Variety abounds more than ever in Europe this year.
Journey in any direction and you can touch on the history, culture, people, pageantry and landscape of an ancient country.
As a result, choosing what to see and do can be a fairly painstaking process. While it's impossible to name all the attractions, what follows is a brief outline of events that will draw travelers in 1989.
The "Bicentennial of the French Revolution" is expected to attract 2.5 million Americans this year. One of France's best-known landmarks, the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889 to mark the centenary of the French Revolution), will celebrate its 100th anniversary with fireworks, shows and exhibits May 13-15.
Bicentennial festivities accelerate in July with a parade of tall ships in Rouen Harbor, the inauguration of the Bastille opera in Paris and the opera festival in the palace and gardens of Versailles.
Concerts, historical pageants, films and exhibitions will be prominent throughout France all year. Featured through April 30 is the centennial of Van Gogh in Arles.
The Normandy region will commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Allied landing June 6, 1944. To mark the struggle, a new memorial was inaugurated in Caen last June. Open to the public, the Memorial of Caen features a film retrospective of the area's history 1918-1989.
The French Government Tourist Office is offering two complimentary publications to help plan trips this bicentennial year.
A 32-page "Paris" guide lists more than 110 moderately priced hotels, more than 230 restaurants, wine bars and tea rooms, plus helpful hints for shopping, entertainment and transportation.
"Let's Celebrate Together" is a pocket-size guide to the history of the French Revolution and major events commemorating the Bicentennial.
To request the booklets, contact the French Government Tourist Office, 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 303, Beverly Hills 90212, (213) 271-6665.
Down to the Port in Ships
One of the top celebrations will be a yearlong birthday party for Hamburg's 800-year-old port. A highlight will be the grand opening of the jubilee festivities May 3-7 along Port Mile, reaching from Landungsbrucken to the fish market. Downriver celebrations are scheduled at Ovelgonne Museum Harbor. German and foreign naval vessels will welcome visitors during the jubilee festivals, and guided tours will be offered by launch.
More than 250 ships are expected to participate in the "Sail Hamburg '89/International" tall ships' meeting July 13-23.
An international ballet festival will be held June 3-26. Theatrical events at the International Theater of World Festival '89 will feature dramas from South America, China and Hamburg's twin city of Leningrad, and for film fans, a Hamburg film festival and European film forum will take place.
In addition Bonn, the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), this year will celebrate its 2,000th birthday with a series of celebrations, festivals and ceremonies.
For more information, contact the German National Tourist Office, 444 S. Flower St., Suite 2230, Los Angeles 90071, (213) 688-7332.
The Danish Experiences
Like other European countries, Denmark is less expensive in the fall, winter and spring months when theaters, concert halls, cabarets and clubs of Copenhagen celebrate with music, drama, comedy, opera and ballet. The Royal Danish Ballet appears in Copenhagen through May, with the Danish Ballet Festival highlighting the season.
Music continues into summer with such entertainment as the Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July), Hans Christian Andersen Festival (August) and Aarhus Festival Week (September). On July 4 the largest celebration of America's Independence Day outside of the United States will be staged in the Rebild Hills of Jutland with parades, marching bands and musical performances.
At Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens (open April 26 through Sept. 10) more than 100 concerts will be held, many of them free. In addition, the Copenhagen marathon run is scheduled for May, followed by yacht races June 23-27.
Details from the Scandinavian National Tourist Offices, 655 3rd Ave., 18th Floor, New York 10017, (212) 949-2333.
Gathering of the Clans
The Scottish International Gathering and international music festivals in Wales will highlight events in Britain this year. The city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands will be host May 6-14 when clans gather for music, drama, crafts and seminars.
Wales' International Musical Eisteddfod will be held in Llangollen July 4-9, and the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales will take place Aug. 5-12 in Llanwrst, North Wales.
Other events for Britain include Queen Elizabeth's London birthday parade June 17, and the Lord Mayor's procession and show Nov. 11, also in London.