Europe is one of the seven continents that make up the landmasses of earth. It is located in Eurasia in the western part of the world. This continent is separated from Asia at the Bosporus Strait in Turkey and the Ural Mountains in Russia. Tourism is incredibly popular in this part of the world, and there are many developed nations in this region. Many of the nations are part of the European Union, but not every country in Europe is a part of this group.
The History of Europe
In fact, as of now there are more than 50 countries currently located in Europe. And to reiterate, the wide majority of these countries are members of the EU, also known as the European Union.
Did you know that Europe is surrounded by water? It’s true, but the continent is not surrounded by water on every side. It is only surrounded by water on three sides. On the western side of the continent, Europe is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. On the northern side of the continent, it is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean. And South Eastern Europe is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea.
As you can imagine, Europe is a very large continent. It is made up of 3,000,930 mi.² of land, which in kilometers works out to be 10,180,000 km². Although it may seem like a huge amount of land and it certainly is, believe it or not Europe only makes up 2% of the surface of the earth and has a 6.8% land area. It seems so huge when looking at it in person or even looking at an on a map, but hearing that it only makes up 2% of the surface of the earth makes Europe seem much smaller than it really is.
It shouldn’t come as a major surprise to anyone to find out that there is a large population in Europe. In fact, this continent makes up roughly 11% of the total of the population of the world. The last census data discovered in 2015 tells us that nearly 740 million people currently live on this continent.
As previously alluded to, Europe is also a big tourist attraction. People love visiting this continent because there’s such a rich history, so many amazing landmarks, museums, and great works of art. Plus, there’s plenty to do, see, and learn while visiting Europe. In fact, there are many world heritage sites and people will come from far and wide to see these amazing attractions.
The Current Countries in Europe
The names of the countries in Europe have a tendency to change from time to time, but the current countries that make up this continent include the following: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Cyprus, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
The Origin of the Name of Europe
Every continent has an origin story regarding its name and Europe is no different. As a matter of fact, Europe was named after a Greek mythological figure named Europa. The myth tells us that Europa was kidnapped by Zeus. After he kidnapped her, he took her to Crete.
In the beginning, Europa was the name typically used to describe Greece. But as the rest of Europe began to expand and modernize, and cities and empires began to be built, the name Europa began to cover the area made up of the West is the Ural Mountains.
As you can see, the area encompassing Europa expanded as the continent began to expand and modernize as well. As more cities grew in the region, Europa expanded accordingly. Eventually Europa became Europe and it is the continent that we know and love today.
The History of Europe
As you already know, Europe has a rich and storied history. And it shouldn’t come as a major surprise to anyone to learn that this country has had a long history with many twists and turns. Many of the greatest countries in the world originate from Europe, and there’s Roman mythology, Greek mythology, and it’s typically the birthplace of Western civilization.
Many know that settlers from Europe are the ones that settled the United States of America and turned it into the powerful country that it is today. This all springs from a rich European history and hearty people that love to explore, investigate, and conquer other lands.
There are a number of major transitional periods that took place throughout Europe’s history. They include the following periods: the rule of ancient Greek civilization, the rule of Roman civilization, medieval times; the early modern era including the French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, Age of Discovery, the Reformation, and the Renaissance, the Industrial period, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the contemporary era and the post-contemporary era.
The climate in Europe is considered part of the temperate climate zones. But that doesn’t mean that there is one specific climate for the entire region. On the contrary, the climate changes depending on where you’re located in Europe.
To provide an example, think about the winter in Finland. In this country in Europe, it could be -30°C for nearly 4 or 5 months. Yet at the same time in Spain, it could be much warmer in the higher mountains and they might not even experience any snow. Whereas winter in Finland at -30°C they’re going to experience a lot of snow. Ultimately, please realize that the climates and temperatures are going to vary tremendously in different parts of Europe.
The European Union
The European Union is very popular in Europe. At this time, there are currently 28 countries that are part of this union, although the UK is in the process of leaving.
What makes the European Union so special? Well, out of the 28 countries that are part of the union, 19 of them use the euro as their main currency. The countries in this union also agreed to follow a certain set of common laws. This makes it possible for the countries in the EU to trade with one another successfully. It also helps to provide better buying power for all nations that are part of the union.
Clearly, there are many advantages to sticking with the European Union. Obviously the people in the United Kingdom have their reasons for wanting to leave, but if you pay attention to the news you’ll see that not everybody’s onboard with this particular change and many of the countrymen would prefer to continue being a part of the EU.
Tourism in Europe
As you can imagine, tourism is huge in Europe and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down even though many areas have been suffering from terrorist attacks. In fact, European tourism is stronger than ever, which is a good sign because we shouldn’t ever bow down to the demands of terrorists or live in fear of these animals.
If you’re thinking about vacationing in Europe in the near future, there are many wonderful locations to visit. We’ll share some of our favorite places with you below.
You’ll love visiting Rome – also known as the city of seven hills – because it has a rich history and there’s something magical about this beautiful place. There are many incredible sidewalk cafés to appreciate, enchanting restaurants, there’s St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Forum. You’ll love visiting this amazing place while experiencing history up close and in person.
Some consider it the most romantic city in the world, but it’s so much more than that. There are many amazing museums and millions of people are drawn to this marvelous location known as the city of lights each year. While here, don’t forget to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Musee du Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Le Marais, Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Luxembourg Gardens, and many more other wonderful historical sites to visit. Plus there are many great hotels, restaurants, and other exciting attractions to enjoy while visiting the city of lights.
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Travelers from all over the world love visiting London because the 2000-year-old city has so much to offer. There is the historic Tower of London, London Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament, the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, and much more. They have many amazing hotels like the Corinthia Hotel London, The Beaumont, and The Lanesborough.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Europe is one of the most important centers of civilization. There are so many amazing cultures to learn from, and many of the biggest cities and countries have existed for thousands of years.
If you’re looking to get away from it all for a while, feel free to visit Europe at any time. It’s an amazing experience for all to enjoy and the cultural and historical experience alone is definitely worth the trip.
Travel Suggestions within Europe: