores. The continent is the second smallest in the world yet offers many different landscapes, such as large mountain ranges like the Alps and the Pyrenees but also vast plains and volcanic regions. The climate is also varied, with the cooler oceanic and continental climates of the north and the subtropical and Mediterranean climates of the south. This is a continent that has been ruled by many nations and their legacies can still be found all around. Each country also has its own culture and language giving this continent its colour and character.
Rich in history
Europe is the cradle of western civilisation and has played an important role in shaping world history. The Romans and the Greeks have made deep and lasting impact on the western world. The Romans were very powerful, and the ruins of Roman structures can be admired in many countries, but especially in Italy. The Greeks left a permanent impression on theatre and philosophy. For example, they invented the political system that we call democracy and still use to this day. Many remnants of the Greeks can be admired in Greece. Unfortunately, some things were lost as this is a part of the globe that has seen it’s fair share of power struggles. Both the First and Second World Wars started on this continent. After the Second World War, it was carved up into Eastern and Western Europe by the Iron Curtain. This split was particularly tangible and clearly visible in Berlin, in the form of a wall that was built straight through the city (across streets and through houses). Capitalism reigned supreme in the west and Communism in the east. Those divisions remained in place until the fall of the wall in 1989. Traces of this and the many other wars to have plagued this continent in recent centuries can still be found everywhere.
Rich in art
Many artistic movements have been brought forth by this part of the world. Some examples would be the Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque, modernism and post-modernism. There are many representations of this still found in the architecture and art. Europeans are also proud of the numerous renowned painters that this continent has spawned. Masterpieces include Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa (Paris), Rembrandt van Rijn's Night Watch (Amsterdam), Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. The highly diverse world of European Art has been distributed and put on display in countless museums throughout many countries. This region is also responsible for many world-famous composers whose music can still be heard daily: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.
Rich in landmarks
The most famous sights are the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame in Paris, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben in London, the Colosseum, St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Dam in Amsterdam and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Yet this continent has so much more to offer. Take Iceland, for example, with its unique landscape that hardly has any trees but many geysers that send their volcanic mixtures of hot water and steam into the air in a spectacular fashion. You will also find stunning national parks such as the Lake District in Great Britain, the Coto Doana in Spain and the Vysok Tatry in Slovakia/Poland. Europe is a true treasure trove in terms of culture with many well-maintained cathedrals and palaces that tell the story of the continent’s rich heritage in a visual way.