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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday May 8, 2024

Updated on Wednesday May 8, 2024

portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

Seven places to find journeys through Europe

To mark Europe Day - and get you inspired for the ‘journey’ theme of this year’s Digital Storytelling Festival - we share seven places you can find inspiring journeys through Europe.

A view of Graz with a train and train tracks on the right hand side
Graz gegen Morden, SchloBbergbahn
Girona City Council

9 May is Europe Day - a day that marks the anniversary of the signing of the historic Schuman Declaration in 1950, which introduced the creation of a European Community and laid the foundations of the European Union.

Also this week, we’ve kicked off our second Online Creative Residency, as part of our Digital Storytelling Festival. This year, 14 people are working with six mentors to develop stories around this year’s theme of ‘journey’. We’ll be sharing their results later this summer.

Today, we’re bringing these two events together and sharing seven places you can find stories about journeys through Europe. You can follow - and share! - the Europe Day celebrations on social media with the hashtag #EuropeDay.

1. Follow Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe

Launched by the Council of Europe in 1987, the Cultural Routes demonstrate, by means of a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe contributes to a shared and living cultural heritage. There are 47 Cultural Routes, each with its own theme - like the Viking Route, Historic Thermal Towns, Prehistoric Rock Art, Fairy Tale, or Women Writers. Explore them all and look out for a guest article from the Cultural Routes initiative coming soon to Europeana Pro!

2. Explore maps, migration and more on

The Europeana website is a great source if you’re looking for stories about journeys related to Europe. Through the items in the ‘Maps and Geography’ collection, you can find historic maps and map-makers, landscapes and the people who have explored them. While the ‘Migration’ theme brings you stories of famous migrants as well as the journeys and lives of ordinary people to, from and within Europe, many of which were collected from members of the public during the Europeana Migration campaign. 

    3. Discover European Capitals of Culture

    The European Capitals of Culture initiative provides a year-long celebration of art and culture in three cities across Europe each year. This year, it’s Bodø, Norway, Tartu, Estonia, and Bad Ischl, Austria. Follow the links to explore the programme for each city’s activities.

    Not only does the initiative highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe and fosters a sense of belonging to a common cultural area, it also contributes to regenerating cities, raising their profiles and boosting tourism.

    Europeana’s Digital Storytelling Festival programme includes speakers reflecting on activities as part of Norway and Austria’s Capitals of culture events - check out the programme and register!

    You can also explore items from the Europeana website in the ‘European Capitals of Culture' gallery.

    4. Experience UNESCO World Heritage Journeys in the European Union

    World Heritage Journeys is an initiative by UNESCO, in collaboration with National Geographic and local heritage and tourism managers, to showcase World Heritage destinations and help travellers experience them in ways that protect and support their outstanding value and the local communities that sustain them.

    Do you want to explore ‘Ancient Europe’, ‘Romantic Europe’, ‘Royal Europe’ or ‘Underground Europe’? Choose your theme then discover the sites and even explore suggested itineraries.

    You’ll discover hidden gems to which increased visitation can help support conservation and sustainable development, and get insider tips for experiencing popular iconic sites more deeply, in ways that avoid the crowds and protect their heritage.

    5. Take a train ride

    Travel guide Lonely Planet gives you ‘10 amazing journeys for 2024’, from a fairly short (113 km) but impressive trip through northern England, to a longer (563 km) journey from Munich to Venice on the Brenner Railway, the first service to cross the Alps in the 1860s.

    Interrail gives you a variety of suggested routes and itineraries if you’ve got a couple of weeks to travel around Europe. Italian Rivera? An Adriatic Summer? Or the classic west to east journey on the Orient Express route?

    6. Lace up your walking boots

    Europe has a long history of destinations for pilgrimages. National Geographic shares its ‘Top 10 pilgrimage routes around the world’, of which six are in Europe. From the 35 km St Finbarr’s Way in Ireland, to the 245 km Via Coloniensis uniting the former Roman cities of Cologne and Trier in Germany, and the 148 km Pemont Route connecting St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and the holy site of Lourdes in France. Or for a truly epic journey, follow the Via Francigena, a 1,931 km route connecting Canterbury, UK, to Rome via France, the Swiss Alps and the Italian Apennines, passing churches and shrines devoted to St Francis.

    7. Join the Digital Storytelling Festival

    Take a cultural trip with Europeana’s Digital Storytelling Festival, a free two-day online event taking place on 21-22 May. With speakers from across Europe and beyond, you’ll hear about inspiring cultural heritage storytelling activities that will expand your horizons. You can also take part in a creative writing workshop on the theme of journeys - and see if you can make it to the finishing line in our first ever Digital Storytelling Festival pub quiz!