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The Best Places to Go in Europe in 2024

Gundari Resort Folegrandros

This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2024 – find more travel inspiration here .

At the end of each year, we look ahead to what’s coming next in the travel world as we pick out the top destinations we’d recommend to our fellow globetrotters for the following 12 months. Our expert contributors nominate the destinations that are on the up right now, because of a flock of hotel openings, perhaps, murmurings of Michelin arrivals, shiny new museums or a concerted conservation effort taking root. These nominations make up the Best Places To Go In 2024, in which we shine a light on the destinations that are due their moment in the sun.

This year, as well as turning our gaze to global destinations in the Best Places to Go in the World in 2024, we’re also looking to the spots that are making waves on each continent right now. This list is an edit of Europe's countries, regions, cities and neighbourhoods that are worthy of your time and attention next year.

All 12 destinations are places we’re keeping a keen eye on right now: from first-time sports events in Italy to astonishing nature in Scandinavia and a curious surf scene in France. Happy travels.

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Places to Go in Europe

Mallorca in spain.

Go for: an outpouring of exciting new hotels across the island

Cocktails at Ikos Porto Petro

Cocktails at Ikos Porto Petro

The pool and gardens at Ikos Porto Petro

The pool and gardens at Ikos Porto Petro

The grande dame of the Mediterranean remains unrivalled thanks to its pitch-perfect brand of low-key luxury, exceptional service and focus on sustainability. But in recent months, the Balearic island has added even more jewels to its crown; among them is Son Bunyola , Richard Branson’s latest hotel, in the Tramuntana Mountains. Not far from there, in the town of Puigpunyent, the team behind Andalucia’s stellar Finca Cortesin has opened Grand Hotel Son Net in a 17th-century manor house. Also adding to the excitement for 2024 is the slick styling of Ikos Porto Petro , farm turned boutique stay The Lodge and Zel Mallorca – the first Zel hotel is a collaboration between Rafael Nadal and another homegrown big hitter, Meliá. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the Four Seasons , which takes over the much-loved Hotel Formentor, Mandarin Oriental Punta Negra, beachfront Aethos and Marugal, which has unveiled its second project on the island after Cap Rocat. Meanwhile, S’Arracer del Dimoni hotel will open in Santa Margalida, and Belmond La Residencia will continue its artists-in-residence programme and the third edition of art installation Mitico, in collaboration with Galleria Continua. – María Casbas

Biarritz in France

Go for: a sweet surf scene in a lesser-known stretch of the Basque Country

Interiors at Villa Magnan a charming indie hotel in the region

Interiors at Villa Magnan, a charming indie hotel in the region

The roof terrace at Regina Biarritz the new opening from the Parisianborn Experimental Group

The roof terrace at Regina Biarritz, the new opening from the Parisian-born Experimental Group

Just over the border from San Sebastián , the French resort town of Biarritz is prepped to step out of the shade of its Michelin-star-studded Spanish Basque counterpart and welcome a new generation of sophisticate. They are booking into its artfully resuscitated belle époque hotels, including Experimental’s brand new Regina Biarritz , Unbound’s Hôtel du Palais and enigmatic indie Villa Magnan (book a table at De Puta Madre and dine with local interior designers and filmmakers). The late 20th century was not kind to this beautiful town on France’s southwestern coast, its dwindling fortunes and faded grandeur standing in stark contrast to its late-19th-century and early-20th-century heyday, when Emperor Napoleon III had his summer palace here, and his Spanish wife Eugénie promoted Biarritz as a health resort. Happily, in-the-know Spanish and French urbanites have rediscovered this belle époque delight, lapping up a hip surf scene (Biarritz is one of Europe’s oldest surf destinations, thanks to a bunch of American filmmakers who visited in the 1950s) and fuelling a youthful Basque culinary scene, from the thrilling Les Halles covered market to neo-bistro Epoq and Michelin-starred favourites such as L’Impertinent . – Anna Hart

The Cyclades in Greece

Go for: salty-air island-hopping made easier than ever

The Cyclades is a cluster of Greek islands scattered southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea

The Cyclades is a cluster of Greek islands, scattered southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea

Is there anywhere more popular than the Greek islands right now? This past summer, the Cyclades – an island group that includes Mykonos , Santorini , Paros , Milos and Ios – dominated social-media feeds with beautiful blue and white backdrops, thrilling beach clubs and nightclubs, and unparalleled shopping. With more smart stays being unveiled in 2024, as well as new flights, next summer is the time to make a Cyclades trip happen. Etihad, British Airways and Saudia added new routes to various Greek islands in 2023, plus the 2022 launch of Cycladic, the first inter-island airline, means it’s easier than ever to get there. Hotel business is booming. Santo Pure in Oia on Santorini has just added 20 new suites, and next year it will be joined by sister hotel Santo Mine, a 37-suite luxury resort. Slick boutique hotel Kalesma on Mykonos will launch its spa for the 2024 season, including a hammam and cryotherapy area. Five-star, 80-acre Gundari Resort will open on Folegandros next May, while a new One&Only property will come to Kea in April. Such plush hotels are rare on these islands, expanding the options for luxury stays in the Cyclades. – Ali Wunderman

Northern Italy

Go for: next-level cycling, need-for-speed motorsports and a slower take on travel with the advent of a new train line

No longer secondfiddle to France cycling holidays in Italy are taking off

No longer second-fiddle to France, cycling holidays in Italy are taking off

For the first time ever, the first three stages of the Tour de France will take place in Italy in 2024, a historic moment for the country, the sport and the prestigious race. Competitors will saddle up in Florence , head east towards Rimini on the Adriatic Coast, follow the Apennines north through Emilia-Romagna and complete stage three in Turin . With their truffles and terroirs, Italy’s northern regions are best known for their gastronomic heritage, but two-wheeled pursuits have long been part of the landscape. The 1998 Tour de France champion Marco Pantani was born here, while professional racer Davide Cassani was instrumental in developing the Via Romagna, a 462km network of cycling routes throughout the region. Now, tour operators have upped their game in time for the event: Tourissimo’s week-long cycle holiday is designed to provide guests with live-action access to the tour itself, plus the chance to conquer the hills and thrills of Emilia-Romagna. Ride International Tours and Ride Holidays have released new routes to reflect growing interest in the region, while the looping, leisurely route between Parma and Modena by Inn Travel leaves more time for sampling local delicacies along the way. Those more comfortable on four wheels will find the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the annual Motor Valley Fest , both in May, irresistible – this is the birthplace of Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini after all – while those who prefer life in the slow lane can board new railway routes between Turin and Canelli with Fondazione FS’s 1930s carriages or take Nightjet’s overnighter from Verona to Liguria (via Milan and Genoa). Make a final pit stop in Pesaro to find out why it’s been crowned Italian Capital of Culture for 2024. – Anna Prendergast

Yorkshire in the UK

Go for: star chefs leading a foodie revolution

The Abbey Inn is the latest Yorkshire opening from local hero Tommy Banks who in 2014 became the youngest chef to head...

The Abbey Inn is the latest Yorkshire opening from local hero Tommy Banks, who, in 2014, became the youngest chef to head up a kitchen receiving a Michelin star for The Black Swan – at just 24 years old

For a bewitching break in 2024, go north. Yorkshire-born sculptor Henry Moore once said: “The observation of nature is part of an artist’s life.” And Yorkshire has some of the most seductive nature: sweeping landscapes like living oil paintings; undulating dales and peaks; deep-forested moors with big skies; heady lavender fields; lofty woodlands filled with birdsong; and golden sandy sweeps skirting the peppermint-blue sea. The Brontës’ romanticism is not lost. In 2024, go stargazing in Yorkshire’s national parks at the magical Dark Skies Festival . The Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta will return to its new home at Castle Howard in 2024, with rainbow-bright, early-morning mass balloon flights and night glows. There were plenty of Michelin mentions for the county in 2023, with keen eyes on the 2024 list, so restaurants with rooms are ramping up. Just up the road from The Black Swan in Oldstead, Michelin-lauded chef Tommy Banks’ latest outpost, The Abbey Inn , opened in May and its three luxurious bedrooms, care of Tommy’s mother, were launched in July. For the ultimate culinary sleepover, stay two nights and eat at both restaurants. Newbie Mýse , helmed by chef-and-sommelier couple Joshua and Victoria Overington, is a petite restaurant with rooms set among caramel-coloured cottages in the sleepy village of Hovingham. Book in for its creative tasting menu, then retire upstairs to one of the cosy-cool rooms. In June, Middleton Lodge , a sustainable luxury retreat bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park, launched the Forest Spa in the heart of a serenely wooded estate. Don’t pass by honeycomb-hued Helmsley, with its emerging culinary scene and the recent opening of Pignut – a restaurant with a sustainable focus and impressive casual and tasting-menu options. Expect plenty more magic in 2024. – Rachel Everett

Bodǿ in Norway

Go for: epic stargazing, spectacular nature and a programme of cultural events that's not to be missed

The aurora borealis are one of the biggest draws for those visiting the Nordic countries during winter

Bodø’s position on the pristine shores of northern Norway affords it endless days in the glow of the midnight summer sun and shocks of fluorescent light come winter, when the aurora borealis erupt onto the night sky. This small Arctic fishing town is a European Capital of Culture for 2024, which will result in the area’s largest-ever arts programme, including about 1,000 events and an influx of people interested in creativity in all its forms. The region’s unique Sami heritage is championed here, while striking modern expansion is seen in buildings such as the world-class, harbour-fronting Stormen Concert Hall , which can hold 900 people and will form a crucial centrepoint for the celebrations.

Beyond its cultural accolades, Bodø is also the gateway to the ethereal Lofoten Islands . The dramatic landscape of fjords and jagged peaks makes it a perfect playground for adventurers and photographers alike, offering unforgettable, dramatic views. Adding to Bodø’s appeal is its burgeoning food and drinks scene (try Lystpå for dinner and Brødrene Berbusmel Bakery for breakfast) as well as exciting new places to stay. The Wood Hotel will open in 2024, offering the town’s most luxurious lodgings yet, with pared-back Scandi design and floor-to-ceiling windows. For something a little more in tune with nature, try GlampNord . – Rosie Conroy

Go for: new hiking and biking trails across the beautiful countryside – and to mark a quarter-century since the Kosovan war

Kosovo's untouched valleys and craggy peaks are just one of the reasons tourism to the country is increasing

Tiny Kosovo lacks the stunning beaches of Albania and luxury resorts of Montenegro , but Europe’s newest country has sky-scraping peaks, pastoral countryside and heart-warming hospitality, a combination ideal for multi-day hiking and biking trips. 2024 will mark the 25th anniversary since the end of the Kosovo war, and there's much to discover in the region now. Following in the footsteps of cross-border adventure trails such as the Peaks of the Balkans and High Scardus, the Trans Dinarica cycling route opens in 2024, making its way past the minarets framing Prizren’s eponymous river, through the Ottoman market town of Gjakova and on to Peja. Perched on the edge of the Rugova Gorge, Peja serves as base camp for the country’s many outdoor adventures, including via ferratas and spelunking. A new pavestone path will soon connect the Lumbardhi River Promenade with the popular Health Trail that is the beginning of the south-to-west route through the inaptly named Accursed Mountains. Two additional forthcoming routes connect trails in the Rugova Mountains to the gushing White Drin waterfall and Radac cave. Steps from the waterfall, the sleek, modern Ujëvara e Drinit Resort specialises in rooms with a view and fresh trout dinners. Through-hikers can rest weary bones and fill hungry bellies further from town along the trails at rural guesthouses such as Ariu , where traditional Kosovar dishes include flija, made with dairy produced on-site. – Naomi Tomky

Asturias in Spain

Go for: eco-focussed tourism that doesn't scrimp on luxury

Interiors at Solo Palacio

Interiors at Solo Palacio

Asturias is a lessertrammelled slice of Spain

Asturias is a lesser-trammelled slice of Spain

While the pandemic generated a new type of traveller – nature-loving and environmentally conscious – Asturias did not have to reinvent itself to attract them. The tagline “Asturias, natural paradise”, created almost 40 years ago, represents everything we look for in a getaway. Perhaps that is why this autonomous community is the most dynamic destination in northern Spain; it welcomed more than 2.4 million visitors last year, with more international travellers than ever. The climate also helps: heatwaves are barely noticeable. This is the year to discover its natural spaces, many of them UNESCO Biosphere Reserves , via rejuvenated routes such as the Camino Primitivo, a calmer branch of the popular Camino de Santiago, through some of the country’s least-known regions. Spain’s first rural hotel, La Rectoral de Taramundi , opened here, and other noteworthy addresses include PuebloAstur Eco-Resort in the Picos de Europa mountain range, Ecoboutique’s Solo Palacio and Las Caldas Villa Termal . Alternatively, book into new arrivals Palacio de Figueras from the Vestige Collection or CoolRooms’ Palacio de Luces . The food scene also makes Asturias unmissable. Its “landscape cuisine” rivals that of the Basque Country . There are 11 Michelin stars peppered around the region as well as an emerging culinary movement in the Caudal and Nalón valleys, while chefs such as Natalia Menéndez (Casa Chuchu), Diego García (El Pintu), Paula Lamas and Jairo Rodríguez (Roble) and Xune Andrade (Mont) are on the rise. Regional capital Oviedo has been declared as the country's Gastronomic Capital for 2024, bringing together more than 200 chefs at the Euro-Toques conference in April. – Clara Laguna

Carlsberg City District in Denmark

Go for: new-new-wave eateries in the city's district of the moment

Petit fours at Studio by Christoffer Sørensen

Petit fours at Studio by Christoffer Sørensen

Studio by Christoffer Sørensen a Michelin Best Young Chef

Studio by Christoffer Sørensen a Michelin Best Young Chef

For 161 years, Copenhagen ’s sprawling Carlsberg brewery held its secrets behind closed gates. When Carlsberg moved away in 2008, a plan was hatched to transform the old site, with its patinaed spires and life-size elephant statues, into a showcase neighbourhood. What attracts residents to the emergent Carlsberg District also charms visitors: copious green space, easy public transit and an evocative mash-up of contemporary and repurposed architecture, anchored by cherry-picked restaurants and shops. At the light-flooded Coffee Collective , they like to serve two roasts at once to contrast the beans’ terroirs. Aamanns , the pioneer of modernised smørrebrød, is also here, along with Neopolitan pizzeria Surt ; Kona , a destination izakaya from former Noma chef Philipp Inreiter; and Studio , by Christoffer Sørensen, a Michelin Best Young Chef. Home designers Carl Hansen and Søn, by Adelborg and PP Møbler have arrived. Fashion’s Henrik Vibskov has also moved in, packing his atelier with kaleidoscopic garments, in contrast with the classic suits of Deerest nearby. In December 2023, the brewery itself springs back to life, with a state-of-the-art, interactive visitors’ centre and the revival of its 1847 bar-room. Also to come are Friday summer parties in the courtyard and the unveiling of namesake Carl Jacobsen’s lavish gardens, open to the public for the first time since their 1890 groundbreaking. Afterwards, retire to the windowseat of your room at Hotel Ottilia overlooking the construction cranes. In a city that believes in liveable density, you’re witnessing smart urban planning unfold. – Betsy Andrews

Budapest in Hungary

Go for: a fresh take after 150 years of the city

Nightingale by Beefbar at the W Budapest which was formerly a palace in the city

Nightingale by Beefbar at the W Budapest, which was formerly a palace in the city

Renowned for its architecture, the Hungarian capital spans everything from art nouveau and neoclassical to gothic and baroque, with the Blue Danube connecting it all like a ribbon. And then there are the mineral-rich thermal baths, featuring ornate design flourishes. The city also buzzes with creativity, which spills over into the vibrant nightlife; the ruin bars district is a tangible example of crafting opportunity from the ashes of adversity following the brutality of Communist rule. November 2023 marks 150 years since the previously divided cities of Buda, Pest and Obuda were unified and, as well as a series of cultural events, the Chain Bridge – the city’s oldest and a “symbol of togetherness”, according to Mayor Gergely Karácsony – has fully reopened after a two-year restoration, granting excellent views of Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building. New builds such as the spectacular House of Music Hungary and the National Athletics Centre (the central stadium for 2023’s World Athletics Championships) are testament to a city with optimism for its next 150 years, as is Tui’s new route from Manchester, launching in summer 2024. The art deco W Budapest – formerly a palace and on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed street – opened in July 2023 opposite the Hungarian State Opera. Also in the Marriott portfolio is the Dorothea Hotel , with its 216 rooms and glamorous rooftop restaurant. In keeping with the musical events celebrating the 150th anniversary, the 2022 opening of the Hard Rock Hotel – Eastern Europe’s first – combines musical memorabilia (Prince’s faux-fur coat in a shade of, unsurprisingly, purple) with an in-thick-of-it location on Nagymező Street, Budapest ’s legendary louche entertainment strip. – Sarah Rodrigues

Costa de Prata in Portugal

Go for: boho openings in an unsung corner of the country

Areias de Seixo is one of the smartest hotels in the region

Areias de Seixo is one of the smartest hotels in the region

A bedroom at Areias de Seixo

A bedroom at Areias de Seixo

Not as show-offy as Comporta , much less known than the Algarve and with more surfer vibes than the Costa Vicentina , Costa de Prata (Silver Coast) is the strip of Portugal’s Atlantic seaboard we are most excited about right now. Start a south-to-north road trip in Ericeira, where Aethos Hotels opened an outpost in which smart design is combined with laid-back coastal cool at the end of 2022. It was hot on the heels of Immerso , a hotel full of local crafts and the same truly Portuguese personality as new restaurant and beach club Balagan. Heading north, Areias do Seixo continues to be a benchmark for luxury stays on the Costa de Prata, while in Nazaré, where German surfer Sebastian Steudtner rode a world record wave of 26.21 metres, Ohai Nazaré has family-friendly glamping. A visit to Obidos, one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal, is the perfect excuse to stay at the bohemian Literary Man or, if golf is more your thing, check in at Marriott’s Praia D’El Rey . Along the coast, surfing hub Peniche has standout beaches, including Consolação and is a great jumping-off point for the Berlengas islands, an increasingly less secret paradise. The road trip ends in Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal, where MS Collection Palacete de Valdemouro has just opened under the Small Luxury Hotels banner. There’s no doubt that the Silver Coast is on track to take gold. – David Moralejo

Antwerp in Belgium

Go for: intriguing new architecture and a clutch of sharp hotel openings

Cocktails at August a former convent turned hotel

Cocktails at August, a former convent turned hotel

Details at August

Details at August

So often overlooked in favour of its Dutch neighbour Amsterdam – or mistakenly written off as being as staid as Brussels – Antwerp is easily Belgium's most underrated city. In fact, the diamond capital of the world is somewhat of an undiscovered gem, with plenty of cool and culture for a weekend romp – and it's now easier than ever to visit thanks to the Eurostar from London (or hop on a direct flight and you can be in the city within an hour). There’s an impressive concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants to rival major European capitals. Perhaps best known is two-star The Jane , which was ranked number 39 in this year's World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2024. If the exquisite 14-course tasting menu here is out of budget, the restaurant’s sleek new bar, untitled, which opened earlier this year, offers rustic dishes at a more accessible price point, all lovingly plated before your eyes by chef Joeri Timmermans. After dinner, roll yourself next door to bag a bed at August (a former Augustinian convent turned supremely serene sanctuary), or for a sleepover in the heart of town, sister property Hotel Julien is a design-led favourite. Once you’ve eaten your way through the city’s culinary offerings, walk it all off Zuidpark , an ambitious development set for completion by spring 2024. Pinned to be one of Antwerp’s leafiest havens, the seven-hectare park will have 30,000 plants and several smart water features – all part of the city’s continual effort to be greener. – Gina Jackson

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25 Most Beautiful Places in Europe — From Colorful Small Towns to Secret Beaches

Seeing is believing.

Lindsay Cohn is a writer, editor, and avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents — and counting. She contributes to Travel + Leisure, Hotels Above Par, InsideHook, Well+Good, The Zoe Report, and more.

best european destinations to visit

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The phrase "an embarrassment of riches" could have easily been invented to describe the litany of lovely locales in Europe. Spread across the continent — and sometimes in quite close proximity — are myriad colorful small towns , stately chateaux, Roman ruins, ecclesiastical buildings, medieval castles , shimmering lagoons, and secluded beaches . 

While it’s not hard to stumble upon (or seek out) a photogenic destination, defining the most beautiful places in Europe is a bit more difficult because there are just so many. If you’re keen on picking a spot with endless photography potential, read on for some stunning options.

Villa Rufolo, Ravello, Italy

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Of all the dreamy Amalfi Coast towns to visit, Ravello continues to spark travel fantasies, music, and art like no other — and Villa Rufolo plays a major role in that. This resplendent maritime residence hypnotizes visitors with its cliff-clinging gardens, unique combination of architectural styles, and panoramas of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Egremni Beach, Lefkada, Greece

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A remote slice of paradise on the Greek island of Lefkada, Egremni Beach boasts some of the bluest water in the world . It’s the contrast of the turquoise sea against bright white sand that makes it so gorgeous. Despite being hard to reach (read: it requires hiking down 350 steep steps), the sheer beauty of this Ionian idyll couldn’t keep it off the tourist map entirely.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

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Perched atop a rocky peak in the Sintra Mountains, Pena Palace draws heaps of tourists who flock to the 19th-century castle to snap photos of its candy-colored facade and soak in the wide-ranging views. The surrounding 200-hectare park gives off secret garden vibes, with walking paths shaded by exotic trees, lakes, and ponds.

Our Lady of the Rocks, Montenegro

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Driving along the road that wraps around the Bay of Kotor provides many scenic delights — none more deserving of pulling over to stare at than Our Lady of the Rocks, an artificial island off the coast of Perast that’s made of rocks and dominated by the 17th-century Roman Catholic church.

Bruges, Belgium

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On rare occasions, a destination is so beautiful that putting down your camera for even a second means missing a photo op. Bruges falls into that category. The storybook capital of West Flanders resembles a movie set with canals, cobbled lanes, and prominent medieval buildings — including the symbolic Belfry of Bruges.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, Gordes, France

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The Luberon region of Provence is famed for its fragrant lavender fields. Rows of this purple plant perfume the air — and create a striking visual — outside Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a splendid example of a Cistercian monastery that hosts guided tours of the church and cloisters.

São Miguel, Azores

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Nicknamed the "Hawaii of Europe," São Miguel — the volcanic main island in the Azores archipelago, an autonomous region of Portugal that’s smack-dab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean — has breathtaking beaches, valleys teeming with lush vegetation, crater lakes, dramatic peaks, and surreal steam-emitting fumaroles.

Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

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Widely regarded as the most beautiful springtime garden in the world, Keukenhof , located about 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam , comprises 32 hectares of colorful flower bulbs — including tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, and lilies — that erupt in a kaleidoscopic and aromatic display between late March and mid-May.

Château de Chambord, Loire Valley, France


Château de Chambord is one of the most recognizable and magnificent crown jewels of the Loire Valley. Constructed by King Francois I in 1519, this massive royal refuge has impressed countless nobles, foreign dignitaries, and tourists over the years with its French Renaissance architecture — particularly the elaborate roofline and interior double-spiral staircase — ornamental moat, and 13,000-acre grounds.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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The search for the bluest water in the world takes travelers to many photogenic places, including Croatia’s famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. Situated halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, this natural wonderland wows more than one million visitors each year with its crystalline lakes, waterfalls, caves, and lush forests.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

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Classical architecture lovers would undoubtedly include the Colosseum on any list of the most beautiful places in Europe. Built under the Flavian emperors, it’s the largest ancient amphitheater ever constructed, seating 50,000 spectators. The fact that modern travelers can still witness something this emblematic and enduring is nothing short of remarkable.

Lapland, Finland

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The Arctic Circle runs through Lapland , a real-life winter wonderland with snow-dusted scenery. Beyond the landscape that looks like it was touched by Elsa, it's what's in the sky that makes it so wonderful. Travelers journeying to this rugged, remote region of Finland between September and March have the chance to peep the prismatic northern lights .

San Fruttuoso, Italy

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Wedged between Portofino Regional Natural Park and the sparkling sea, San Fruttuoso is a postcard-perfect hidden gem on the Italian Riviera with a sheltered pebbled beach, a Benedictine monastery, a few cute restaurants serving freshly caught Ligurian fare, and hiking trails that meander into the forested hillside.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

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Steeped in mythical allure, the windswept, 50-mile-long Isle of Skye overflows with mist-shrouded lochs, craggy peaks, heather moorland, pristine beaches, and fairy-tale castles. All of this and more put the largest of the Inner Hebrides in the running for most beautiful place in Scotland — and make it a favorite filming location for epic adventure quests.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

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Among the most spellbinding natural wonders in Iceland, Seljalandsfoss (which you might recognize from Justin Bieber’s music video “I’ll Show You”) plunges nearly 200 feet from the edge of a steep cliff. The best vantage point for gawking at this awe-inspiring waterfall? The small cave behind the curtain of spray.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

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Designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia — the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world — doesn’t need to be completed to dazzle. People line up for hours outside this Barcelona landmark just to gain entrance. Of course, you don’t have to go inside to admire the flying buttresses, twisted towers, and larger-than-life carvings of religious figures.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany

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Neuschwanstein Castle belongs in a Disney movie. Teetering on a forest-covered hilltop, this staggering 19th-century palace shows off towers, turrets, frescoes, and a grand throne room. It’s imposing, but also somehow peaceful — which was the intention of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who commissioned the palatial project as his personal retreat.

Geirangerfjord, Norway

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One of Norway's most popular and picturesque attractions, UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord inspires with its deep, blue water ringed by sky-grazing snow-capped peaks, gushing waterfalls, and green vegetation. Needless to say, forgetting your camera would be a big mistake.

Walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia

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A must-do activity on any trip to the Pearl of the Adriatic, walking along the iconic walls of Dubrovnik gives visitors an unparalleled perspective of its protective forts, bastions, and towers, plus the distinctive red roof tiles (known as kupe kanalice ), blue sea, and nearby islands.

Hallstatt, Austria

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Set on the western shore of Hallstätter See, Hallstatt has 16th-century alpine architecture, quaint cafes, scenic trails, a funicular to an ancient salt mine, and sapphire water that reflects all the aforementioned loveliness. While these elements are undeniably alluring in their own right, it’s the combination that makes this Austrian village so utterly irresistible.

Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium

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It’s worth navigating the selfie-stick-wielding tourists that crowd in the middle of the Grand-Place to stare up in wide-eyed wonder at the grandeur of its landmarks — notably the Brabantine Gothic-style Town Hall (guided tour of the interior is possible), the neoclassical Maison des Ducs de Brabant, and the opulent Maison du Roi.

Ushguli, Georgia

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It’s hard to put into words the wonder of seeing Ushguli up close. Hidden in the Caucasus Mountains at an elevation of roughly 7,000 feet, the highest continuously inhabited destination in Europe is a place where time stands still as ancient Svanetian watchtowers, jagged peaks, old stone houses, and grazing livestock await visitors who venture to this community that was virtually cut off from the rest of the world for millennia.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark


Obviously, 17th-century Nyhavn was built way before social media became a thing. However, Copenhagen 's glorious waterfront district, which runs from Kongens Nytorv to the harbor, does look tailor-made for Instagram, with colorful townhouses and boats bobbing in the canals.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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A popular Iceland attraction — and perhaps the most stunning spa on the planet — the Blue Lagoon is filled with nine million liters of geothermal turquoise water. Visitors can soak and slather on silica-rich mud while gazing at the volcanic lava fields.

Rakotzbrücke, Kromlau, Germany

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Rakotzbrücke proves that sometimes it really is worth taking the road less traveled. Despite appearing to be the work of some mythical woodland creatures, this arched masonry bridge was constructed by humans in medieval times. (However, rumors still swirl that dark forces had a hand in things.) 

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  • European Best Destinations 2023

The best places to visit in Europe selected by travellers

best european destinations to visit

Best places to travel in Europe

best european destinations to visit

Over half a million travellers from 178 countries have voted for the European Best Destinations 2023 .

Discover the 20 most voted destinations  (out of over 400 destinations) awarded the title of "Best European Destinations 2023".

Discover your top European destinations to visit and find inspiration among European destinations perfect for a city break , a sunny holiday , a romantic getaway , shopping , culture or immersion in nature .

Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Countries to visit in Europe , Best Places to Visit in Spain ,  Most Beautiful Islands in Greece , Most Incredible Castles in Germany , Best Secret Destinations in Italy , Best Places to visit in Turkey,   Most Beautiful Beaches in Croatia  and much more…

Book your flights , accommodation , tours and activities and discover the very best of Europe .

Warsaw - European Best Destinations 2023

1. Warsaw, Poland

Beautiful, friendly, green, open-minded, perfect for a family city break, a cultural city break , a shopping experience, a romantic stay, Warsaw , your European Best Destinations 2023 has something to offer to everyone. Take a walk in its beautiful parks, relax on its city beaches, take advantage of its great gastronomic offer, come at any time of the year and take advantage of its rich calendar of events.

You will be dazzled by its emblematic places such as the Old Town Market Square and its colourful buildings, the Palace of Culture and Science, the Łazienki Park and its palaces, pavilions and orangeries. During your stay in the Best European destination 2023 do not miss to stroll in "Krakowskie Przedmieście" the most prestigious street in Warsaw and to visit The Warsaw Barbican, the historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw.

Warsaw is a dynamic and sparkling city and there are a thousand activities and experiences to enjoy in Warsaw from tasting local culinary specialties, to a hot air balloon flight or zip line in one of the city's parks. Would you rarther enjoy a cruise on Warsaw's beautiful Vistula River? Are you travelling with family? Be sure to visit Warsaw Zoo and take a dip at Moczydlo Water Park and enjoy its slides, wave pools and other water activities.

Warsaw is considered one of the safest city breaks in Europe . Did you know that Warsaw is three times safer than Paris? Twice as safe as Rome and even safer than Vienna (Numbeo datas) and that the feeling of safety while walking alone was one of the highest for a European capital? It seems there are only good reasons to visit Warsaw this year.

During your stay do not miss to discover the amazing Mazovia Region . Mazovia is full of historic palaces and manor houses, one of them is the Birthplace of Fryderik Chopin! Do not miss to visit the pristine forests, ideal for hiking and cycling.

Book your flights to Warsaw, your accommodation in Warsaw , your activities and tours as a " Warsaw: Chopin Concert in the Old Town " and discover your destination number one this year.

  Best for:   City break, Foodies, Culture, Instagrammers, Lovers, Families, Shopping, Safety, Green Spaces.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Warsaw and your transfer .

  Where to stay:  " Hotel Indigo Warsaw ". Stay in the heart of Warsaw.

Athens European Best Destinations 2023

2. Athens, Greece

The capital of Greece is a  must-see destination  for many reasons. First of all, it is the cradle of democracy and philosophy. Many assume that the blue of the sea, the incredible landscapes, and the beautiful sunlight help spirits escape from everyday life and arise.

Athens  is a sophisticated cosmopolitan hub with excellent gastronomic delights, electrifying nightlife, creative vibes and a booming art scene. It is an artistic beacon of the ancient world with spectacular Mediterranean landscapes. Did you know that Athens is also one of the Best Street Art Destinations in Europe ?

Book your flights  to Athens, your  accommodation  in Athens as well as your  tours & activities in Athens  and discover one of the European Best Destinations 2023 . 

During your stay do not miss to visit the Most Beautiful Beaches in Greece , Best Hidden Gems in Greece , Most Beautiful Islands in Greece and Best Natural Wonders in Greece ! 

  Best for:  Culture, History, Street Art, Shopping, Instagrammers, Lovers, Families, Foodies, Nightlife.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights    to Athens  and your transfer .

  Where to stay:   For excellent value and location with the Acropolis reachable within 100 metres, we recommend the " Coco-mat Athens BC " in the heart of Athens .

Maribor European Best Destinations 2023

3. Maribor, Slovenia

Maribor , one of the most beautiful Slovenian destinations in on your podium of the European Best Destinations 2023 !

The city of Maribor is a charming cultural, culinary, and educational centre in the north-eastern part of the country. The city’s deep cultural and historical roots date back to the Middle Ages, and therefore the old city centre offers a rich heritage and a wealth of genuine experiences. In particular, the locals are proud of their Guinness World Record holder, the oldest grapevine in the world .

Maribor – the European Capital of Culture in 2012 – has a reputation for a happy and hospitable city, hosting numerous international cultural and sporting events throughout the year. Don’t miss the lively atmosphere of summer festivals , and enjoy an active city break just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the city centre on the green Mt. Pohorje. The picturesque natural scenery offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, and adrenaline sports .

Need another reason to visit Maribor in 2023? It has been awarded the title of Best Culinary Destination in Europe !

Book your flights to Graz (45 min) or Ljubljana (1h20), your accommodation in Maribor and stay in one of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in 2023 ! 

  Best for:  Gastronomy , Nature Lovers, Families, Wine lovers, Culture, Romantic Getaway.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Graz (Austria  - 45 min) or Ljubljana (1h20). 

  Where to stay:     “ Nesting Resort ". Maribor Thermal Spa is 8 km away.


4. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is an ideal destination for romantics: what better than a horse-drawn carriage ride followed by a visit to the Royal Palaces of Vienna ? And in the evening, a waltz to the sound of Strauss's Blue Danube to transport you to the time of the Empress Sissi?

That said, Vienna is also the perfect city for a sparkling, original city break for friends, families, lovers and singles.

An openly gay-friendly city (you’ll remember Conchita Wurst was from Vienna ), it is also one of the safest cities in Europe . The feeling of security is very high and Vienna is known for its quality of life and low crime rate.

We love Vienna in Spring and Summer, with its parks classified among the most beautiful city parks in Europe.  Did you know that its amusement park "The Prater" is home to one of the most beautiful Ferris wheels in Europe ? It is also considered to be one of the best places for a marriage proposal . 

Do you want to meet people? Meet at the Palmenhaus; in addition to being the largest greenhouse in Europe , it houses a bar where you can drink lighter cocktails more suited to cruising and a super trendy restaurant of Austrian specialties.

Book your flights to Vienna as well as your accommodation , tours and activities in Vienna , such as a " Vienna: Classical Concert at the Mozarthaus " and stay in one of the best destinations to visit in 2023 . 

  Best for:   Lovers, Singles, Foodies, LGBTQ+, City Break, Families, Culture, Safety.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights  to Vienna as well as your  transfer  from the airport.

  Where to stay:  " High Street Suites " for a perfect stay in the heart of Vienna.

Cittadella - European Best Destinations 2023

5. Cittadella, Italy

We invite you to visit Cittadella , the most beautiful walled city in all of Europe . Cittadella is located in the heart of the Veneto Region, in Northern Italy, in a strategic position because it is close to all the most important cities in the area. It is located 60 km from Venice and Verona (1H by car), and only 3h drive from Milan or Florence .

From Cittadella you can easily reach both the sea of the Venetian Lagoon and the the Dolomite mountains with a daily trip. It is obviously an ideal starting point, given its central position, to visit the Veneto and all of Northern Italy. Cittadella is not only the most beautiful walled city in all of Europe, it is also the best-preserved walled city in all of Europe.

Its origin is medieval, its foundation dates back to 1220. This explains the high historical value of its walls, which in 2020 celebrated 800 years of history and foundation. The walls are impressive and are the symbol of all the walled cities in the area because Cittadella is the only walled city in all of Europe to have a medieval walkway, elliptical in shape and completely walkable . 

Thanks to your votes, Cittadella enters the major European destinations by ranking among your 5 best European destinations 2023 !

  Best for:  Culture, History Buffs, Foodies, Lovers, Families, Medieval City Break, Literature Lovers.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Venice (1h), Verona (1h) or Bologna (1h30). 

  Where to stay:  " Hotel Due Mori ". Located in a 15th-Century Monastery.

Essen European Best Destinations 2023

6. Essen, Germany

Essen is the most exciting big city you may not have heard of before. Germany 's third greenest city, Capital of Culture 2010, European Green Capital and pulsating metropolis in the heart of the Ruhr region. Hardly any other German city stands for so many exciting contrasts.

Here, urban trendy districts meet historic old towns, high culture meets street art, lush green meadows and forests meet the incomparable charm of the spoil heaps of former collieries, the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein meets the magnificent Villa Hügel, the former family seat of the Krupp family, and a high-tech city tour that is unique in the world meets the oldest fully sculptural statue of the Virgin Mary in the world - the Golden Madonna in Essen Cathedral. Essen got it all!

Explore the green south along Baldeneysee and the Ruhr valley or the urban north with its industrial culture and the old colliery settlements. Discover the city on around 260 km of cycle paths, by train or bus. In hardly any other large city you can reach so many highlights from the city centre in less than 20 minutes by car. And if you simply want to unwind, enjoy the tranquillity of the central 70-hectare Grugapark or the Baldeneysee leisure paradise with its numerous water sports activities.

Experience your very own personal contrast programme in one of Germany's most exciting metropoles. Let yourself drift and discover the diverse possibilities. First here, digitally, then in real life. Essen is looking forward to your visit! 

  Best for:  City Break, UNESCO Heritage, Green Capitals, City Parks, Shopping, Water Sports, Christmas Market.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to  Düsseldorf Airport (20 min).

  Where to stay:   " Hotel Essener Hof ". Stay in the heart of Essen.

European Best Destinations 2023 - Veszprem

7. Veszprém, Hungary

Veszprém , the European Capital of Culture 2023 is also one of your Best European Destinations 2023 and the Best Destination to visit in Hungary in 2023 ! 

The city of Veszprém is wedged between the wooded slopes of the Bakony Hills and the northern shore of Lake Balaton. It is a place of rare and distinct natural and environmental assets and an attractive cityscape. This amazing city has been a meeting place for cultures for a thousand years.

Take your time to explore the contemporary art galleries and experience a diverse creative community’s art through the frequently changing exhibitions. The vibrant music life and the diverse music festivals play an even more significant role in shaping the cultural life of the city. 

High-quality gastronomy enterprises also make the city inviting: cosy cafés and confectioneries, atmospheric bistros and first-rate restaurants.

For a special family experience follow the signs for Veszprém ZOO. The constantly refreshed attraction awaits both young and old all-year-round for an adventure across six continents. Year after year, the City of Queens has something new to offer; visitors will always find novelties to explore.

  Where to stay:  “ Historia & Historante ”. Situated in the heart of Veszprém. 

Copyright Andrew Pickett / Visit Britain

8. London, UK

After Brexit, Covid and border closures, it is high time to rediscover  London  in 2023, one of Europe's most extravagant destinations. Capital of the United Kingdom,  London  brings together like no other destination, traders, business people, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers and more. Its tourist offer goes well beyond Big Ben, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, which will always delight young and old.  London  is also an atmosphere, parks of rare beauty ranked among the  most attractive city parks in Europe .

Head for Portobello flea markets and colourful houses that are the backdrop to  legendary films like “Notting Hill” . Discover the eccentric and colourful neighbourhood of Camden Town. Stroll between the tidy commercial streets of Regent Street and Oxford Street to the designer, artistic and independent shopping districts of Carnaby Street or Covent Garden; do not miss the gay and  LGBTQ  district of Soho and marvel at the theatre posters hosting world renowned musicals.

There are a  thousand good reasons  to visit  London  this year. Our favourite time to discover  London  is in Spring and Summer. It is less crowded and the parks in the city centre and surrounding areas like Richmond Park, are sublime with flowering plants ancient trees and deer roaming freely. 

Book your flights  to London, your  accommodation  and your  tours and activities in London , such as a " Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour ". 

Want to leave the city for a few days? Discover the  Best nature Wonders in England , the  Best Hidden gems in England  and  Best places to visit in England  and treat yourself to an unforgettable tailor-made stay.

  Best for:   Shopping, Foodies, Instagram, Lovers, Families, Culture, City Break, Friends.

  Nearest airport:   B ook your flights to  London and your   transfer . 

  Where to stay:   " The Portobello Hotel " with a quiet location in elegant Notting Hill.

European Best Destinations 2023 Grenoble Alpes

9. Grenoble Alpes, France

Grenoble has an exceptional geographical location, nestled at the heart of emblematic mountain ranges like Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne. A pioneer, innovative and inspiring city , the Capital of the Alps is constantly reinventing itself. Selected as the green destination for this year's competition (awarded by the EU the title of European Green Capital ), you have ranked Grenoble Alpes in your 10 Favourite Destinations in Europe !

It is the ideal destination for an urban and nature-based stay , accessible without a car , offering a subtle balance between culture, living arts, wide open spaces and outdoor activities in winter as in summer (ski touring at ‘Col de Porte’, urban via-ferrata on the foothills of the Bastille, canoeing on the Isère river, paragliding in Saint Hilaire du Touvet, night skiing with breathtaking views of Grenoble…). Everything is possible in Grenoble and in the neighbouring massifs so close and so different from each other!

The flattest city in France, Grenoble Alpes is easily run through by two-wheelers: on a daily basis (450 km of cycle paths) and during leisure time (21 bike loops, signposted paths for mountain biking, etc.). The destination is developing ‘low-carbon’ holiday packages pointing at soft mobility, and in particular cycling. 

Did you know that Grenoble is also considered the best destination to visit in France in 2023  and that it is ranked among the Best Street Art Destinations in Europe ? There are only good reasons to visit Grenoble this year.

  Best for:  Nature City Break, Car Free, Street Art, Sustainable Tourism, Green Capitals, Outdoor Sport, Families, Skiing, Biking, Culture.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights  to Lyon (1h by car or public transport).

  Where to stay:    " Okko Hotel Grenoble " Great location to explore the city on foot.

Mannheim European Best Destinations 2023

10. Mannheim, Germany

Mannheim is the exciting city of experiences at the heart of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. There’s always something going on here. Pure zest for life, enjoyment, a multicultural flair and a jam-packed event calendar await travellers. Known as the city of squares, Mannheim impresses with a host of  architectural treasures : the baroque palace, a historic water tower and an Art Nouveau square.

Did you know that Mannheim hosted the best event 2023 and was considered the Best Street Art Destination in Europe ?

People from more than 170 nations shape the atmosphere of this university city. The city of culture and festivals attracts everyone from theatre lovers to techno fans, jazz connoisseurs or cinema buffs. While the Reiss-Engelhorn museum complex and Kunsthalle art gallery whisk visitors away into worlds of experiences ranging from the early days of human history to contemporary art, the murals by graffiti artists form an open-air gallery for international street art. The green city on the banks of two rivers combines urbanity with recreational activities in almost entirely untouched natural settings.

A highlight for Mannheim in 2023 is the Federal Garden Show “BUGA” (April 14th to October 08th 2023) a large laboratory of the future of urban development that goes far beyond a mere exhibition of plants and flowers.

  Best for:  Architecture Lovers, Art Nouveau, Baroque, Street Art, Nature Lovers, Music Festival, All-Year Round Events, Green City, Star-Awarded Cuisine.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to  Mannheim.

  Where to stay:  " Syte ". Centrally Located in Mannheim.

Porto Santo European Best Destinations 2022

11. Porto-Santo, Madeira Islands

This island, little sister of the main island of Madeira , is accessible by plane or by ferry and offers wellness hotels , trendy bars and restaurants, the most beautiful sunsets in Europe, a sunny climate almost all year round.

Porto Santo is an invitation to discover paradisiacal beaches, historical heritage and geological exuberance.

Visiting Porto Santo is discovering a golden island, famous for its nine-kilometer sandy beach. The smallest inhabited island of the Madeira Archipelago is only an hour and a half flight away from Lisbon , in the extreme southwest of Europe, 500 km from the African coast and 1000 km from the European continent.

If you want to disconnect from your tumultuous life,  experience nature, relax,  have no goal in the day except that of watching the sunset, waiting for a good spa treatment, a game of golf or a  nautical activity, then Porto Santo is really for you.

Book your flights to Porto Santo or to Funchal + a domestic flight to Porto Santo (20 min) or a Ferry to Porto Santo (2h30) as well as your accommodation in Porto Santo and your activities & tours in Madeira Islands .

  Best for:  Beach Lovers, Families, Sunny Holidays, Wellness, Golf, Digital Detox.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Porto Santo or Funchal (+ Ferry or domestic Flight - 20 min).

  Where to stay:  " Pestana Porto Santo Beach ". Along the Porto Santo shore.

Toledo European Best Destinations 2023

12. Toledo, Spain

Toledo blends eras, styles and identities since it is both one of the best medieval destinations in Europe but also one of the Best Erasmus destinations in Europe with its famous world-renowned University. A young and historic city, Toledo is authentic and sparkling, traditional and modern. 

‘Toledo’ comes from the Latin word "Toletum" which means "fortified population". Come and discover this city built by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Located in the centre of Spain , Toledo is within easy reach from Madrid (30 min by train). You can either stay in a hotel, a guesthouse or an apartment in Toledo or find your accommodation in Madrid and book your activities in the region such as a Toledo full-day tour from Madrid .

Discover the "city of three cultures" and live unforgettable experiences in Toledo such as a " Madrid: Segovia and Toledo Tour " or a " From Madrid: Toledo Tour with Wine Tasting and 7 Monuments ".

  Best for:  History Buffs, Lovers, Short Breaks, Foodies, Instagrammers.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to  Madrid (30 mins) and  your transfer .

  Where to stay:     " Eugenia de Montijo ". Offers style and comfort in the heart of Toledo.  

European Best Destinations 2023 - Faial

13. Faial, Azores

This year go wild and green and experience eco-responsible adventures in the Azores . Greener than Iceland, less expensive, with a more moderate and milder climate, the Azores are a prime destination for lovers of nature, outdoor sports, hiking, but also gastronomy and even for lovers since they are ranked among the best wedding destinations in Europe .

Considered by the European Commission as a European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), Faial has many sweeping landscapes, unique birds and plants and iconic geological formations, all of them surrounded by a magnificent blue, pure and lively sea. With Sao Jorges and Pico they form a triptych of unique and bewitching islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A place where sailors crossing the ocean like to stop over for a few days or… a lifetime.

The biodiversity of Faial is very rich: 855 vascular plant species that can be found throughout the island, 57 of which are endemic (that exist only in the Azores). The sea of Faial is an extraordinary mosaic of colours, shadows, smells, sounds, silences and emotions, and is emblematic in the life forms it holds, such as cetaceans, seabirds, sharks and all other inhabitants.

Book your flights to Faial (or a flight to Ponta Delgada – Main Island + a domestic flight to Faial), your accommodation in Faial as well as your activities and tours in the Azores such as a " Azores: Whale Watching Boat Tour ".

  Best for:  Nature Lovers, Outdoor Sport, Whale Watching, Sustainable Tourism, Gastronomy, Hiking.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Faial or  Flight to Ponta Delgada + a domestic flight to Faial.

  Where to stay:   " Quinta das Buganvilias " is surrounded by a large park with lush vegetation. It offers self-catering facilities and free bikes.

European Best Destinations 2023 Rhodes - Greece

14. Rhodes, Greece

The island of Rhodes is a perfect destination for lovers of old stones, heritage, fortresses and castles. You like history? This sublime medieval city is one of the best preserved in Europe, so do not miss a visit to the Palace of the Grand Master. When visiting Rhodes do not miss the Ancient Acropolis of Lindos, the historic Rhodes Old Town or just relax on Agios Pavlos beach.

Rhodes is one of the  most beautiful islands in Greece  and certainly one of the most beautiful islands in Europe. It is a perfect destination for any type of travellers. You like a sunny holiday? Rhodes is sunny from May to end of September. You just like laying in the sun? The beach of Tsambika and its turquoise waters await you.

If you are looking for an original family outing, treat yourself to an  excursion  to "Kallithea", the Butterfly Valley or a trip to Kayak or a trip to Lindos Village & Seven Springs.  Treat yourself to a dream holiday on one of the  most beautiful Greek islands.

Ready for an unforgettable stay in Greece ? Discover the Best Hidden Gems in Greece , Best Experience to Live in Greece , Best Places to Visit in Greece , Most Beautiful Beaches in Greece and Most Amazing Castles in Greece .

Book your flights to Rhodes or Athens (+1h Flight) as well as your accommodation in Rhodes and your tours & activities in Rhodes  such as a " Rhodes: Catamaran Day Cruise with Lunch and Drinks ".

  Best for:  Beach Holidays, History Buffs, Foodies, Families, Lovers.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Rhodes or fly to Athens (+1h Domestic Flight).

  Where to stay:   " Rhodes Bay Hotel & Spa " is a 5-star hotel, just 50 min from the beach.

Copenhagen European Best Destinations 2023

15. Copenhagen, Denmark

One of the trendiest capitals in Europe awaits you this year. Come and see for yourself: the thrift stores, independent boutiques, the Tivoli Garden ranked among the  best amusement parks in Europe  (book your  admission ticket here ), Copenhagen’s legendary canal with its  romantic cruises  and of course the "Copenhagen Hidden Gems". 

There are a thousand  activities and experiences to enjoy in Copenhagen . Feeling hungry? Treat yourself to a " Copenhagen Culinary Experience Tour " and taste the local specialties and find out why Copenhagen is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. Fancy a nice drink?  Copenhagen is the centre of Craft Beer! Do you have ants in your pants? Book your tours and activities in Copenhagen such as a " From Copenhagen: Lund & Malmö: Guided Tour of 2 Countries in One Day ".

Book your flights  to Copenhagen , your  accommodation in Copenhagen  as well as your  activities and tours  and discover one of the  best City break destinations in Europe . Do not miss a visit to the "little mermaid". 

  Best for:  Foodies, Beer lovers, Nature, Amusement Park, Family City Break, Shopping.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights   to Copenhagen and  your transfer .

  Where to stay:   " Motel One Copenhagen " is an intimate Danish design hotel inspired by the 50's & 60's fashion.

European Best Destinations 2023 - Tossa de Mar

16. Tossa de Mar, Spain

Blue sky, blue sea and fine sand are awaiting you! Tossa de Mar is enchanting. Its pine forests very near the sea and medieval walls are a magical setting for a perfect holiday in Europe.

Tossa de Mar is one of the best hidden gems of the Costa Brava and one of the most beautiful secret destinations in Spain .

Because you are different, because spending 5 days in Barcelona is ok but …you long to discover new landscapes, new places, we advise you to treat yourself to a short break in Tossa de Mar .

Located just 1h30 from the centre of Barcelona , Tossa de Mar seems unreal: several fine golden sand beaches and a magnificent medieval castle await you. The sweet scent of pine trees is floating in the beautiful fishing village. Tossa de Mar is a destination to put on top of your travel bucket list if you want to discover one of the most beautiful places in Spain  and one of the Best Destinations to visit in Europe . 

Book your flights to Barcelona (1h20 by car), your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Costa Brava such as a " Best of Costa Brava with boat ride and Tossa Visit ".

  Best for:  Beach Holidays, Family Holidays, History Buffs, Foodies, Instagrammers, Sun Seekers.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Barcelona and your transfer .

  Where to stay:   " Gran Hotel Reymar & Spa Superior ", is a beautiful seafront hotel.

European Best Destinations 2023 Ascona Locarno

17. Ascona-Locarno, Switzerland

This year stay in Ascona-Locarno and discover a little corner of paradise and one of the Best Places to visit in Europe in 2023 . Nature is quiet, beautiful and peaceful. This destination is enriching from a cultural, gastronomic, sporting point of view or even if you are looking for a romantic getaway or a holiday in a city on a human scale with your family.

The Swiss part of Lake Maggiore, surrounded by the towns Locarno, Ascona, Brissago and further small villages, prides itself on its numerous and extraordinary natural beauty spots. Thanks to the enchanting flowers and plants from all 5 continents, the Botanical Garden of the Brissago Island is of major importance. Near the lakeshore and the centre of Locarno lies the Camellia Park with over 900 species, some of which are very rare.

Locarno is recognized worldwide for its International Film Festival, the biggest cultural event in Switzerland and one of the most important ones in Europe. It also has a strong relationship with flowers: lovers of nature are drawn by the spectacular shows of camellias, mimosas and magnolias.

Book your flights to Locarno or Milan (1h20 min) as well as your accommodation in Ascona or Locarno and your activities and tours in Switzerland such as a " Locarno: Full-Day Ticket to the Termali Salini & Spa Locarno ".

  Best for:  Romantic Getaway, Family Holidays, Active Holidays, Film Festival, Nature Lovers. 

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Locarno or Milan (1h20).

  Where to stay:   " Hotel Lago Maggiore " is situated on the beautiful lake promenade of Locarno.

Milos European Best Destinations 2023

18. Milos, Greece

Milos Island is one of the best places for a dream holiday in Greece.  Voted one of the Best Places to visit in Europe in 2023 , you have also classified Milos Island among the Best Natural Pools in Europe , Best Beaches in Europe (Sarakiniko Beach and its famous volcanic rocks which offer sunbathers a lunar scenery). It is also classified among the Best Sculptures in Europe with the Venus of Milo now exhibited in Paris and discovered by a peasant on the island of Milos in Greece by pure chance. Finally Milos is obviously ranked among your Most Beautiful Islands in Greece .

Treat yourself to a relaxing day on the beautiful beach of Sarakiniko or on the most exclusive beach of Firiplaka. For history lovers, do not forget to visit the Ancient Theatre of Milos and the Milos Archaelogical Museum.

Book your flights to Milos - the best way to get to Milos is to fly from Athens (1 hour). You can also take a ferry or a Sea Jet (faster than the Ferry) from the port of Athens -, your accommodation in Milos as well as your tours and activities in Milos such as a " Milos: Full day Milos and Poliegos Catamaran Cruise ".

  Best for:  Nature Lovers, Sun Seekers,  Foodies, Families, Instagrammers, History Buffs.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights  to Athens + a domestic flight to Milos or your direct flights to Milos.

  Where to stay:  " White Coast Pool Suites ". Set right on the sea.

Prague European Best Destinations 2023

19. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of your top places to visit in Europe in 2023 ! Do you like discovering cities away from the crowds? Wake up a little earlier than usual, at 5.30 am-6am, and walk around  Prague  before city life starts up again. Discover its markets, cafes, restaurants at dawn, watching the sun rise over the most beautiful monuments of  Prague . This little tip will cost you nothing (other than a few hours of sleep) and will allow you to see Prague from a different perspective.

Need more reasons to visit  Prague  in 2023? You have ranked it among your  Best Christmas Markets in Europe , Best destinations to celebrate  New Year's Eve , Best  honeymoon destinations  in Europe,  Best places to propose  in Europe and  Best Fairy tale destinations in Europe .

Book your flights  to Prague, your  accommodation  and treat yourself to extras from a selection of the  best tours and activities in Prague , such as a " Prague: Sightseeing Dinner Cruise on Open-Top Glass Boat ".

  Best for:   Lovers, Instagrammers, Foodies, Shopping Addicts, City Break, History Buffs, Beer Lovers.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Prague Airport.

  Where to stay:   " Boho Prague " the Old Town Square is 600m away.

Soller European Best Destinations 2023

20. Sóller, Spain

Want some good reasons to visit Sóller on the island of Mallorca this year? You have ranked Sóller among the best hidden gems in Europe, Best honeymoon destinations in Europe , Best hidden gems in Spain , but also best cycling destinations in Europe and best destinations to visit by train in Europe (the little train that goes up to the top of the mountain is charming and authentic and will appeal to the whole family).

Are you looking for a sunny place for your old age? You also ranked Sóller among your best places to get retired in Europe ! There are only good reasons to visit Söller.

Sóller is the most beautiful village on the island of Mallorca. Surrounded by mountains, it is quiet, relaxing and perfect for a family holiday. Although the location is isolated, Sóller is well connected to Palma de Mallorca , (30 minutes from the airport ) by many lines of trams and buses.

If you like nature, hiking, gastronomy, Sóller is for you.

Book your flights to Mallorca (40 mins by car). Book your accommodation and your tours and activities in Mallorca such as a " Mallorca: Tramuntana Panorama Tour - Sóller - Deia - Valldemossa ".

  Best for:  Nature lovers, Hikers, Foodies, Families, Beach Lovers, Instagrammers, Sun Seekers.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights   to Mallorca (40 min by car) and your transfer .

  Where to stay:   “ Hotel Can Roses ”. it is a paradise on earth and just 5 minutes walk from the centre.

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Is this the best destination in Europe?

Benedetta Geddo

Feb 19, 2020 • 2 min read

best european destinations to visit

If you’re planning your spring and summer trips to include Europe and are looking for suggestions of places you absolutely can’t miss, then the announcement of the new ranking of the Best Europe Destinations couldn’t come at a better time.

A picture of Colmar and its canals

The list comes out each year to elect the best destinations in the continent according to travellers themselves. With more than 600,000 votes, the winner for 2020 is the French city of Colmar , located in the Alsace region at the border with Germany and Switzerland . Colmar “can be visited all year round” because every season has something unique to offer, from the magical Christmas markets to the vineyards ready for harvest in autumn.

A picture of Athens with the Parthenon in the background

Second place on the list went to Greece ’s capital Athens , with its great mix of stunning culture that makes the city an open-air museum and vibrant nightlife. The podium was finished off by Tbilisi , the capital of Georgia and a city with a “guaranteed “wow” factor” thanks to its striking mix of architecture styles.

A shot of Tbilisi with the old town in the foreground

One of the safest cities in Europe, Vienna , made its appearance at number four in the list thanks to its fascinating royal history and its overall classy vibe; Portugal ’s Cascais follows in fifth place, confirming its title as one of the most beautiful coastal destinations in the whole of Europe.

A shot of Cascais and its waterfront at night

But the ranking is also a great chance to discover some lesser-known cities that are true hidden gems, like Sibiu in Romania , Namur in Belgium and Rijeka in Croatia , which also happens to be one of Europe’s 2020 Capitals of Culture.

A picture of Rijeka and its riverfront

Closing off the top ten are cities that need no introduction like Paris , at number nine, and the quirky colourful city of Bydgoszcz in Poland . Here’s are the fifteen cities that appear in the Best Europe Destinations ranking: Colmar, France; Athens, Greece; Tbilisi, Georgia; Vienna, Austria ; Cascais, Portugal; Sibiu, Romania; Namur, Belgium; Rijeka, Croatia; Paris, France; Bydgoszcz, Poland;  Rome , Italy ;  Hévíz , Hungary ;  Cork , Ireland ; Rochefort Océan, France; and  Menorca , Spain . 

Read more about each of them at this link . 

You might also like: Can tourists find this lesser-known European capital? Kick off 2020 with a vegan tour of Europe These are the best cities to live and work for European expats

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100 Best Places to Visit in Europe – The Ultimate Bucket List

best places to visit in Europe

  • 21 Pinterest

With so many great options, choosing the best places to visit in Europe can be difficult, from city breaks filled with fascinating history and culture, getaways in nature among breathtaking landscapes and unique natural parks, or the best holiday destinations for a relaxing beach holiday with the whole family.

Venice, Paris and Verona are some of the most beautiful cities for a romantic holiday; Ibiza, Belgrade and Amsterdam promise the best parties and liveliest nightlife, while Riga, Florence and Vienna delight with history and art.

Iceland and the Faroe Islands dazzle outdoor enthusiasts with the most beautiful sceneries, while Croatia and the Greek Islands stand out for their pristine beaches and crystal clear water.

Manchester and Barcelona are some of the best cities to watch a football game in Europe, and for those who want to practice sports, consider Andorra for winter sports, the Azores for watersports and Norway for scenic hikes.

From the Spanish paella and the Italian pasta to the Ukrainian borsch, Europe is also a paradise for the foodies, with extraordinary and diverse gastronomy.

Ready to start planning your next trip?

1 – Venice, Italy

best european destinations to visit

Venice is definitely one of the best places in Europe for a Romantic getaway, with lovely canals, hundreds of bridges and charming alleys, mixed with fascinating history, stunning architecture and a unique lifestyle.

Explore St. Mark’s Square, where the famous Doge’s Palace is located, one of the most visited landmarks in Venice and an impressive Gothic architecture masterpiece.

Next to the Palace, stop by one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe and the most important religious site in Venice, the Basilica of San Marco; and for a glimpse of the whole Venetian lagoon, climb to the St. Mark’s Campanile observation deck.

Cross the Paglia Bridge to admire the iconic Bridge of Sighs, and the Rialto Bridge – the oldest and most famous in Venice – for an overview of the Grand Canal. And, of course, take a boat tour or gondola ride, for a unique viewpoint of the canals!

Don’t miss a chance to explore the lovely islands of Murano, the perfect place to grab a souvenir, or watch a glass-making demonstration; and Burano, famous for its colorful houses.

  • Venice tours

See also: Things to do in Venice , Doge’s Palace tickets , Best Venice boat tours , Tourist attractions in Venice , Best places to visit in Italy

2 – Paris, France

Paris, France

Speaking of romantic cities, Paris is a must on every couple’s bucket list. But there’s much more to do beyond an idyllic Seine River cruise, or watching the Eiffel Tower lit up!

From the prestigious Louvre to the acclaimed d’Orsay, Paris has more museums and monuments than one can count. The city itself is a work of art, and a free walking tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour are the best ways to explore the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, the Sacré Coeur, and all that Paris has to offer.

For those looking for some unusual things to do in Paris, the Catacombs are worth a visit, and for the football lovers, don’t miss the PSG Experience stadium tour!

With plenty of day trips available, the hardest part is choosing among a delicious tasting in the Champagne region, touring the beautiful châteaux of the ​​Loire Valley, or feeling the magic at Disneyland.

At nightfall, the city gets as exciting as during the day, with vibrant nightlife and many night tours to explore. Stroll through Montmartre or The Latin Quarter, grab a drink at the city’s best bars or attend a show at ​Lido de Paris or Moulin Rouge!

  • Paris tours

See also: Things to do in Paris , Best day trips from Paris , Best tourist attractions in Paris , Louvre Museum tickets price , Eiffel Tower tickets price , Best Paris night tours , Best free walking tours , Hop on hop off Paris bus tours , Cheap Disneyland Paris tickets , Best Paris Seine River cruises , Catacombs Paris tickets price , Musée d’Orsay Tickets price , Lido Paris tickets price , PSG Experience stadium tour tickets

3 – Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the best places in Europe for those seeking good weather, good food, and exciting history, mixed with lively nightlife – especially at Bairro Alto.

Get lost in the narrow streets and charming alleys of the district of Alfama, the oldest in the city, stop by the Sé Cathedral and admire the views from the S. Jorge Castle.

For the architecture lovers, the Belém district is full of wonders, such as the Belém Tower or Jerónimos Monastery, the most magnificent examples of Manueline style – also known as the Portuguese late Gothic.

While in Lisbon, there are plenty of incredible day trips, such as the university town of Coimbra ; Aveiro, frequently labeled as the Portuguese Venice; or Fátima, the leading pilgrimage site.

However, no trip to Lisbon would be complete without visiting Sintra, the fairy tale city. With enchanting woods and a charming medieval village to explore, the cherry on top is the colorful Pena Palace, one of Portugal’s most renowned tourist attractions.

  • Lisbon tours

See also: Things to do in Lisbon , Best tourist attractions in Lisbon , dBest  day trips from Lisbon , Pena Palace Sintra tickets

4 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Among the most bicycle-friendly cities in Europe, the charming capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous for its canals, a fascinating architecture mixture, and great coffee shops.

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture with a visit to Anne Frank’s House in the Jewish Quarter and browse through the city’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum.

Taking a day trip is always a good idea, especially in a beautiful country like the Netherlands. Visit the medieval town center of Utrecht, the modern metropolis of Rotterdam, or stop by Keukenhof during the spring for a magical glimpse of the tulips fields.

For a unique experience, sail through the picturesque canals on a canal cruise and marvel at the city’s landmarks.

  • Amsterdam tours

See also: Things to do in Amsterdam , Best day trips from Amsterdam , Best tourist attractions in Amsterdam , Best museums in Amsterdam , Van Gogh Museum last minute tickets , Best Amsterdam canal cruises , Rijksmuseum tickets price

5 – Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

The capital of the Roman Empire, Rome, has thousands of years of history and culture. It is famous for its stunning architecture, with the main attractions being the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

Walking around the Eternal City is like visiting an open-air museum, and to check all of the best sites, take a city tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

But there’s also plenty to see indoors, such as the Borghese Gallery, one of the most prestigious museums in the world. For those seeking unusual activities, check the Catacombs of Rome, the underground galleries used as a cemetery for centuries.

Once the sun sets, there’s still fun guaranteed in Rome, with exciting nightlife. Choose from the night tours available to explore the main attractions, embrace the culture and meet locals.

Due to its location, Rome is a perfect city to establish a base and explore the rest of Italy. Before the trip is over, take a day trip to Naples and the sunny Amalfi Coast, marvel at the Renaissance heritage in Florence, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hadrian’s Villa or Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

See also: Things to do in Rome , Best day trips from Rome , Best Rome tours , Catacombs Rome tickets price , Hop on hop off Rome bus tours , Hadrian’s Villa tours from Rome , Villa d’Este tours from Rome , Rome night tours , Borghese Gallery last minute tickets , Borghese Gallery tickets price , Colosseum last minute tickets , Colosseum tickets price , Colosseum Underground tickets

6 – Tromsø, Norway

Tromso, Norway

Where else in the world can combine the magic of the northern lights with the spectacle of city life? Tromsø, located in Norway, is one of the most unique cities in Europe and is known as the “Paris of the North” for good reason.

From reindeer sledding to restaurant excursions, you can enjoy a mix of outdoor adventure and urban living. During winter, the skies are illuminated with the aurora borealis. You can hit the slopes and go skiing or head indoors for some excellent shopping and dining. Between November and January is also an ideal window for whale watching.

Come summer, you can stay up all night with the Midnight Sun and explore the city, go hiking or join a cruise on the fjords to catch sight of the Arctic wildlife.

During your visit, don’t forget to soak up the culture. Plenty of festivals run throughout the year, including the Tromsø International Film Festival. You can even dine over a traditional meal with Sami reindeer herders and gain an appreciation for indigenous heritage.

  • Tromsø tours

See also: Things to do in Tromsø , Best Places to See the Northern Lights Around the Globe

7 – Vatican City

Saint Peter's basilica, Vatican City

The smallest country in the world and located inside of Rome, Vatican City is one of the best European destinations for Catholics or those seeking religious and cultural experiences.

Tour the city’s top-rated attractions, such as the Vatican Museums, with one of the world’s largest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel, to admire Michelangelo’s beautiful frescoes, or the St. Peter’s Basilica, to explore one of the holiest and most important pilgrimage sites.

Wander around St. Peter’s Square, a popular gathering point for tourists and book a seat at the weekly Papal Audience, held every Wednesday, because no trip to the Vatican is complete without seeing the Pope.

See also: Vatican Museum tickets , Vatican Museum early access tickets , Vatican Museum last minute tickets , Best Vatican tours , Papal audience tickets , Sistine Chapel early access tickets , St Peter’s Basilica skip the line tickets

8 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the sunkissed Dubrovnik welcomes thousands of tourists every year and marvels them with a unique seafront location and a pleasant Old Town.

Stroll through Cersei’s walk of shame and the Old City Walls on a Game of Thrones tour, that takes the fans across the many filming locations in Dubrovnik, one of the best European cities for TV shows fans.

Visit the top of Mount Srd and soak in the views from the Dubrovnik Cable Car; party at Banje Beach and enjoy many water activities, such as a kayak and snorkeling adventure!

To make the most out of the trip, go on a day trip to explore paradise islands, such as the Elaphiti Islands or Hvar, and pristine beaches in Budva or Makarska.

  • Dubrovnik tours

See also: Things to do in Dubrovnik , Best day trips from Dubrovnik , Game of Thrones tours in Dubrovnik

9 – Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean along the African coast, with 8 unique islands to explore. A true gem for outdoor enthusiasts, with mild temperatures, sunny weather, and unspoiled natural attractions.

With plenty of exciting experiences available, Tenerife is the biggest island of the archipelago, home to Spain’s highest peak (also one of the highest volcanoes in the world). Go for a hike at Teide National Park (or take a stargazing tour), meet the animals at Loro Park, and swim with turtles.

Continue the trip with a visit to Fuerteventura, declared by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, highlighting the dazzling landscapes of Timanfaya National Park. Discover volcanic tunnels at Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, and taste wine at the volcanic vineyards of La Geria.

Stop by Gran Canaria to stroll around Vegueta’s old town and relax at the best golden sand beaches. But the other islands are also worth a visit, at least on a day trip – La Gomera, with the unique Garajonay National Park; El Hierro with more than 40 diving points;

Save some time for La Palma, with the breathtaking La Caldera de Taburiente National Park; Fuerteventura with pristine beaches and La Graciosa with unique underwater flora and fauna.

  • Canary Islands tours

See also: Things to do in Lanzarote , Things to do in Gran Canaria , Things to do in Tenerife , Things to do in Fuerteventura

10 – London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

London is at the top of the bucket list for most travelers, and it’s not hard to figure out why: one of the world’s most acclaimed and cosmopolitan cities, with over two millennia of history, rich in arts, science, architecture, politics, and lively nightlife.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many great things to do in London, to ensure the best sites such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London Eye are visited, take a free walking tour or hop on a bus tour.

To relax from the fast pace of the city, stop by the Kew Gardens, meet the animals at London Zoo, visit one of the city’s many museums or catch a musical show.

Consider also taking a day trip to the prehistoric Stonehenge, the spa town of Bath, or the charming town of Windsor – with the main attraction being the Windsor Castle.

And of course, one cannot mention London without a Harry Potter tour and the chance to experience the magic Harry Potter Studio.

  • London tours

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11 – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Artistic, festive, and fun, Barcelona combines a rich cultural heritage with golden sand beaches and vibrant nightlife.

With the Sagrada Familia attracting visitors worldwide, Park Güell and Casa Batlló are also among the city’s highlights. Still, with so much to discover, it might be worth checking the Barcelona attractions passes to ensure the best deals and visit as many monuments as possible.

A walking tour and a hop-on hop-off bus tour are among the best ways to explore Barcelona, but the cherry on top is the helicopter tour for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view.

Stop by La Boqueria to taste some of Barcelona’s finest treats, and for the football fans touring the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is a must.

After checking all of the best tours Barcelona has to offer, it’s always a great idea to explore the surroundings on a day trip. Whether snorkeling on Costa Brava or skiing in Andorra, there’s something for every tourist!

  • Barcelona tours

See also: Things to do in Barcelona , Best tourist attractions in Barcelona , Best day trips from Barcelona , Sagrada Familia tickets price , Best Barcelona free walking tours , Best places to visit in Spain

12 – Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

With some of the best breweries and Biergartens in Germany, famous for the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, but also with a rich history, architecture, and delicious cuisine, Munich is a major European destination.

Grab a drink at Englischer Garten; explore the Old Town and see the Marienplatz or take a food tour at Viktualienmarkt; visit Nymphenburg Palace, the largest Bavarian palace, check all of Kunstareal District museums and cheer on Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.

The whole Bavaria region is also worth exploring, so save time for a day trip to visit the magical Neuschwanstein Castle, the charming medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, or ski at Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze.

  • Munich tours

See also: Things to do in Munich , Best day trips from Munich

13 – Monaco


The sophisticated and glamorous city-state along the French Riviera, with mild temperatures and home to more millionaires than any other region in the world, Monaco is an excellent destination during the entire year and has plenty of fun things to do.

See the sharks at the Oceanographic Museum, stroll through Palais du Prince, take a walking tour around the charming Old Town, or catch a world-class performance at Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

For car enthusiasts, try a luxury car driving experience and get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.

Considering booking the trip during the F1 Grand Prix to catch one of the most thrilling and top-rated races in the world and, of course, try your luck at the best casinos – especially the Monte-Carlo.

  • Monaco tours

See also: Things to do in Monaco

14 – Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford, United Kingdom

Home to England’s oldest university, Oxford is a historical wonderland to explore, and the highlights include the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Oxford is one of the best European destinations for scholars and literature, and cinema enthusiasts, with places like Alice’s shop and Alice’s Window at Christ Church to explore.

Plenty of famous authors held academic positions at Oxford University, such as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) and C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), and only one hour drive away, it’s possible to explore Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Discover the most fabulous filming locations on a Harry Potter or Downton Abbey tour, from the Divinity School and Bodleian Library to the Cogges Manor Farm and St Mary’s Church.

  • Oxford tours

See also: Things to do in Oxford

15 – Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

One of the most beautiful places in the world , attracting thousands of tourists every year, Amalfi Coast is the perfect spring/summer getaway, with a stunning coastline, breathtaking scenic drives and lovely villages to explore.

Start the trip in the port city of Salerno and climb to the top of Castello di Arechi to admire the unique views 270 meters above the gulf. Continue with Vietri sul Mare to appreciate as much art as possible and the typical colorful ceramics.

Stop by the small fishing village of Cetara and taste the delicious seafood before continuing to Maiori and soaking up some local culture and cuisine, or exploring the hidden gem of Tramonti.

Try Minori’s pasta factories, visit the 18th century Church of Santa Trofimena and walk along the Path of Lemons. For some jaw-dropping views, stop by Terrazza dell’Infinito in Ravello.

Head to the hills and check the oldest town in Amalfi Coast, the incredible medieval-style village of Scala, and proceed to the photogenic Atrani, before reaching the famous and energetic Amalfi.

Marvel at the magical Emerald Grotto in Conca dei Marini, before heading to Furore and crossing Fjord of Furore off the bucket list. Continue to Praiano and Positano, the perfect villages to relax by the superb white sand beaches, without forgetting the famous Path of the Gods hike.

  • Amalfi Coast tours

See also: Things to do on the Amalfi Coast , Best Amalfi Coast boat tours

16 – Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Capital of Ireland, the famous Emerald Isle, thousands of tourists are attracted to Dublin for the legendary Guinness Storehouse, the Irish beer and lively pubs, but the city has much more to offer and has inspired so many artists with its unique beauty.

From James Joyce’s “Ulysses” to the filming location of “Braveheart”, also visit the deers at Phoenix Park, and tour the renowned landmarks, such as the Dublin Castle and the Trinity College.

When in Dublin, make sure to save time for a day trip and explore the stunning surroundings – any Game of Thrones fans out here? There are plenty of  Game of Thrones tours from Dublin available, stopping by the prominent filming locations in the area.

  • Dublin tours

See also: Things to do in Dublin , Best day trips from Dublin , Guinness Storehouse tickets price

17 – Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence is easily among the best European destinations for art and history lovers. Birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the wealthiest cities during the medieval era, Florence became a top-tier artistic, commercial and political center.

Stroll through the massive Piazza del Duomo, which feels like an open-air museum, and climb to the Duomo’s dome for the most impressive view of Florence.

Discover the home of the Medici Royal Family at Pitti Palace and head to the gothic masterpiece of Palazzo Vecchio.

Florence houses some of the best and most visited museums in Italy, and to make the most out of it, consider grabbing a combined ticket to the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery.

Besides Florence, the whole Tuscany region deserves to be explored (make sure to not miss our list of things to do in Tuscany ). Take a day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the medieval towers of San Gimignano or relax at the spa town of Saturnia.

  • Florence tours

See also: Things to do in Florence , Best day trips from Florence , Florence Duomo tickets price , Florence Duomo tours , Palazzo Vecchio tickets price , Pitti Palace tickets price , Accademia Gallery tickets price , Uffizzi Gallery tickets price , Best museums in Florence

18 – Santa Claus Village, Finland

Santa Claus Village, Finland

This amusement park located in Rovaniemi, in the Lapland region, is one of the best places to visit in Europe with children, but grants a whole lot of fun for the whole family.

The main attractions at the Santa Claus Village are the Arctic Circle, a white line painted across the park letting visitors know when they’ve officially entered the Arctic region.

In the heart of the village, the Santa Claus Office can be found, open since 1992 with the world’s nicest man welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the world in his office.

Due to its latitude, this charming village and its surroundings are perfect for some northern lights hunting. This stunning natural phenomenon will make the Santa Claus Village even more magical.

  • Rovaniemi tours

See also: Things to do in Rovaniemi

19 – Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

Busy and cosmopolitan, Milan is home to the major Italian fashion brands and offers a perfect mix of art and historical architecture, with impressive modern skyscrapers.

One cannot go to Milan without visiting one of the most sacred landmarks and among the most prominent Christian sites globally, the Duomo. Next to it, there’s the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the perfect place for window shopping across some high fashion boutiques.

Book a ticket to Santa Maria Delle Grazie, for the unique opportunity to admire Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the most acclaimed works from the creative genius.

Milan is considerably quick to visit, making the perfect opportunity to combine it with a day trip to one of the nearby stunning lakes, such as Lake Como and Lake Garda; or a mountain adventure at the Swiss Alps or the Dolomites.

  • Milan tours

See also: Things to do in Milan , Best day trips from Milan , Duomo Milan skip the line tickets , Santa Maria Delle Grazie tickets price , Last Supper Milan last minute tickets

20 – Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

Literally meaning “suspended in the air”, Meteora is an impressive area in Greece with unique rock formations shaped by the rain, wind and other natural phenomenons for millions of years.

But the most astonishing thing about the area is the Orthodox monasteries housed on top of the rocks, assembling one of the world’s largest and most important Orthodox monasteries complexes.

Before the monasteries were built, there were caves – such as the Theopetra Cave – inhabited for over 50.000 years and occupied by monks seeking refuge during the Turkish occupation.

During the 19th century, steps were carved into the rocks, but back in the days, the top was only accessible by ropes and retractable ladders, making it even more mind-blowing and worth a visit.

  • Meteora tours

21 – Krka National Park, Croatia

Krka National Park, Croatia

Just one hour away from Split, along the Krka River, is one of Croatia’s best natural wonders, the Krka National Park.

Intended for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes, recreational and touristic activities quickly gained popularity among the visitors.

Visit one of the most preserved and unaltered ecosystems, with exceptionally rich flora. Even though it’s no longer possible to swim there, it’s still worth a visit to the Skradinski Buk, an incredible natural pool with a set of waterfalls.

Set aside one full day to explore the park and the footpaths, and consider taking either a sightseeing or boat tour.

  • Krka (town) tours

22 – Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

The capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and world-famous for some of the most delicious pasta dishes, Bologna is one of the best places to visit in Europe for the foodies.

Try as many Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese as possible, and consider a food tour to taste the best cured meats, sausages, and cheeses across the city’s popular markets, such as the Quadrilatero Old Market and Mercato Delle Erbe.

Between food tastings, climb the Bologna Towers, once used by the wealthy families for defensive purposes. Wander around Bologna’s main square, Piazza Maggiore, and find the hidden canals at Finestrella di Via Piella.

  • Bologna tours

See also: Things to do in Bologna

23 – Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Home to the European Parliament and known as the capital of Europe, along with world-class beer, delicious chocolate and waffles, mixed with rich history, architecture and museums, make Brussels a traveler’s dream.

Start exploring at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the center of Brussels, and don’t forget a visit to the Atomium.

To check all of the iconic landmarks like the Parc du Cinquantenaire and the Palais Royal, consider either a bike or a bus tour, and stop by the world’s largest parliamentary visitor center, the Parlamentarium.

  • Brussels tours

See also: Things to do in Brussels

24 – Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Famous for its world-class museums and for being one of the most iconic European cities, Berlin combines turbulent history, high technology, and culture with authentic German pubs and Biergartens.

For the most breathtaking views of the city, visit the TV Tower and the German Parliament Building, also known as the Reichstag, and climb to its dome.

Consider a walking tour to learn about history at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and what’s left of the Berlin wall; walk across the Brandenburg Gate, and stroll through the main landmarks, such as the Alexanderplatz.

  • Berlin tours

See also: Things to do in Berlin , Best free walking tours in Berlin , Reichstag Dome tickets , Berlin TV Tower tickets price

25 – Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii, Italy

Speaking of turbulent history, just 30 minutes away from Naples is a major UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, the city of Pompeii is one of the best places to visit in Europe for history lovers.

Destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’s eruption, the quick burial of the Roman city allowed its preservation for centuries and its excavation provided unique information about life in the ancient world.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii is definitely worth visiting and there are plenty of tours departing from nearby locations, such as the Amalfi Coast villages. There’s also the possibility to combine it with a climb to Mount Vesuvius.

Among the unmissable places to check are the Basilica, the Forum, the House of Faun and one of the oldest surviving Roman amphitheaters, the Amphitheatre of Pompeii. Get a skip-the-line ticket and start exploring right away!

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See also: Pompeii tickets price , Best Pompeii tours

26 – Andorra


This small country, located by the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France, is one of the best winter destinations in Europe when it becomes a ski and snowboard paradise.

Among the fun things to do in Andorra are plenty of ski areas, such as Pas de la Casa, Vallnord, and Grandvalira.

Andorra la Vella – the capital – is also worth checking, with the largest spa center in Europe, the magnificent Caldea, fed by mineral-rich thermal waters.

This is also an excellent destination for beautiful hikes and mountain biking experiences throughout the entire year. Enjoy a getaway in nature, amid lakes and mountains, with trails for all levels – such as the Tristaina Lake Trail.

  • Andorra tours

27 – Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester is one of the UK’s major creative hubs, with outstanding nightlife, lovely Victorian-era architecture, and a renowned sporting industry.

An excellent destination for sports lovers, start the trip with a tour of the two main stadiums, the Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, and Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City; and check out the National Football Museum.

With a thriving arts scene, there’s plenty to explore indoors – at the Manchester Art Gallery or The Whitworth – but also outdoors, on a memorable street art tour.

And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Catch a performance at Manchester Opera House, which has hosted major musicals like the Phantom of the Opera; or see a show at one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, AO Arena.

  • Manchester tours

See also: Things to do in Manchester

28 – Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Welcoming millions of visitors every year, the stunning capital of Spain, Madrid, promises a trip full of exciting things to do and unforgettable memories.

Start with a glimpse of the Spanish Royal Family life at the Royal Palace of Madrid and check the Almudena Cathedral nearby. Consider joining a free walking tour and exploring the unique districts, such as Barrio de las Letras or La Latina ​- and even a Money Heist’s filming locations tour.

With some of the finest European museums housed in Madrid, marvel at the greatest masterpieces from Goya, Reubens, or El Greco at Prado Museum, and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia Museum.

Due to its central location, Madrid is the perfect base for exploring other Spanish gems, such as the impressive medieval castle in Segovia, the wine region of Ribera del Duero, or the lively university city of Salamanca.

  • Madrid tours

See also: Things to do in Madrid , Best day trips from Madrid , Best tourist attractions in Madrid , Royal Palace of Madrid tickets price , Reina Sofia Museum tickets price , Prado Museum tickets price , Madrid free walking tours

29 – Azores, Portugal

Azores, Portugal

One of Europe’s best-kept secrets and often compared to Hawaii, the subtropical archipelago of Azores is a hidden gem in the Atlantic ocean. With nine inhabited islands, this is one of the best destinations for outdoor lovers and those seeking a nature retreat.

With mild temperatures and incredible coastline, Azores are a paradise for watersports enthusiasts. Step away from the shore and embark on some diving adventure or whale and dolphin watching.

Explore the beautiful trails and soak in the views of the Sete Cidades Caldera or Boca do Inferno viewpoint in São Miguel island; hike Mount Pico in Pico Island, Monte Brasil in Terceira, or Fajã Grande in Flores and spot many lakes, waterfalls, and breathtaking landscapes.

Also, in São Miguel, stop by Furnas Valley to check the geothermal wonder of Lagoa das Furnas, immerse in the hot springs of Terra Nostra Garden, and taste the unique Cozido das Furnas, a local stew made from meat and vegetable, slowly cooked underground with the hot springs steam.

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See also: Things to do in the Azores

30 – Loire Castles, France

Chenonceau Castle, Loire Valley, France

Once the extravagant retreats of the French kings, designed for entertainment and enjoyment purposes, today, the fairy tale castles of the Loire Valley are one of the most fascinating European destinations.

With tours for all kinds of budgets, this dreamy multi-day trip easily reached from Paris must be on everyone’s list – the most challenging part is choosing which ones to visit, among so many great options.

The glorious and beautiful decorated Château of Chambord is one of France’s most famous castles; originally a fortified tower, Château de Villandry stands out for the marvelous Renaissance gardens.

With stunning views of the Loire River, Château d’Amboise might be small but equally worth visiting; Château du Clos Lucé, the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519; and the list of the best Loire Valley Castles goes on!

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See also: Best Loire Valley Castles to Visit from Paris

31 – Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

One of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions, with clear turquoise waters and a stunning tiny island with a church in the middle, Lake Bled is perfect for a summer getaway.

Easily reached from Ljubljana, the visit to Lake Bled can also be combined with Vintgar Gorge, another of Bled’s natural wonders.

Adventure on the lake on a boat ride, kayaking, or take a dip in the swimming area. For some land activities, hike the Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica loop trail.

The medieval Bled Castle is also worth visiting, sitting atop a cliff 130 meters above the lake, with stunning views – especially at sunset – and even a unique dining experience. Tasting the typical Bled Cream Cake called Kremšnita is a must for those with a sweet tooth.

32 – Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain

The sunny jewel of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is one of the best European summer destinations and among the most popular Mediterranean islands.

Explore its spectacular coastline and relax at the most pristine white sand beaches of Cala Vella and Es Trenc Beach, or adventure on a snorkeling tour and explore the underwater wonders.

Wander around Palma de Mallorca Old Town, stop by the magnificent Palma Cathedral and delight yourself on a tapas tour.

Mallorca offers breathtaking landscapes, and hiking Serra de Tramuntana mountain is a must. However, don’t overlook the stunning underworld of Cuevas del Drach and Caves of Hams.

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See also: Things to do in Mallorca

33 – Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

A popular Italian tourist destination, the coastal villages of Cinque Terre offer stunning beaches, photogenic colorful houses, thrilling hikes and superb cuisine.

Monterosso al Mare is the biggest of the five villages and the ultimate beach destination. Vernazza is famous for the colorful houses along the small harbor, with the castle on top of the hill, quickly becoming the most photographed spot in the region.

Riomaggiore, famous for delicious wine and olive oil, is connected to Manarola through Via dell’Amore, the most romantic footpath with incredible sea views.

Last but not least, stop by the oldest and smallest villa, Corniglia. Surrounded by lovely vineyards, stop by Saint Mary’s Terrace and soak in the views.

  • Cinque Terre tours

See also: Best Cinque Terre boat tours , Fun things to do in Cinque Terre

34 – Faroe Islands

Faeroe Islands

Tucked between Iceland and Norway, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands offer one of the best and most unique sceneries in Europe, and its popularity is quickly rising.

Explore Lake Sorvagsvatn and its optical illusion, with an angle where it looks like the river is floating above the ocean; marvel at the beautiful Mulafossur Waterfall in the village of Gasadalur and snap a picture of the iconic Drangarnir.

Home to thousands of Puffins, visit the Mykines island to meet these adorable birds. With more sheep than humans, you’re most likely to encounter these fluffy inhabitants during the trip.

Despite the remote locations, exploring the Faroe Islands on a road trip is very easy, especially with the underwater tunnels connecting them.

35 – Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

One of Poland’s oldest cities and the second-largest one, there are several reasons to visit the historical Krakow.

Start by wandering around the charming old town and let this UNESCO World Heritage site transport you back to middle age.

Explore Wawel Royal Castle, one of Poland’s most important cultural sites, the largest medieval square, Rynek, and tour Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter.

Just a few minutes away from Krakow, save the last day for a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau – which can be emotionally draining, but full of remarkable stories that deserve to be remembered.

  • Krakow tours

See also: Things to do in Krakow

36 – Pisa, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Worldwide famous for the leaning tower and for being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei, Pisa is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway.

The city’s highlight is Piazza dei Miracoli, where it’s possible to explore the main landmarks – the Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistry, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It’s also worth strolling through the River Arno, walking along the shopping street, Borgo Stretto, and checking Pisa’s second main square, Piazza dei Cavalieri.

Save at least one full day to explore the surrounding area and make the most of your Tuscany trip, admiring the Renaissance city walls of Luca, the modern Livorno, by the Ligurian Sea, or the enchanting Florence.

See also: Leaning Tower of Pisa tickets , Things to do in Pisa

37 – Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

In the sunny Spanish Costa del Sol, showing the best Andalusia has to offer, Malaga mixes paradisiac beaches, diverse museums, vibrant nightlife and delicious tapas.

With a rich history, explore the Alcazaba and marvel at the views from the ancient Gibralfaro Castle.

The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, find plenty of its wonderful works at the Picasso Museum or join a walking tour and pass across the artist’s childhood home.

Sunbathe at the best Mediterranean beaches, from the famous Playa la Malagueta to the less crowded Playa Peñon del Cuervo.

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See also: Things to do in Malaga

38 – Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania

One of Europe’s most famous castles, perched atop a hill, the Bran Castle is commonly known as Dracula’s home.

Built during the 12th century at Transylvania and Wallachia’s border, used for defensive purposes against the Ottoman Empire, providing safe passage between the regions and contributing to their economic development.

The site gained popularity for matching the castle described in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, even though the Irish author never visited Romania.

Welcoming thousands of visitors per year, it houses a private museum dedicated to Queen Marie’s art and furniture collection, richly ornating the rooms.

  • Transylvania tours

See also: Best castles in Europe

39 – Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the large Kravica Waterfall by the Trebižat River is one of the country’s most precious jewels and best-kept secrets, with its popularity still rising.

Open from May to October, with 25 meters high, this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the area has much more to offer, such as a peaceful picnic area and a small cafe.

During the hottest months, the best part of the visit is diving into the lake’s clear waters. There are kayaking tours through the river available for those wanting to explore a little more.

40 – Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

The world’s most extensive flower garden, the Keukenhof is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the spring and witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing 7 million tulips bloom.

Rent a bike and pedal around the park or take a relaxing boat tour, a visit to the Keukenhof gardens is also an excellent program for the whole family, let the kids join a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens or pet some furry friends at the petting zoo.

Attracting millions of visitors each year, the garden is easily reached from Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

See also: Keukenhof Gardens tickets price

41 – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a dream destination with diverse architecture, from the gothic wonder of Church of Our Lady before Týn to the modern and creative Dancing House; outstanding museums, and vibrant nightlife.

Start with a walking tour to check the city’s main sites, from admiring the outstanding Old Town and seeing the famous Astronomical Clock, to the iconic Prague Castle.

Cross the Charles Bridge – possibly on a ghost tour, and learn at the various museums, from the Museum of Communism to the Apple Museum.

Immerse in the local culture and attend a Czech Folklore Show or get the time of your life at a locally-led pub crawl.

  • Prague tours

See also: Things to do in Prague , Prague Castle tickets price , Prague free walking tours

42 – Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Overflowing with legends and stories from the Greek Empire, ranking among the sunniest cities in Europe, Athens’s rich history mixed with modernity makes it a complex and extraordinary destination.

Explore the main historical landmarks, such as the iconic Acropolis – and climb there for the city’s best views; marvel at the Parthenon temple’s architecture and visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

After checking all monuments and museums, relax by the white sand beaches at Athens Riviera, or consider a day trip to make the most of this Greek adventure.

  • Athens tours

See also: Things to do in Athens , Best tourist attractions in Athens , Best day trips from Athens , Acropolis tickets price

43 – Versailles, France

Versailles, France

Formerly a royal residence, the magnificent Versailles Palace is one of the world’s most visited palaces nowadays and can be easily reached from Paris.

Several tickets are available, some of which also include the Estate of Trianon, Versailles Gardens, and even the musical fountain show, to make the most of the visit – and if the tickets are sold out, check how to grant last-minute Versailles Palace tickets !

With a massive area and over 2000 rooms, it might be worth considering a guided tour to understand its history. One of the palace’s highlights is the Hall of Mirrors, with 357 mirrors.

  • Versailles tours

See also: Versailles tickets price , Best Versailles tours , Best places to visit in France

44 – Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Often considered one of the best European destinations, Porto has outstanding beauty mixed with delicious gastronomy and incredible nightlife.

Explore the old town and its iconic landmarks, from the Sé do Porto Cathedral to the colorful Largo da Pena Ventosa square, and the spectacular views from Miradouro da Vitória.

While in Porto, one can’t overlook the chance to taste one of the world’s most famous wines, the delicious Francesinha, and catch a fado show.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Porto, from observing the inspiration behind Harry Potter at Gomes Teixeira Square to the fantastic Douro Valley cruises, or exciting day trips to the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the Minho region.

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See also: Things to do in Porto

45 – Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

A small city where the land meets the sea, with a rich Viking history, exciting music scene, and plenty of islands to explore on a kayaking trip, Stockholm is an excellent destination for a quick city break.

Admire artifacts at the Royal Palace and wander around the colorful Gamla Stan – which translates to Old Town.

To get deeper into the city’s history, visit the 17th-century warship at Vasa Museum. With the Vikings being one of Sweden’s most famous ancestors, several tours pass through the most important sites, such as the ancient settlement of Granby.

Delight in modern Swedish cuisine and enjoy Stockholm’s nightlife, whether it is by catching a show at Avicii Arena, seeing a ballet at Royal Swedish Opera, or joining a pub crawl.

  • Stockholm tours

See also: Things to do in Stockholm

46 – Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Riga is the liveliest among the capitals, with outstanding Art Nouveau architecture, exuberant nightlife, and stunning landscapes.

Stroll around the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with most of Riga’s monuments, such as the iconic House of the Blackheads, the St. Peter’s Church, or the Central Market.

Learn about the Latvian War of Independence at Freedom Monument, and get transported back to Medieval times at the Swedish Gate.

Try some Riga Black Balsam – made from pure vodka – and party at the many pubs and bars.

See also: Things to do in Riga

47 – Granada, Spain

Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Granada is an excellent choice for a city break: one of the most iconic Andalusian destinations, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful Islamic architecture, delicious tapas, and exciting flamenco shows.

Perched atop a hill, find the impressive Alhambra fortress and marvel at the views from the Alcazaba Tower. There are plenty of Alhambra tickets available, some of which also combine the visit to Generalife.

Check the Royal Chapel of Granada, explore the unique Albaicín district, and explore the Moorish-styled Alcaicería. For a remarkable sunset, stop by San Nicolas Viewpoint.

With a rich Arab heritage, save some time to relax at a traditional hammam spa or tour the best-preserved Arab baths at El Bañuelo.

  • Granada tours

See also: Things to do in Granada , Alhambra tickets price

48 – Kiruna, Sweden

Kiruna, Sweden

As the northernmost city in Sweden, Kiruna is well-situated for all of your Arctic adventures. Whether you’re journeying here to witness the aurora borealis or stay the night in the famous Ice Hotel, Kiruna will expand your horizons.

Head to the Abisko National Park and immerse yourself in the alpine landscape. Here, you can watch the northern lights come out, go hiking or practice your photographic skills.

For a classic Swedish experience, put on your snowsuit and go dog sledding! Keep your camera on hand to capture the once-in-a-lifetime ride. This is one activity the kids won’t soon forget. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, you can traverse the terrain on a snowmobile.

To get a taste of local culture, you can join a city tour that includes dining out on street food. Savor the Arctic cheese and reindeer and moose meat in a traditional tipi!

  • Kiruna tours

See also: Things to do in Kiruna

49 – Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

Once among the most significant medieval cities in Germany, most of Frankfurt was destroyed during the Second World War. Nowadays, it perfectly blends modernity and history, with an impressive skyline, rich museums, the Goethe-Haus, and Anne Frank’s first home.

Look out for the city’s oldest building, the 15th-century medieval Eschenheim Tower, contrasting with Financial District’s opulent skyscrapers – where the city gets its Mainhattan nickname from.

Explore the lively Römerberg and soak in the views from the top of the Frankfurt Cathedral observation tower. Cross the Eiserner Steg bridge and stroll through the scenic Mainkai walk while marveling at the Main river.

Famous for its sausages, stop by Kleinmarkthalle to grab a traditional wurst at Metzgerei Schreiber, and accompany it with some apple wine.

  • Frankfurt tours

See also: Things to do in Frankfurt

50 – Capri, Italy

Capri, Italy

Located in the Gulf of Naples, with an outstanding landscape and delicious cuisine, there’s a lot to explore in Capri.

Check the world-famous Piazzetta di Capri, the island’s center and its liveliest area, and try some ravioli capresi at the local restaurants.

Book a boat tour in Capri and adventure on its stunning turquoise waters and marvel at the Arco Naturale and Blue Gotto. Relax by the Gardens of Augustus and admire its views.

Visit the dreamy Villa San Michele and, of course, sunbathe at Capri’s best beaches such as Marina Grande, the best one for swimming, and the famous Bagni di Tiberio.

  • Capri tours

See also: Best boat tours in Capri

51 – Greek Islands

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

From the worldwide famous dreamy white villages of Santorini to the unique pink sand of Elafonisi Beach in Crete, the Greek Islands are a piece of heaven in the Mediterranean and definitely worth visiting.

In Crete, the largest of the islands, stroll around the Venetian Harbour and explore Chania ’s lovely Old Town, sunbathe in Falasarna, and marvel at the historical Knossos Palace.

Continuing to one of the finest islands in the Aegean Sea, Rhodes, explore the ancient ruins of Lindos Acropolis, snorkel in secluded coves, and wonder at the natural reserve of the Butterflies Valley.

Home of Hippocrates, Kos has a rich history and unique landscapes to explore. Continue with Mykonos with a lovely old town and vibrant nightlife, making it one of the best greek islands for partying.

With jaw-dropping turquoise waters, stop by Porto Timoni Beach in Corfu, snorkel in one of the finest Blue Lagoons in the world, and visit the distinctive Cape Dastris cliffs.

On the best European island for a honeymoon, the charming Santorini, watch the most romantic sunsets at Oia and swim at the unique Red Beach with volcanic red sand.

And of course, there’s much more to explore, considering Greece has over 200 islands. Enjoy the dreamiest beaches, embrace its rich history and try the delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

See also: Things to do in Rhodes , Things to do in Kos , Things to do in Santorini , Things to do in Crete , Things to do in Corfu , Things to do in Mykonos , Things to do in Paros , Things to do in Naxos

52 – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s oldest and largest natural park, with almost 300 km², Plitvice Lakes, is one of the best places to visit in Europe and among its most extraordinary natural wonders.

Its primary attraction is the crystal clear lakes, which only cover 1% of this enormous park. With a total of 16 main lakes connected through stunning waterfalls, even though they look enchanting, swimming is prohibited.

With incredible fauna and flora to admire, adventure on the park’s hiking trails, or rent a boat and row in Kozjak lake. The park turns into a white wonderland during the winter, and skiing is among the most popular activities.

  • Plitvice Lake tours

53 – Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Among the most famous cities of Andalusia, with world-famous flamenco shows, glorious architecture, and delicious tapas, the sunkissed Seville is filled with fun things to do.

With Christian and Moorish influences, explore the stunning Real Alcázar of Seville, and continue to the Seville Cathedral & La Giralda, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

Climb to the unique Setas de Sevilla and rent a rowboat at Plaza de Plaza de España. And for the Game of Thrones fans, there are a couple of filming locations to visit.

To make the most of your trip, there are plenty of day trips available, from the historical Italica, the natural wonder of Doñana National Park, the unique city of Ronda, to the paradise beaches at Zahara de los Atunes.

  • Seville tours

See also: Things to do in Seville , Best day trips from Seville , Real Alcazar of Seville tickets price

54 – Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

World-famous for its vibrant nightlife and parties, Belgrade has something for everyone – from spectacular galleries and architecture to the bustling streets and best bars.

Visit Belgrade’s largest park, Kalemegdan, and find the old citadel at the Belgrade Fortress. Admire Serbia’s major Orthodox Church, the Church of St Sava, and stop by the Nikola Tesla Museum.

After absorbing all of the city’s rich and turbulent history, embrace its reputable nightlife, with great indoor clubs and taverns during the cold months, and riverside venues for the warm months.

  • Belgrade tours

See also: Things to do in Belgrade

55 – Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Translated to “troll tongue”, Norway’s most famous rock formation and one of the most photographed in the world, Trolltunga, is perched on the side of a fjord, over 1000 meters above the sea.

The 14 km hike starts by the Ringedalsvatnet lake and takes about 8-12 hours, depending on the experience level. Despite the challenging trail, take the time to enjoy the journey and marvel at the breathtaking Norwegian landscape.

56 – Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

A Spanish oasis in the Mediterranean, the island of Ibiza is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer months.

With an outstanding coastline, take a boat tour and cool down by the island’s incredible beaches, from Cala Comte, the most famous one, the calm turquoise waters of Cala Bassa, to the hippie vibe of Cala Benirràs.

Wander around the fortified Old Town, with labyrinth streets and the best views over the harbor.

And what most visitors come from: go party – from plenty of boat and pool parties to join, to the world’s most famous beach clubs and the best party venues, there’s always fun granted in Ibiza.

  • Ibiza tours

See also: Things to do in Ibiza

57 – Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Near the French border, the city of Geneva is the headquarters of the United Nations in Europe, with the impressive Palais des Nations.

Explore the charming Old Town, see the Flower Clock at the lovely Jardin Anglais and visit the city’s incredible museums such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.

By the margin of Geneva Lake, admire one of the world’s tallest water fountains, Jet d’Eau, and explore the lake and the surrounding cities on a boat tour.

And while in Switzerland, taste as much chocolate as possible!

  • Geneva tours

See also: Things to do in Geneva

58 – Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Less touristy than the nearby European capitals, Sofia is famous for the massive Saint Alexander Nevsky Patriarch’s Cathedral, the royal Vrana Palace, and the 10th-century Boyana Church.

Stroll through the pedestrian Pirotska Street, stop by its excellent shops and cafes, or grab a souvenir at the Central Market Hall.

Catch a worldwide famous folklore show or a performance at the Sofia Opera and Ballet, and embrace the city’s lively nightlife.

  • Sofia tours

See also: Things to do in Sofia

59 – Ljubjana, Slovenia

Ljubjana, Slovenia

The charming capital of Slovenia by the margin of the Ljubljanica River, one of Ljubljana’s most iconic attractions is the Ljubljana Castle perched atop a hill, in the middle of the city.

Cross the Dragon Bridge – with the dragon being the city’s symbol and protector – explore the beautiful Old Town, with the lively Prešeren Square, ​and finish by relaxing at the large Tivoli Park.

For some alternative activities, stop by the Metelkova Art Center, the city’s cultural and artistic hub, with performances, exhibitions, and a lot of incredible street art.

  • Ljubljana tours

See also: Things to do in Ljubljana

60 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Famous for being Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace and the little mermaid sculpture, this small Scandinavian city has a lot to offer to its visitors.

With magnificent Danish cuisine and the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen attracts visitors worldwide.

Shop at Strøget, Europe’s largest pedestrian streets, wander around the city’s Old Town, and admire Nyhavn’s colorful architecture through a canal cruise.

Delve into Copenhagen’s rich history and culture with a visit to Christiansborg Palace and the many museums – such as the National Museum of Denmark.

  • Copenhagen tours

See also: Things to do in Copenhagen

61 – Mont Saint Michel, France

Mont Saint Michel, France

Easily reached on a day trip from Paris to Normandy, the magnificent Mont Saint Michel is one of France’s most remarkable medieval gems.

Welcoming pilgrims since the 8th century, this small island with the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel perched at the top is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe.

Take the time to explore the medieval village, admire the ancient defense walls and climb to the North Tower observation deck, for an outstanding view of the bay.

  • Normandy tours

See also: Best Normandy tours from Paris , Mont Saint Michel Day Trip from Paris – Price & Tips

62 – Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

By the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the charming Helsinki delights those who visit it with stunning sea landscapes, landmarks and delicious Nordic cuisine.

Take the ferry to one of the world’s largest sea fortresses, Suomenlinna, once a substantial naval base. Today, not only one of Finland’s most fantastic attractions but also home to 900 inhabitants.

With a great diversity of attractions, visit Temppeliaukio Church, an ancient church carved into a rock, the 19th century Helsinki Cathedral and the orthodox Uspenski Cathedral.

Explore the city’s interesting museums, from the art pieces at Kiasma and Ateneum to the Design Museum. Save also some time to grab a souvenir at Helsinki’s Market Square or get the adrenaline rushing at Linnanmäki amusement park.

  • Helsinki tours

See also: Things to do in Helsinki

63 – The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, a natural water spring pool, source to the Bistricë River, is one of the most unique places to visit in Albania.

Easily reached upon a 35-minute drive from the city of Sarandë, the Blue Eye dazzles everyone with its turquoise crystal clear waters, surrounded by a dense forest.

Divers have explored at least 50 meters, but its total depth is still uncertain. Even though swimming in these mysterious waters is prohibited, marvel at this incredible natural phenomenon and watch the bubbles rising to the surface.

  • Sarandë tours

Read more: Most Beautiful Places in Europe

64 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Famous for its iconic castle perched atop a hill and the medieval old town, Edinburgh’s culture-rich city and artistic is one of the most incredible places to visit in the UK.

Enjoy the best panoramic views from Calton Hill or hike the 2.4-mile trail through the ancient volcano up to Arthur’s Seat.

Explore the city’s greatest museums, such as the National Museum or the National Galleries of Scotland, and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the former residence of Scotland’s queens.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Edinburgh, from visiting some of Outlander’s filming locations, to taking this opportunity to explore more of Scotland’s beauty, with a day trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands.

  • Edinburgh tours

See also: Things to do in Edinburgh , Best day trips from Edinburgh , Edinburgh Castle tickets price , Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets price

65 – Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

Not the typical European capital, easily visited in one weekend, the lovely Bratislava offers plenty of significant landmarks to explore.

Explore the city’s charming Old Town, cross the Michael’s Gate and visit the fairy-tale Bratislava Castle.

Admire the art nouveau of The Blue Church, admire the views from the historical Devín Castle and stroll through Bratislava’s best museums.

Save also some time to soak in the local culture, from catching a play at Slovak National Theatre to trying the city’s best cafes and lively bars.

  • Bratislava tours

See also: Things to do in Bratislava

66 – Mycenae, Greece

Mycenae, Greece

Located in eastern Peloponnese, Mycenae, what was once one of the Greek civilization’s major centers, is today one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites.

Quickly visited on a day trip from Athens, with buses running between the two cities, explore the kingdom of the legendary Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Cross the famous Lion Gate, the entrance to the fortified town, and visit the Treasury of Atreus, where it’s allegedly the tomb of Agamemnon.

Also, stop by the Archaeological Museum and marvel at the impressive exhibits and artifacts excavated at the site.

  • Peloponnese tours

67 – Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

A worldwide famous music center, from the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the internationally acclaimed annual Salzburg Festival and the greatest operas and orchestral concerts, Salzburg is one of the best cities to visit in Austria.

Relive the iconic Sound of Music with several tours passing through the movie’s filming locations – including tours departing from Vienna and Munich, if you’re only planning to take a day trip.

While in the city, explore one of Europe’s biggest medieval castles, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, wander around Mirabell Palace’s gardens, and admire most of the city’s landmarks at the Old Town, including Salzburg Cathedral and the lively Getreidegasse shopping street.

  • Salzburg tours

See also: Things to do in Salzburg , Best Sound of Music tours in Salzburg

68 – Rhine Falls, Switzerland

Rhine Falls, Switzerland

The largest waterfall in Europe, the massive Rhine Falls are one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, located on the border between Schaffhausen and Zurich.

A great attraction all year round, but the true power of the Rhine Falls is visible during the summer, with the water impressively flowing at 600,000 liters per second.

Just 40 minutes away from Zurich, it’s an excellent destination for a day trip. Start by exploring the lovely villages by the river and marvel at nature’s beauty from the multiple viewing platforms.

For an even more memorable experience, consider taking a boat cruise if visiting between spring to fall.

69 – Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Frequently overlooked compared to its neighbors, the city of Oslo deserves a place on every traveler’s bucket list, with plenty of fun activities available.

For the history lovers, stop by the Viking Ship Museum and wander around one of Norway’s most impressive Renaissance buildings, the Akershus Fortress.

For those looking for outdoor activities, join a Fjord sightseeing cruise and marvel at the unique landscape, adventure in some hiking in Nordmarka or go skiing at Oslo Winter Park.

Explore the charming Old Town and stop by the main shopping area, Karl Johan street. Tour the Aker Brygge neighborhood, catch a concert at the Oslo Opera House, or relax at a typical Scandinavian floating sauna.

See also: Things to do in Oslo

70 – Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

One of Iceland’s most famous attractions, the unique Blue Lagoon, is the perfect way to relax on a day trip from Reykjavik – and multiple tours are available, making it very easy to access.

With a unique milky blue shade (due to the high silica concentration in the water), this insta-worthy destination is a great option all year round, with an average temperature of 39 °C at the geothermal pools.

Just remember to book the tickets in advance, considering its broad popularity.

See also: Things to do in Reykjavik , Best day trips from Reykjavik

71 – Corsica, France

Corsica, France

Immediately located above Sardinia , perfectly mixing French and Italian culture, bathed by the warm Mediterranean waters, the island of Corsica is a great European destination for the summer months.

With Corsica’s stunning sandy beaches with crystal clear water, spend the holidays sunbathing and relaxing at the famous Porto-Vecchio or the secret Petit Sperone Beach.

Explore the rich underwater fauna and flora on a diving or snorkeling tour; and adventure through the Bavella Needles or the epic GR20 hiking trail and marvel at Corsica’s landscape.

Take the time to stroll through Bastia Old Harbor, visit the lovely villages of La Balagne, Pigna or Sant’ Antonino, and delight with the best Mediterranean food, it’ll surely be an unforgettable trip.

  • Corsica tours

See also: Things to do in Corsica , Best boat tours in Corsica , Best islands to visit in Europe during Summer

72 – Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Less than a 30-minute drive from Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, the impressive Canyon Matka is a popular day/half day trip for locals and tourists alike.

Covering about 5.000 hectares, this unique nature getaway offers plenty of outdoor activities, from renting a kayak to taking a boat tour.

Despite the unique landscape, one curiosity about this place is it holds Macedonia’s oldest artificial lake, made in 1938.

With several medieval monasteries and 10 caves, including Vrelo Cave, one of Europe’s deepest underwater caves, it’s one of the best places to visit in Southeast Europe.

73 – Belfast, United Kingdom

Belfast, United Kingdom

The largest city in Northern Ireland and its capital, Belfast, is famous worldwide for being where the RMS Titanic was built.

The Titanic legacy is still solid these days; take this opportunity to learn more about its history at the Titanic Belfast museum and explore the Titanic Quarter.

Just one hour from Belfast lies the Dark Hedges, one of Game of Thrones’ most iconic filming locations. Consider also combining it with a trip to the unique Giant’s Causeway.

During the weekends, stop by the St. George’s Market to taste some local specialties, and don’t forget to visit Belfast Castle.

  • Belfast tours

See also: Things to do in Belfast

74 – Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

The lively city of Palermo, in the heart of the Mediterranean, has so many Palaces, churches and landmarks to explore, no wonder why it’s one of Italy’s major cultural hubs.

Start by the iconic Cathedral of Palermo and explore its complex history, then climb to the rooftop for a bird-eye view of the whole city.

Continue to the 9th century Norman Palace and admire the impressive details of the Palatine Chapel, mixing Greek, Arabic and Latin styles, and exhibiting majestic mosaics.

Sunbathe in the best white sand beaches in Sicily, from the famous Mondello Beach to the natural reserve of Isola delle Femmine.

Make the most of your trip with a day tour from Palermo, and explore the remarkable Valley of the Temples, the ruins of Segesta and Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.

  • Palermo tours

See also: Things to do in Palermo , Things to do in Sicily

75 – Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a city of contrasts, from the Warsaw Barbican, one of the remaining historic fortifications, to the views from the 30th-floor terrace at the Palace of Culture and Science; it perfectly blends the past with the modern days.

Explore the colorful Old Town, one of the main historical attractions, have a glimpse of the Polish monarch’s lives both at the Royal Castle and Wilanów Palace.

Delve into the city’s history at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, catch a show at Grand Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in Europe and embrace Warsaw’s lively nightlife on a Polish vodka tour.

  • Warsaw tours

See also: Things to do in Warsaw

76 – Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is still Austria’s most populated city and one of the best summer destinations in Europe, with plenty of festivals and outdoor activities.

Famous for its ties to Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is often referred to as the city of music; take this opportunity to catch a classical concert at Peterskirche, Eschenbach Palace, or Musikverein.

Among the most popular landmarks in Vienna is the Schönbrunn Palace, filled with history and immense gardens to explore. Other palaces worth visiting are the Hofburg Imperial Palace, currently home to Austria’s president, and Belvedere Palace, with an impressive art collection.

To absorb all of Vienna’s rich history, consider joining a free walking tour, led by local guides. But don’t overlook the rest of Austria’s wonders, and save some time for a day trip – whether it is to Wachau Valley or Lake Neusiedl, this country won’t disappoint.

  • Vienna tours

See also: Things to do in Vienna , Best day trips from Vienna , Vienna free walking tours

77 – Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Located in Brac Island, even though not as famous as Hvar and Korčula, lies one of the best beaches in Croatia, the Golden Horn Beach – locally known as Zlatni Rat or Rat Beach.

Bathed by the Adriatic Sea, the stunning white sand beach got its name from the peninsula’s unique arrow-shaped formation of sand, and its crystal clear waters promise to marvel anyone who visits it.

Easily reached on a day trip from Split, this paradisiac beach is the perfect place to sunbathe, scuba dive, and try many watersports such as jetski or windsurfing.

See also: Things to do in Split , Best day trips from Split

78 – Lyon, France

Lyon, France

When people think about French destinations, Lyon is not often what comes to mind, but there are plenty of reasons to visit it, from the world-class gastronomy to its architecture and landmarks.

The Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Lyon’s first indoor market, is a mandatory stop for the foodies. Along with St. Antoine Market and La Croix Rousse Market, there’s no shortage of delicious local meals to try.

In the heart of Lyon, stop by the impressive Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste to marvel at the Gothic architecture, and take a walking tour around the Vieux Lyon District.

For those visiting during the summer, catch the Nuits de Fourvière, an arts and music festival at the Roman theaters, that promises an unforgettable experience.

See also: Things to do in Lyon

79 – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

When it comes to places to visit in Europe, the Balkans are still gaining popularity, but Sarajevo deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.

While exploring this budget-friendly European destination, stop by the Baščaršija historical market, admire the 16th century Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque ​and soak in the views from the Yellow Bastion.

However, Sarajevo requires a historical context to understand better the city, with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in modern warfare, still so recent (1992-1996).

Visit the Sarajevo Tunnel, also known as Tunnel of Hope, built during the siege to allow food, supplies, and humanitarian aid into the city; and check the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Sarajevo tours

See also: Things to do in Sarajevo

80 – Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Worldwide famous for its vineyards, the cosmopolitan city of Bordeaux is one of the best places to visit in Europe for wine lovers.

After checking La Cité du Vin, embrace the city’s rich cultural heritage, from the Roman Palais Gallien to the Medieval Gates; gothic cathedrals among baroque palaces and more historical monuments than one can count.

Stroll through the iconic Place de la Bourse square, check Bordeaux’s remarkable museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest one, and catch a performance at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Explore historical chateaux during the day and, for the ultimate fairytale experience, consider spending the night in a castle.

  • Bordeaux tours

See also: Things to do in Bordeaux

81 – Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal

Worldwide famous for Cristiano Ronaldo’s home, the subtropical island of Madeira is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Europe.

Along the African coast, with warm temperatures during the entire year, this is one of the best places to explore rainforests, hike, and enjoy a getaway in nature.

From the Vereda do Areeiro trail, the glass bottom Cabo Girão viewpoint, or watching the sunrise at Pico Ruivo, every spot offers a more breathtaking view than the other.

After all the hiking, cool off at the unique Porto Moniz’s volcanic swimming pools, with crystal clear waters, while marveling at the Atlantic ocean.

Try the Monte Sledge toboggan ride, one of Madeira’s most unique and fun attractions, sliding down the streets on a basket; admire the traditional Santana houses and drink the famous Poncha.

  • Madeira tours

See also: Things to do in Madeira

82 – Alps

Alps Mountains

Europe’s most extensive mountain range, stretching through 8 countries, from France to Slovenia, the Alps are worth visiting for its unique landscape, from crystal clear lakes to dramatic mountains.

In the Italian Alps, one of the most popular attractions is the Dolomites, with the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo and its 10 km loop trail, or the beautiful Lago di Braies.

The alps’ higher mountain, Mont Blanc, can be found in the French Alps. The charming Chamonix village, surrounded by mountains, is the place for those looking for a relaxing getaway – and home to one of the best ski resorts in Europe for those looking for a bit of adrenaline.

From hiking to winter sports, the cherry on top of a trip to the Swiss Alps is the scenic Glacier Express 8h ride, from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The unforgettable panoramic train ride is the most comfortable way to travel across the alps and admire its landscape.

In Germany, the Alps can be seen in the Bavaria region, and the best place to admire its higher peak is by the Eibsee lake. The obvious choice to admire the Julian Alps in Slovenia is Lake Bled, but the trails at Triglav National Park are also worth exploring.

The Alps can also be visited in Austria, Monaco and Liechtenstein; choose from skiing and snowboarding to hiking or just relaxing surrounded by nature, and there’s the recipe for a memorable trip.

83 – Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Charming Lithuania’s capital, filled with history and a strong Jew heritage, Vilnius was once Europe’s largest Jewish center. Consider starting with a free walking tour around the Old Town and Jewish Quarter or the artistic district of Užupis.

Check the 15th century St. Anne’s Church, with its stunning Flamboyant Gothic style, and climb to the Three Crosses Monument for the city’s best views.

There’s plenty to learn about Vilnius’ rich history for those into museums, from the dark Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, built in a former KGB headquarters (with a prison where death penalties were executed), to the exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre.

  • Vilnius tours

See also: Things to do in Vilnius

84 – Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

The prehistoric Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, is one of the UK’s most famous landmarks and easily reached on a day trip from London – taking about 2 hours.

Most of Stonehenge’s fame drifts from the fact that no one knows what those mysterious stones were used for, and there is no lack of theories, from astronomical studies to pagan ceremonies. Still, the most likely one is that it once was a burial ground.

Welcoming millions of visitors per year, the best time to visit it (for fewer crowds) is during weekdays and either in the early morning or sunset.

See also: Stonehenge tours from London

85 – Postojna Cave, Slovenia

Postojna Cave, Slovenia

What says “once in a lifetime experience” more than taking an underground train through a karst cave in Slovenia?

With millions of years of history, carved by the Pivka River, the Postojna Cave is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful natural wonders and lies 46km from Ljubljana.

Save an hour and a half for the cave tours, including the cave presentation by a local guide and the train ride. The tours are also wheelchair accessible and suitable for all kinds of ages.

After marveling at the cave’s 24 km of underground passages and massive halls, accompanied by the magical sound of the water dripping from the stalactites, stop by the world’s largest cave castle, the medieval Predjama Castle.

86 – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungria

With the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe, and a great budget-friendly capital to visit.

Start in the Buda side, exploring the historic Buda Castle, and continue to Fisherman’s Bastion, by the stunning Matthias Church, with the best views over the river and the city.

Cross the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Pest side of the river, stop by the Shoes on the Danube Bank and join a free walking tour through the Jewish Quarter.

With rich mineral waters, a trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without trying the famous thermal baths, such as Széchenyi or Gellért.

After recharging the energies, consider taking a day trip to the lovely little town by the Danube Bend, Szentendre, or the largest lake in central Europe, Lake Balaton.

  • Budapest tours

See also: Things to do in Budapest , Best day trips from Budapest , Hungarian Parliament tickets price , Budapest free walking tours

87 – Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Between England and Ireland, the small Isle of Man, bathed by the Irish sea, inhabited since 6500 BC, has plenty of history to discover and fun things to do.

The Manx Museum is a must for museum lovers, with unique artifacts from the Island’s Celtic and Viking past.

Delve into Isle of Man’s history at one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world, Castle Rushen, and consider checking the Peel Castle as well, built by the Vikings.

Sports fans? Plan the trip during The Isle of Man TT, for one of the world’s most thrilling motorcycle races.

And for those looking for a getaway among nature, climb the Snaefell Mountain or walk to the Fairy Bridge. The Isle of Man has something for every kind of traveler.

88 – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Welcoming about 1.5 million visitors per year, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most impressive attractions in Germany, easily reached on a day trip from Munich.

Commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle looks straight from a Disney movie. In fact, the resemblances are not a coincidence, as it served as inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Considered one of the most photographed buildings in the world, check the many viewpoints and get the best shots of it – including the famous shot of the castle atop of the hill, from the Queen Mary’s Bridge, also known as Marienbrücke.

Even though it’s not allowed to photograph inside the castle, it’s also worth taking a tour and exploring its magnificent rooms. Remember to book the tickets in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during the high season.

See also: Neuschwanstein Castle tickets price

89 – Durmitor, Montenegro

Durmitor, Montenegro

Montenegro is still a hidden gem compared to other European countries, but the Durmitor National Park is a pretty solid reason for it to be added to everyone’s bucket list.

Home to Europe’s largest and deepest canyon, go rafting in the Tara River, or cross the 365m Đurđevića Tara Bridge and admire this green oasis ready to be explored, standing 170m above the ground.

Take the trail to Bobotov Kuk and admire Montenegro’s highest peak views, or check the 18 glacial lakes spread through the park.

The Durmitor National Park is also perfect for some canyoning, mountain biking, or simply enjoying a relaxing nature retreat with a picnic by the lake.

Consider the 1 km zip line at Extreme Zipline Tara, for those looking for some extra adrenaline, reaching a maximum speed of 120 km/h.

90 – Malta & Gozo

Valletta, Malta

A tiny archipelago bathed by the Mediterranean, Malta is located between Sicily and Tunisia, with warm temperatures during the entire year, making it worth visiting even in December for a warm winter break.

Perfectly blending culture with outdoor adventures, visit the Megalithic Temples of Malta, built by the Neolithic inhabitants and among the oldest temples in the world.

Walk along the city walls of the sunny capital, Valletta, admire the interior of the 16th century St. John’s Cathedral, and look out for some Game of Throne’s filming locations around the island.

Get away from the tourist crowds and admire Mdina’s old streets, swim in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Grotto in Qrendi or the St. Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk, and take the whole family to Popeye Village.

Off the main island, stop by Gozo to explore its Ancient Cittadella and marvel at the dramatic coastal formations in Dwejra; or snorkel in Comino’s blue lagoon.

  • Malta tours

See also: Things to do in Malta , Best boat tours in Malta & Gozo

91 – Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Moving on to the land of fire and ice, encompassing Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, the Vatnajökull National Park is a destination for the adventurous.

From hiking to snowmobiling or even kayaking in a glacier, Vatnajökull National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers and promises a memorable trip.

For those visiting during wintertime, explore the park’s impressive Ice Caves (that melt during the spring).

See also: Best things to do in Iceland

92 – Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

The charming capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is the country’s major industrial, cultural and financial hub, mixed with a rich history, beautiful architecture and stunning landscapes, making it one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe.

Start by exploring the Old Town, one of the world’s best-preserved medieval towns, stroll through its cobblestone streets and try the local restaurants and coffee shops.

From the orthodox Alexandre Nevsky Cathedral, built in a magnificent Russian Revival style, to the historical Toompea Castle, currently housing Estonia’s parliament, most of the attractions can be found in the city’s center.

To explore its surroundings, visit the Kadriorg Palace, built in the massive 70 hectares, Kadriorg Park; or climb to the 21st-floor observation deck at Tallinn TV Tower.

During the summer, when the days get longer, and the pop-up bars start to appear, relax by the coast with a drink in your hand.

  • Tallinn tours

See also: Things to do in Tallinn

93 – Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton, United Kingdom

With the nickname of London-by-the-Sea, just one hour away from London and with a stunning coastline, the popularity of Brighton among the Londoners spread through the whole world, and the city became famous for its culture, artsy vibe and lively entertainment.

Get a panoramic view 140 meters above the ground from the British Airways i360, enjoy the sun at the Brighton Palace Pier, or learn about the city’s history at the fabulous Royal Pavilion.

With more independent shops than one can count, from the best boutiques to vintage stores, explore the Brighton Open Market and the iconic North Laine to grab a souvenir and satisfy your shopaholic side.

  • Brighton tours

See also: Things to do in Brighton

94 – Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Also known as Thingvellir National Park, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the ultimate Icelandic experience, filled with natural wonders.

Home to one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and the only one where it’s possible to swim between two tectonic plates, the Silfra fissure. Or walk between them at Almannagja.

Take also some time to hike through the park’s multiple trails, admiring the park’s landscape, especially to Öxarárfoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s main attractions, or check the horseback riding trails.

For history lovers, theÞingvellir National Park is also home to the world’s oldest parliaments, Althing, founded in 930.

95 – Champagne, France

Champagne region, France

Also known as the Champagne wine region, this historical province is famous worldwide for its champagne production. The Champagne Trail is the best way to introduce wine enthusiasts to the most prestigious certified wineries.

The best time to visit the Champagne is between April and October, with the busiest season in September, when the grapes are harvested. Take the time to tour vineyards, and don’t overlook the smallest houses for a more authentic and personal experience.

But the region has much more to offer besides tasting the best sparkling white wine in the world. Stop by Reims Cathedral and visit the place where French kings were crowned or visit the Archbishop of Reims’ palace, Palace of Tau.

  • Champagne tours

96 – Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Even though it’s considered one of Europe’s most expensive cities, Zürich has a unique charm, with colorful architecture perfectly bending with the lake to create one unforgettable scenery.

Travel back to the medieval times at the Old Town and delve into Switzerland’s finest museums, from the FIFA World Football Museum for the sport’s lovers to the unique Beyer Clock and Watch Museum.

Admire the mountains aboard the Funicular Rigiblick or take a boat tour around the moon-shaped Lake Zürich.

And to enjoy the trip to its fullest, consider taking a day trip, with plenty of fun options available, from the mountain village of Grindelwald to the medieval town of Stein am Rhein, or even visiting one of Europe’s tiniest countries, Liechtenstein.

  • Zürich tours

See also: Things to do in Zurich , Best day trips from Zurich

97 – Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Among the most romantic destinations in Europe, Verona is one of the best places to visit for couples, from its picturesque streets and squares, such as Piazza delle Erbe, to the lovely views from Castel San Pietro.

Eternalized by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, several tours take you across the many iconic locations, from the famous balcony at Juliet’s house (La Casa di Giulietta) to Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore.

Tour the ancient Arena of Verona and, for a unique experience, visit during the summer opera festival.

Save some time for a day trip to the impressive Santuario Madonna della Corona, built by a cliff 2000 meters above the sea level, or the iconic Lake Garda.

  • Verona tours

See also: Things to do in Verona

98 – Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Beatles’ famous hometown, start your Liverpool adventure at The Beatles Story museum, filled with history and objects, from clothes owned by the group to handwritten lyrics.

With one of the world’s most important trading ports, explore Royal Albert Dock, a former major trading center.

Admire the city’s outstanding architecture, from the Cathedral of the Risen Christ to the incredible buildings along the Pier Head. For the sports fans, check the Liverpool FC Museum and take a stadium tour.

Even though the show is set in Birmingham, Liverpool is actually home to plenty of Peaky Blinders filming locations, from Port Sunlight to Falkner Square.

With a lively and diverse nightlife, catch a show at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre or grab a drink at the historic Cavern Club; there’s always fun granted in the city.

  • Liverpool tours

See also: Things to do in Liverpool

99 – Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

With a mild climate, futuristic architecture mixed with rich history, delicious food and lively ambiance, Valencia is one of the best places to visit in Europe all year round.

Home to one of Spain’s largest stadiums, sports lovers must include the Mestalla Stadium on their list – and maybe catch a Valencia Football Club’s game there.

Admire the outstanding design of the City of Arts and Sciences and visit Europe’s largest aquarium, Oceanografic. Consider combining the ticket with a visit to the Hemispheric or the Science Museum.

Take a walking tour around the Old Town, visit La Lonja de la Seda, one of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia and delve into the city’s history at the many museums, from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Ceramics Museum.

Taste local tapas at the Central Market, enjoy a fine dinner at Colón Market, and no trip to Valencia would be complete without trying the typical paella.

  • Valencia tours

See also: Things to do in Valencia , Oceanografic Valencia tickets price

100 – Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

With a timeless combination of ancient and modern life, the bustling Istanbul is famous for being the bridge between Europe and Asia.

The main attractions are the Hagia Sophia, with marvelous Byzantine architecture; the Blue Mosque, with outstanding beauty and religious importance; and the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets; but there are countless sites to explore.

With European and Asian influences, Istanbul is a paradise for the foodies: from delicious street food to multiple restaurants and cafes to try.

Climb to the Rumelihisarı Fortress for the best views between the two continents, and take this opportunity to catch a ferry to Asia.

Just one hour’s flight away from Istanbul is the magical Cappadocia. Consider taking a day trip to see the fairy chimneys and fly aboard the world-famous hot air balloons.

  • Istanbul tours

See also: Things to do in Istanbul , Cappadocia hot air balloon price , Best places to visit in Turkey

That’s it for the ultimate European bucket list. We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of the best places to visit in Europe and let us know in the comments what your dream destinations are.

As always, happy travels!

The 17 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

It’s no secret Europe is an appealing continent for country-hopping. Once you’re there, cycle-friendly streets, extensive train systems, and relatively cheap inter-country flights make it highly accessible. Scenery wise, Europe has everything from snowy mountains, lush forests, and glittering beaches to ultra-modern cities, medieval villages, and Neolithic structures. Wherever you go, you can just as easily spend your time immersed in local history, art, and architecture as you can lingering over a four-hour meal, wandering cobblestone streets, or dancing the night (or day) away.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in planning a trip to Europe is deciding where to go. To make it a little easier, we’ve put together a guide to our favorite places. The first nine are the obvious contenders; there’s a reason why these countries are frequently talked about—they’re easily reachable, they’re well-adjusted to tourists, and they feature a wide range of activities, experiences, and landscapes. The remaining eight countries represent equally great options for something similar but slightly more off the beaten path (for non-European tourists, at least). Whichever you choose, you'll find something for every type of traveler.

United Kingdom

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With four separate countries—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland— the U.K . offers a taste of European diversity. From mountains, lakes, and valleys (like the Mourne Mountains , Snowdonia National Park , and the Scottish Highlands ) to rocky coastlines, rolling hills, and pebble-strewn beaches (like Seven Sisters , the Lake District , and the Pembrokeshire Coast ), it’s a hiker’s paradise. Beyond its natural wonders, the U.K. also boasts lots of lively, inclusive cities packed with bustling literary and expat scenes, LGBTQIA+ history, some of Europe’s best comedy, music, and drag festivals, and a culture centered around food and drink.

Whether you’re exploring some of the world’s best cocktail bars or restaurants in Barcelona and Madrid , lounging in the turquoise waters of the Costa Brava or Tenerife , browsing the art of Bilbao , or marveling at the medieval architecture of Seville or Toledo, one thing unites all of Spain —its warm, welcoming people. Known for closing shops to eat lunch with loved ones and later chatting for hours over pintxos and wine at dinner, Spaniards make time to appreciate life and its simple pleasures, and that energy is delightfully contagious. Solo travelers especially will never feel alone here.

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Contrary to Hollywood portrayals, France is more than high-end fashion, delicious pastries, and top-quality wine—though of course those are prevalent. While you can easily live out your ritzy cinematic montage via shopping on the Champs-Élysées , sunbathing on wind-swept piers in the French Riviera , or touring chateaux in wine country, the affordable ways of experiencing French culture are what make it special. Most museums offer free or discounted hours, cabarets often have cheaper performance nights, some of the best meals come from Paris street vendors or Aix-en-Provence markets, and five euro grocery store wine is better than most table wines.

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Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, with a partner, or with family, Italy has something for everyone. You can have a city break filled with art and shopping in Milan or Florence or immerse yourself in harrowing history in Pompeii . You can relax on white sand beaches in Sardinia or the Amalfi Coast . You can have an action-packed skiing trip or hiking trip. Whatever you choose to do, there is one thing you can and should explore everywhere, at every opportunity: the country's food and wine scene. Local cooking classes from the village nonna are especially fun.

Although Iceland is slightly harder to reach and could get overcrowded at popular spots like The Blue Lagoon , once you’re here, any hassle is forgotten. There are so many jaw-dropping waterfalls , glaciers , mountains , caves , and hot springs everywhere you look that you’ll forget you’re still on Earth. If you road trip (or travel by horse ) around the Ring Road that circles Iceland’s perimeter, you can also branch off to lesser travelled lava rock fields, fjords, and potential Northern Lights viewing spots. For an extra dose of Icelandic magic scenery, keep an eye out for elf walks .

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An excellent choice for nature lovers, history buffs, and partiers alike is Greece . Islands like Santorini , Crete , and Mykonos attract the most visitors and press, but there are literally hundreds of inhabited islands made for hiking, snorkeling, and dancing in the sun. If you prefer city life on the mainland, Athens is the heart of Ancient Greek history with modern levels of fine-dining and nightlife, and Thessaloniki is rich in Byzantine art and international festivals. To combine history and art all in one experience, visit during the brief public opening times of Ancient Greek theaters to catch a play. 

Jakob Radlgruber / EyeEm / Getty Images

With long, dark winter nights and long, bright summer days, Sweden is prime territory for Northern Lights viewing and Midsummer celebrations, but its friendly locals, buzzy student population, and inviting bakeries make it entertaining year-round. Stockholm is a great gateway city, as it has everything you’d want from an urban hub—museums, restaurants, nightclubs, and a distinct mix of architectural styles—plus easy access to day trips , farther afield Swedish cities, and the equally appealing neighboring countries of Norway and Finland. Always make time to enjoy fika , a daily social hour with friends over coffee and pastries like kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns).

Known for its breweries , meat-heavy meals, exclusive nightclubs and festivals , and eclectic art scene, Germany is often seen as a hipster’s paradise or the perfect backdrop to a rowdy night out. While it is both of those things—especially Cologne with its university life and Berlin with its extensive street food, street art, and prevalence of eerie abandoned spaces—it’s also a country with impressive architecture, meandering scenic drives , an appreciation for literature , kid-friendly attractions, some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and a strong commitment to remembering its darker history . 

The Netherlands

Most people associate the Netherlands with three Ws: windmills, waterways, and weed. While it’s difficult to go anywhere without encountering at least one of those—and you should wander canals and frolic in tulip-covered fields—it’s home to more than just natural and “herbal” beauty. The first country to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, the Netherlands is a welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ visitors and hosts queer-celebratory festivals, performances, and events throughout the year. It’s also edam gouda destination for cheese aficionados, with dedicated cheese museums in Amsterdam and traditional medieval cheese markets easily accessible from the capital city.

Evan Schiller/Courtesy of Ballybunion Golf Club

If dramatic scenery and its culturally-ingrained love of alcohol attract you to the U.K., Ireland has both—plus even greener landscapes and even kinder locals. You’ll pay steeply in Dublin, especially for attractions like the Guinness Storehouse , but its unique architecture , literary heritage, and theater scene are worth the coin. The best way to see the country, though, is to drive along the western coastline via the Wild Atlantic Way . Accommodation ranges from homestays to full-on castles , and you can traipse woodland waterfalls , befriend Connemara horses, hike the Cliffs of Moher , and hear live music in Galway along the way.

Take everything great about Spain while subtracting the heftier crowds and costs, and you'll get Portugal . In addition to wine and sangria, you can sip on local drinks like port, ginjinha (sour cherry liquor), and vinho verde (green wine) for a few euros a glass, plus intercity train travel and rideshare apps are often cheaper than the bus. Approachability is a big plus, but the highlights are river tours around Porto and the Douro Valley , sampling pastel de nata (egg custard tarts) and pão de deus (coconut bread) in Lisbon , exploring fairytale castles of Sintra , and hopping beaches and coves along the Algarve .


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As with France, people often associate Switzerland with elaborate indulgences, like fancy ski resorts , the wealthy city of Geneva , and internationally acclaimed dining . While no trip to Switzerland would be complete without a surplus of fondue and chocolate, some of the best experiences in the country are found outside its cities. Hiking and skiing around its lakes , mountains, and parks will give you the chance to get up close and personal with its natural charm, but you don’t even have to be an active traveler to partake: there are also many ways to catch the views by train .

This central European country shares more than just a border with Italy: it also shares a passion for local wines, truffle-laden pastas, mountaintop skiing, and lakeside castles and hiking—and all at a fraction of the price. Capital city, vegetarian-friendly Ljubljana, is completely walkable, with lots of meandering canals and small farmers’ and flea markets even on the coldest of days. If you head to Slovenia’s most popular lake—Lake Bled—during the off season, you can avoid touristy beach parties and instead enjoy a virtually uninterrupted view of crisp, turquoise water shimmering beneath the mountains.

Faroe Islands

It’s hard to find unspoiled nature, but the Faroe Islands get pretty close. Located between Iceland and Norway, this remote sovereign nation offers the same rugged, otherworldly landscapes as its neighbors, but with significantly less foot, car, and boat traffic. If you’re more of an indoor cat, you may want to give this trip a skip, but otherwise suit up with layers and waterproof gear and get ready to fall in love with puffins. Stay with a local if you can—it’s more traditional, more affordable, and you’ll learn more about respecting the ecosystems around you.

Much like Greece, Croatia can impress steadfast city-breakers as much as die-hard nature-chasers. From summer festivals in Split and Dubrovnik to dedicated booze-cruise boats that take you to islands like Hvar and Brač, it has plenty of opportunities to indulge hedonistic tendencies. Equally prominent, though, are chances to rejuvenate on more remote islands , plan a leisurely food crawl , or hike through forest, mountains, and waterfalls at national parks like Krka or Plitvice Lakes .

Czech Republic

If Germany’s castles, scenic road trips, and literary appreciation are as appealing as its vast quantities of alcohol, the Czech Republic offers all of the above but with smaller crowds and, especially outside its capital, significantly lower costs. With its Franz Kafka museum, striking Jewish quarter, and black light theater performances as well as its thriving restaurant , nightlife , and absinthe scenes, Prague is definitely worth a visit, but make sure to take advantage of the extensive domestic train system to take day trips or spend time elsewhere to see some of its best architecture, World War II history, and wine and beer producers.

If you can’t decide whether to go to France, Germany, or the Netherlands, Belgium has elements of all three. It has the excellent chocolate of France, the impressive range of architecture like Germany, and the walkable, canal-filled cities like the Netherlands. Plus, the Belgians are the inventor of frites . The bilingual capital of Brussels is an ideal gateway to other cities and neighboring countries, and with its diplomatic ties, it also offers a great cultural melting pot. Eat at least one meal in Matongé, its African quarter, before traveling out to other cities like Antwerp or Bruges .

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50 Best Places to Visit in Europe – An Overview With Top Tips

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Passionate for far-away places and habañero hot sauce

Planning a holiday to Europe? Whether you’re craving a city break, a few days of adventure, or a total escape into nature – we’ve got you covered. Here are 50 of the best places to visit in Europe for interesting visits, great food, and natural wonder.

1. Svalbard, Norway

Guests on fast ice in the fjords of Svalbard photo tour

Even if you’re someone who loves a winter getaway, chances are you’ve never travelled anywhere quite so far north as Svalbard, an archipelago of nine islands between mainland Norway and the North Pole. But if you’ve ever dreamt about visiting the Arctic, then a trip to Svalbard is the best place to go. 

A short flight from Tromso or Oslo will take you to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Svalbard and where your Arctic adventures will begin. People come from all over the world to explore the rugged natural beauty, go to ethical wildlife watching to see polar bears, whales, and walruses, and go hiking. And there’s always plenty of time to stop for an ice-cold beer at the northernmost brewery in the world. From snow-capped mountains and stunning fjords to spooky former Soviet mining towns – Svalbard one of the most fascinating places on Earth, not just Europe.

If you are interested in visiting Svalbard please don’t forget to take a look at Secret Atlas’s Expedition Micro Cruises . With only 12 Guests onboard our ships, we provide an intimate, authentic and sustainable way to explore this remote and untamed region.

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best european destinations to visit

2. Azores Islands, Portugal

best european destinations to visit

Although technically part of Portugal, the Azores islands seem like a world away from the mainland. The remote archipelago of volcanic islands sits in the mid-Atlantic, and is often described as the “Hawaii of Europe”. And with rugged landscapes and deep-blue waters, it’s not hard to see why – although its temperatures are subtropical and milder. This is ideal if you need to get away from city heat in the summer. The Azores is a place to escape into natural beauty, and it’s home to two of Portugal’s 15 Unesco World Heritage Sites including the historic city of Angra do Heroismo on the island of Terceira and the ancient vineyards of Pico. 

If you’re short on time and aren’t sure where to start – the largest and most accessible of the islands is Sao Miguel . It’s filled with spectacular volcanic landscapes, hot springs, hiking trails, beautiful lakes, and is the number one destination for whale and dolphin watching in Europe.

After a full-on day of exploring, you can feast on cheap pestiscos, Portuguese tapas. Meat and seafood are on the menu in most places but veggies and vegans should check out plant-based Rotas de Ilha Verde.  Looking for more reasons to go? The Azores is the first archipelago given the EarthCheck certificate for sustainability. The Azores ranks number 2 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

3. Lofoten Islands, Norway

norway small ship cruise whale watching

When it comes to natural beauty in Europe, Norway really delivers. As a well as Svalbard, the country is also home to the stunning Lofoten Islands – an archipelago of seven islands. Lofoten is a certified sustainable destination and is worth visiting for Viking history, unspoilt landscapes, witnessing the Northern Lights in, and even surfing. 

It has a milder climate than other places with the same latitude, thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream and if you come in the summer months, you’ll experience the midnight sun. Definitely a place for outdoor types, Lofoten is a haven for hiking, climbing, kayaking, cycling and skiing.

4 .Westfjords, Iceland

cruise in iceland on a small expedition vessel

To be honest, we could easily just say Iceland and leave it at that. All of it is pretty spectacular. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the touristy hot spots like the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, then make a trip to Westfjords. They’re lesser-known and visited than other parts of the country because they’re vast, and far away from the major destinations like Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Lake Mývatn (yes, as featured on Game of Thrones) and the aforementioned Golden Circle.  

So why trek to Westfjords? Well, it’s sparsely populated, remote and has different landscapes to a lot of Iceland. It is very rugged and dramatic, and you’ll need a car to get around but it’s worth it and it’s about 107 miles drive from Reykjavik. Once you’re there,  you’ll be able to visit the little known Dynjandi waterfall and the pink-sand beach Rauðasandur, and you see Puffins on the cliffs at Látrabjarg. It’s also a great place to see the Arctic fox and go seal watching and whale watching.   Plan your visit carefully though, heavy snowfall means it’s not really accessible in the winter, so the best times to go are May to October.

5. Sintra, Portugal

best european destinations to visit

Sintra is a beautiful, historic town nestled in the breezy mountains of Serra de Sintra in Portugal. It’s only a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon, so it’s easy to do as a day trip if you’re visiting the capital too. Sintra is perfect for an escape when you’re pushed for time.  You can explore lush forests, colourful palaces, the ruins of a Moorish castle, and ancient wells.

It’s worth taking a mid-week trip to avoid crowds, particularly at the brightly coloured and huge Palacio de Pena, which is the main tourist draw. Another of Sintra’s regal buildings in the ruins of the Castelo Dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors), where you can stop around the ancient ramparts high above the town for some pretty spectacular views.

The Quinta Da Regaleira Palace and Gardens is a sprawling private estate with a massive gothic house. But if you only have time to visit one part – make it the Initiation Well. The spiralling 88ft deep Initiation Well, which descends down into a tunnel system and was used for Masonic initiation ceremonies. Sintra ranks number 5 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

6. Santorini, Greece


Most people are familiar with blue domes and bright whitewashed homes that jut out over Santorini’s blue seas. But there’s plenty more to explore on this Greek Island, including a place believed to be the lost city of Atlantis. Over 3000 years ago, a huge volcanic eruption devastated Santorini. The middle of the island disappeared deep into the ocean and left a massive caldera (crater) in the cliffs, so make a trip to the Minoan ruins of Akrotiri and head west to visit Akrotiri Lighthouse for spectacular views. If you’re there for a few days and packed decent walking shoes, it’s also worth making the short hop to Nea Kameni island for amazing hikes in dramatic volcanic landscapes.

But trips to any of the Greek Islands are a mix of history, culture, and of course food and drink. Take a wander around the pretty streets of Fira and Oia for Saganaki (fried cheese in filo pastry, covered in honey), Moussaka, Spanakopita, with a glass of local beer or wine as the sun comes down over the Aegean sea.

7. Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands Europe

It’s probably no surprise that we like islands around here. And the Faroe Islands is a destination  Secret Atlas guests would have a great time exploring. Technically part of Denmark, although self-governing – It’s an archipelago of 18 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, that sit between Scotland, Norway and Iceland and you can fly there from Edinburgh, Reykjavik, or Bergen in Norway. This is one trip that will need a bit more planning than a lot of European holidays, especially as there are only a few hotels, B&Bs and private rentals to choose from.

The Faroe Islands are for adventurous travellers. The weather patterns vary a lot (due to both the warmth of the gulf stream and the icy Arctic waters). LIke Svalbard, it’s worth visiting for rugged, untamed natural beauty, amazing hiking trails, huge mountains, and craggy bird cliffs and black sandy beaches. You can go kayaking to the impressive Draganir sea-stacks, spot Puffins at Mykines, and go horse riding around the capital Tórshavn. And if you’re tired from all of that exploring, you can unwind at a Heimablídni, which is Faroese for homegrown hospitality. So you can enjoy a cosy fish and chip supper in a remote, 19th century home. The Faroe Islands come in at 7 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

8. Isle of Skye, Scotland

isle of skye scotland europe

When it comes to rugged island escapes, Scotland more than holds its own among others in Europe. The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides (an archipelago of over 40 islands off the west coast of Scotland) and it’s full of stunning scenery, interesting wildlife, and plenty of Whisky. If you want to avoid crowds, head to The Fairy Glen, high above the village of Uig where a landslip created a pretty magical landscape. 

For sweeping views of Skye’s coast, visit Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. The craggy Old Man of Storr is another of the Isle of Skye’s iconic sights, but it’s very popular so choose your time wisely if you want to avoid crowds. You can also hang out with some Hebridean Alpacas,  and sip Highland single malt at the Talisker, and Torahbhaig or Raasay distilleries for a drink with an incredible view.

9. Utrecht, Netherlands


Daytrippers often go to Utrecht from Amsterdam, but there’s plenty of reasons to visit for longer. It’s less crowded for a start. The city is over 2000 years old –  the Romans built a fortress at what is now Dom Square, and buildings from the middle ages still stand in the city centre. It has all the charming Dutch canals of the capital (and according to travel search engine GoEuro, it’s the most beautiful canal city in Europe). As well as canalside wandering, Utrecht also has gothic architecture, pretty streets and great cafes, restaurants and bars.

Summer and Autumn are great for a mini-trip if you like festivals including Ultrasonic in July, and The Nederlands Film Festival and BockbierFestival, and the music festival Le Guess Who ? in November. Utrecht comes in at 9 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

10. Seville, Spain


The whole of the Andalucia region is worth exploring, but for a short European break, go for the capital, Seville. The medieval city filled with Moorish, Catholic, and Jewish landmarks, gothic architecture, winding streets, beautiful gardens – and many plates of tapas. It’s an easy city to walk around, although try and avoid the height of summer (July and August) unless you can handle walking in 35°c+ heat. Even early Autumn gets pretty hot, and in the mid-afternoon, you’ll notice that locals pull the shutters down to escape the heat. 

You can visit two landmarks in quick succession by buying a ticket to the Catedral de Sevilla, the Gothic Giralda Tower, and the  Real Alcázar. The Alcazar is a palace commissioned by the Christian King Pedro I in the 14th Century – he used Moorish workmen so it includes a mixture of Christian and Islamic art and symbolism. Seville comes in at 10 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

11. Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Triglav National Park

Mountain hiking isn’t just for the chocolate box scenery of the Swiss Alps. Northwest Slovenia, is home to the Julian Alps, close to the Italian and Austrian borders. This is where you’ll find Triglav National Park, one of our best places in Europe to visit. It has been protected since 1924, so hasn’t had to contend with over-tourism. This means if you do make it, you’ll witness unspoilt natural beauty, including high mountain peaks, and the stunning Savica and Pericnik waterfalls. In the winter months, they freeze over so you can go on a guided ice climb. 

The vast park is also home to the rocky, vegetation filled Blejski Vitgar gorge where you can go hiking, climbing, and canoeing. If you’re after bigger adventures and faster speeds, then head to the Soca river. From there you can go rafting or hydrospeeding (also known as riverboarding) where, as the name suggests, it involves lying on board and being carried along a very fast flowing river. 

12. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig in Germany, Europe

The small city in Saxony has given Berlin a run for its money as the German city for creatives and visitors in recent years – just look at the #hypezig all over Instagram. The former East German city was run down after the reunification of Germany, but it’s old industrial areas like  Plagwitz are now cultural zones filled with galleries, studios, bars and clubs.  Several of Leipzig’s old buildings have been restored too, so it’s a great mix of old and new. 

It’s a city to explore on foot, to explore architecture like The Opera House and Mendebrunnen fountain, as well as contemporary art. Head up to the top of Panorama Tower on Augustplatz to look over at nearby forests. For a break from the city streets, visit Clara Zetkin Park or take a canoe tour of the city.

13. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

giants causeway in Europe

One of Europe’s most beautiful natural wonders is Giant’s Causeway.  It’s just a short train ride from Belfast and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  And it’s easy to see why. Legend has it, the arrangement of large stepping stones (actually tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns) was the result of an argument between an Irish Giant and a Scottish Giant. The myth of Finn McCool makes for a great yarn, but a trip to the visitors centre offers a more scientific origin story involving volcanic activity. Either way, it’s a stunning coastline to behold. Go there to stomp around the ancient rocks and walk more of the Causeway Coast Way – it’s perfect for hiking. 

The area is famous for road trips too, so it’s worth hiring a car and planning a route along the coast to stop off at other landmarks like Mussenden Temple, Dunluce Castle, and take a break at Bushmills Distillery. The Giant’s Causeway comes in at 13 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

14. Crooked Forest, Poland

crooked forest in Poland

Poland’s Kryzwy Las or Crooked Forest is one of Europe’s most enchanting, and strange natural places to visit. It sits a little way out of the western, historic city of Szczecin. As you can probably guess from the name, the forest is full of curved trees that look a bit like upside-down question marks. And how over 400 Pine trees in the middle of a forest they got that way is still a mystery – although one theory is that the trees were shaped like that by Polish workers who wanted to use them for shipbuilding.

15. Matka Canyon, Macedonia

Matka Canyon, Macedonia

You don’t have to go to the tropics to experience paradise. Just a few miles from the Macedonian capital city of Skopje lies Matka Canyon, a stunning gorge which is filled with clear waters and one  of the largest cave systems in the world.  It’s perfect for a European trip off the beaten track. Visitors and locals come to get away from urban life for hiking, kayaking,diving and rock climbing. 

The canyon is also home to many species of butterflies, as well bats. There are five restaurants spread around the canyon, so you can factor in cliffside food and drinks on dinner in a cave restaurant into your itinerary. Matka Canyon ranks number 15 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit

16. Tallinn, Estonia

best european destinations to visit

For a mix of city break and nature getaway, Tallinn is a great shout. It’s a small city, with beautiful forests on its doorstep. And you can also hop over to the islands of Naissar, Prangli, and Aegna easily from Tallinn Bay too. Wander around the Old Town for cobbled medieval streets, beautiful architecture, and some of the city’s best places to eat like Rataskaevu 16 and III Draakon. Head up to the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform for views over the city including the harbour, bell towers, and red slate rooftops. Switch from medieval to modern at Telliskivi Creative City which is hub restaurants, music venues, cafés and street art.

If you want to escape into nature, visit Jägala waterfall , particularly in the winter, or wander around Sooma National Park where you can book a canoe tour, and go hiking around a bog  – just remember to hire shoes so you don’t get stuck in the mud or snow depending on the season.

17. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary Czech Republic

Lots of people come to Karlovy Vary on day trips from Prague to take a dip in some of Europe’s best hot springs. There are 15 restorative hot spas dotted around the city, including up in the hills. It’s a very beautiful city too, full of grand, pastel-coloured Bohemian architecture surrounded by forests. 

For the best city meets nature views, head to the hillside lookouts like the Diana Observation Tower. Visit in July for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – one of the biggest in Europe. Head out of the city for forest hikes in the Krušnohorská magistrála,  and walk along the Tepla River.

18. Rotterdam, Holland


Just like Utrecht, Holland’ssecond city’ is worth more than just being tacked onto an Amsterdam trip. It’s full of mind-bending, futuristic architecture like the vibrant yellow cubic houses that jut into the sky tilted at a 45-degree angle. The city is also great for art lovers, with loads of classic and contemporary museums, galleries, and outdoor sculptures including the Witte de Witth Centre for Contemporary Art. 

As it’s a Dutch city, get on your bike – they’re cheap to hire (around €9 a day) and you can cycle out to the countryside to visit the famous windmills at Kinderdijk, buy cheese at the market at Gouda and past sweet-scented fruit trees if you visit in May. Rotterdam comes in at 18 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

19. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Croatia is well known for its beautiful beaches, but one of the most unique places to visit is Plitvice Lakes. It’s a stunning national park, and the oldest in Croatia – with beautiful turquoise lakes, waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails. Plitvice Lakes is easy to do as a day trip from either Zagreb or Split.

Although the water is inviting, swimming isn’t allowed as it’s a UNESCO site, so it’s all about hikes and incredible scenery. And don’t forget to pack snacks – the only options are a small supermarket by Entrance One and a few fast food places.

20. Bregenz, Austria


The west of Austria is home to the mountainous Vorarlberg state, and Bregenz is its lakeside capital. Lake Constance, (Bodensee) is one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes, and it has parts in other Alpine regions including Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Bregenz is a 2,000-year-old city that’s perfect for a chilled trip wandering through medieval streets and escaping into beautiful Alpine nature. 

The city sits between the lake and the  Pfänder mountain, so you can take the cable car up to hike along rugged trails and gaze over the stunning countryside with up to 240 mountain peaks. Heading into the countryside outside of Bregenz, you can also visit the hillside Schattenberg Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in central Europe.

21. Ksamil, Albania

Ksamil Albania

Sitting along the Albanian Riviera is the small village of Ksamil. People visit for some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. It has four uninhabited islands with secluded sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. But it’s not just a place to lie on the beach all day, there’s plenty to explore close by – and it’s definitely worth taking a couple of road trips.  One of the closest is the Butrint, which is about a 10 minute drive. The UNESCO World Heritage site was an ancient city that first belonged to the Greeks, then Romans came along, then finally it was taken over by bishops in Epirus.

A bit further away, about an hour’s drive from Ksamil is Syri I Kalter (also known as The Blue Eye) – it’s a water spring and natural phenomenon. Its light blue water is so clear, you’ll be able to see straight to the bottom of the 50ft deep pool.

22. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi coast Italy Europe

The famous 31 mile stretch of coastline close to Naples ranks number 22 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit. Go in early Spring or Autumn, and you can explore the Amalfi Coast’s colourful winding streets, rugged coastal views, and stunning sunsets at a calmer pace, in balmy temperatures. Especially if you find some of its lesser-known spots. People flock to Positano and Amalfi, and with good reason.

But fewer people know about Atrani, which sits between two cliffs and is the smallest hamlet in the south of Italy. It’s a pastel-hued fishing village that looks untouched by modern life, filled with cobbled streets, where you can just marvel at the beauty of it all and unwind with food and drinks at the Piazza Umberto, Atrani’s main square. Another of the Amalfi Coasts more hidden gems is the village of Praiano, where you can also take a hike along the Sentiero Degli Dei (Path of the Gods) that leads to the Lattari mountains.

23. Porto, Portugal

portugal Porto Europe

Another ‘second city’ that more than holds its own against the capital is Porto. The ancient, picturesque, hilly city on the banks of the river Douro is full of architecture, great food, beautiful natural parks, and of course, a lot of Port. The hills are pretty steep, but it’s worth winding your way up to some of the less touristy neighbourhoods high above the river. And there are lots of great bars and places to eat tucked down the side streets, away from the main drag at Ribeira.

Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge (designed by Gustav Eiffel, if the architecture looks like a more famous European landmark), to cross over to Vila Gaia De Nova to visit the port caves and wander around some less busy medieval streets. Take a tram to Foz De Douro for a beautiful coastal walk.  Porto comes in at 23 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

24. Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania Romania

Most people know it as the stomping ground of a certain vampire, but the Eastern European destination stretches far beyond the forests surrounding Castle Dracula. It’s a large region in the heart of Romania with lots to explore from stunning landscapes, medieval castles (including  Bran Castle, the one linked to Dracula) as well as citadel ruins, fortified settlements and salt mines. 

You can also do some pretty serious hiking and spot landmarks like the Bucegi Natural Park, although do your research or do it like an organised trip because of roaming brown bears. If you’re taking a road trip, head to the Transfagarasan Highway, an amazing mountain road with incredible views of Transylvania’s great plains. Transylvania ranks number 24 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

25. Budapest, Hungary

budapest Europe

Thermal spas, ruin bars (bars in the ruins of abandoned buildings, not the state you’ll be in when you leave, although that’s up to you!),  and a mix of different architecture styles are some of the reasons why Budapest is such a great European destination.  For pretty views of the Danube, take a stroll over The Chain Bridge. Once you’ve explored city landmarks like the Jewish Quarter, Dohány Street Synagogue, and the Hungarian Opera House, take a wander to some of Budapest’s outdoor places. 

Buda Castle is a 13th-century palace that sits high on a hill, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Memento Park which is full of statues and memorabilia from the communist period in Hungary. For a little oasis away from the city, visit Margaret Island, a lush green island on the Danube, it’s not very big but you can stretch your legs more by climbing the Art Nouveau water tower and look over the Buda Hills. 

26. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria.

One of Europe’s hidden gems is Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, especially if you love historic cities that are close to nature. It’s one of Bulgaria’s oldest settlements, where you can visit the imposing Tsaret Fortress, stroll along the river Yantra, and go to the Assenov quarter on the edge of a pine forest.

There is good hiking to be done in Veliko Tarnovo. And there are plenty of hikes that start right from the city itself, including the Sveta Gora Park, where a steep walk pays off with stunning views. But if you want to venture further out you can go on the eco-trail at Emen Canyon, the Lyaskovets monastery trail or the Kartala waterfalls trail.

27. Paris, France


What more can be written about Paris that hasn’t been written a thousand times. It’s a beautiful city, of course. But then again, there’s the Paris beyond the obvious sights like the Eiffel Tower and joining long queues at the Louvre. For interesting urban walking, take a wander through The Petite Ceinture Railway, an abandoned railway line that predates the Paris Métro where colourful flowers peak through the old tracks and street art adorns old platforms. 

You could easily spend a weekend in Paris just gallery hopping, but one of the more unusual spaces is 59 Rivoli, an infamous former squat turned legit studios with exhibits across 6 floors. It’s worth visiting the outside if you’re pushed for time, the facade is like an installation in itself. The gardens of Paris are rightly celebrated, but few people know about the Jardin Francs-Bourgeois-Rosiers, a secret garden tucked behind a 17th-century mansion in the Marais district. Paris comes in at 27 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

28. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Georgia

In a country where Europe meets Asia, the Georgian capital is one of the world’s oldest settlements, with evidence of human habitation dating back to 4000 BC. The ancient city is full of historic and natural wonders. From thermal bath houses that date back to the 12th century, the Ottoman era Jumah Mosque, panoramic views at the Narikala Fortress, to the streets and buildings that tell stories of Tbilisi’s more recent communist past. 

East and west meet in Tbilisi’s culinary offerings too, including Khinkali – Georgian soup dumplings, to be eaten in batches of 20, apparently. Leave the city to visit Uplistsikhe, a vast, ancient cave city for some serious hiking and exploring. Tbilisi is also relatively close to the incredible mountain region of Kazbegi, to take in the northern slopes of the Caucasus.

29. Crete, Greek Islands

Crete Greek Islands

The largest of the Greek Islands is so vast it has two airports  Depending on how long you go for, and what you want to see, you’ll need to choose whether to fly into Chania or Heraklion. Neither of them will disappoint, with stunning scenery, delicious food, and remnants of ancient civilizations. But there are a few more unspoilt, less touristy places to explore in Chania. 

If you want to escape large tourist groups, head to the golden sands and lack of crowds at Xerokambos, a beach surrounded by mountains. Chania is also home to the Agria Irini in the west of the White Mountains. Apokournous is a little slice of Cretan paradise too, especially the shimmering freshwater lake of Lake Kouros. .

30. The Val D’orcia, Italy

The Val D orcia Italy

The whole region of Tuscany in central Italy is worth spending time exploring for the history, culture, and of course, the food. But if you’ve experienced the many sights and tastes of Florence, Lucca and Siena, then head to the unspoilt valley of Val D’orcia. Then you can get up close to Tuscan nature and see for yourself what the renaissance painters loved so much.

Val D’Orcia takes its name from the Orcia River that runs through it, and the area is a preserved natural park and cultural park. You can easily spend the time on a regional wine and cheese tour, but there are also 14th-century fortresses, ancient villages, and old castles to explore. Head up to the tower at Rocca Di Tententanno for incredible views over the Tuscan landscape.

. 31. The Lake District, England

best european destinations to visit

The area close to the Scottish border has some of the UK’s most jaw-dropping scenery. And while The Lake District does have many great lakes, it isn’t just about the abundant waters.  The area was shaped during the last Ice Age, creating dramatic, steep, U-shaped valleys. A visit to any of the major lakes like Windermere or Grassmere to see the rolling, green landscapes that inspired poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  But for serious hiking and the most iconic views, you have to hike Scafell Pike or Helvellyn. 

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, and although mountain peaks here are small compared with many of Europe’s mountain ranges, it’s still a challenging route involving scree slopes, so you’ll need to be pretty experienced. Helvellyn is easier by comparison, but you’ll still get some over six hours of hiking and a knockout view. The Lake District is England’ largest National Park and home to an abundance of wildlife including the endangered red squirrel, Arctic char fish, red deer, peregrine falcon’s and the other nest pairs of golden eagles and ospreys in the UK. The Lake District ranks 31 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

. 32.  Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

The compact capital of Slovakia sits on the banks of the Danube and is surrounded by forests, hills, and lakes. So you can fit in plenty of city culture and nature walking in a  short space of time. The city has a bit of a rowdy reputation as a stag do destination, so mid-week trips are probably a safer bet. But Bratislava is also full of interesting and contrasting architecture including Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Socialist Realist (the official architecture from the Stalinist regime). 

A short bus trip out of Bratislava takes you to Devin where you can visit castle ruins and visit the memorial to the Iron Curtain and find concrete bunkers behind some bushes. Venturing out of the city, you can also visit one of the small vineyards nestled in The Little Carpathian Hills and grab food at one of the local bistros. .

33. London, England

best european destinations to visit

For such a sprawling, urban mega-city, London is incredibly green and wild in parts. In 2019 it became a National Park City, an initiative to make cities greener, healthier and wilder. It’s also a truly international city from the people, the culture, and the food. London is where old meets new from iconic buildings from historic sites to world-famous venues like Ronnie Scotts and The 100 Club.

The doors of museums, galleries and venues may be shut for a while, but London’s green spaces bring much-needed escapism and exploration for locals and visitors alike. The city is filled with huge parks and green areas like  Hampstead Heath, the colourful blooms of Isabella Plantation, long river walks, Walthamstow Wetlands. It’s full of urban wildlife  – you can see flamingos strutting around in Kensington Gardens,  green parakeets flying in Hyde Park and if you look up on to the rooftops of the Tate Modern, you might just spot a peregrine falcon or two circling above.

35. Tatra National Park, Poland

best european destinations to visit

Nestled in the Tatra Mountains in Poland about 70 miles south of Krakow, Tatra National Park is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. Named one of CNN’s most beautiful national parks in the world, there is a lot to explore, including over 600 caves, large lakes, challenging hiking trails, rugged mountain peaks, waterfalls and wildlife.

Tatra National Park is home to endemic and endangered species, and you might bespot brown bears, grey wolves, Eurasian lynx, and European otters. It’s also a much cheaper alternative to popular Alpine destinations where you’ll experience breathtaking mountain views and stay in cosy lodges without the high price tag.

36. Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

The turquoise waters, sandy beaches and palm trees of the Isles of Scilly look more like somewhere deep in the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean than England. But the archipelago off the Cornish coast has a micro-climate, and Tresco, its second-largest island is home to subtropical sandy beaches and lush gardens, as well as rugged coastal walks, ancient monuments and castles.

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens is a stunning, subtropical gem, which is home to more than 20,000 exotic plants from all over the world including Brazil and New Zealand and filled with colourful flowers. The north of Tresco is more rugged if you want to go exploring, and the centre of the island is home to bird hides and freshwater pools. But beyond the sunny skies and sandy beaches, Tresco has a dark maritime past, and if you’re interested in stories and artefacts from the sea, visit the Valhalla Museum (inside the Abbey Gardens) to see figureheads salvaged from shipwrecks. Tresco ranks 36 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

37. Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria

Black Sea Coast Bulgaria

Also known as the Bulgarian Riviera, the Black Sea Coast is over 200 miles of coastline that is home to beautiful ancient cities, secluded beaches, old fortresses and mysterious archaeological sites. Perfect for a road trip filled with adventure and exploration with plenty of budget campsites and small villas to stay in. One of the main coastal cities is Varna, which dates back to 4600 BC and is worth visiting for the Roman Baths, a cave monastery, bizarre rock formations and if you venture a bit further, you can visit  Pobitli Kamani also known as the Stone Forest.

It’s also Bulgaria’s only desert, and one of the ones in the whole of Europe, and it’s filled with around 300 limestone pillars that are over 50 million years old. Varna is also a good base for visiting Ovech Fortress Elsewhere along the Black Sea Coast, you can also visit the ancient city of Nessebar which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been fortified since Roman times filled with ancient churches, monasteries, and incredible views.

38. Ille-Sur-Têt,  France


The beauty of the South of France is no secret. But it is also home to the lesser-known natural wonder Orgues of Ille-sur-Têt. Meaning organs, the Orgues are incredible rock formations that have the appearance of fairy chimneys at the highest peak of the Pyrenees Orientale. You can’t walk on the fragile rocks but travel south to wander through Gorge de la Fou and follow the trail that leads to the slopes of Mount Canigou. The whole region is dotted with picturesque villages and filled with deep valleys

39. Provence, France

best european destinations to visit

France is the most visited country in the world, and yes there are a lot of beautiful regions to choose from. But the large southern region of Provence is incredibly varied, with great weather. It’s perfect for a road trip around some of the country’s most beautiful villages, heritage sites, stunning countryside, gorgeous coasts, and natural wonders.  Provence is an incredibly colourful area too, in the summer fields bloom with lavender and sunflowers, and you could easily plan a trip around the Provençal food and wine feasting on plates bouillabaisse (a fish and seafood stew from Marseille), ratatouille, and local produce at the daily market at Aix En Provence. 

Villages like the Venasque overlooking the Nesque river canyons are considered and the medieval hilltop Gordes are considered to be some of the most beautiful in France.  Provence is home to  rugged natural wonders too, like Calanques which is a dramatic series of inlets along the coast. And if you want to venture a bit off the beaten track, there are some amazing lakes and rivers under waterfalls for wild swimming in places like Pont Du Gard and Sillans La Cascade.

40. Comino, Malta

comino island malta europe

Comino is the smallest inhabited island in the Maltese archipelago with only three permanent residents. Most people come to Comino for the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, and it gets pretty crowded in the summer months. But plan a weekday visit off-season and you can visit to swim or in the azure waters, or hike up to Saint Mary’s Tower and marvel at the island’s rock formations. 

People often go to Comino for a day trip as it’s only a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland.  And you can hike the whole island in a day, but there’s also a campsite where you pitch your tent for free if you want to stay longer. Comino is also a bird sanctuary and nature reserve, where you’ll see reptiles like the Moorish Gecko and Maltese Wall Lizard as well as lots of birdlife. Comino ranks 40 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

41. Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon best places in Europe

The city of seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. From the bustle and cheap bars of Barrio Alto to incredible views from Miradouros and with beaches close by – it’s no wonder it’s become more popular with visitors and remote workers in recent years.

Lisbon is also one of the greenest European capital cities, where you can wander through the 19th-century botanical garden Jardim do Torel, and check out the sculptures at Gulbenkian Gardens, or go hiking in the Parque Florestal de Monsanto. Escape the crowds by taking a wander up to Miradouro de Santa Catarina, one of Lisbon’s less well-known viewpoints.

42. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Slovenia

Ljubljana is a rare European city. The capital of Slovenia is a historic city that hasn’t succumbed to over-tourism. And its central location makes it a great base for seeing other interesting parts of the country. The city is filled with interesting architecture from Roman remnants to Baroque and Renaissance buildings. It’s also got an alternative arts scene, so you can follow street art trails and visit Metelkova an old barracks which is now artists studios displaying off the wall sculptures (literally), and huge mosaics and it’s also home to bars and music venues too.

A short trip outside of Ljubljana’s ancient city wall and you can be hiking in the Kamnip Alps, with postcard-perfect mountain views and forest trails. The nearby countryside is also great for cyclists, where you take full or half-day tours of the marshes and Lake Podpeč. You’ll be able to cycle around lakes and visit picturesque villages, national parks, waterfalls, and gorges.

43. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The area suffered hugely during the Balkans war in the 1990s, but has recovered and become one of the country’s most visited places. Mostar’s most famous landmark is Stari Most, a 16th Century Ottoman-built bridge that crosses the Neretva river. During the summer months, you might catch professional drivers leaping off it into the river below. The atrocities suffered by Mostar during the conflict are still relatively recent in the city’s history, and the ‘Don’t Forget Stone’ serves as an important reminder for visitors.  

But some of the most remarkable sites lie beyond the city. A few miles outside of Mostar is Blagag Tekija, a holy site that has been home to an ancient brotherhood of Dervishes for more than 600 years. It’s tucked under a cliff at the source of River Buna, which is possibly why it escaped damage from conflict. Just south of Mostart and you’ll come to the incredible Kravice Waterfalls, which aren’t (yet) well known among tourists. So you’ll be able to explore its natural beauty at your own pace and breathe in the forest air and take a refreshing dip right under the falls. Mostar ranks 43 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

44. Barcelona, Spain


The capital of Catalonia doesn’t really need an introduction as a top European destination. A city that doesn’t really sleep, where there is interesting architecture on every corner, lush green spaces, and some of the best galleries, restaurants and music festivals in the world. It’s easy to get around too.  Once you’ve dodged the crowds at the Ramblas, you can explore the medieval alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, and make your way around the city’s landmarks like La Sagrada Familia, grabbed food at the Boqueria Market and looked down over the city from Parc Guell.

But for truly stunning views, venture beyond the city on a short train ride to Monserrat. It’s a Benedictine Monastery, nestled within a rugged mountain range. It’s also a great place for a mountain hike with amazing views across Catalonia. Barcelona is also close to the coastal town of Sitges and the Roman ruins at Tarragona.

45. Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

45. Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

A visit to the Swedish capital means you can combine a European city break with island hopping too. For locals, it’s the best of the urban and rural coastal living. The Stockholm Archipelago is made up of 30,000 islands, and the closest one is only 20 minutes away from the city centre. Swedes and foreign tourists alike visit the island for kayaking, hiking, camping, and just generally appreciating nature.

Visiting off-season in the Autumn to take advantage of fewer people, and take long forest walks, and you might spot deer, foxes, rabbits and badgers on your wandering. Accommodation is also cheaper then too, which is a bonus. For a winter getaway, visit Värmdö, the largest island where you can go cross-country skiing.

46. Zermatt, Switzerland

Matterhorn 50-best-places-in-europe

Sitting on the Swiss-Italian border, the 14,692 ft mountain the Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in the Alps. You can find out about the mountaineering history of the famous mountain at Matterhorn Museum, in Zermatt, the famous ski resort town at its base. Although many ill-fated attempts were made by climbers in the 19th century, these stunning Alpine views are much more easily accessible. 

For the best views, you can either take the Gornergratbahn cogwheel railway or zip up on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to Klein Matterhorn – Europe’s highest cable car station. Both options also offer great stops for exploring winding, glacial hiking trails like the Matterhorn Glacier Trail (the halfway station stop if you’re taking the cable car). Matterhorn ranks 46 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

47. Gauja National Park, Latvia

Gauja National Park Latvia

A short drive from the capital Riga takes you to Gauja National Park, which is around 230 acres of green forest and the largest national park in Latvia. It’s a highly biodiverse park, filled with forest trails and a haven for hikers and nature lovers. The lush green park is also filled with rock formations, cliffs and caves as well as an abundance of wildlife. 

There are many species of mammals in Gauja National Park although some are easier to spot, but with a bit of planning, you might see stags, elk, wolves, lynx, otters and bats. The national park is also a good base for other activities like kayaking on the river Gauja, exploring some of the surrounding medieval castles, and even bobsleighing.

48. Verdon Gorge, France

best european destinations to visit

We’ve already highlighted the whole region of Provence, but if you’re short on time and want to pick one natural wonder in the region, head to Verdon Gorge. Also known as The Grand Canyon of Europe, it’s a river canyon in central Province with some of the area’s most jaw-droppingly dramatic scenery, and the deepest gorge in France.

Visitors come for rugged and untamed landscapes, hiking trails, deep limestone valleys and to see birds of prey like eagles and vultures circling above. The vibrant turquoise waters of the bottom is also a great place to come for river canoeing, kayaking and rafting. You can also hire small boats to gently drift through the gorge. For wild swimming, head to the St Croix and Castillion lakes. Verdon Gorge ranks 48 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

49. Corsica, France

corsica 50-best-places-in-europe-to-visit.

The fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean has some of the most varied landscapes in the whole of Europe. It was ruled by the Republic of Genoa between the 13th and 18th centuries, but has been part of France since 1796 although Italian culture is still present on the island alongside the French. Corsica is also the home of the challenging GR20 trail, with the reputation for being the hardest long-distance trek in Europe. Considering that 75% of people fail to complete the mountainous course that spans the length of Corsica, it’s one for serious hikers only. 

But if you don’t fancy a two-week-long trek, there is plenty more history and nature to explore on the island. You can visit bronze age ruins to see over 200 megaliths at Palaggiu, and if scuba diving is your thing then visit Scandola Nature Reserve, and take in the dramatic views from the fortress in Cotre.

50. Copenhagen, Denmark


The stylish, and apparently incredibly happy Danish capital offers a European City break with a mix of urban life and natural beauty. Whether you’re visiting for architecture, canal wandering, or visiting galleries  – the best way to get around is to act like a Dane and get on a bike. On hot days, you can cool off at one of the free outdoor baths like The Kastrup Sea Bath, or  the ‘Copencanbana’ aka Fisketorvet baths.

The city itself is full of green spaces like The King’s Garen and Ørstedsparken, but Amager Beach is a short bike ride away. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards there. Copenhagen is also a short train ride away from Kronborg castle, which was the inspiration for Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And for wilder landscapes, visit Anholt, an island in the middle of the Kattegat sea which is covered in wildflowers which is also Northern Europe’s largest desert. Copenhagen ranks 50 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

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25 Places in Europe You Should Visit at Least Once

Tourist in Venice, Italy

It’s impossible to see all the beautiful and amazing places in Europe, but one can certainly try. To make the most of your time traveling Europe, though, it’s helpful to know which places are truly exceptional. 

If you’re planning a Eurotrip or simply daydreaming about one, there are some definite sites to see on the continent. You'll find famous cities and idyllic islands as well as little-known spots where you won't run into many other tourists.

These are the top 25 European destinations to have on your radar.

25. Reykjavik

Reykjavík, Iceland

Country: Iceland

Population: 122,853

Fun Fact: From 1924 to 1984, dogs were banned in Reykjavik to stop the spread of a contagious tapeworm.

*Rankings are based on a recent report from U.S. News & World Report .

Best Things to Do in Reykjavik

Hallgrimskirkja church, Reykjavik

The Icelandic capital is often thought to be simply a gateway to the rest of the rugged country. But the city is actually a worthy destination on its own, full of Viking history and views of the ocean. A visit to the iconic Hallgrimskirkja is a must, as is spending time at the National Museum.

That being said, we encourage you to see other parts of the country as well. Dip into the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, one of the most unusual pools in the world . You can also visit some of the country’s astonishing natural wonders, like the Strokkur geyser and Thingvellir National Park.

24. Seville

Plaza de España, Seville, Spain

Country: Spain

Population: 688,711

Fun Fact: Seville has been used as the location for several movies and TV shows, including “Game of Thrones,” “007: Die Another Day,” “Star Wars Episode II” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” 

Best Things to Do in Seville

Alcazar Gardens, Seville, Spain

Even if you do nothing in Seville except walk around, you’ll have an incredible time. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Spain, Seville is the pride of Andalucia. The city has many examples of Moorish architecture, including the intricate Plaza de España.

Seville is also responsible for both tapas and flamenco, which means the rest of Spain — the rest of the world, really — will be eternally indebted to it.

23. Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

Country: Turkey

Population: 15.46 million

Fun Fact: Although it’s not the capital of Turkey (a fun geography fact most people get wrong ), Istanbul was the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires.

Best Things to Do in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

A city in a continental crossroads, Istanbul is an unusual and delightfully unexpected mix of European and Middle Eastern cultures. 

The city has been the epicenter of several empires, which is why you’ll still find Egyptian obelisks, the Roman Hippodrome and the Byzantine mosque, Hagia Sophia. Next to these historic monuments, you’ll see modern skyscrapers, nightclubs and a shopping haven, the Grand Bazaar.

22. Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

Country: Denmark

Population: 602,481

Fun Fact: Copenhagen is home to Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world. The park was opened in 1583, and you can ride a wooden roller coaster that has been in operation since 1932.

Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

Borsen Building, Copenhagen

One of the greenest cities in the world, Copenhagen is all about developing and using technology to get us back to basics. This is why there are seemingly more bikes than cars on the road and why you’ll find urban green spaces scattered around. 

But that doesn’t mean the city isn’t full of history. The most popular attractions are the colorful Nyhavn neighborhood, where you can see the iconic rows of houses by the river and the Statue of the Little Mermaid. There’s also the Frederiksstaden, an 18th century district where the royal Amalienborg Palace is located. Another great place to visit is Tivoli Gardens, another historic amusement park located right within the city.

Munich, Germany

Country: Germany

Population: 1.47 million

Fun Fact: There are more than 60 beer gardens in Munich, which is not surprising given that the city is the home of Oktoberfest.

Best Things to Do in Munich

Frauenkirche, Munich

Foreigners outside of Europe mostly know Munich for Oktoberfest, but the city is incredible at any time of year. That's especially true since beer is a big part of the local culture, so you’re always guaranteed a biergarten experience. 

When you’re not quenching your thirst, you can visit the central square of Marienplatz and see the Old Town’s historic architecture. 

Museumsinsel, Berlin, Germany

Population: 3.65 million

Fun Fact: Germans are avid supporters of the opera. This is evidenced by the fact that Berlin is the only city on the planet where you’ll find three operating opera houses.

Best Things to Do in Berlin

Reichstag building, Berlin

In what other city in the world can you find world-famous nightclubs that don’t close for entire days as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site made of museums?

The German capital is a city with a painful past. But rather than trying to sweep it under the rug, it displays it front and center. Historic sites that no one should miss include the sombre Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate.

19. The Azores

Angra do Heroismo, Azores, Portugal

Country: Portugal

Population: 245, 766

Fun Fact: About a third of the world’s cetacean species pass through the Azores during their migration, making the archipelago an amazing whale- and dolphin-watching destination.

Best Things to Do in the Azores

Sao Miguel, Azores

Up until a few years ago, many tourists hadn’t even heard of the Azores. Now, it seems like this group of islands is what everyone is dreaming about. 

Volcanic in nature, the Azores are full of untamed wild beauty, with deep valleys, tall waterfalls and hidden beaches. The largest island is Sao Miguel, where you’ll find the Sete Cidades volcanic crater.

18. Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Country: Hungary

Population: 1.76 million

Fun Fact: Budapest’s Dohány Street Synagogue, known as the Great Synagogue, is the largest synagogue in all of Europe.

Best Things to Do in Budapest

Szechenyi Baths, Budapest

Budapest is an astonishing city that is often overlooked for Western European capitals. But that’s a loss for anyone who skips it and a gain for those wise enough to visit. 

Go up to the top of Fisherman’s Bastion to see the red Hungarian Parliament sitting on one side of the Danube River and the Buda Castle on the other. After a long day of sightseeing, you can rest at one of Budapest’s thermal baths, which the city is famous for.

17. Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden

Country: Sweden

Population: 975,551

Fun Fact: The Royal National City Park is the only national urban park located in a capital city in the world.

Best Things to Do in Stockholm

Stortorget, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is so clean and organized, it’s almost difficult to believe it’s not an amusement park. A place of innovation and design, you’ll find futuristic buildings, bikes everywhere and many scattered parks. 

For some history, visit the Old Town, which offers the typical cobblestone streets of European cities. Other top attractions include the Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum. Don’t leave without getting on a boat and sailing through the city’s canals.

Ha'penny bridge in Dublin, Ireland

Country: Ireland

Population: 544,107

Fun Fact: Dublin is home to the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub which has been open since 1198.

Best Things to Do in Dublin

The Temple Bar, Dublin

Dublin may not be the biggest European capital, but it’s one of its funnest and most unique. Locals are known for their friendliness and welcoming attitude (which we can’t really say for every place on this list). Music, singing and drinking are ways of celebrating the good or dealing with the bad. Dublin is also renowned for its literary legacy, as many Irish authors like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce spent time in the city.

Things to do include the National Gallery of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Temple Bar district.

Madrid, Spain

Population: 3.22 million

Fun Fact: Madrid’s El Retiro park has the world’s only statue of the devil. Depicting Satan’s fall from heaven, the “Fountain of the Fallen Angel” is especially interesting for a historically Catholic country like Spain.

Best Things to Do in Madrid

Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid

We struggle to think of something Madrid doesn’t have. There are plenty of sprawling green parks like El Retiro, world class museums, nightlife that doesn’t even start until after 11 p.m., beautiful architecture everywhere you turn and countless shopping districts. 

You can add to that all of the mouth-watering Spanish food you could ever want. No matter where you are, you’ll find tapas, wine and churros. As if Madrid wasn’t cool enough already, it’s also one of the sunniest European capitals.

Belvedere palace, Vienna

Country: Austria

Population: 1.9 million

Fun Fact: Vienna’s Wiener Riesenrad is the oldest operating Ferris wheel on the planet. It was built in 1897.

Best Things to Do in Vienna

Hundertwasser house in Vienna, Austria

Beautiful Vienna is a city of music, museums and sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake that you eat with coffee. 

The Austrian capital is home to many world-class museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Natural History Museum. Visiting the imperial palaces of the Hapsburgs is a must, as is spending an evening at the Vienna State Opera. After all, the city was home to both Mozart and Beethoven.

Petra Tou Romiou, Cyprus

Country: Cyprus

Population: 875,899

Fun Fact: Mark Anthony gave Cyprus to Cleopatra as a gift. Talk about entitlement!

Best Things to Do in Cyprus

Limassol, Cyprus

This island nation sits at a perfectly strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, as a stopping point between Europe, Asia and Africa.

As can be expected, you’ll find more beaches than you could possibly visit as well as several Greek ruins. Make sure you plan to go to the UNESCO-recognized Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos, which has ruins from the fourth century B.C. 

Athens, Greece

Country: Greece

Population: 664,046

Fun Fact: Athens is the oldest capital city in Europe.

Best Things to Do in Athens

Erechtheion temple, Athens

The Greek capital is full of ancient history, with the imposing Acropolis defining the city’s skyline. It was here that democracy was invented, but far from being snobbish because of their history, Greeks tend to be friendly and welcoming. 

Of course, enjoying Greek food will consume much of your time, as will taking leisurely walks around the historic parts of the city. Make sure you visit the National Archaeological Museum, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Ancient Agora.

Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Country: Italy

Population: 261,905 

Fun Fact: Venice is made up of 118 islands. Since no cars are allowed, you can only get from one island to another by foot or by boat/gondola.  

Best Things to Do in Venice

Venice, Italy

Once a powerful empire, Venice’s mighty past is evident in the richness of its palaces, the opulence of its churches and the quality of its handcrafts. 

Walking around the city is a pastime in itself, as you’ll cross small bridges that provide gorgeous scenes of the canals. Spend some time in Piazza San Marco, go up the Campanile tower for panoramic views of the city and visit the island of Murano to buy some unique glass souvenirs.

The city has become known for its overtourism, but it continues to be one of the most well-worthy destinations on Earth — just make sure you visit responsibly and are considerate of its residents.

Prague, Czech Republic

Country: Czech Republic

Population: 1.31 million 

Fun Fact: Prague Castle holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest castle in the world.

Best Things to Do in Prague

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is two worlds within one city. In the historic center, you’ll find the capital of the former kingdom of Bohemia. The Medieval charm of this part of the city is quite intact, with the Old Town Square providing typical cobblestone streets, baroque buildings and the famous Astronomical Clock. Here, you’ll also find Charles Bridge, which provides views of the impressive Prague Castle. 

The other side of the city holds vestiges of the country’s past under Soviet occupation. The buildings are grey, and the architecture is decidedly less pleasing to the eye. But this side of the city is still worth visiting, as it holds the everyday experiences of its residents. You’ll find cheap, local restaurants, cool bars and even some underground nightclubs.

9. Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Population: 36,000

Fun Fact: Jackie Kennedy, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn visited Capri and bought sandals, a famous product of the town. You can still buy a pair from Amedeo Canfora, where Jackie Kennedy had hers custom made.

Best Things to Do in the Amalfi Coast

Capri Island, Italy

Drive along the Amalfi Coast, and you’ll get almost uninterrupted views of green hills rolling into the ocean and towns carved into the side of mountains. 

Made up of several municipalities, this expansive coastline is worthy of several visits, especially since it's one of the best beach destinations in the world . The U.S. News report identifies visiting the Emerald Grotto, hiking the Vallone delle Ferriere trail and seeing the waterfalls of Marmorata as must-dos.

8. Santorini

Oia town in Santorini

Population: 13,500

Fun Fact: Santorini’s original name was Kalliste, which means “the most beautiful one.”

Best Things to Do in Santorini

Oia Port, Santorini

The cycladic houses of Santorini have become the poster image for Greece. Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing the iconic white houses with blue roofs with their own eyes?

But Santorini is not just a pretty place with no soul. The island has local wineries that you can visit, black sand beaches and a large volcanic caldera that offers views and outdoors activities.

7. Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Country: The Netherlands

Population: 821,752

Fun Fact: With 165 canals, Amsterdam actually has more canals than Venice.

Best Things to Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Crossed by hundreds of canals (literally) and adorned with 17th century architecture, Amsterdam is a city where you’ll want to take your time. 

As far as attractions go, there are many museums to choose from, including the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House. You can also plan a boat tour through the city, which we especially recommend at night. 

But the one thing you can’t neglect to do is to rent a bike and experience the city the way most locals love to traverse it.

6. Swiss Alps

Matterhorn, Switzerland

Country: Switzerland

Population: N/A

Fun Fact: At 15,202-feet tall, Monte Rosa is the highest peak in the Swiss Alps and the second highest in all the Alps.

Best Things to Do in the Swiss Alps

Spiez town, Switzerland

This distinctive region of Switzerland is known around the world for its world-class skiing, idyllic mountainside towns and breathtaking lakes.

If you visit during winter, activities are a no brainer, with numerous spots for snowboarding, skiing and all winter sports. At the end of a day in the sun, you can sit back in your chalet and enjoy some raclette or fondue. If you visit during summer, you can go swimming or hiking.

5. Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Population: 1.62 million

Fun Fact: Still unfinished, La Sagrada Familia has taken longer to build than the Egyptian pyramids.

Best Things to Do in Barcelona

Casa Battle, Barcelona

Arguably Spain’s best city, Barcelona has some of the most unique architecture in the world. This is in part thanks to Antoni Gaudi, who gave the city iconic landmarks like Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. 

The Gothic Quarter is one of the most popular in the city. Here, you’ll find landmarks, shops and restaurants. You should also make sure you leave some time to visit the beaches and have a picnic at Parc de la Ciutadella.

4. Florence

Florence, Italy

Population: 382,258

Fun Fact: Always ahead of the game, Florence was the first city in the continent to have paved roads, with the first paved streets dating back to 1339.

Best Things to Do in Florence

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy

The Medicis ruled their kingdom from Florence, which is the reason this small city of less than 500,000 people is one of the world centers for art and culture. Famous galleries include the Gallerie dell’Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David resides, and the Uffizi Gallery. 

The city is filled with beautiful churches that you should visit, but they’re all overshadowed by the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, whose Duomo provides the best views of the city. Of course, shopping in the small stands in Ponte Vecchio and looking for leather goods is a must.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Population: 2.87 million

Fun Fact: Rome has more than 900 churches.

Best Things to Do in Rome

Rome, Italy

Italians are so proud of Rome, their nickname for it is “the Capital of the World.” You can resent them a little, but you can’t deny that Rome was indeed the capital of the western world at some point, hence why all roads did, indeed, lead to it. 

Today, ancient ruins like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum can be appreciated, and you can also see beautiful architectural landmarks like the Trevi Fountain. Even though it’s technically within the foreign state of Holy See, St. Peter’s Basilica is still one of the most astonishing things you’ll see in Rome.

Palace of Westminster, London

Country: United Kingdom

Population: 8.98 million

Fun Fact: The name of the landmark most people call Big Ben is actually the Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the clock that is inside the tower.

Best Things to Do in London

London, UK

First-timers in London are always surprised by how eclectic the city is. You’ll see incredible historic sites like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace surrounded by modern buildings. 

This is the city of high tea and punk, of world-class museums and dingy pubs. And yet all of its contradicting elements work together to create a unique feeling of history and modernity that is absolutely exciting.

Montmartre in Paris, France

Country: France

Population: 2.16 million

Fun Fact: The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and has over 38,000 pieces in its collection.

Best Things to Do in Paris

Paris, France

Is it cliche to name Paris the best place to visit in Europe? Maybe, but it’s also really the only correct option. 

Some people think Paris is overrated, and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting the City of Lights, just know that they’re wrong. To make sure that you’re not disillusioned, go to all the necessary landmarks like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. But also take the time to get lost within the city just to see where you end up. 

If you want a truly Parisian experience, wake up early on a Sunday to get to a patisserie before they close, then head to the nearest park — there are plenty of gorgeous ones all over the city — and spend the afternoon reading and napping on the grass.

20 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Europe in Summer

Written by Lisa Alexander and Shandley McMurray Updated Aug 24, 2023

While many of the best places to visit in Europe experience all four seasons, summer's optimal weather makes it a favorite time for vacations. Visiting during summertime means that you don't have to bundle up when traveling. You can shed some layers and bask in glorious sunshine.

Eze on the French Riviera

Warm, long days enhance your vacation experience. It's a joy to walk around the charming historic towns in nice weather; dine alfresco at outdoor cafés or restaurant terraces; and sunbathe on sandy beaches.

If you love sunshine and blue skies, you'll have plenty of choices. From the beach-meets-city vibe of Barcelona to the intriguing architecture and spectacular Mediterranean scenery of Istanbul, the appeal of each destination on this list is undeniable.

Of course, you will want to visit all the famous tourist landmarks on your European vacation. During summer, you also have the chance to see the parks and gardens in full bloom and experience the holiday atmosphere of the seaside resorts during the high season.

Summer is the perfect time for sightseeing and relaxing while creating memories. For more ideas, read our list of the top places to visit in Europe in the summer.

1. Lisbon, Portugal

2. dubrovnik, croatia, 3. reykjavik, iceland, 4. the azores, portugal, 5. crete, greece, 6. french riviera, france, 7. rome, italy, 8. paris, france, 9. biarritz, france, 10. london, england, 11. tenerife, spain, 12. edinburgh, scotland, 13. madrid, spain, 14. florence, italy, 15. amsterdam, netherlands, 16. prague, czech republic, 17. barcelona, spain, 18. budapest, hungary, 19. istanbul, turkey, 20. rhodes, greece.

Old district of Alfama in Lisbon

No European trip is complete without a visit to Lisbon . Generous and enthusiastic by nature, the Portuguese will welcome you with warm smiles and hearty meals. Thanks to an uptick in direct flights in recent years, accessing Spain's neighbor has never been easier – or more affordable.

When you fly into this Portuguese capital, get ready for a workout! Known as the city of seven hills, Lisbon forces you to get moving. Be prepared to walk up and down, down and up – and repeat . Don't worry, hop-on-hop-off buses and trolleys – like in San Francisco – make it easy to give your legs a break.

View of Lisbon from the Parque Eduardo VII

Here, there are many historical buildings to stand in awe of – from the Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George's Castle) to the Santa Justa Lift and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge . Parque Eduardo VII is the city's largest park, and it offers arguably the best view of Praça Marquês do Pombal , Avenida da Liberdade , and the sparkling Targus River.

Make sure to carve out time for a quick beach trip 20 minutes away, and to feast on pastel de nata , the country's delicious dessert. Refurbished in 2018, the lovely Doca de Santo restaurant offers tasty fare almost as impressive as its river views.

Read More: Lisbon Itineraries for Travelers


It's easy to see why Dubrovnik has been dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic." Surrounded by ancient stone walls and peppered with orange-tiled roofs, this southeastern Croatian gem is one of the most stunning cities on the Dalmatian Coast. No wonder the television series Game of Thrones chose this as one of its shooting locations.

Dubrovnik's old-world beauty, captivating tourist attractions (the view from atop Mount Srd is unbeatable), and popular day cruises to the Elafiti Islands make this a hot spot for travelers during summer. And don't forget the food– it's almost impossible to pick a bad restaurant.

To avoid the crowds, try to plan your trip at the very start or end of the high season, running from May to September, for less shoulder-to-shoulder action.

View over the Dubrovnik Old Town

In addition to the sights that you'll recognize if you're a Game Of Thrones fan – including Gothic Rector's Palace – this easy-to-navigate city features many buildings preserved from the 16th century. The Old Town brims with restaurants, boutiques, and tours, all surrounded by the impressive stone wall, where many apartments have been carved into the side.

When you have exhausted yourself from sightseeing go for a dip in the sparkling blue Adriatic Sea at one of Dubrovnik's beaches or take a ride on the cable car with 360-degree views of the city and the water.

A quick, 10-minute ferry ride will get you to the picturesque island, Lokrum , where you can take in the scenic views, wander around the botanical garden and nature preserve, and visit the 11th-century Benedictine monastery.

Read More: Croatia Road Trip: Driving the Coast from Istria to Dubrovnik

Summer in Reykjavik

Reykjavik may not be the first place that comes to mind when you're considering places to visit in Europe, but it should definitely be on your list. Summer is a great time to visit Iceland for two reasons: the chance to see the Northern Lights and endless sunshine. And by endless, we really do mean never-ending: from mid-April to mid-August, there is no darkness in Reykjavik, due to its geographical position.

If you don't mind using blackout curtains to help you sleep at night, then visiting during summer has many advantages. For instance, the hiking trails and overlooks are gorgeous at this time of year. Picture colorful fields of greens and flowers, blue skies juxtaposed against the Blue Lagoon healing waters, and near-perfect 60- to 70-degree weather.

In addition to Mother Nature's works of art, Iceland offers urban culture. Reykjavik, the capital, is the largest city in the country. Here, you will find charming shops and restaurants with questionable fare – including shark – and a stunning concrete church, called Hallgr í mskirkja . One of the most enjoyable things to do in Reykjavik is dine at the Perlan museum's restaurant, which rotates to provide views of the town, the ocean, and the countryside.

Read More: Iceland Road Trip: Driving the Ring Road

São Miguel, Azores

Despite the area's vast size, the nine isles that make up the Azores are somewhat hidden gems off Portugal's main coast. These verdant isles are magical and serene, home to UNESCO World Heritage sights, hot springs, gushing geysers, bubbling mud pots, dark caves, and romantic grottos. Visit in summer for the most optimal weather conditions for exploring the outdoor wonders.

São Miguel is the largest of the Azores islands, a true beauty bursting with adventure and plenty of tourist attractions in Ponta Delgada , its capital. On this and the other luscious isles, prepare to be wildly entertained. From biking to paragliding to hiking to spelunking, there are so many fun things to do in the Azores, especially during summer's high season.

Keep your eye out for majestic blue lagoons, volcanic craters, and towering mountains so astounding, you'll need to stop to catch your breath.

Crete, Greece

It's easy to see why Crete is deemed one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer. This Greek beauty is a haven for travelers who love fresh food, historic tales, archeological sites, and the stunning vista of bright azure waves lapping volcanic shores.

Travel in late June if you're hoping to avoid the summer crowds. July and August boast impeccable weather, which means you'll be clamoring for space on the tourist-laden streets and standing in lines at Crete's top tourist attractions .

Crete's soft, sandy beaches are unmissable, especially if you're looking for a way to soak up summer's warm rays. If you only have time to visit one (which would be a true shame), put Elafonissi Beach at the top of your list of must-visit beaches in Crete. It's one of the best pink sand beaches in the world and is located only two hours from the tourist-favorite city, Chania.

Popular tourist towns on Crete include Chania , Agio Nikolaos , and Rethymnon . Many people fly into the city of Heraklion , which is also worth exploring, even if just to see the Palace of Knossos , one of the top archeological sites in Greece.

View over nice on the French Riviera

This legendary stretch of coastline offers everything you need for the perfect summertime vacation: beautiful beaches, quaint coastal towns, fabulous art museums, and endless views of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. The tourist attractions of the French Riviera appeal to anyone who loves culture along with an amazing beach vacation scene.

The French Riviera (known as the Côte d'Azur in French) extends from Menton, near the Italian border to Saint-Tropez near Marseille (although the region's boundaries are not set in stone). Famous for its sunshine and upscale seaside resorts ( Cannes , Nice , Saint-Tropez ), the French Riviera epitomizes the allure of the South of France.

Although the coastline is synonymous with glamour, the French Riviera overlaps with the more laid-back region of Provence . Several Provençal towns such as Saint-Tropez, Cassis, Antibes, and Fréjus are considered part of both regions. Two of the French Riviera/Provençal region's must-see villages include Saint-Paul de Vence , a fascinating walled medieval town, and Èze , a medieval hilltop town with a magnificent botanical garden (Jardin Exotique) and sweeping coastal vistas.

Be sure to plan ahead if you're going to visit the French Riviera during the summer, which is the high season for both French holiday-goers and international travelers. Hotels tend to raise their rates and quickly become fully booked in June, July, and August.

St. Peter's Basilica and the Tiber River

Rome is a romantic place to travel in Europe during any season, but the sticky, sweet summer is one of the best times to visit the Italian capital. Rome is a unique city that seamlessly combines historic architecture, tourist attractions , and modern culture, not to mention drool-worthy food.

No matter when you visit, carve out time for a trip to the Colosseum , the capital's most famous, and recognizable, attraction. Be warned that the summertime lines can be long, so pack sunblock, a hat, and water for use while you wait your turn to wander around this intriguing site.

After you've lunched on pasta in an open-air patio, people-watched by the Trevi Fountain , and savored gelato near Piazza Navona , head to the city's best museums and palaces to soak up the history (and some air-conditioning) that permeates the ancient walls.

Read More: Top-Rated Churches in Rome

Eiffel Tower at sunset

There's a lot to love about Paris! The Eiffel Tower, the romantic Seine River scenery, the amazing museums , shopping, nightlife, and fine cuisine. Summer only adds reasons to visit: long days to linger at outdoor cafés and wander through the leafy green parks and flower-filled gardens; balmy evenings to appreciate late dinners and cultural performances.

Yes, you'll be looking at higher rates on things like hotels, flights, and tourist attractions , but the added expenses are more than worthwhile. In fact, the weather between June and August is practically parfait (a.k.a. perfect) with highs in the upper 70s.

In addition to dining en plein air (a.k.a. outside), summer's climate allows you to enjoy recreational activities, like outdoor movies, dancing at an open-air concert, or watching bikers roll into town during the Tour de France.

With the sun shining and roses blooming, summertime in Paris gives you a taste of la vie en rose . Plus, the summer season packs an impressive schedule of events and festivals.

Tip: If possible, visit during June or July rather than August. Most Parisians leave the city in August (which can give the city the feel of a tourist take-over) so the city's ambiance changes. Also, many shops and restaurants are closed in August.

Read More: Latin Quarter, Paris: Top Attractions, Tours, & Hotels

The Grand Plage in Biarritz

Biarritz is the ultimate place for a beach vacation in France and manages to retain its air of elegance during summertime, despite the crowds. While other seaside resorts in Europe suffer from over-tourism, Biarritz feels refreshing and refined even in the high season.

Set along the Bay of Biscay, the sublime sandy beaches of Biarritz are wide enough and the scenery is wild enough to keep your focus on nature, rather than the fact that you're sitting in a line-up of tightly packed lounge chairs.

The main tourist beaches in Biarritz are spacious and feature amenities such as striped beach tents, cafés, and lifeguard supervision. Besides the classic beaches, there are also surfer beaches and family-friendly beaches with calm waters.

Other attractions and things to do in Biarritz during summertime include visiting the Biarritz Aquarium, strolling along the seaside, and gourmet dining. Thanks to the city's aristocratic heritage, two historic tea salons (the Miremont and Maison Dodin) serve exquisite traditional French pâtisserie and afternoon tea.

Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Since it can start to get chilly as early as late August in London, we suggest catching a redeye to The Smoke in June or July. Since schools don't get out until early to mid-June, you'll fight fewer crowds if you visit before then. It's been known to get quite sweaty at this time of year (into the 70s and even 80s) and air-conditioning is rare, so dress accordingly.

The capital of both England and the United Kingdom, London offers a mix of modern conveniences and tradition. It's also one of the most influential cities on the planet. You'll want a handful of days here, especially since there is so much to see : Westminster Abbey , the London Eye , The Shard , Buckingham Palace , Borough Market , the Tower of London , and the list goes on.

On a particularly lovely day, the city's greens (including the infamous Hyde Park ) are swarmed by Londoners perfecting their tans. Grab food from a local restaurant and enjoy it in the park (like Kensington Gardens , Kew Gardens , or St James's Park ) to make the most of the good weather.

Even if you roll your eyes at the idea, a hop-on, hop-off bus is ideal to get around quickly and without confusion. For city slickers with street cred, navigating the tube and bus system is easy enough, too.

Grab a 99 from an ice cream truck to cool off. This traditional English treat features soft-serve vanilla ice cream that is topped with a chocolate Flake bar.

View over the beach on Tenerife

Tenerife tops the list of the best places to get married in the world . Once you catch sight of its magnificent sandy beaches, dazzling cerulean waves, and lush nature reserves, you'll understand why: it's utterly romantic. A hot spot for travelers to Europe in summer, Tenerife is one of the best places to visit in the Canary Islands .

Most visitors spend the majority of their time digging their toes into the soft sand beaches during summer, but you'd be amiss to skip the other attractions of Tenerife , including a visit to the remarkable Teide National Park . Pack comfy walking shoes and plenty of water if you're planning to hike this volcano, the third highest in the world.

During summer in Tenerife, you can expect dry, sunny skies with temperatures sometimes tipping the thermometer over the 28-degree Celsius mark.

You'll be sharing the streets with many other tourists from across the globe since this is one of the best places to visit in Europe in the summer. Be sure to book your hotel and dinner reservations well in advance.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Summer in Edinburgh is a magical time. The daytime highs hover around 19 degrees Celsius. The mild temperatures allow you to comfortably explore the city's tourist attractions on foot.

Edinburgh Castle is a must-see, particularly when the sun is shining. This iconic landmark is one of the top tourist sites in Scotland . During summer, you have the chance to admire the lush vegetation climbing the hill to the castle, and its blooming gardens.

June, July, and August are perfect months to wander Edinburgh's best parks . Pack a picnic lunch, so you can stay even longer to fully enjoy the fresh air and picturesque surroundings.

Don't miss the Royal Mile , the gorgeous streets that connect Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse . Window shop, people watch, or grab a cuppa in one of the charming cafés.

Read More: Top-Rated Day Trips from Edinburgh

Madrid skyline in the summer

We're not going to lie, summer in Madrid can be hot. We're talking sweat dripping down your back long after the sun sets hot. Don't let temps in the high 80s Fahrenheit (30-plus Celsius) scare you, Madrid is still one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer.

This Spanish gem offers food so good, you'll beg for seconds, lively music to entice you to dance in the streets, and a bevy of museums and galleries to explore. Insider's tip: June and July are the best summer months to visit; some shop owners take the month of August off.

The Mad Cool Festival takes place in early July. This event gives you the chance to rock out to some of their favorite performers in a large, open-air venue.

When you've had enough of exploring Madrid's busy streets and tourist attractions , hop in a bus, train, or rental car to explore the many day-trip-worthy sites and towns nearby. If you have time for just one excursion, head to Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View of Florence's Duomo and the city

Perhaps you're celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary – or maybe you're in a serious relationship with pasta. Whatever your reason for visiting Italy, our best suggestion is to make sure Florence is on your list of places to visit in Europe in the summer.

This romantic Italian wonderland looks as if it was painted in watercolor and brought to life in order to serve as the capital of Tuscany.

Art fanatics will rejoice in the one-of-a-kind masterpieces bursting onto the scene. The public piazzas include masterpieces of sculpture, while the city's museums introduce you to phenomenal works like Da Vinci's Annunciation and Botticelli's The Birth of Venus , among others.

The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is one of the most picture-perfect spots in Europe. This iconic bridge is graced by colorful shops adorned with shutters, selling touristy kitsch to the millions of visitors that cross it each year.

Other unmissable sights include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo, which are impossible to miss. Climb the claustrophobia-inducing 463-step stairway to the top of the Duomo for the best views of Florence. (You must book a time slot to climb the Duomo.)

Tulips blooming along an Amsterdam canal

The Netherlands prides itself on being eco-friendly. Not surprisingly given the country's flat and scenic terrain, the preferred mode of Dutch transport is a bicycle. The country boasts 32,000 kilometers of cycling trails, and it's said that every Dutch person owns two bikes. You'll see thousands of them on the roads of its capital, Amsterdam, especially in summer.

While getting around on public transportation is a cinch, you won't need to bother with trains or buses if you rent a bike during your trip. But if you're crossing the street as a pedestrian, be sure to look both ways – many cyclists zoom straight through.

Summer in Amsterdam

Slow down as you pass the city's impressive houses, hearkening back to the Golden Age in their canal-hugging splendor. Take a cruise along the waterways to pass under the inspiring bridges, and examine the townhomes from a different vantage point.

Some of the top attractions of Amsterdam are the sprawling Rijksmuseum , the magnificent Van Gogh Museum , and the heart-wrenching Anne Frank House museum.

While summer is too late to enjoy the spectacular tulip displays and Tulip Festival, it's the perfect time for outdoor exploration. You will enjoy wandering the city streets and walking or cycling alongside the canals. Summer weather also allows for alfresco dining on restaurant patios.

Old Town Prague

Light on the wallet but heavy on culture, Prague is one of those cities that attracts every type of traveler: from backpackers and nomads to honeymooning couples and the over-50 crowd.

Prague boasts incredible historic monuments and cultural attractions . The distinctive Old Town contains centuries of buildings, and a new square features modern construction.

When you're in town, consider renting a bike to get around, or take the easy-to-navigate public transportation system. Spend a day admiring Gothic churches, the Astronomical Clock , and of course, walk across the Charles Bridge and make a wish. To find something special to take home with you, spend some time shopping in Prague .

If you have time and want to hike, Prague is also a great starting point for the Bohemian Switzerland National Park near the German border.

Read More: From Prague Airport to the City Center: Best Ways to Get There

Park Güell, Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful Mediterranean city that buzzes with energy year-round, but during the summer it really comes to life! Especially during June and July, you won't be able to resist soaking up the sun's rays on the beaches after a morning of sightseeing around town.

From the fantastical Sagrada Familia church to the infamous Park Güell , designed by Antoni Gaudí, the tourist attractions of Barcelona reveal a rare mix of historical significance and modern practices.

As you walk or pedal through neighborhoods, you can stop for tapas, or do as the Spaniards do and take a siesta back at your hotel or Airbnb.

Aerial view of Budapest

If you are budget-minded and curious about history, Budapest is sure to delight you. It's easy enough to fly into or access by train, and you will feel as if you stepped back in time as you wander through the Gothic, cobblestone streets.

Besides its tourist attractions, gourmet cuisine is another reason to visit Budapest . The city's foodie scene includes many fusion restaurants that blend European and Eastern cuisines.

When you're touring through town, it's recommended to explore both districts – Buda and Pest (get it?) – which are separated by the notable Chain Bridge.

For fabulous views, take a cable car or the Budapest Eye , a Ferris wheel-like attraction, which is popular with tourists. To learn more about the city's history, head to the Hungarian Jewish Museum or the Budapest History Museum .

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Technically on the border of Asia and Europe, since it's laid across the Bosphorus Strait, this Turkish city is not to be missed. Western travelers may be intrigued by the city's distinctive Eastern culture and Islamic influences. However, this city has always been at a crossroads and its ancient monuments tell the stories of the many rulers of its past.

Most tourists enjoy the UNESCO-listed Old City , where various districts offer different cultural and culinary delights – from Egyptian to Roman. Topkapi Palace is one of the top places to visit in Istanbul , closely followed by Aya Sofya , a Byzantine masterpiece constructed as a church and later converted into a mosque.

Many people simply enjoy shopping in Istanbul or hunting for treasures in the Grand Bazaar .

Istanbul is renowned for its street food scene, where you can sample flavorful delicacies prepared from local ingredients such as yogurt, eggs, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers alongside kebabs.

Read More: Best Beaches near Istanbul

Lindos Village, Rhodes

If you're searching for gorgeous scenery and fascinating sights, look no further than Rhodes Town in Greece. Pristine beaches line the shore of this historic masterpiece, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, while the town rises above, abloom in vibrant colors.

The UNESCO-listed Old Town is a delightful maze of winding streets, hidden alleyways, and dramatic architecture dating back to the Byzantine era. It is housed within a crescent-shaped fort and packed with shops and restaurants. This is also where you'll find the majestic Palace of the Grand Masters. The area can get quite crowded during the summer months, so be warned.

Lindos lies a short way from Rhodes. One of the top tourist attractions of Greece , this picturesque village is home to an archeological site and the iconic Acropolis of Lindos .

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23 Best Places To Visit In Europe In October (2024 Review)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

October is the best time to visit Europe if you wish to avoid busy summer crowds, enjoy excellent weather, find killer deals on accommodation and flights, and explore interesting and beautiful places with stunning fall colors. But, where should you go? Where are the best places to visit in Europe in October? Here are 23 fantastic European destinations that include big and small cities, stunning beaches, breathtaking mountains and charming towns.

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Other Destinations

In case you are curious about other amazing destinations to visit Europe around this time of year, please see:

  • 23 Best Places To Visit In Europe In September ;
  • 22 Best National Parks To Visit In Europe in September ;
  • 20 Best Places To Visit In The UK In September ; and
  • 24 Best Beach Holidays in Europe In September .
  • 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In November ; and
  • 20 Best Honeymoon Destinations In Europe In November .
  • 24 Fabulous Fall Destinations In Europe .

Alternatively, if you are looking to travel in October because you want to avoid extreme summer heat in Europe, then consider these suggestions  24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Mild Summer Weather .

There are amazing spots in Europe to watch the sunset. For some suggestions, check out 28 Best Places In Europe For Most Beautiful Sunsets .

For those of you who definitely need to travel in October but are open to other destinations, here are  22 Best Places To Visit In The USA In Octobe r and 21 Best US National Parks To Visit In October .

Best Places To Visit In Europe In October

I asked some of the best travel bloggers and industry experts where the best places to visit in October in Europe. In this article, I highlight their recommendations and include important information such as how to get there, where to stay, the expected weather, any special annual events or festivals, and the best things to do.

best places to visit in Europe in October

Lisbon, Portugal

By Nesrin from Kevmrc

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a colorful and lively city with a Mediterranean atmosphere and an extremely rich cultural heritage. October lands squarely in the autumn months, but apart from the sunsetting earlier than the summer months, you can hardly tell that fall has arrived. The climate remains mild and the sun still shines bright. 

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Lisbon. You can explore the beautiful alleys and gardens, lounge by the banks of the Tagus River, climb the city’s hills and lookouts, or eat delicious food at countless cafes and restaurants. You’ll love going from neighborhood to neighborhood on the famous yellow streetcars with locals, soaking up the atmosphere of the city along the way.

Lisbon is also full of history and stunning monuments, such as the Belem Tower, a 16th century fort and the impressive Cristo Rei, a 360 feet or 110 meter Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to Jesus Christ. Inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, it was built in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal from the horrors of WWII. You can go to a viewing platform 262 feet or 80 meters and see spectacular views of Lisbon. In addition, make sure you take a ride on the Santa Justa elevator, a beautiful Neo-Gothic elevator opened in 1901.

Fall is the perfect season to  visit Lisbon for a European holiday. There are fewer crowds and it hosts many events and festivals. The most famous of them is the Rock’n’Roll Marathon, a 42km-race from Cascais to Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio that usually takes place on October 15th. Alternatively, you can go wine tasting at the Wine Fair held at Campo Pequeno, or attend the Doc Lisboa, the city’s international film festival.

Expected Weather

Unlike many other European cities, Lisbon has very mild and pleasant weather in October. It rarely rains, and you can expect average temperatures between 60.8°F and 77°F.

Best Way To Reach The Destination

Lisbon is easily accessible thanks to its’ international airport located only 25-30 minutes away by bus or metro.

Best Place To Stay

Nesrine says, “The Portugal Boutique Hotel is a nice hotel perfectly located in Lisbon city center with nearby transport. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the staff helpful.”

October is best time to visit these European cities

Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Una from Wandernity

October is the best time to visit Dubrovnik for a fall vacation. It’s still warm and sunny, but high season is over. This means that there are fewer crowds at the popular places and better prices for accommodation, tours and restaurants.

Dubrovnik is remarkable. It has magnificent architecture (featured in the hit television show “Game Of Thrones”) and a beautiful location on the banks of the Adriatic Sea. It’s a great place if you enjoy walking tours of historic sites, hiking to explore natural surroundings, or relaxing on a beach or poolside. 

One of the  best things to do in Dubrovnik  is to enjoy its Old Town. There are many famous and exceptionally beautiful buildings quite close to each other, including the walls that encircle the Old Town. Built in the 14th and 15th centuries and later completed in the 17th century, the walls run uninterrupted for approximately 6,360 ft (1,940 metres). They are considered to be amongst the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages. In 1979, the old city of Dubrovnik, including the wall, became an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For nature lovers, take the cable car to ascend to Mount Srd. It offers panoramic views of the city, the surrounding sea and the islands.

Dubrovnik is also a great home base for a day trip to surrounding countries and islands. Popular tours are to Montenegro , Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Dalmatian Islands. And, of course, if you are a fan of Game Of Thrones, there are numerous walking tours that you can take to visit the most famous filming locations.

The average high temperature in Dubrovnik in October is 70°F, with the possibility of daytime temperatures reaching mid 70s in early October. It’s mostly sunny but can expect 8 days with some rain.

Dubrovnik has its own airport 20-minutes drive from the city.

Una says, “Scalini Palace is a great place to stay in Dubrovnik. It is located in the Old Town with many attractions within walking distance – including cafes, historic buildings, and beaches. It offers a spa area free of charge to the guests.”

best European destinations to visit in October

Athens, Greece

By Elena from The Athenian Riviera

Athens, the capital city of Greece, is the perfect place to visit in the fall for a European getaway. A city jam-packed with cultural and historical attractions, Athens is brimming with creative energy, vibrant nightlife and a fantastic culinary scene.

As summer crowds fade, visitors can explore all the historical wonders that Athens has to offer without jostling for space or lining up. Consider visiting the Acropolis, the ancient citadel perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Athens. It contains the Parthenon and other notable buildings dating back from the 5th century BC. It forms the greatest architectural and artistic complex from Greek Antiquity to the world.

Alternatively, spend the day in the coastal part of Athens on the dazzling Athenian Riviera which is dotted with beautiful beaches and seaside restaurants. For a memorable sunset, head towards the southernmost tip of the Attica region and witness the magic from the Temple of Poseidon, after which end your evening with a delightful meal overlooking the Saronic Gulf.

Athens is also a gateway to the Greek islands and an excellent base to enjoy a day trip to popular mainland destinations like Delphi, the famous archaeological site of the ancient oracle and Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greek state. 

The temperatures in Athens in October are comfortable with low of 59°F and high up in the mid 70s°F. It should only rain a few days during the month.

Athens shares an excellent connection with major European cities and the rest of the world. There are daily flights that fly into Athens International Airport. The drive from the airport to Athen’s city center takes approximately 35-40 minutes, depending on traffic. 

Elena says, “Athens offers an excellent choice of boutique hotels, luxury international chain hotels, serviced apartments and budget hotels, all located in close proximity to the capital’s main attractions. Visitors who wish to enjoy the beachfront location can opt to stay in the areas of Vouliagmeni and Glyfada which can be easily accessed from the airport.”

best European cities to visit in October

Cordoba, Spain

By Cristina from My Little World Of Travelling

Located in the south of Spain , Cordoba is an underrated destination in comparison to other Andalusian cities such as Seville or Malaga. However, the city has many incredible things to offer – from incredible historic sites to delicious traditional dishes such as salmorejo and flamenquin .

Cordoba’s main attraction is the Mezquita, a cathedral that was formerly a mosque and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Mosque was constructed in the 8th century when Cordoba was the capital of the Muslim-controlled region. It was expanded multiple times including adding a minaret. However, in 1236, it was converted to a cathedral and by the 16th century, it had added a Renaissance cathedral nave and transept into the center of the building. It is a remarkable building to discover.

Another important historic building that you can’t miss during your trip to Cordoba is Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, a beautiful medieval palace-fortress that was the royal residence of the Christian monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Initially built in the 14th century, it has magnificent courtyards and gardens to explore. It forms part of the Historic Center of Córdoba and was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.

October is the best time to travel to Cordoba if you want fewer crowds and pleasant weather (maximum of 77°F and minimum of 54°F). Try to avoid summer since it is very hot, crowded, and difficult to sightsee.

The nearest airport to Cordoba is Seville airport, but you can fly to Granada or Malaga airports as well. All the cities are well-connected by coach and train. If you’re driving, Seville is only a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Cordoba.

Cristina says, “If you are looking for a place to stay in Cordoba, NH Collection Amistad Córdoba is an excellent option. The hotel is located in the beautiful Jewish Quarter, a few footsteps from Cordoba Synagogue, Casa Andalusí and other attractions. In addition to this, the hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms, incredible facilities like a swimming pool, and an Andalusian patio inspired restaurant.”

Budapest is a great place to visit in October in Europe

Budapest, Hungary

By Krisztina from She Wanders Abroad

If you’re looking for one of the best European cities to visit in October for an amazing trip, look no further than Budapest . This stunning city is located on the banks of the Danube River and is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe. In addition, Budapest is also known for its delicious food and vibrant nightlife. October is a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists and it is less expensive than during the peak summer months.

One of the best things to do in Budapest is walk around the city center and marvel at the beautiful buildings. One of the places that you shouldn’t miss is the Hungarian Parliament Building. This imposing structure was inspired by Vienna’s City Hall and completed in 1902. It is the largest building in Hungary and a dominant presence on the Danube.

Another must-see attraction is the Buda Castle. This iconic castle sits on top of a hill overlooking the city and offers some amazing views. First built in 1265 for the Hungarian kings, it now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.

For another spot with impressive views of Budapest, head to nearby Fisherman’s Bastion. Originally, built in 1700, this fortress offers some of the best views of Budapest from its Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces- it’s truly a photographer’s dream.

Hungary is also famous for its food, so make sure to try out some of the local dishes while you’re in town. Some must-try dishes include goulash, langos, and paprikas chicken. And of course, no visit to Budapest would be complete without enjoying a few beers at one of the local pubs, such as Szimpla Kert or Gozsdu Court.

Last but not least, you should experience one of the thermal baths. There are a few different baths to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with Szechenyi Baths or Gellert Baths.

The weather in Budapest in October is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s a good idea to pack a few layers for when the temperatures dip down in the evening.

Budapest’s international airport is only 16km, so it’s an ideal destination for a long weekend .

Krisztina says, “In terms of where to stay in Budapest , the city center on the Pest side (districts 5, 6, 7) is the most popular area but you can find some amazing hotels on the Buda side as well. Hilton Budapest offers an incredible panorama view. If you’re looking for an affordable, centrally located hotel, check out Hotel Memories Budapest.

October is best time to visit this European city

Colmar, France

By Jen from Dabbling In Jetlag

Located at the foot of the Vosges Mountains in eastern France, lies the charming city of Colmar. Here you’ll find vibrant half-timbered medieval-styled buildings, captivating museums, and traditional Alsatian food.

Stroll down the cobble-stoned streets and admire the colorful buildings. The most picturesque can be found near Little Venice on the Rue des Écoles bridge and the Rue Turenne Bridge. Alternatively, for a unique view, ride in a gondola along the Lauch River. You’ll approach the city from a different angle while a tour guide details the history of Colmar.

For history buffs, the Musée d’Unterlinden is an absolute must. Touted as the best museum in Alsace, this former convent now houses artifacts and artwork from prehistorical to contemporary times.

Of course, no  trip to Colmar  would be complete without eating a Tarte Flambée. This regional specialty consists of a thin crust topped with a creamy sauce, lardons, onions, and cheese cooked in a wood-fired oven. Given its popularity, you can find this delicious treat in nearly every restaurant. But, for the tastiest ones, head to the Farmer’s Market on Rue des Écoles.

While Colmar is a year-round city, October is the best time of year to visit for an European getaway. The weather is pleasant and there is beautiful fall foliage. This combined with the brightly colored buildings make for some spectacular scenery, to say the least. 

Average temperatures hover in the low to mid-60s. It rains around 9 days and the sun is almost always shining.

Colmar is easy to reach with the closest international airport, EuroAirport, only a 45-minute drive away.

Jen says, “In October, you’ll have your choice of hotels. Hotel Saint-Martin is a great option if you’re looking for something centrally located that doesn’t cost a fortune.”

best European cities to visit in october

Florence, Italy

By Jaclyn from My Resting Beach Face

Florence is one of the best destinations to visit in Europe and a fantastic city break. It is filled with art, food, history, wine tastings, and spectacular sightseeing. In addition, October is one of the best times to visit as the weather is lovely and mild, and there are no longer the crazy crowds found in the summer months.

One of the best parts about traveling to Florence is that you can walk everywhere and get lost in the side streets. You may end up in a restaurant having limoncello and eating a Florentine steak while listening to Frank Sinatra. Alternatively, you may even end up with a bottle of wine while watching the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. No matter what you do, you will feel at home and at ease, and have a trip that will truly rejuvenate your soul.

There are some amazing things to do in Florence. First, go to the Boboli Gardens. Established by the Medici family in the 16th century, it is located behind the Pitti Palace, the former main seat of the Medici Grand Dukes. It is a vast green park that is also an outdoor museum. Considered the first and most important example of an Italian garden, you will find statues, grottos, fountains, and a terraced 18th-century pavilion, all surrounded by trees.

Next, explore the Uffizi Galleries, which houses an enormous collection of sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to Modern day. Afterwards, walk nearby to the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge over the Arno river, with shops crammed together from one side to another.

Finally, climb to the top of Brunelleschi Dome in Florence Cathedral. It was built in the 15th century, is the largest masonry vault in the world and took 16 years to build.

Average high temperature in Italy in October is 69 degrees Fahrenheit with lots of sunny days. However, it can quickly turn to rain. Expect around 9 days with some rain.

Fly into the Florence international airport. It is 16 minutes by car, or take a taxi or public transportation.

great place to visit in Europe in october

Munich, Germany

By Kerry from Vegg Travel

Munich, Germany (Bavaria’s capital) is one of the best places to visit in Europe in October. It is not just that Munich is an incredible city throughout the year, but in the fall, you can take part in the world-famous Munich Beer Festival called Oktoberfest .

Imagine a huge fairground filled with beer tents, stalls, and rides for all ages, not to mention as much delicious German food that you could eat. It’s truly a sight to behold. Weekends are very busy and you should make a reservation to guarantee a spot. You can’t go all the way to Munich and not dance on a table with a stein of beer in your hand! Oktoberfest typically occurs from late September to early October. 

Munich city centre is also alive with festivities. There are many traditional Bavarian bars and Beer Houses packed full of people enjoying the celebrations. Beyond Oktoberfest, Munich offers beautiful architecture and landmarks. 

If you’re going with your partner, there’s nothing more romantic than Munich in the evening. Be sure to take an evening stroll through Marienplatz, the town hall that has been the center of the city since 1158. It is also home to The Rathaus (City Hall) and famed Glockenspiel Clock Tower. If you time your visit right, you can even catch the Glockenspiel show where little characters ring the bells several times a day.

The weather is still mild (57 / 53 degree Fahrenheit) and often warm with sunny days, but it cools down at night. You can expect around 8 days with some rain.

Munich International airport is well connected to the city centre where you can get buses or the metro to Theresienwiese station for Oktoberfest.

Kerry says, “Consider staying outside of the centre for affordable accommodation. The NH Munich German Kaiser is a great place to stay that is also an easy travel distance to the festival.”

popular destinations in Europe in October

Istanbul, Turkey

By Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please

Istanbul is one of the best places in Europe for a vacation and October is the best time of year to go. Turkey’s biggest city is well-known for being the place where the East collides with the West. The city straddles the Bosporus Strait which means Istanbul lies in both Europe and Asia. However, it is the European side of the city that offers so much to visitors. 

The Sultanahmet district is home to the majority of Istanbul’s famous sites and where you will spend the majority of your time when visiting Istanbul. While you could spend weeks in the Sultanahmet district and not see it all, 4 days in Istanbul should give you a good flavour of what the area has to offer. 

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the district is the majestic Hagia Sophia – built way back in the 6th century AD, this active mosque is certainly one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

The same can be said for the neighbouring Blue Mosque, arguably Istanbul’s most famous piece of architecture. The Ottoman-built Mosque is adorned with thousands of beautifully crafted blue tiles, contributing to it’s unofficial name.  

After exploring the Sultanahmet district, you should then head towards the Grand Bazaar for a wonderfully chaotic introduction to life in the city. The sprawling streets and alleyways of the Grand Bazaar are brimming with impressive sights, smells and sounds. It really is an assault on the senses and an experience that cannot be missed. If feeling brave, make a purchase from one of the stalls and try to out-negotiate the vendor.

Every October, Istanbul is also home to the amazing Akbank Jazz Festival. The 10-day music festival engulfs the city and features artists from all around the globe, playing at a number of different venues. 

The days are longer and drier than later on in the year and thankfully, not as swelteringly hot as in the peak of summer. The average temperature in Istanbul in October is 68°F, making it the ideal temperature for exploring the city on foot. You can expect around 6 days with rain.

The city is also served by two major international airports, with the Istanbul Airport being the best-suited for visitors to the European side of the city. It takes roughly 50 minutes to get from Istanbul airport to the heart of the Sultanahmet district. 

Ben says, “If you’re looking for a luxury stay in Istanbul, then the AJWA Sultanahmet is certainly for you. The newly built hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the Blue Mosque and is decorated throughout in an authentic Ottoman-style.” 

October is best time to visit Norfolk England

Norfolk, England

Izzy & Phil from

October is one of the best times to visit Norfolk  in England for an amazing holiday. From the huge skies, vast beaches and rolling sand dunes of the North Norfolk Coast, to historic Norwich and the beautifully tranquil Norfolk Broads, there’s plenty to see and do in this idyllic corner of the United Kingdom. Take a road trip along Norfolk’s enviable coast line, with some of the best beaches in the east of England. You’ll find traditional seaside resorts, huge expanses of wild and raw beach and nature reserves dedicated to the rare and unusual species found here. In October, the beaches will be deserted and the birds migrating, which makes for an incredible spectacle. Pop into medieval Norwich for historic architecture, fantastic independent shops and a thriving foodie scene, showcasing the best of local produce, like Cromer Crab and award winning English wine. Norwich Market, the oldest outdoor market in England, has a great selection of stalls selling produce from the region – for a traditional treat head to Ron’s for the best fish and chips around! In October, Norfolk Restaurant week starts and is a great time to check out the best of the county’s restaurants! From Norwich, head east on a day trip to the Norfolk Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for woodland autumn colours, low sun bouncing off the Broads and rivers, and peaceful boating, all without the large summer crowds.

Norfolk is the driest county in Great Britain, so expect some rain but not much over 8 days. It will be around 58 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll have clear and crisp days, the perfect time for walking and bird watching. 

To get to Norfolk, fly into London Stansted and drive, or get the train, to Norwich. It will take around two hours.

Izzy & Phil say, “Stay at The Georgian Townhouse in Norwich, a laid back hotel with a lively bar and restaurant, just outside the city centre.”

most beautiful places to visit in Europe in October

Crete, Greek Islands

By Annabel from Smudged Postcard

Crete is a large island rich in history and culture with a distinct cuisine. There are fabulous beaches, interesting harbour towns and pretty mountain villages to explore.

October is a perfect time to visit. Most tourists have already departed so that hiking and sightseeing are more enjoyable with less intense summer heat.

One of the most significant attractions in Crete is the ancient Palace of Knossos – the capital of Minoan civilisation. It is located just outside the island’s capital of Heraklion. On the eastern side of Crete is the former leper colony of Spinalonga Island – a fascinating but sobering place to visit. The southern side of Crete has some remote coastal villages which are ideal for visitors looking to get away from the crowds.

Many tourists coming to Crete enjoy hiking in the mountains and gorges. The 10 mile Samaria Gorge is the most well-known but there are other beautiful less visited areas as well.

Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands so it maintains a mild year-round climate. In October, Crete has an average high of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea has been warmed by the long hot summer, so it is the perfect time for swimming. Rainfall does increase in autumn with 6 days with rain, but the main rainfall tends to be over the winter months.

There are two international airports in Crete. Heraklion International Airport or Kazantzakis Airport (HER) is located in the northeastern part of the island. Chania International Airport or Daskalogiannis (CHQ) is found in the northwestern part of the island. Alternatively, fly to Athens and take the high speed ferry 6.5 hours.

Annabel says, “Crete lends itself well to a road trip. The island is large so it’s worth hiring a car to explore the coastal regions, the mountains and some of the less easy to reach areas.

Chania is a good base in the east for day trips. If you’re visiting  Crete with kids , the Ammos Hotel is the perfect place. Otherwise, the Casa Delfino Hotel is located in the old town and is ideal for couples.”

perfect place to visit in October in Europe

Brussels, Belgium

By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer

Brussels bears the joint crown of being both the capital of Europe and Belgium. This cosmopolitan city has everything you expect in a European city : a vibrant cultural scene, fantastic restaurants and a long list of monuments to visit. As an added benefit, it is small (ish) and very walkable. Spending  two-days in Brussels  will give you ample time to get a feel of this underrated European capital.

When visiting Brussels, you will want enough time to stroll across the Grand Place (main square) to see the golden façades on the typical gabled houses. It will literally take your breath away. The main square houses the town hall (can be visited upon appointment) as well as the Belgian Beer Museum (worth a visit to try the beers).

Meander through the cobblestone streets, named after various food items – remnants of the many markets that were held in this area – and go on the hunt for  Manneken Pis  (the little peeing man) before diving headlong into one of the many chocolate stores or waffle stands (delicious!).

October is a good time to visit Brussels. Average temperatures in October is around 58°F. Summer-like temperatures tend to stick around until late September. Expect around 9 days of rain. That being said, make sure to always bring a packable rain jacket as the weather in Belgium is volatile.

Brussels is well connected to most large cities with multiple international flights landing daily in Brussels International Airport. To get into the city, simply hop on the direct train from the airport and get off at Brussel Centraal.

Caroline says, “Stay on the Grand Place in the boutique hotel, Cocoon, which offers magnificent views over the square at affordable prices.

best nature lovers destinations in Europe in October

Sao Miguel, Portugal (Azores Islands)

By Katja from Globetotting

High season in the Azores falls over the summer months but with the warm weather come the crowds. If you’re keen to visit these volcanic islands when it’s a little quieter then it is one of the best destinations to visit in Europe for an October getaway.

Sao Miguel is the largest, most populated and most volcanically active of the nine Azores Islands, the Portuguese archipelago that sits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The island is famous for its dramatic landscapes, its blue and white hydrangeas and increasingly, for its adventure activities.

Some of the  best things to do in Sao Miguel  include visiting the Lagoa das Sete Cidades (the Sete Cidades lakes). These two lakes – the Green Lake and the Blue Lake – look like separate bodies of water but are in fact one lake divided by a bridge. A handful of viewpoints offer visitors spectacular views. 

Ponta de Ferraria is another must see spot. The westernmost point of the island is characterised by a dramatic volcanic coastline. It is home to a natural ocean swimming pool that’s heated by geothermal water from a sulphurous hot spring.

Daily temperatures average around 71F, with some days reaching 76F. It rarely falls below 69F during the day in October, but may be in the low 60s at night. Bear in mind, however, that the weather in the Azores can be erratic no matter what time of year you visit. Bring a rain jacket and be prepared for some rain on 7 days of the month. 

Sao Miguel is home to the main international airport for the Azores, João Paulo II Airport (PDL) at Ponta Delgada.

Katja says, “The town of Furnas is the oldest tourist destination in the Azores and the centre of the island’s geothermal activity. Make sure you try ‘cozido’ while here, a traditional Portuguese stew cooked underground by volcanic heat. Stay at the Furnas Boutique Hotel while here.”

perfect place to visit in Europe in october

Paris, France

By Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe to visit in October – the summer crowds have lessened, the temperature is lovely and mild, and autumn colors are everywhere.

Of course, on your visit, you must go see the Eiffel Tower, but don’t miss walking along the River Seine that runs past the Tower, or visiting the stately Arc de Triomphe. Make sure you leave time to climb up to the top of the Arc to enjoy the spectacular views over Paris!

As part of your fall Paris itinerary , you should explore the parks and gardens all over Paris to observe the changing leaves. The Jardin de Tuileries is a popular choice by the Louvre. It has a forested area in the middle of the garden with a beautiful fall foliage display. But you should also visit some of the less well-known parks like Monceau or Parc des Buttes Chaumont. 

Montmartre is an absolute must when visiting Paris in the fall. In particular, Rue de l’Abreuvoir can be stunning in fall, as the ivy-covered buildings turn a vibrant red, making a beautiful contrasting color to the cobblestoned street.

Ready to relax or warm up? Grab coffee or hot chocolate at a cafe. Cafe culture is strong in Paris, and sitting outside a cafe, at a little table, watching the world go by, while sipping on a hot drink in the brisk air, just doesn’t get more Parisian. 

Stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche – this charming hotel is in the heart of the vibrant Latin Quarter, just a couple minutes from the Jardin de Luxembourg. 

Weather in October is generally pleasant but getting brisker, with average highs running from 56 F to 66 F, depending on what part of the month you visit. You have about an equal chance of sun or clouds during the beginning of the month, with increasing cloudiness as the month goes on. 

Fly into Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), which is about 30-45 minutes from the center of Paris. You can take a taxi, uber, bus, or the metro to get into town. 

Stephanie says, “Stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche – this charming hotel is in the heart of the vibrant Latin Quarter, just a couple minutes from the Jardin de Luxembourg.”

best destinations to travel to in Europe in October

The A lgarve, Portugal

By Alya from The Algarve Family

The Algarve, a sunny region in the south of Portugal is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and a perfect place in October for a weekend getaway. The weather is very pleasant and there are fewer tourists than the peak summer months. As a result, the beaches are less crowded, accommodation prices are lower, and there is no need to book everything months in advance. 

For a beach holiday in October, Lagos, Albufeira, and Vilamoura are the best towns in which to stay. All three towns have stunning sandy beaches, charming old towns, beautiful marinas, many restaurants, and cafes. In addition, there are many fun things to do in the area such as boat tours, hiking along the cliffs, kayaking or stand up water boarding. Watching dolphins or visiting the Benagil Cave are the two most popular boat tours in the southern Algarve.

Western Algarve and its wild Vicentina Coast is a perfect place for a surfing holiday in October. One of the small towns such as Sagres, Arrifana, Praia de Odeceixe, or Carrapateira offer great waves, unspoiled sandy beaches, and breathtaking views. Overall, the West Coast sees significantly fewer tourists. In addition, western Algarve is a perfect place for a cycling trip or a multi-day walk following the spectacular Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina.

In October, the Algarve is warm, not blazing hot like in the summer, with very little rain. Average daily high temperatures in southern Algarve are between 73°F and 77°F.

The best way of getting to the southern Algarve is to fly to Faro Airport. There are many direct international flights to Faro from Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, and several other countries. It’s easy to get from Faro to Lagos , Albufeira, and Vilamoura by bus, train or car. It takes between 30min. to one hour.

Alya says, “There are several campsites close to the West Coast beaches e.g. São Miguel campsite near Odeceixe or Sarrão campsite in Aljezur.”

October is best time to visit these popular destinations in Europe

Warsaw, Poland

By Or from My Path In The World

Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, is one of the best budget-friendly European destinations to explore on a mid-week escape that has something to offer every traveler. There are beautiful historical landmarks, fascinating museums, and a thriving culinary and nightlife scene.

You’ll find dozens of  things to do in Warsaw , but the top place to visit is the Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was reconstructed after WWII, but it is still alive with history. It includes the colorful Old Town Market Square, the Royal Castle, the Barbican, some beautiful streets and alleys, and much more. Take your time and stroll around or join a walking tour.

Next, head to the unusual Praga district, which was the least damaged during WWII. It’s quite quirky and hipster. You’ll find incredible murals, cool cultural spaces, unusual museums (like the Neon Museum and the Vodka Museum), and more.

If you’re visiting on a rainy day, warm up at one of Warsaw’s cute cafes with a cup of decadent hot chocolate. Alternatively, visit some incredible museums, like the Uprising Museum, the Chopin Museum, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

In October, when the average temperatures are 10°C-18°C (50°F-64.5°F) by day and 6°C-11°C (43°F-52°F) by night, you’ll also be rewarded with beautiful fall foliage in Warsaws’ parks. Some days are sunny, and some can be rainy, but in comparison to Polish winters, the weather is pleasant.

Getting to Warsaw is fairly easy as international flights arrive daily at the Warsaw Chopin Airport, which is only 10 km (about 6.2 miles) from the Old Town. A taxi can take you there in less than 25 minutes, and a bus ride will take 40-50 minutes.

Or says, “Stay centrally at Oki Doki OLD TOWN , which is housed in an 18th-century building in the Old Town.”

beautiful beaches in Europe in October

Fuerteventura, Spain (Canary Islands)

By Paulina from UK Everyday

Fuerteventura, known as the Island of Eternal Spring, is one of the best holiday spots to visit in Europe in autumn. Located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of from southern Morocco, it offers great weather all year round. Moreover, it is the oldest of all the Canary Islands.

The best things to do on the island include exploring the sandy  beaches of Fuerteventura . Corralejo Sand Dunes Natural Park offers miles of beautiful beaches and amazing ocean views. You can drive through the park and admire the incredible landscape. Alternatively, you can choose to spend the day enjoying one of the incredible beaches, such as Playa del Moro, Playa Alzada or Playa Larga.

There are a few annual events in Fuerteventura in October. One of them is Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario on the first Sunday of the month. There are religious processions and music concerts, varying between accordion recitals to heavy rock. In addition, there are dancing competitions and a padel contest, a Canarian game that is a cross between squash and tennis.

Another interesting event is the swimming race from Corralejo to Isla de Lobos. It is 7km round trip but there are also two shorter distances for all those who want to experience this unique crossing.

October is the best time to visit Fuerteventura if you love swimming. The sea temperature is 72°F and the highest between August and October. Also, the average daily temperature of 74°F makes it a great place to escape the autumn months in Europe. There is very little chance of rain.

Fuerteventura International Airport is 40 minutes drive from the Corralejo Sand Dunes Natural Park.

Paulina says, “If you would like to stay near the National Park, book accommodation in Corralejo. It is one of the most popular tourist towns in Fuerteventura. AVANTI Lifestyle Hotel is just a few steps from the beach. Its’ close location to Port of Corralejo will allow you to easily book a boat trip to Lanzarote or the small island of Lobos. 

best places to visit in Europe in October

Rome, Italy

By Isabelle from Issy’s Escapades

Rome – the Eternal City, birthplace of the Roman Empire and custodian of countless pieces of priceless art – is one of the most famous cities in the world. That also makes it one of the most popular places in the world to visit too. That makes it difficult to find a time to visit Rome when it’s not mobbed by tourists and when the weather is still pleasant. However, October is one of the best times to visit for fewer crowds and beautiful weather for a fantastic European trip.

There are three things that should make it on any Rome itinerary . First, is the staggering Colosseum and nearby Roman Forum. It’s highly worth booking a tour to explore the history and hear the stories of these popular destinations. Try to book a tour that includes the underground of the Colosseum. Recently opened to tourists, you learn what happened ‘behind the scenes’ at major gladiatorial spectacles. 

Second, is the Vatican. While actually existing as its own entirely separate state within the city of Rome, a visit is essential. The Vatican Museum houses vast collections and are absolutely astonishing, as are some of the pieces held within Saint Paul’s Cathedral. A must-see at the Vatican is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

Third, is the Borghese Gallery and Borghese Gardens. The gallery houses one of the most important collections of art in the world. It is home to some of Bernini’s most famous sculptures. Moreover, it houses an impressive collection of Caravaggio masterpieces.  

Average temperatures in October ranges from a 72°F falling to around 50°F at night.

Getting to Rome is a cinch, due to its popularity. It has two internationalairports – Ciampino and Fiumicino – and depending on your point of origin, you may not have a choice into which you will fly. Both are located a little outside of the city center. Accordingly, you will require either public transport or a taxi transfer to reach downtown Rome. 

Isabelle says, “In terms of where to stay to get the best out of your time in Rome, consider Tree Charme Parliament Boutique Hotel. It is a stylish 3-star that’s located a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona. This places guests right in the heart of Rome’s centro storico.”

October is best time to visit in Europe

Galway, Ireland

By Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler

October is the perfect time of year to visit the delightful city of Galway, Ireland. The city is like a little sister of Dublin , but located on the west coast. The ocean provides a gentle breeze and mild weather throughout the year. Visiting in the autumn months means fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation.

There are plenty of  things to do in Galway . Live music can be found on most corners and in restaurants. Galway’s personality is reflected in its music, so enjoy it as you stroll through the streets of the city. Make sure to take some time to wander through the Latin Quarter and down Quay Street. There are lots of shops and pubs in the area; just choose one that calls out to you.

You’ll find the history of the city scattered around. Galway Cathedral, Lynch’s Castle, and the Spanish Arch all offer a glimpse into days gone past. Head down the Long Walk, which is lined with colorful houses along the water. Sometimes, you can spot ducks and swans here too.  

In October, you’ll find a number of festivals in the city. The Baboro International Arts Festival for Children, the Galway Races, and the Galway Jazz Festival are memorable events worth exploring in October. 

Galway’s friendly personality, walkable cobblestone streets, and charming B&B’s make it a great destination in Europe during the fall season.

Average high temperatures in Galway is 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect rain around 13 days so pack a rain jacket.

Most people arrive in Ireland through Dublin airport. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Dublin to Galway through the beautiful countryside. However, Shannon Airport is only a little over an hour’s drive south of Galway.

Pamela says, “For a great place to stay, check out The Residence Hotel. The atmosphere is traditionally Irish and they have an in-house bar featuring live music nightly.”

best places to visit in October in Europe

Lake Bled, Slovenia

By Noel from This Hawaii Life

One of the most beautiful places in Europe to visit in October would be Lake Bled in Slovenia. Less than a two hour train ride from the stunning capital city of Ljubljana , the urban landscape quickly turns into rolling countryside, agricultural farms, pastures and dense forests.

The Lake Bled area is a popular all year round destination for locals and visitors alike, but in late September and early October, the landscape is spectacular with beautiful fall foliage. Ablaze with vivid colors of orange, red and yellows from the local trees and shrubs around the lake, you can enjoy a stunning walk on a paved path around the lake. You can even take a short boat trip to the Church of the Assumption on an island located in the middle of the lake.

Visit Bled Castle for stunning views of the Lake Bled below and then tour the historic castle. Alternatively, stop at Bled city and take a ferry ride or your own boat trip around the lake area.

For more adventure, you can hike in the local mountains, do some rock climbing or trek up into the hill areas for more spectacular views of autumn colors. For nature lovers, head up to Vintgar Gorge for a stunning walk along the river.

Night time in October is cool, around 40s. Daytime is a lovely comfortable temperature in mid 60s to 70s so being outdoors and exploring the trails around the lake area is ideal.

Fly into Ljubljana International Airport. It is less than a 30 minute drive to Lake Bled.

Noel says, “If you want to stay for a nice getaway, there’s plenty of lodgings and Air BnBs located in Bled city and surrounding towns for you to escape and enjoy nature at its best here in Slovenia.”

best places to visit in October in Europe

Cagliari, Italy (Sardinia)

By Dan from Urban Abroad

Sardinia is a fantastic beach holiday destination to visit in Europe in October. Not only because of fewer crowds and lower prices offered during shoulder season but also for the pleasant sun and warm temperatures. Think beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and ancient history fused with the opportunity to explore Cagliari, the capital city of the island.

Cagliari is normally the launchpad for most travelers to the island and accordingly, you will find many things to do . For example, visit Bastione Saint Remy, a popular landmark which offers a large terrace for breathtaking views of the island and the Mediterranean sea. It was built between 1896 and 1902 with a neoclassical architectural style. Sunsets are spectacular here.

If you prefer to visit an indoor attraction, head to Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari which showcases unique artifacts thousands of years old.

You can expect to find sun and warmth throughout the month of October. Temperatures range from a min of 59°F at night (13.7°C) to a max of 74°F during the day (23.1°C) Also, it is warm enough to swim in the ocean.There is extra wind during the autumn months so you can enjoy some of the more adventurous water sports during this time of year.

You can fly into Cagliari Airport from mainland Italy or other European countries. The best way to arrive to the city center from the airport is by train, which takes less than 10 minutes.

Dan says, “Be sure to visit the La Marina district, a vibrant neighborhood that is perfect for people who are fond of history and culture. For lodgings in the same area, consider Hotel Regina Margherita, one of Cagliari’s finest hotels. It is a luxurious retreat located 350 yards from the center of Cagliari and features modern and spacious rooms.”

October is perfect time to visit Porto in Europe

Porto, Portugal

By Kimberley from Stuffed Suitcas e

For the northern region of Portugal, October is the culmination of the wine harvest season. Wineries all throughout the Douro Valley will be wrapping up their harvest, and the wine grape leaves will start changing from summer greens to golden fall colors. It is one of the reasons why October is the best time to visit Porto and the Douro Valley on a European vacation.

Most visitors can reach Porto easily, and touring the city offers you a chance to see classic Celtic Portuguese architecture. You can wander narrow alleyways while admiring historic royal palaces and beautiful Portuguese tile work. Wine drinkers will want to take a day trip to the Douro Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, for wine tastings. Enjoy wine tastings in addition to the classic Port wine tastings for which the area is famous.

The weather in October in Porto and the Douro Valley is lovely and mild. The rainy season won’t have started quite yet. You’ll have daily highs around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 55 degrees.

When  planning a trip to Portugal , international travelers can easily find flights to Porto as it’s the second largest city in the country. You can rent a car and do a road trip to Douro Valley, but be mindful that many of the roads are narrow and driving in Portuguese cities is not for the faint of heart. You can easily tour Porto without a car. Perhaps, hire a private tour guide for a day trip or transfer for your visit to the Douro Valley.

Kimberley says, “Staying in Porto offers plenty of accommodation options in the heart of the city. However, if you’re looking for a luxury stay just outside of the main city. Vila Foz offers an upscale stay with amazing meals and views of the Atlantic.

Within Douro Valley you can splurge and stay at the 5* Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel & Spa. Alternatively, you can stay in the main town of Pinhão at the historic luxury Vintage House Hotel.”

most beautiful cities to visit in Europe in october

Manosque, France

By Patricia from Ze Wandering Frogs

Provence is famous for its lavender fields, but the French region has more to offer than just the beautiful violet flowers. In the Luberon area, charming villages are everywhere, and the city of Manosque is one of the must-see places. The old town traces its history back millennia, where old houses high in colors line the narrow streets.

Enter the city by stepping under one of the 13th-14th century high tower gates, Porte du Soubeyran or Porte de la Saunerie. Then, visit the12th-century Saint-Sauveur Church featuring Romanesque and Gothic style. Admire the Black Madonna” inside the Notre-Dame-de-Romigier. Then, stop at one of the numerous cafés to take in the quaint atmosphere. Don’t forget to taste savory Provence cuisine. No wonder Manosque is a favorite stop on any  Luberon itinerary ! Manosque is also a great starting point to explore nearby small town of Valensole. Better known for its lavender fields in the summer, the small village is worth visiting in its own right, thanks to its cute plaza, water fountain, and authentic French village life. If you are looking to experience the great outdoors, head to Lake Sainte-Croix, about one hour away from Manosque. There, you can go for a drive along the Verdon Gorge or go for a challenging hike along the river.

While there won’t be any lavender, October is still a great time to visit, with mostly sunny days and temperatures averaging from upper 40°F in the morning to mid-60°F in the afternoon. Moreover, there will be none of the usual summer crowds, making the visit a more enjoyable experience.

Manosque is one hour away by road from Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, or from Cannes and Nice about two and half hours away. If you are flying internationally, Nice and Marseille might be the better options.

Patricia says, Those interested in spending the night around Manosque can check the famous Hôtel Le Pré Saint Michel, known for its lovely settings.”

If you have the opportunity to travel to Europe in October, then grab it! There is something for everyone. Whether you love to explore historic sites in major European cities, or prefer a quieter laid back vacation on beaches or in the mountains, October is a great time to visit. Not only will you get beautiful weather but you will not be fighting the crowds so you can enjoy your pleasures.

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I've been to 107 countries. Italy and Mexico are great, but these 5 underrated destinations should be on your travel radar.

  • I've visited 107 countries, and I recommend these 5 that can be overlooked for more popular places. 
  • Estonia is a European dream, and Namibia is one of my favorite places in the world . 
  • Costa Rica is popular but not as packed with tourists as some similarly beautiful places nearby. 

Insider Today

This year, travelers are looking to visit more under-the-radar destinations than popular ones — in part to dodge crowds and in part to save money.

Some are specifically looking for "travel dupes," a term for destinations similar to popular spots that are often cheaper with fewer crowds.

And, as someone who's been to 107 countries , I can tell you each region of the world has an often overlooked country that may offer a more rewarding experience than a more well-known place. These more under-the-radar destinations are often less crowded, and your dollar just might go further.

Popular travel destinations like Italy, France, and Mexico are great picks — but consider visiting these alternative options to the more popular choices in the region.

Estonia is a European dream.

best european destinations to visit

I was immediately captivated by the fairy-tale appearance of Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

Walking the cobblestoned streets within the fortress-like walls of the old city transported me back to medieval times.

The city is small enough to explore on foot, and there's plenty to entertain history and architecture enthusiasts. Enjoying a coffee or a beer in the Town Hall Square while people watching is a highlight of my European travels.

Although many people visit Tallinn as a day trip from Helsinki, which is a two-hour ferry ride away, it's worth staying here for a few days and heading into the Estonian countryside. The roads are often quite empty and incredibly peaceful.

I enjoyed Estonia so much that I returned twice more in the 18 months after my first visit.

I've enjoyed visiting Oman, a country in the Middle East.

best european destinations to visit

Dubai gets a lot of attention for its luxurious travel opportunities , and many know Qatar because it recently hosted the World Cup, but nearby Oman should not be skipped.

After all, Oman's capital, Muscat, provides an excellent gateway to the country.

A stroll along the beautiful Corniche will take you along the water and by the bustling Grand Bazaar. For those who love hikes, there are plenty of options in Oman, including several easily accessible trails in Muscat that offer great city views.

Better still, the amazing Wadi Shab is less than two hours from the capital city and is one of the best hikes I've ever experienced . The trail takes you through narrow gorges and across streams and ends with a surreal swim through incredible caves.

It's an experience so breathtaking I'd expected it to be packed with tourists, but it wasn't when we visited. We only saw a handful of people, which allowed us to really enjoy our trip.

I've seen many parts of Africa, but Namibia may just be my favorite spot.

best european destinations to visit

I have been fortunate to go on safaris in Kenya , Botswana, and Tanzania, but Namibia is my favorite travel destination of the bunch.

While there, we rented a campervan and did a self-drive tour of the country, allowing us to explore independently. Yet again, we avoided the crowds and the campsites were usually just us and local animals.

Waking up to the sounds of monkeys, elephants, and even lions was a special treat, especially knowing we were safe inside our campervan.

In addition to the wildlife, there's a lot to explore in Namibia, including colossal dunes, which we hiked up and surfed down —undoubtedly the trip highlight for my children.

Sri Lanka showcases a lot of what Asia landscapes have to offer.

best european destinations to visit

Asia has some beautiful beaches, but Sri Lanka has beaches and tea plantations, mountains, rocks, waterfalls, and more.

We visited Sri Lanka last year and hired a driver and guide who showcased the diverse landscapes of this island country. The food was terrific and extremely cheap — our family of four was fed for less than $10 on most occasions.

The locals I interacted with were incredibly friendly and the island is also small enough to allow for in-depth exploration in a relatively short time.

Costa Rica is an excellent place to visit in Central America.

best european destinations to visit

Growing up in Texas, my wife has been to Mexico many times since the state shares a border with the country. But to explore somewhere new, smaller, and in the same region, we chose to have our honeymoon in Costa Rica .

Although it's still popular, Costa Rica offers an authentic travel experience as I feel it has yet to be overrun by tourists. Like the other countries on this list, it has a diverse landscape, from white-sand beaches to rainforests to volcanoes, so there's plenty to do.

We also visited during the rainy season, so we took advantage of low crowds , low prices, and often received upgrades — and, as a bonus, it rarely rained!

best european destinations to visit

  • Main content


The 20 best European beach destinations

Posted: December 11, 2023 | Last updated: December 14, 2023

<p>A trip to Europe is a dream for many, but so is a nice relaxing vacation on the beach. Well, who says you have to choose? Look at the 20 amazing European beach destinations we’ve rounded up, and start planning your trip today!</p>

A trip to Europe is a dream for many, but so is a nice relaxing vacation on the beach. Well, who says you have to choose? Look at the 20 amazing European beach destinations we’ve rounded up, and start planning your trip today!

<p>The French Riviera is synonymous with vacations by the sea. And Nice, one of the area’s largest cities, is a great place to enjoy some sun. Take in the Mediterranean against a backdrop of candy-colored buildings in Art Deco and Baroque style.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 22 best Christmas markets in Europe</a></p>

Nice, France

The French Riviera is synonymous with vacations by the sea. And Nice, one of the area’s largest cities, is a great place to enjoy some sun. Take in the Mediterranean against a backdrop of candy-colored buildings in Art Deco and Baroque style.

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<p>Montenegro is an up-and-coming destination in the Balkans, better known for its mountains (Montenegro translates to black mountains.) But its location, sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, means the country has a prime coastline. And while most travelers only make it to Kotor, we recommend Budva as a more affordable and less busy base on the Adriatic Sea!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Budva, Montenegro

Montenegro is an up-and-coming destination in the Balkans, better known for its mountains (Montenegro translates to black mountains.) But its location, sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, means the country has a prime coastline. And while most travelers only make it to Kotor, we recommend Budva as a more affordable and less busy base on the Adriatic Sea!

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

<p>Everyone envisions the ideal Mediterranean getaway as island-hopping in Greece. From the most famous islands like Santorini and Mykonos to lesser-known gems such as Paros, Zakynthos, and Hydra, you’re sure to have a great vacation.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 21 best "girl dinner" ingredients</a></p>

The Greek Islands

Everyone envisions the ideal Mediterranean getaway as island-hopping in Greece. From the most famous islands like Santorini and Mykonos to lesser-known gems such as Paros, Zakynthos, and Hydra, you’re sure to have a great vacation.

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<p>This smaller city on the Mediterranean, located between Marseille and Toulon, is perfect for those looking for a laid-back destination in the South of France. The quaint port town is almost a mini Nice but benefits from its proximity to the Calanques — a popular hiking destination. Visit as a day trip from Marseille, or stay a few nights and truly relax in the tranquility. </p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Cassis, France

This smaller city on the Mediterranean, located between Marseille and Toulon, is perfect for those looking for a laid-back destination in the South of France. The quaint port town is almost a mini Nice but benefits from its proximity to the Calanques — a popular hiking destination. Visit as a day trip from Marseille, or stay a few nights and truly relax in the tranquility. 

<p>Another up-and-coming Balkan destination, the “Albanian Riviera'' in the south of the country, will delight travelers in search of turquoise waters and top-notch seafood. And all for a fraction of the cost of Greece or France. The “riviera” is made up of three main towns: Saranda, Ksamil, and Himara, as well as smaller towns in between.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>20 foolproof crockpot dump recipes you can try</a></p>

Albanian Riviera

Another up-and-coming Balkan destination, the “Albanian Riviera'' in the south of the country, will delight travelers in search of turquoise waters and top-notch seafood. And all for a fraction of the cost of Greece or France. The “riviera” is made up of three main towns: Saranda, Ksamil, and Himara, as well as smaller towns in between.

You may also like: 20 foolproof crockpot dump recipes you can try

<p>The UK isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when most picture a beach getaway. But, if you’re planning a trip to London or just enjoy being by the sea and don’t necessarily need to swim, Brighton is a fantastic option. Located a little over an hour from the capital city, you can enjoy strolling the rocky shore, checking out the Royal Pavilion, and playing games on the pier.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Brighton, United Kingdom

The UK isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when most picture a beach getaway. But, if you’re planning a trip to London or just enjoy being by the sea and don’t necessarily need to swim, Brighton is a fantastic option. Located a little over an hour from the capital city, you can enjoy strolling the rocky shore, checking out the Royal Pavilion, and playing games on the pier.

<p>The South of France is a very special destination, full of nature, wildlife, and adventures. Located just south of the city, Arles the Camargue Natural Park is a large protected space. It is home to the Camargue horse, herds of which now roam wild. You can also book riding trips through the region, usually with Camargues!</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>20 stocking stuffers your family will actually love</a></p>

The Camargue, France

The South of France is a very special destination, full of nature, wildlife, and adventures. Located just south of the city, Arles the Camargue Natural Park is a large protected space. It is home to the Camargue horse, herds of which now roam wild. You can also book riding trips through the region, usually with Camargues!

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<p>This peninsula in the northwest of Croatia is a very unique place to visit. Sandwiched next to Italy, it certainly feels more like the neighbor than the rest of Croatia. The food you find here is different from the rest of the country; in addition to seafood and meat platters, you’ll find truffle dishes (Istria is where they come from), Italian-quality pizza, and top-notch olive oil.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Istria, Croatia

This peninsula in the northwest of Croatia is a very unique place to visit. Sandwiched next to Italy, it certainly feels more like the neighbor than the rest of Croatia. The food you find here is different from the rest of the country; in addition to seafood and meat platters, you’ll find truffle dishes (Istria is where they come from), Italian-quality pizza, and top-notch olive oil.

<p>There’s a reason people can’t get enough of Barcelona, to the point that, back in 2015, some residents put a sign on one of the beaches telling tourists to go home. Now, the tensions have cooled a bit, and you can enjoy this cosmopolitan city and its numerous beaches without fear of being told to leave!</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>20 items you should declutter from your home right now</a></p>

Barcelona, Spain

There’s a reason people can’t get enough of Barcelona, to the point that, back in 2015, some residents put a sign on one of the beaches telling tourists to go home. Now, the tensions have cooled a bit, and you can enjoy this cosmopolitan city and its numerous beaches without fear of being told to leave!

You may also like: 21 things you didn’t know about Dunkin’

<p>Another unlikely place to hit up for a beach trip, Iceland is actually home to some spectacular ones. However, a road trip along the south coast of the country will reveal stunning black sand beaches akin to those in New Zealand or Hawaii — without the tropical climate, of course!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Southern Iceland

Another unlikely place to hit up for a beach trip, Iceland is actually home to some spectacular ones. However, a road trip along the south coast of the country will reveal stunning black sand beaches akin to those in New Zealand or Hawaii — without the tropical climate, of course!

<p>This adorable beach town on the southwest coast of France, not far from Bordeaux, feels like stepping back in time. The Ville d’été (summer quarter) is home to a fabulous shopping street and 19th-century architecture that is a delight to all visitors. It’s also where you’ll find the main sandy beach, perfect for swimming in summer and walks in winter.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>15 biscuits and gravy recipes you can make in under 30 minutes</a></p>

Arcachon, France

This adorable beach town on the southwest coast of France, not far from Bordeaux, feels like stepping back in time. The Ville d’été (summer quarter) is home to a fabulous shopping street and 19th-century architecture that is a delight to all visitors. It’s also where you’ll find the main sandy beach, perfect for swimming in summer and walks in winter.

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<p>The Stockholm Archipelago is home to tens of thousands of small islands near Sweden’s capital. A local favorite is Grinda, not far from the city center but feels like a whole new world. The ferry takes about two-and-a-half hours from Stockholm, and from there, you can enjoy the lovely forest before cooling off with a swim!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Grinda, Sweden

The Stockholm Archipelago is home to tens of thousands of small islands near Sweden’s capital. A local favorite is Grinda, not far from the city center but feels like a whole new world. The ferry takes about two-and-a-half hours from Stockholm, and from there, you can enjoy the lovely forest before cooling off with a swim!

<p>The Canaries have become a favorite all around Europe as a sunshine getaway as the islands are warm year-round. This is rare, even in a lot of the Mediterranean. Thus, there are now direct flights from most major European hubs where you can enjoy summer weather no matter the month.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>15 weird & wonderful roadside attractions in the United States</a></p>

The Canary Islands, Spain

The Canaries have become a favorite all around Europe as a sunshine getaway as the islands are warm year-round. This is rare, even in a lot of the Mediterranean. Thus, there are now direct flights from most major European hubs where you can enjoy summer weather no matter the month.

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<p>Lisbon has been a hotspot for city-breakers and digital nomads alike in the past decade. However, those in the know head north for the lovely town named Porto. Famous for grand beaches and the wine of the same name, it’s the perfect coastal escape.</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Porto, Portugal

Lisbon has been a hotspot for city-breakers and digital nomads alike in the past decade. However, those in the know head north for the lovely town named Porto. Famous for grand beaches and the wine of the same name, it’s the perfect coastal escape.

<p>Most visitors to the Cote d’Azur head for the larger cities, such as Nice or Cannes. However, Antibes, located between both, is the perfect place to truly relax. The Old Town is magnificent, with ramparts that provide epic views of the sea and the nearby peninsula with centuries-old mansions.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>The 14 most beautiful beach towns on the West Coast</a></p>

Antibes, France

Most visitors to the Cote d’Azur head for the larger cities, such as Nice or Cannes. However, Antibes, located between both, is the perfect place to truly relax. The Old Town is magnificent, with ramparts that provide epic views of the sea and the nearby peninsula with centuries-old mansions.

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<p>Greece is the first place that comes to mind for travelers looking to enjoy the Mediterranean, but if you really want the best of what the region has to offer, don’t miss Turkey. Alanya, in particular, is a small resort town lined with beautiful beaches and hotels. It’s also much more affordable than its EU counterpart!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Alanya, Turkey

Greece is the first place that comes to mind for travelers looking to enjoy the Mediterranean, but if you really want the best of what the region has to offer, don’t miss Turkey. Alanya, in particular, is a small resort town lined with beautiful beaches and hotels. It’s also much more affordable than its EU counterpart!

<p>Another gem in the southwest of France, Béziers is an up-and-coming destination popular with surfers. The waves here are some of the best in the country, particularly for beginners.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>Protein-packed foods that will help fuel your muscles</a></p>

Biarritz, France

Another gem in the southwest of France, Béziers is an up-and-coming destination popular with surfers. The waves here are some of the best in the country, particularly for beginners.

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<p>Connemara is one of the most breathtaking parts of the Emerald Isle. And if you really want to be blown away, take the ferry to the spectacular Aran Islands. The Arans are a group of limestone formations that are rugged and remote in an inviting way. Visit as a day trip from Galway, or spend a few days hiking!</p><p><a href=''>Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Aran Islands, Ireland

Connemara is one of the most breathtaking parts of the Emerald Isle. And if you really want to be blown away, take the ferry to the spectacular Aran Islands. The Arans are a group of limestone formations that are rugged and remote in an inviting way. Visit as a day trip from Galway, or spend a few days hiking!

<p>The Netherlands isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when most imagine a coastal escape. However, the Zeeland province in the south of the country is home to countless adorable beach towns where stretches of golden sand stretch for miles. Favorites include Domburg, Westkapelle, and Zoutelande.</p><p>You may also like: <a href=''>21 things you didn’t know about Dunkin’</a></p>

Atlantic Coast, the Netherlands

The Netherlands isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when most imagine a coastal escape. However, the Zeeland province in the south of the country is home to countless adorable beach towns where stretches of golden sand stretch for miles. Favorites include Domburg, Westkapelle, and Zoutelande.

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<p>The South of France is the part of the country most frequently associated with beach vacations. However, visitors shouldn’t miss the northwest corner known as Bretagne — or Brittany in English. This part of the country is where you’ll find white sandy beaches, unlike the Mediterranean, where they are normally rocky.</p><p><a href=''>Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.</a></p>

Bretagne, France

The South of France is the part of the country most frequently associated with beach vacations. However, visitors shouldn’t miss the northwest corner known as Bretagne — or Brittany in English. This part of the country is where you’ll find white sandy beaches, unlike the Mediterranean, where they are normally rocky.

Did you enjoy this slideshow? Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive lifestyle content.

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Already planning to see the next solar eclipse in 2026? What travelers need to know.

Umbraphiles feeling the post-eclipse blues should start checking the expiration date on their passports.

The next total solar eclipse is set to happen on Aug. 12, 2026, over Greenland, Iceland, Spain, Russia and a small part of Portugal, according to NASA . 

In North America, only a partial eclipse will be visible, so if April’s event made you an eclipse chaser and you want to see totality, you’ll need to head overseas.

Here’s what you’ll need to know before packing your bags:

Do you need a passport or visa for the best destination?

The path of totality for the 2026 eclipse mostly goes through places Americans can travel visa-free with their passport, so long as they’re planning to stay for less than 90 days.

Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Greenland all allow visa-free tourist travel for U.S. passport holders.

Spain, Portugal and Iceland are also members of the Schengen Area, which allows for visa-free travel in much of Europe, meaning if you decide to make a multi-country trip out of your eclipse adventure, you won’t need to clear customs if you’re coming from much of the rest of Europe, either.

One major change for travelers to Europe from the U.S., however, is that electronic preauthorization will become a requirement beginning in mid-2025. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) requirement will apply to all four open countries in the path of totality. 

Depending on the state of the Ukraine war, travel to Russia may or may not be an option for most Americans by 2026, so it’s unclear what the paperwork requirements will be by then.

Is it better to see it from the beach?

Beaches can be a great place to see the eclipse because there are few natural obstacles blocking observers’ views of the sky. The 2026 path of totality passes over beaches on Spain’s northern and southeastern coasts, as well as over islands in the Mediterranean Sea including Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza. The eclipse will also pass over coastal areas in Greenland and Iceland, according to the National Solar Observatory . 

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Will there be eclipse cruises or flights?

Almost certainly, although most operators have not announced specific plans yet. 

Cruise lines will also offer more viewing opportunities. Princess Cruises “has created a bespoke itinerary aboard Sky Princess to position the ship near Spain on that date,” according to a spokesperson for the line. The cruise will open for bookings on Princess’s website on May 23.

Cunard Line has sailings on its Queen Mary 2 , Queen Victoria and Queen Anne vessels that will put passengers in prime spots to watch .

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Holland America Line is also planning multiple sailings around the event, though details are still to be announced. “Guests have reacted positively to our 2024 eclipse cruises and with the next full eclipse in 2026 we plan to have three sailings in Europe that will align with the path of the eclipse,” Paul Grigsby, the line's vice president of Deployment & Itinerary Planning, previously told USA TODAY in an email.


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