The Irish coast in springtime.

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For the first time in, well, forever, tickets to Europe have dropped. Average prices have gone down 3 percent this summer, about $50 less than a year ago. This, coupled with the euro’s steep decline in value, makes now the perfect time to visit. Inspired by this turn of events, Houstonia’s spring interns got together to share their must-see European destinations. Click here and check back at Wanderlust for more of their recommendations.

IRELAND

Perhaps you’ve just watched the 2010 rom-com Leap Year, and you’re wondering if Ireland is really that green. I can assure that no film or picture does the country justice, because even in the dead of winter, it's radiant, with emerald hills and mossy woods. The entire island feels alive with legend, history and nostalgic comfort. To take it all in, I recommend a tour. Moving from industrial Dublin to the sheep-farming coast—where street signs are written in Gaelic—feels like stepping out of our current century and into a romanticized version of the past.  

Imagine the olden days. Hearth fires warm a rustic little saltbox house, and dinner is a stew with buttermilk scones. Fairy-tale gardens are in bloom, and everything feels at peace. Such a place is Ireland—or so it felt on my visit—from the cobbled streets of Galway, to the basalt pillars of Northern Ireland's Giant’s Causeway, to the mystic Hills of Tara, Ireland. This is a place of adventure.

The Tower of London

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ENGLAND (London)

Remember that song from Sweeney Todd? You know, the one that goes—“There’s no place like London!” The song has it right: there truly is no place like London, a city that's steeped in history, yet still so current and fresh. From the old cobblestone streets, to the renovated Georgian architecture, to the quick and reliable Tube subway system, the past and present are always with you in London.  

The weather gets a little warm in the summer, and there's always a threat of rain, so packing a mini-umbrella would be a good idea. This is a walkable city with great public transportation. The list of things to see here goes for miles: Victoria & Albert Museum, Harrods Department Store, the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, Brown's Hotel (for tea)—and that’s just during the day! By night, London comes alive with stage productions—like Broadway, only British. The accent makes it classier, right? And if you do make it out London way, stop by at my favorite little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, The Gay Hussar. You’ll be glad you did!

 
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