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Combining academia with cultural immersion: surely this is the ultimate education? We strained our brains and came up with a list that balances lessons and leisure to turn you into a European scholar du jour.
1. Learn to sail a Yacht in Greece.

Improve your motor skills and hand eye coordination (all part of the overall smarts package) and learn to sail a yacht around Greece. Perhaps, just to get into the theme, pack Homer’s Odyssey or read up on Greek’s wonderful history.

What else are you going to do on the deck of a moored yacht, in the middle of the Mediterranean? For some ideas, check here.

2. Sit in Freud’s waiting room and peruse his books.

The museum itself is rather unsure of the best way of directing you around, but all you need to do to feel intellectual, is take a seat in the waiting room that launched an entire school of psychology. Select a book, sit back, and soak it up.

3.Take a turn about the Athenian Agora.

Once upon a time Athenians strolled through the Agora, did some shopping at the markets and caught up on each other’s news. Fast forward two thousand years later and you can do the same, minus the markets and minus the Ancient Greek.

If there is anywhere one should stroll around, pontificating, it is beneath the Acropolis and amongst world famous ancient ruins, upon which walked some of the greatest thinkers to ever live. You’ll be philosophizing before you know it.

4.Learn to cook in Sicily.
Photo by Ozchin

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean basin, is famous for its citrus fruit, desserts and for being strategically placed in the trade routes throughout history.

Its cuisine is a fantastic fusion of cultural influences, from the various foreign populations that have surrounded and, at times, dominated it.

Spanish, Arab, Greek, even North African (in the far western corner) cultures have all had their part in the development of Sicilian cuisine, so why not learn how to eat like a King in a region of Italy that certainly knows how?

5. Stroll the hallowed grounds of Oxford, dipping into the Bodleian Library.
Photo by davemorris

It’s the oldest university in the English speaking world and has produced no less than 25 British Prime Ministers, 12 saints, a handful of actors and far too many writers to count (although, we could try … Lewis Carrol, C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, John Donne, J.R.R. Tolkein …)

The grounds of Oxford buzz with braininess, so take a stroll and get smart by osmosis. If you’ve got time, pop into the Bodleian Library, the uni’s main research library and the second oldest in Europe. Tip: for those wanting to blend in, students call it The Bodley or just, The Bod.

6. Take a Creative Writing Course in Sardinia.

What better place to get inspired than the beautiful Sardinia. With scenery that will dissolve even the most stubborn writers block and Italian food galore to feed your inner creative genius, a creative writing course in Sardinia might just propel you to literary greatness.

7. Bow to the Humble Walking Tour in Berlin.
Photo by chrisdavis

When it comes to cities with starring roles in Modern history, Berlin is the Oscar Winner.

Swallow your pride and book into a walking tour. They’re free, comprehensive and incredibly informative.

The guides are passionate and multilingual and you will be moved to tears on the steps of the Old National Gallery during the final speech.

8. Perfect Your Palette with a Wine Tasting Tour in France.
Photo by max-all

Everyone wants to be the person people look to when ordering the wine for dinner, especially if you earned your (red, white and blue) stripes in France.

Book yourself into a Wine Tasting Tour in the land of Bordeux and Burgandy and improve your mind and your palette.

9. Brew your Signature Scent in Cologne.

Take a fragrant chemistry lesson and walk away with your own personal signature scent. Learn the art behind the making of perfume, the different families, and how to distinguish an eau de cologne from an eau de toilette.

10. Take The Pub Crawl of Intellectuals in Dublin.
Photo by Nicola-T.

What if you could walk away from a pub crawl with your brain cell count not only intact, but potentially multiplied? Is that even possible, I hear you ask? Some of the best writers to have ever lived would argue, absolutely, so why not give it a go?

Follow the trail of literary luminaries and drink in their favourite watering holes as actors perform scenes from their most famous works.

So there you have it. Learn to sail, cook and write, whilst sampling the finest wines and walking in the footsteps of humanity’s finest thinkers, from Socrates to Oscar Wilde. Learn by osmosis or get your hands dirty, either way, you’ll be the person at dinner parties that everyone wants to talk to.

Community Connection

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  • Julie

    Hi, Liv-

    Nice article. I'm not the biggest fan of the group tour, but I recently learned about Context Walking Tours, which are led by experts in certain subject areas, and they have many tours in Europe.

  • http://www.collazoprojects.com Julie

    Hi, Liv-

    Nice article. I’m not the biggest fan of the group tour, but I recently learned about Context Walking Tours, which are led by experts in certain subject areas, and they have many tours in Europe.

  • Nomadic Matt

    That pub scrawl in Dublin looks great. I'd love to take a wine tour in france!!

  • JT Thomas

    LOL, smartest move, jsut don't go in the first place. LOL

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • suki

    Touring with you would be awesome :)

  • Morghus

    Wow, suki's right. Travelling with you would be awesome!

    I'm actually considering quite a few of those. Definately the Siciliy one and Sardinia. Now to get moving somehow ;P

  • Tess

    The free walking tours in Berlin were outstanding, great tour guides who know what they're talking about and make it come alive. Renting a bike in Berlin is another great way to see the city!

  • gaston monescu

    very cool list…kind of spendy, however.
    id love to see a similar list for the impecunious.

  • http://www.nomadicmatt.com Nomadic Matt

    That pub scrawl in Dublin looks great. I’d love to take a wine tour in france!!

  • JT Thomas

    LOL, smartest move, jsut don’t go in the first place. LOL

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • http://www.seo-strategies.net suki

    Touring with you would be awesome :)

  • tempus

    Ludicrously overpriced, pretentious jaunts for bored yuppies. LOL

  • http://morghus.com Morghus

    Wow, suki’s right. Travelling with you would be awesome!

    I’m actually considering quite a few of those. Definately the Siciliy one and Sardinia. Now to get moving somehow ;P

  • Tess

    The free walking tours in Berlin were outstanding, great tour guides who know what they’re talking about and make it come alive. Renting a bike in Berlin is another great way to see the city!

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  • http://thewoodsmen.net gaston monescu

    very cool list…kind of spendy, however.
    id love to see a similar list for the impecunious.

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  • Andre Nieste

    smart people only please: maastricht-biking

  • Jo

    Where is Paris? France?

  • http://www.maaastricht-biking.com Andre Nieste

    smart people only please: maastricht-biking

  • Chris

    "Perhaps, just to get into the theme, pack Homer’s Odyssey or read up on Greek’s wonderful history."

    Shouldn't that be "Greece's wonderful history"?

  • Chris

    “Perhaps, just to get into the theme, pack Homer’s Odyssey or read up on Greek’s wonderful history.”

    Shouldn’t that be “Greece’s wonderful history”?

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  • Notes about the Worl

    While the walking trip in Berlin – or just being in Berlin – can't fail to give insight into Europe's history, I think the nightlife and cheap beer will negate any gains in smartness.. Still worth it though :)

  • http://www.world-notes.com/ Notes about the World

    While the walking trip in Berlin – or just being in Berlin – can’t fail to give insight into Europe’s history, I think the nightlife and cheap beer will negate any gains in smartness.. Still worth it though :)

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  • Pingback: Go Pub » Blog Archive » 10 Things to do in Europe That Will Make You Smarter

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  • Jenny

    Ooh I'd love to make my own perfume and learn how to cook like Sicilians. Mmm

  • European City Breaks

    All ideas sound great but learning to cook genuine Sicilian cuisine must be the best surely?

  • Travel Guide

    I would love to try the Sicilian cuisine. From what I have read it must be a fusion of arabic, african and italian cuisine. The presentation in the picture is great!

  • Mathias

    Don't forget to come to Belgium to try our beer :)

  • Globalgirl

    That dish looks YUMMY! Great ideas for people like me who are looking to do a sabbatical next year and need an activity!!

  • Jet Set Life

    Hey there, Just got back from Mykonos (filming for Jet Set Life) and this would have been a quite handy list to have had with me. Very well thought out and very intelligent. Thanks

  • Angela Corrias

    Food in southern Italy is amazing and in the islands you can find the best seafood! I lived in Dublin for two years and, admittedly, the pub experience looks better than it actually is… Original trip ideas though!

  • Chris Wethered

    I'm a particular fan of the Greek Islands as a place to sail. The scenery combined with culture, good winds and weather really make it a worthwhile pursuit.

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  • NicolaT

    Hi there – Just on the Guinness photo, that's actually my photo and you have it credited to ChrisDavis. The link is right though. Can you change the credit on it? NicolaT

  • Julie

    Hi, Nicola- Thanks for catching the mistake! We'll fix it right away. -Julie, Managing Editor

  • Eva

    Thanks for letting us know! All fixed now.

  • NicolaT

    Thanks for your quick response on this!

  • NeilBritish

    Come to Britain and learn how to swear :P

  • Mrballs8

    Hi iam mr.balls and woman when i travel to London for the Olypics this summer, lms

  • Mrballs8

    My name is Tyler wilsaogkut7 u

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