The 17 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

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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. 

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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.

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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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19 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

Written by Shandley McMurray Updated May 3, 2023

Europe is a land frozen in time, highlighted by meticulously preserved buildings and modern amenities. Europe's best countries also feature magnificent mountain ranges, deep gorges, and verdant countryside. This is where trips go to turn into vacations you'll dream about for years.

Florence, Italy

Active travelers love Europe's extensive attractions . Tourists can ski down the French Alps , kayak in Croatia's Adriatic Sea , hike the Grindelwald in Switzerland , and cycle through the Netherlands . Then there's the food. Yum! It's hard to beat Europe's gastronomic delights.

With so many countries to choose from, it can be hard to decide which to see first. Our advice? Don't stop at just one. Europe offers a slew of fabulous cheap places to visit packed into a relatively small space, so it's easy to visit multiple countries on one trip.

Not sure where to start your sightseeing? Use our list of the best countries to visit in Europe.

6. The Netherlands

9. switzerland, 11. portugal, 12. germany, 13. england, 14. denmark, 15. iceland, 16. ireland and northern ireland, 19. czech republic, map of countries to visit in europe.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

It's hard to picture Italy without salivating over the thought of its food. This boot-shaped country boasts tomatoes so sweet they taste like candy, pizzas cooked to perfection, and gelato that literally melts in your mouth. Italy is a utopia for gastronomes.

Even more resplendent than its food are the impeccable architecture and cultural masterpieces found in the ancient buildings, squares, and museums peppered throughout Italy's bustling cities and small, picturesque towns.

History abounds in the attractions of Rome (we're talking about visiting the Colosseum and touring the Pantheon ), and its phenomenal town squares (i.e. Piazza Navona , St. Peter's Square , and Piazza Spagna ) are a delight to enjoy.

Florence is home to the photo-worthy landmark attraction, the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio bridge, as well as museums you won't want to miss .

The canals of Venice are romantic and unique, while the massive Il Duomo , one of the top attractions in Milan , will have you gawking, as will the impressive outfits featured in the city's many shops.

The countryside is where you'll find the most authentic Italian experience. From skiing at top resorts to hiking to swimming to eating (of course), the country's beauty envelops visitors, making it hard to leave. The attractions of Tuscany are real winners, transporting tourists back in time with the region's largely untouched walls and towers, while lovely Lake Como offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the world's elite.

The Amalfi Coast is as pretty as a postcard , which is why its colorful towns are featured on so much tourist kitsch.

Lavender field in front of Simiane la Rotonde, Provence, France

Vive la France! Known for its romance, delectable food, art, culture, and natural beauty, this lovely country offers everything you'd ever want in a vacation. France also boasts enough gorgeous places to visit to ensure that every type of traveler will find something to love.

Bask in the sun's rays and catch sight of a celebrity or two on the iconic French Riviera . Let your camera run wild photographing fields blanketed by lavender in pretty Provence .

Travel back in time to the UNESCO-listed islet, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. Ski down the French Alps in Chamonix , Val d'Isère , or Méribel .

Dine in a café along the Champs-Elysée , visit a museum , climb the stairs of the world famous Eiffel Tower , or stroll hand in hand with your soul mate along the River Seine in the bustling city of Paris .

Plaza de Espana, Madrid

One of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Spain is also one of its best. From its architectural masterpieces to its towering mountain ranges, seaside cliffs, and hilltop villages, your camera will thank you for visiting this magical spot. No wonder more than 89 million tourists visited Spain in 2018, making it the second most visited country in the world.

You'll find plenty to see and do in the country's top cities. The most populated city in Spain, and its capital, Madrid is home to the lovely Crystal Palace and sprawling gardens, as well as elegant plazas.

More elegant and romantic, Seville's soundtrack consists of horses' hooves on cobblestone streets and clanging bells from church towers. Here, you'll find must-see attractions like the spectacular Catedral de Sevilla , the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Real Alcázar , and the expansive Plaza de España .

Big, beautiful, and bustling Barcelona is both energetic and eclectic, featuring architecture that would make Salvador Dali proud ( Casa Mila and the insanely unique Parc Güell are must-sees).

Valencia's top places to visit will soothe your soul with healing sea views, while Costa Brava offers some of the most stunning beaches in Spain .

Don't miss the beautiful attractions of Granada and its famous Alhambra palaces .

Hallstatt village in the Austrian Alps

Austria is one of those countries that can truly take your breath away. Ringed by the magnificent Australian Alps and peppered with sparkling lakes, this wonderland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

Austria is also one of the most musical. It's almost impossible to wander through the country's many city streets without catching a snippet of song, especially one composed by famed Austrian, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born in the attractive city of Salzburg , the former Baroque composer's influence can be felt everywhere (his image is even found on chocolate wrappers).

Wind your way through narrow, twisting laneways in the old town, Altstadt Salzburg (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), enjoy lunch in a courtyard, or visit a museum or St. Peter's Abbey while you're in town.

Vienna is another hot spot of gorgeousness. In addition to intricate palaces (i.e. Belvedere Palace ) and sprawling gardens (i.e. those found at Schönbrunn Palace ), you'll find the fabulous City Hall (Rathaus) and gorgeous Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), among other popular Vienna attractions .

The sparkling town of Linz hugs both banks of the River Danube , making it a perfect spot for exploring both the river and the surrounding countryside.

Graz , the country's second-largest city, is another architectural hub, featuring buildings and ruins that date back to 800 CE. Don't miss the picturesque old town and be sure to climb the Schlossberg (a hill measuring 473 meters and topped with a clock tower), one of the best things to do in Graz .

Read More: Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Austria

Boats in Croatia

A Mediterranean masterpiece, the Eastern country of Croatia offers scenery to soothe the soul and fresh food to treat the palate. With friendly locals, hilltop castles, preserved Roman ruins, and a sea the color of sapphires, it's impossible to feel stressed in this lovely archipelago.

Wander the winding laneways within the towering old city walls in the historic city of Dubrovnik , or take the cable car up Srd Hill for the most spectacular view of this beautiful town, dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic."

Spectacular Split is one of the most vibrant cities in Croatia and the second largest after the main tourist hub of Zagreb . Both are more than worthy of a visit. The island of Hvar will help you get your beach on; it's been deemed the "sunniest spot in Europe."

Croatia's crowning glory is its perfect position on the Adriatic Sea. Be sure to board a boat at some point to explore the archipelago, especially the charming Elafiti Islands , which can be found northwest of Dubrovnik.

Feeling adventurous? Kayaking and rafting are popular in Croatia, and you'll find plenty of rocky limestone cliffs to jump from.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Beach Resorts in Croatia

Muiderslot Castle, The Netherlands

Less formally known as Holland, the Netherlands offers visitors a laid-back vacation filled with art, beauty, and a lot of cycling.

Located in the northwest of Europe, the landscape is flat (perfect terrain for a bike) and peppered with iconic windmills and fields bursting with tulips in spring (April and May in particular). The best place to spot them is arguably Keukenhof , also known as the "Garden of Europe." It's located in Lisse .

Amsterdam is one of the best cities to visit in the Netherlands . Despite its somewhat seedy reputation, this canal-laden spot is beautiful and filled with impressive museums (40, to be exact). Don't miss the city's top attractions , the Rijksmuseum , Ann Frank's House , and Van Gogh Museum .

You'll also find cutting-edge, eco-friendly architecture mixed in with the historic structures found in riveting Rotterdam , dainty Delft , and The Hague .

Big cities aren't your only option in the Netherlands. The adorable fishing hamlets located along Lake Ijsselmeer are worthy of a stop, especially Marken , Volendam , and Enkhuizen .

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Netherlands

Aerial view of Old Town Stockholm

Bet you've never met a cranky Swede! Known for their gracious nature, the Swedish people are a friendly Nordic bunch. Given their impeccable surroundings — ancient walled cities, sparkling lakes, sun-drenched beaches, and glacier-topped mountains — it's no wonder they're so happy.

Located in the north of Europe, between Norway and Finland , the stunning country of Sweden is the place to visit if you're looking for an amazing view of the Northern Lights. Here, you can traipse through dense forests, canoe along crystal waters, and pitch a tent in an open field.

Those who appreciate avant-garde architecture will be rewarded with some of the world's most intriguing designs in Sweden. The country's most vibrant city is Stockholm , where you'll find the popular Vasa Museum , as well as stylish shops and eateries. Don't miss a trip to Skansen , a large open-air museum depicting life in the 1720s to 1960s.

Gothenburg, Sweden's "second city," is another must-see for foodies (they've got fantastic restaurants) and beach lovers alike.

The medieval town of Bruges in Belgium

The smallest European country on this list, beautiful Belgium makes up for its diminutive size with a boatload of charm, not to mention picturesque medieval towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and chocolate that will make your taste buds scream in delight. Did we mention the French Fries yet? Delish!

The country is unofficially divided into two main regions: the French-speaking and pastoral Wallonia in the south and the more cosmopolitan, Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north.

Brussels is a big tourist draw , offering visitors a peek at its most magical historic buildings, like La Grande Place (a.k.a. Gote Markt in Dutch) and Place Royal (a.k.a. Koningsplein). This is also where you'll find eclectic shops, tasty restaurants, and fantastic museums.

Bruges is tiny yet well storied and arguably the country's most beautiful town. Its canals, which are easily accessible by booking a boat cruise, wind their way through the city, offering lovely views of the captivating architecture.

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  • Top-Rated Day Trips from Bruges

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

One of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe, Switzerland is more than worth its hefty price tags. Snowcapped mountains burst through the clouds, emerging from lush, verdant fields dotted with sheep (hello, The Matterhorn ).

Expansive lakes (i.e. Lake Geneva ) span the countryside, offering a sparkling welcome to white water rafting, canoeing, fishing, and kayaking enthusiasts. Small villages like Gimmelwald gush storybook charm, captivating even the crankiest of travelers with their quaint shops and melt-in-your-mouth chocolates.

Larger cities like beautiful Zurich , pretty Geneva , lovely Lucerne , and the captial, Bern are packed with attractions, helping visitors get their fill of both culture and beauty in one go. You'll find numerous impressive museums, art galleries, shops, and fine dining within their borders.

There are plenty of exciting things to do in Zermatt. In fact, this is tourists' one-stop shop for winter sports, as well as unbeatable Alpine hikes and climbs.

Read More: Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Switzerland

Oia town on Santorini Island, Greece

Perhaps the most laid-back of all the countries on this list, Greece is the perfect place to relax, yet it's filled with enough attractions to keep even the pickiest of tourists happily entertained. Azure domes top whitewashed buildings on the country's smaller isles , their doors and gates painted with colors so bright they beg to be photographed.

The sky in Greece is the most luscious of blues, while the sapphire Mediterranean caresses beaches boasting sand and pebbles of different colors — from tan to pink to red. Sunny and always busy Santorini is particularly spectacular, especially at sunset.

Crete is another popular island with inviting coastal towns and mountain villages. Athens is where you'll find phenomenal ancient ruins (like the iconic Acropolis), as well as world-class museums, shops, and restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, it's hard to top the food in Greece. The freshest of local ingredients are used to create healthy and tasty delicacies teeming with vibrant flavors.

Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon

Castles and beaches and mountains, oh my! Portugal has a bevy of gorgeous scenery and spectacular places to visit . Hugging more than 800 kilometers of the Atlantic Coast, this is the place to be for those who love water views.

A visit to the beautiful Azores islands will immediately dissolve your worries. They are an archipelago consisting of nine gorgeous, mountainous isles perfect for diving, surfing, sailing, and whale watching. Nearby Madeira Island is particularly popular with European tourists.

Lisbon is the country's largest city, with a prime location at the mouth of the River Tagus . It is jam-packed with fun attractions , ranging from a historic castle to a state-of-the-art aquarium to beautiful town squares to a hilltop park with an impressive view.

Tomar is also set on the water. Its enchanting cobblestone streets wind around medieval churches, a majestic castle, and other historic buildings along the banks of the Nabão River.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

While the Western country of Germany may not be the most romantic European vacation destination, it is dotted with incredible places to visit. Germany's spectacular scenery (we're talking sand dune-lined beaches, thick forests, and rugged mountains) make it a worthy destination for every type of traveler. It is literally filled with stunning places to visit .

Cosmopolitan destinations like the tourist hot spot, Munich , lively city of Hamburg , and energetic Frankfurt offer travelers the historic culture they crave in the form of ancient buildings, monuments, and museums. They also burst with shops and restaurants that serve traditional sauerkraut and schnitzels mixed with more contemporary fare.

The small towns are where you'll find a nice break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These quaint villages are peppered with beautiful remnants of the past. Despite suffering through war, many ancient towers, churches, and houses stand strong, stoically adding to the charm and allure of these rural delights.

Bavaria's colorful towns , Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber , Dinkelsbühl , and Nördlingen will lift your spirits and give your camera a real workout.

Leeds Castle, England

It doesn't take long for the U.K'.s largest country, England to charm its visitors. Best visited with an umbrella in hand, this oft rainy isle is one of the best places to visit in Europe.

Hoping to roam through bucolic countryside, frolicking with sheep as you wander over hills and across dales? Head to the green valleys of the enchanting Lake District , a wonderland so lush and fertile, you'll want to pitch a tent and stay for days.

More of a shopper? Head to London, the iconic capital where you'll meet the most modern yet understated styles of each season. You'll also be blessed with an infinite variety of top restaurants and cuisines.

Looking for storied castles? You'll find them aplenty in towns ranging from the large, walled city of York to the smaller village of Leeds to the tiny town of Warwick , which is set upon the picturesque River Avon.

Speaking of small towns in England , that's exactly where you'll want to head if you're in search of fairy-tale villages oozing charm. The impeccable villages of the Cotswolds must be seen to be believed. Named after the honey-colored stone used to build their enchanting homes, this rich land is brimming with culture, and an impressive charm you won't find anywhere else.

Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerod, Denmark

Denmark may be small (it's almost double the size of Massachusetts), but boy does it pack a beautiful punch. An environment-loving, friendly country, this Nordic star offers visitors a clean, calm, and beautiful vacation destination. It is also packed with exciting attractions and fun things to do.

Water is never far away, making it easy to relax beachside on the coast of the Baltic Sea or canoe or fish in one of the sparkling lakes and rivers.

Among its 450-island archipelago, you'll find villages dotted with timber homes, perfectly groomed gardens, as well as cities boasting palaces, museums, and amusement parks (like the always-hopping city of Copenhagen , with Christiansborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens ).

The Danish architectural style is hard to beat — from luxurious fortresses like Kronborg Castle to the uber modern National Maritime Museum attraction in Helsingor to the colorful shops and restaurants of Copenhagen's Nyhaven harbor. Museums and Viking history abound in the city of Roskilde .

Worried about getting around? You're more likely to run into bike traffic than car standstills in this eco-friendly country. Cycling is the preferred mode of transportation, especially through the windmill-spotted countryside.

Insider's tip: Make time to visit the breathtaking Faroe Islands .

Lupine at the Stokksnes headland

Iceland is a majestic land sprinkled with some of the world's most captivating scenery and unique tourist attractions . A sparsely populated island, this breathtaking spot has become one of the most coveted of bucket list vacation destinations.

Adventure-seekers visit for its eccentric topography. You can traipse across, through, or around everything from glaciers to fjords to volcanoes to ice caves to waterfalls to mountain ranges.

During the day, visitors can shop, dine, or meet the uber-friendly locals in the country's biggest city, Reykjavik . Head out on a whale-watching tour, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon , or hike through the lava fields of the Hekla volcano .

Be sure to visit Vatnajökull , the largest (and most magnificent) glacier in Europe. At night, especially between September and April, tourists are rewarded with an unbeatable view of the northern lights. While summer tends to be the best time to visit Iceland for many visitors, the country is spectacular year-round.

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Ireland

Little beats the beauty of the lush green fields that blanket the Emerald Isle. This breathtaking island is steeped in history; dotted with bleating sheep; and packed with people so friendly, you'll beg to be adopted.

Add the lively music, endless stunning attractions, bustling cities , and unique things to do in Ireland , and you'll never want to leave.

Mother Nature outdid herself with the spectacular sights along the Ring of Kerry , the rugged Cliffs of Moher, and otherworldly Giant's Causeway (the top tourist attraction in Northern Ireland ). Pack a camera, as you'll want to capture these majestic spectacles for posterity.

Speaking of Northern Ireland, don't miss a visit to its capital, Belfast , where you can wander along the Titanic Quarter , visit the Titanic Belfast museum , and explore the Botanic Gardens . Dublin is unmissable. The music, the culture, the food, the attractions ; there's so much to love about this lively city.

When you've had enough of big city life, it's time to explore the heart of Ireland, its quaint and charming small towns . From the medieval castle in Kilkenny to the Gallous Oratory in Dingle to the vibrant fishing port of Kinsale , there's something for everyone to enjoy. Not surprisingly, these towns are among the many reasons so many people choose to visit Ireland for a weekend getaway .

Ever wanted to spend the night in a Castle? Ireland is famous for its ancient castles, some of which have been converted into luxurious hotels.

Aerial view of the fishing village Reine in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Fjords and mountains and lakes, oh my! Norway sure knows how to enchant its visitors. With so many top attractions , it can be tough to choose where to start.

Search for the northern lights or embark on an action-packed vacay filled with hiking, skiing, or white water rafting in scenery so captivating, it will leave you breathless, No matter how you choose to spend your vacation, Norway is a delight.

Not up for that much outdoor adventure? No worries, Osloo, the country's capital , is packed with fun things to do. You can explore museums, visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park , and enjoy a meal (or many) in the best restaurants in Oslo.

Sognefjord is the largest (and arguably most stunning) of Norway's fjords. At 204 kilometers long and 6,905 meters deep, Sognefjord offers plenty of incredible tourist attractions .

Ålesund is another unmissable gem famed for its postcard-worthy setting. In addition to checking out the city's impressive Art Nouveau architecture, walking around the harbor, and visiting the Town Park, there are a slew of interesting things to do in Ålesund .

For those with time to spare, be sure to book a night or two to properly enjoy the attractions of Tromosø . There are plenty of ways to stay entertained in Trondheim as well, and you won't regret checking out the fun things to do in Bergen .

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

When most people think of Turkey, they picture the Hagia Sophia Mosque or Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and salivate over the thought of Turkish food. This storied country is known for its unique and exciting tourist attractions .

Turkey is also home to top cities like Antalya (famed for its Dunden Waterfall ), beautiful Bursa (site of the remarkable Grand Mosque ), and spell-binding Sanliurfa , where you'll find the lovely Pool of Abraham .

While Istanbul is packed with things to see and do that include the aforementioned mosque and a glittering palace and Hippodrome , it is also home to beautiful parks .

Those hoping to lounge beachside, soaking up stunning views of the Mediterranean, will be pleased with the variety of picturesque islands in Turkey . Bozcaada is laid-back yet luxurious, framed by soft sandy beaches, while Gӧkçeada is a quiet wonderland best visited during the buzzing summer months.

There are numerous plush beach resorts to enjoy, making this an ideal place to spend at least a weekend away. Heading to Turkey in winter ? Great idea. There are plenty of fun (and cheap) things to do at this off-peak time.

Prague, Czech Republic

One of the cheapest European countries to visit , the tiny Czech Republic is filled with intricate historic monuments, lively music, and tasty food. It's also one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and boasts fun things to do in every season, including winter .

It's easy to see why Prague tops the list of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic . The heart of this picturesque region, this pretty and vibrant city is a must see. Prague is filled with impressive tourist attractions , like Prague Castle , Charles Bridge , and Wenceslas Square , not to mention budget-friendly shops and restaurants. In fact, many of Prague's don't-miss sites are among the best tourist attractions in the Czech Republic .

Prague isn't the only city worth visiting in the Czech Republic; hot spots like Český Krumlov in the south (its castle is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument) and Kutna Hora (home to the Baroque chapel, Sedlec Ossuary ) are spectacular. They definitely warrant scheduling a day trip or two .

Head to Karlovy Vary, or Carlsbad as it's also known, for a rejuvenating dip in a thermal spa . Don't miss the 19 th -century Market Colonnade , Museum of Glass MOSER , and Church of St. Mary Magdalene , a few of the other popular tourist attractions in Karlovy Vary .

Not sure where to stay? Prague boasts fantastic deals on numerous hotels and resorts in all sections of the city.

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See Europe on a Budget : Let's face it, travel ain't cheap! Luckily, there are ways to see the world without emptying your pocketbook. Visit these inexpensive places in Europe (we're talking about awesome spots like Prague and Valencia ) or head to these beautiful yet affordable European countries (hello, Bulgaria and Romania ).


Other Unmissable European Destinations : Europe has so much to offer visitors, and our list of the best countries to visit in Europe merely highlights some of its top spots. From charming towns that look as if they've come straight out of a fairy tale to a historic sea fortress in Finland to Italy's best beaches , you'll never want to go home.

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

best places to visit in Europe

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

european countries to travel to

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.

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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!

  • Pompeii tours

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.

  • Azores tours

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!

  • Loire Valley tours

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.

  • Mallorca tours

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.

  • Malaga tours

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.

  • Porto tours

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!

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Touropia Travel Experts

Discover the World

15 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

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Packed full of incredible historical sights, important cultural landmarks, and beautiful scenery, Europe is a treat to explore. With each of its 44 countries home to different people, languages, and cultures, however, it can be hard to know where to start.

Besides its world-class cities, which are full of amazing art and architecture, Europe has a myriad of historic towns and idyllic villages for you to discover. Tucked away among its scenic mountains, valleys, and countryside, you can also find astounding archaeological sites and magical fairytale castles. Add in picture-perfect beaches and coastlines, as well as exciting culinary and nightlife scenes, and it is easy to see why Europe attracts more than half of all of the tourists in the world.

Map of Europe

15. Netherlands


With a lovely laidback feel to its cities and towns, the Netherlands is a wonderful place to visit that is very tolerant and progressive. Traveling around is also very easy and convenient, as it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

While Amsterdam, with its art-filled museums, canal-lined cobbled streets, and pounding nightlife, is the most popular destination, Utrecht, Rotterdam, and The Hague each have their own charms.

Famed for its clogs, canals, and windmills, the Netherlands is also home to lots of picturesque farmland and tulip fields. With much of its land having been reclaimed from the North Sea by an impressive series of dams and dikes, its iconic low-lying landscapes are not to be missed out on.


In recent years Poland has become an increasingly popular tourist destination as visitors flock to Gdansk, Krakow, and Warsaw.

Exhibiting a wide array of architectural styles, their streets are lined with communist-era blocks, towering church spires, and epic castles, with beautiful historic centers also on show. Having suffered terribly in WWII, they also host lots of moving memorials, monuments, and museums to the victims of the Holocaust. Of these, visiting Auschwitz is a must for the important light it shines on the past.

Bordered to the north by the Baltic Sea, with lots of mountains, forests, and lakes also on offer, Poland is a very pretty, pleasant, and picturesque place to visit.

13. Portugal


Hugging the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is blessed with a long, scenic coastline dotted with beautiful beaches and sleepy fishing villages. Add in its warm and welcoming weather, and it’s no wonder at all that it is a very popular holiday destination.

Full of amazing churches, cathedrals, and castles, its historic towns and age-old cities of Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra are very pretty and pleasant to visit. In addition, astonishing archaeological ruins and historical sights from the Romans and Moors dot the country.

While many people stick to the coastal region, its mountainous interior is also well worth exploring for its gorgeous scenery and hilltop towns. On top of all this, Portugal’s wild and wonderful Atlantic Ocean archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores make for exotic and exciting getaways.

12. Romania


Lying in the southeast of Europe, Romania is, in many ways, dominated and defined by the Carpathian Mountains and Danube River that run through it. As so much of it consists of pristine and untouched forests and rolling hills, the country really is a nature lover’s dream.

While its endless nature reserves deserve exploring, its medieval towns, fairytale castles, and age-old monasteries attract just as many visitors. History and heritage are all around you as you wander around Sighisoara and Brasov’s charming streets and market squares, while Bucharest boasts the best restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

With a lovely Black Sea coastline – as well as one of Europe’s most spectacular drives in the shape of the Transfagarasan Road – Romania isa great travel destination.

11. Croatia


In recent years, Croatia has experienced a tourism boom as visitors from all around the world flock to its shores, and it is very easy to see why.

Located alongside the glimmering Adriatic, its rugged coastline is breathtaking to behold, with thousands of idyllic islands lying offshore. Hidden away among its stunning scenery, you can explore incredible seaside towns and cities, such as Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar.

While its mountainous northern regions offer up a less touristy and more authentic experience, the awe-inspiring Plitvice Lakes are not to be missed out on. Magical to gaze upon, the sparkling lakes count amongst the country’s most popular attractions and are the highlight of many people’s visit.

10. Germany


Home to fairytale castles, medieval old towns, and lots of romantic landscapes, Germany is an absolutely magical place to visit. The largest and most populous nation in Central Europe, it has a surprising number of different sides to it.

While the north boasts the beautiful Baltic Sea and the Hanseatic League city of Hamburg, the affluent south has the Black Forest, Munich, and Oktoberfest. In the west, the rustic Rhine River valley awaits, while in the east, Berlin’s great museums and famous nightlife need to be experienced.

With a wide array of historical sights and cultural landmarks on show, as well as lots of delicious cuisines to sample, Germany has something for everyone to enjoy.


The largest country in the world, Russia and its many riches could take a lifetime to explore. Stretching from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, everything about it is epic in size and scale.

Replete with enormous cathedrals and fortresses, art-filled museums, and astonishing architecture, visiting the world-class cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg is a must. Home to the Kremlin and Hermitage, they also boast some of the best ballets, circuses, and operas on Earth.

While their dazzling treasures are alluring, venturing further afield to Lake Baikal, the Caucasus, and Kamchatka is equally rewarding. With fantastic cities such as Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk found along the Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia’s vast and varied landscapes beckon you on.

8. United Kingdom

United Kingdom

As it is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, it’s fair to say that each part of the United Kingdom has something new and different to offer.

Full of charming countryside, the British Isles are dotted with lots of quaint villages, centuries-old castles, and vibrant cities. Of these, London is a must-visit for its impressive historical sights, amazing museums, and fantastic dining and nightlife scenes. Edinburgh, too is worth visiting, as are Oxford and the northern cities of Manchester and Liverpool.

Having had such an impact on the world through its culture, music, and sport, the UK has a wealth of attractions for you to delve into. Whether it’s Buckingham Palace, Harry Potter, or the Premier League, it all depends on your interests and where you want to begin.


Home to some of the most heartachingly beautiful scenery on the planet, Austria’s many mountains, valleys, and lakes need to be seen to be believed. Set in Central Europe, the landlocked country is defined by the majestic Alps, with arresting views and landscapes wherever you go.

Tucked away among its alpine valleys and along glimmering lakeshores, you can find cute and charming villages and towns. Awash with incredible historical sights, grand buildings, and a lively arts and culture scene, the nation’s capital Vienna is one of Europe’s most elegant and refined cities.

While many people head to Austria in winter to go skiing and snowboarding, it is just as worthwhile visiting in summer. This is because its many lakes and mountains sparkle in the sun, with lots of excellent hiking and swimming to be had amid the marvelous scenery.


A sophisticated and culturally rich country renowned for its cuisine, France is one of the most popular places to visit in the world.

A delight to explore, its fantastic landscapes include such stunning sights as the Loire Valley, French Riviera, and the awe-inspiring Alps. Tucked away among its picturesque countryside, you can find everything from Disneyland and Versailles to regal chateaux, quaint villages, and verdant winelands.

While Lyon, Marseille, and Strasbourg all have their charms, the undoubted star of the show is Paris. Boasting world-famous sights like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral, France’s capital is an artistic and architectural gem that, for many, is without equal.

5. Switzerland


Although it is renowned for its magical mountains, which include the mighty 4,478-meter-high Matterhorn, landlocked Switzerland has much more to offer.

One of the most culturally and linguistically diverse nations in Europe, it actually has four national languages. Consequently, exploring its different regions really is a treat; places such as Bern, Geneva, and Zurich all proudly showcase their unique history and heritage.

Interspersed amongst the stupendous Swiss Alps are over 1,500 lakes, such as those of Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne. With so much gorgeous scenery on show, Switzerland is a great place to head if you want to go hiking, skiing, mountaineering, or swimming.


From the Pyrenees to the Sierra Nevada, the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, Spain is truly blessed when it comes to gorgeous scenery. With the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands also on offer, it’s no wonder that it is such a popular place to visit.

While the two main cities of Barcelona and Madrid are full of incredible sights, such as La Sagrada Familia and the Prado Museum, it is well worth venturing further afield. Sevilla and Granada, for instance, sport some exquisite Moorish architecture, while Roman ruins dot the peninsula.

Famed for its wines and rich culinary heritage, great bars and restaurants greet you wherever you go. With warm and welcoming weather, Spain certainly is a fantastic holiday destination.


Famed for the fabulous fjords that scar its long and jagged coastline, Norway is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Throw in the spectacular Northern Lights, its many majestic mountains, and icy glaciers, and it is easy to see why.

Its myriad of gorgeous landscapes lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of adventure sports, with hiking, mountain biking, and white-water rafting being particularly popular summertime activities. In winter, its snowy panoramas make for perfect dog-sledding, skiing, and snowboarding conditions.

While its natural wonders and wildlife are what entice most visitors, Norway’s vibrant cities serve up a unique brand of Scandinavian cool. Full of trendy bars, exquisite restaurants, and sleek modern architecture, Bergen and Oslo are well worth stopping by on the way to the great outdoors.


Home to not only Rome, Florence, and Venice, but a staggering array of equally alluring smaller towns and cities, Italy really is like nowhere else on Earth.

Replete with stunning art and architecture, ancient historical sights, and cultural landmarks, its many riches and treasures veritably sparkle before your eyes. Add in fabulous weather and a divine culinary scene, and it can be hard to ever tear yourself away.

Just as special and spectacular is Italy’s marvelous scenery with the Alps, Italian lake district, and Italian Riviera counting amongst its must-see sights. The perfect package of history, culture, nature, and cuisine, Italy has much more to offer than just the Colosseum and Pompeii.


Although Greece boasts over 13,500 kilometers of idyllic coastline, this ancient land is much more than just a beach holiday destination.

Indeed, for many, Western Civilization was born in Greece, so while traveling around, you’ll come across lots of astounding archaeological sites that date back millennia. From Delphi and Olympia to Knossos and the Parthenon, the country is littered with impressive historical attractions, with many of them found in Athens.

Having said this, the lovely laidback islands of Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes, and Santorini really need to be seen to be believed, such is their beauty and charm. Blessed with a fantastic climate, their wonderful beaches border the sparkling Aegean Sea. Coupled with its age-old history and culture, Greece’s sun, sea, and scenery make it one of the best places to visit in Europe.

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World of Wanderlust

Europe Bucket List: 50 Places you must visit

If you are planning your first visit to Europe and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to cut straight to the chase and answer the question: Where are the best places in Europe to visit? And with this Europe bucket list, we’ve listed the creme de la creme to help you plan your visit from start to finish.


1. Wake up in Positano, Italy

Let’s begin with perhaps my favourite small town in all of Europe to wake up and see the sunrise: Positano . Located in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano is something out of a fairytale or film set. Quiet and serene, the town is built into the cliffs of the coastline, with colourful facades and terracotta rooftops. And what exactly do you do with your time on the Amalfi Coast, I hear you ask? Start by renting a Vespa and exploring the surrounding towns on a daily basis. There’s no shortage of adventures to be had – visiting Ravello , a quintessential town nestled into the hillside, or Capri , a popular island destination you can reach by ferry.

Annecy France World of Wanderlust

2. Visit Annecy, France

France has no shortage of photogenic towns to visit. But Annecy , located in southeastern France, is surely one of the most beautiful. Known for its Vieille Ville (old town), Annecy is characterised by cobbled streets, winding canals and colourful houses. In the backdrop of the city, you will notice snow-capped mountains and the expansive Lake Annecy, where you can enjoy rowboats in the summer and take in the stunning surrounds.

european countries to travel to

3. Spend a weekend in Copenhagen

There are few destinations in Europe I looked forward to as much as Copenhagen . Having long had an obsession with Denmark’s capital city, I eagerly visited in my early twenties and couldn’t wait to step foot off the train. Once on the ground, I was not disappointed. There are endless quaint cafes and bakeries to pop in and out of, especially in winter if you are bracing the cold weather. Then of course you have Nyhavn, the cities’ 17th-century waterfront harbour lined with colourful houses and merchants. If you ask me, this is a destination not to be missed if you find yourself venturing into Northern Europe.

Read more: This is how much each city in Europe costs (from most expensive to cheapest)


4. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Before I visited Iceland for the first time, I had a vision in my mind of what that trip would look like. And you’d better believe it included a visit to bathe in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous attraction. With healing properties and water rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, the blue lagoon is said to aid with skin diseases. And despite being a major tourist attraction with crowds and pricey tickets, given it is such a unique experience that can only be had here in Iceland, we’d say it is worth your while. Just be sure to spend at least a week exploring elsewhere in Iceland, as there are many more incredible sites and attractions on the horizon.

Read more: How to make the most of a stopover in Iceland

Pena palace | world of wanderlust

5. Visit Pena Palace, Portugal

Europe has no shortage of castles. In fact, you’ll be pressed to find a city or town that doesn’t boast a castle or two. But there are a handful of castles that rise above the rest (in this case, quite literally hidden in the clouds), making them worthy of a visit. Pena Palace in Sintra , Portugal, is one such castle worth visiting. This Romanticist castle in São Pedro de Penaferrim, a municipality of Sintra, overlooks the town from above. On a day with low mist, you won’t even see the castle from the town as it sits above the fog and appears to be floating in the clouds.

Read more: The best pastel de nata Recipe

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

6. Visit the Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, has one of the most beautiful old towns in all of Europe. This fairytale-like city has long been a World of Wanderlust favourite, since I first visited back in 2013 on my first full year of adventures solo across Europe. Tallinn’s cobblestoned Old Town exists inside an imposing wall, with many of the cities’ most preserved cafes and bakeries existing inside. You’ll also find plenty of authentic Baltic cuisine within the city walls, so be sure to allow time to perch up and watch the world pass you by. Be sure not to miss Raeapteek, the oldest pharmacy in Europe. Here you will find fascinating therapies, like Unicorn horn dust.

Read more: Cities to visit for your first time in Europe

european countries to travel to

7. Visit Peleș Castle, Romania

There are few castles in Europe as beautiful and ethereal as Peleș Castle in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. Located near Sinaia in Romania, this castle exists on a medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. Built between 1873 and 1914, the castle is commonly considered one of the most beautiful in all of Europe.

Read more: These are the 12 prettiest castles in Europe

Prague at Christmas | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

8. Spend Christmas in Prague

Prague is an incredible city to visit any time of year, but there is nothing quite like Christmas time in Prague. Suddenly the streets come to life as living markets, with mulled wine and pretzels ready at your disposal. Central Europe as a whole really comes to life with the arrival of Christmas markets, so if you fancy a fairytale visit to Prague, this is certainly the best time of year to find yourself strolling across the Charles Bridge in search of Christmas magic.

Read more: What to know before you visit Prague

Christmas in Vienna Things to Do | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

9. Visit Vienna, Austria’s capital

Speaking of Central Europe, there is nowhere quite like Vienna . Once described to me as a more refined version of Paris, Vienna certainly feels regal and refined. There are so many wonderful things to do in this city, ranging from indoors to outdoors. I would recommend spending most of your time slowing down, enjoying cultural immersion in the cafe culture of Vienna and feeling as if you have stepped back in time.

Read more: The 6 Best Coffee Houses in Vienna


10. Visit the Red Square, Moscow

Moscow is hands down one of the most exquisite cities in Europe. As the capital city of Russia, you can expect to see opulence on overdrive as you stand in the Red Square, the historical centre of the city of Moscow. Regarded as one of the most famous cities in Europe, from here you can view the Kremlin, Russia’s centre of governance, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum and the GUM Department Store.

Read more: Sights to see for your first time in Moscow

Rome guide

11. Make your way to Rome, the Eternal City

If you are yet to visit Rome, the eternal city, you might have asked yourself, what makes Rome so special? This being the centre of the universe for a long period of time throughout history, the city of Rome has so much to offer visitors by way of history, culture, food and hospitality. There are too many must see attractions in Rome to list, so be sure to check out our Rome bucket list for a full list of all the places you cannot miss.

Read more: The 12 Best Kept Secrets in Rome

Brooke Saward Barcelona

12. Discover Gaudí Architecture in Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is brimming with incredible architecture, sights, sounds and smells at every turn. A sensory overload, this city can often be overwhelming given it has so much to offer travelers. For this reason, we’d recommend centring your adventures in Barcelon around a theme. That could be food, culture, or in this case, Gaudí architecture. The city is full of masterpieces – namely Parc Güell (pictured), Casa Milá, Casa Batlló and so many more.

Read more: The 15 Best Things to do in Barcelona

Sundays in Paris | Where to go on a Sunday in Paris by WORLD OF WANDERLUST

13. Swoon over the Eiffel Tower in Paris

There is of course nothing or nowhere more iconic in Paris, than the Eiffel Tower. This monument is by far one of the most iconic monuments in all of Europe and under a blanket of night sky, it only becomes more magnificent. The best view of the Eiffel Tower is of course from afar and if you ask us, one of the most iconic views of the tower can be found atop the Arc de Triomphe. But don’t let that stop you from visiting the tower up close, as it becomes more and more clear just how large this impressive structure really is.

Read more: The 20 most Instagrammable locations in Paris

Amsterdam World of Wanderlust

14. Walk the Canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is certainly one of my favourite cities in all of Europe and if we’re talking about winter travel, I’d say Amsertdam takes the cake for my number one city to spend time in. But regardless of the season, this city is beautiful year-round. The canals are of course the main drawcard in Amsterdam, seamlessly lining the streets and adding to the undeniable romance of the city.

Read more: The solo traveler’s guide to Amsterdam

Santorini travel guide | World of Wanderlust

15. Explore Santorini on foot

Greece is full of incredible islands to explore, so if you’re planning to stop in during your European travels, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. And if time is not on your side, then skip straight over to Santorini for arguably the best Greek island to explore.

Read more: 20 Places to visit in the Balkans

London Bucket List | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

16. See the London skyline from above

London is not only the most visited city in all of Europe, but often tops the list as the most visited city in the entire world. With a history that dates back to Roman times, London as we know it today is a blend of cultures and history, leaving much to be discovered. And as a sprawling city that takes days to discover, we recommend making your way to the top of The Shard building for a view of the city in its entirety. From here, you will really start to understand the layout and size of this city as a whole.

Read more: The best book stores in London

Florence Italy | WOW

17. Discover Florence, Italy

One city that is always a favourite for travelers is Florence or Firenze as it is known in Italy. This city is highly regarded for its culture, musuems, architecture and fascinating history. Oh, and did we mentioned you will find gelaterias on almost every corner? You will need at least a few days in Florence to discover the must visit attractions, but even more if you want to scratch the surface.

Read more: A complete guide to Tuscany

Wexford Ireland Guide | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

18. Road trip around Ireland

Ireland is one of those countries where it is more about the journey than the destination. Granted, there are a vast number of sites and attractions throughout Ireland to visit, but we really think the journey itself is where the magic happens. Driving around Ireland is arguably the best way to see the country, so be sure to look into car rental before you go and plan for the long journey.

Read more: You can stay at Ireland’s most impressive castle

european countries to travel to

19. Visit Lisbon, Portugal

If you fancy a capital city with vibrancy on overload, then head over to Lisbon, Portugal. This city has long flown under the radar, but in recent years has found its footing as one of the must visit cities in Europe. The city is sprawling, hilly, and offers incredible views from the higher points. Be sure to save at least half a day to explore Alfama, a central neighbourhood with flavour and flair.

Finland | World of Wanderlust

20. Visit Lapland, Finland

If you don’t mind the cold, a visit to Lapland in Finland is an experience like no other. It is here where you have a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights, as well as having the opportunity to partake in a number of unusual winter activities – like dog sledding, visiting a Reindeer farm, or hiking in the forest.

european countries to travel to

21. Go yachting in Croatia

Chances are you have heard of the yacht week in Croatia, but have you ever thought of joining it? Croatia is one of the best destinations to visit in the summer months, as it offers a huge coastline to enjoy and island hop, as well as being more affordable than Western Europe alternatives.

Salzburg Austria

22. Follow the trail of the Sound of Music in Salzburg

For fans of the Sound of Music, there is no city more appealing than Salzburg, which is also considered the most beautiful city in Austria. You can reach Salzburg by train from Vienna in around two hours, making it an option for a day trip but preferably a destination in itself. The city is incredibly beautiful to explore in itself, but many travellers make their way to Salzburg to join a Sound of Music tour. And if you loved the film, why wouldn’t you!

Read more: 101 Cities to Visit Before you Die


23. Visit the Mamma Mia Island of Skopelos, Greece

With so many Greek islands to choose from, the hardest part will be choosing which islands to visit and which to leave out. But for fans of the Mamma Mia film, the island of Skopelos is a great option. Not only was this one of the most used filming locations for the film, but it is also an incredible island to experience Greek culture.

Perast Montenegro

24. Explore Montenegro in the Balkans

The Balkans offer some of the most underrated and undervisited countries and attractions in all of Europe. But with many travelers looking to get off the beaten path, that truth is slowly changing. If you fancy going out of your comfort zone and visiting somewhere out of the ordinary, Montenegro should be top of your list. There are endless small towns and cities to visit in Montenegro, many of which are located in the Bay of Kotor.

european countries to travel to

25. Road Trip through Tuscany

A region in central Italy, Tuscany has long been considered the most romantic and ethereal region in Italy to discover. And if you want to see all that Tuscany has to offer, the best way to do this will be via road trip. With the freedom to take your travels at your own pace, you will be able to discover many small towns the locals will share with you as insider secrets, plus some of the more popular cities and towns.


26. Visit the Algarve, Portugal

Located in the South of Portugal, the Algarve will always have a special place in our heart – as this is where we hosted our first ever World of Wanderlust trip! This is Portugal’s most loved holiday destination, for both locals and tourists visiting the country. And for good reason! There are many small coastal towns to discover, but the beaches are so beautiful, they are destinations in themselves.

Harry Potter Scotland | WOW

27. Ride the train on Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Also known as the Harry Potter train, the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands is a surreal experience to have in real life, because it looks just the same as it does in the films! Be sure to book your train ticket in advance, as this has become one of the most popular things to do in Scotland.


28. Visit Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina is a country that ofter goes overlooked by travelers, especially if you don’d already find yourself in the Balkan region. But if you make your way to Croatia, then you’re really just a short day trip away! Although we think Mostar is worthy of more than a day visit, it has become an increasingly popular day trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia. This small town offers great insight into the history of the country, so be sure to join a walking tour to get a running history of the town and country.

Cotswolds England | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

29. Slow down in the Cotswolds

Outside of London, there are endless cities and towns we could recommend across England. But no destination is more worthy than joining London on the Europe bucket list, than the Cotswolds. This is a great opportunity to slow down and take your time in the English countryside. Must visit towns include Bourton-on-the-water, Stow-on-the-wold and Bibury. But there are of course many more!

Bruges Belgium

30. Visit Bruges, the most charming town in Belgium

Bruges is commonly considered one of the most beautiful towns in Europe and indeed, we have ourselves made the claim. So if you fancy photogenic small towns that are so beautiful they feel fairtytale-like, then Bruges cannot be missed.

Read more: These are the 25 most beautiful small towns in Europe

european countries to travel to

31. Visit Cesky Krumlov

Speaking of beautiful small towns, Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic is another one of our choices that tops the list. This small town is just a short drive south of Prague, toward the border to Austria. So if you’ve got time to spare in Central Europe, there really is a lot to unpack in this region. And by way of small towns, Cesky Krumlov is a must visit.

Guide to Lake Como

32. Explore Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como is one of our favourite destinations in Italy and until you visit for yourself, you never can truly grasp the beauty of this region. There are countless small towns located along the lake, many of which are best explored on foot. So jump on board one of the local ferry services and make your way in and out of the towns, starting with our handpicked favourite: Bellagio (pictured).

Read more: The best lake towns to visit across Europe

Rhine Germany

33. Explore the Rhine River, Germany

Germany is full of incredible towns to visit but if you ask us, many of these are located along the Rhine River. Certainly for romantics and couples, there are endless small towns to be discovered in this region of Germany. So if you fancy a cruise along the Rhine River or perhaps a road trip trailing through these small towns, you’ll be sure to stay busy journeying through this ethereal region of Germany.


34. Discover the Fjordlands, Norway

Norway is a destination in itself and if you ask us, you’ll need a week or two to even scratch the surface. But this being one of Europe’s most expensive countries to visit, a great way to visit Norway is in fact as part of a cruise. This way, you’ll get to experience all of the magic of the country without major expenses like hotels, food and travel from one place to the next. I travelled through the fjordlands of Norway this way a few years ago and it is a trip I will never forget.

european countries to travel to

35. Spend a weekend in Stockholm, Sweden

There are many beautiful cities in Scandinavia to discover, but perhaps my favourite of them all is Stockholm, Sweden. This city offers a bit of everything for design lovers – by way of museums, architecture, galleries, cafes, and beautiful Scandinavian furniture stores. You could spend an entire week here but for the sake of time and budget, give yourself a weekend instead.


36. Explore Budapest, Hungary

Despite once flying under the radar of European travel itienraries, Budapest has well and truly become discovered. This city is now considered a must visit destination on any Europe bucket list, so be sure to add it to yours. Located in Hungary in the heart of Europe, the city is buzzing with beautiful buildings, monuments, and of course, the famed public bath houses.

european countries to travel to

37. Visit the Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps are most popular during the winter months but if you ask us, there’s never a bad time to visit. Exploring this region by train is an easy way to kick back and take it all in, all the while traveling from one town to the next. There are many great cities to visit in Switzerland too, but once you’ve visited the alps, you’ll see why this heart stopping region is a popular destination for travelers every year.

Lake Bled Slovenia

38. Row a boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia

Fancy visiting the most romantic lake in all of Europe? Then head on over to Lake Bled, Slovenia’s most famous tourist attraction and for good reason. There are many ways to see and experience the lake – including swimming in the summer, walking or riding a bike around the rim of the lake, but my personal favourite is to row a boat to the island in the heart of the lake.


39. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

As we said earlier, Europe has no shortage of castles. And in Germany, there are certainly many to be discovered. But if you pick just one, we recommend visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the South of the country, neatly tucked away in Bavaria. This castle has a unique history and has since been dubbed the “Disney Castle” given its similarity to the logo. You can visit and tour ths castle seasonally, which is a great day trip on offer from Munich.


40. Visit Hallstatt, Austria’s prettiest lake town

Meanwhile in the central region of Europe, you might also want to add a little town by the name of Hallstatt to your Europe bucket list. This town is commonly considered the most beautiful lakeside town in all of Europe – and it isn’t hard to see why!

Read more: The prettiest lake towns in Europe

41. Ride a Gondola in Venice, Italy

If you find yourself in Italy, you are likely to stumble upon Venice, as it is one of the most visited cities in the country alongside Rome, Florence and Milan. And if you find yourself in Venice, you really must experience a gondola ride to get the full Venetian experience.

european countries to travel to

42. Visit the Acropolis, Greece

While Athens can often get a bad wrap in travel blogs and guides, there really is something so impressive and grounding about visiting the Acropolis . This ancient citadel is still preserved to this day and is certainly worthy of a visit while you transit en route to the nearby islands.

european countries to travel to

43. Attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

This list of Europe bucket list items would not be complete without mention of Germany’s Oktoberfest. The beer festival takes place annually and has become a huge drawcard for international travelers, especially those in their 20’s and 30’s seeking a fun social experience.

european countries to travel to

44. Explore Edinburgh

Many years ago we named Edinburgh the most underrated capital city in all of Europe and to this day, we stand by it. However, since then, visitors to Edinburgh have skyrocketed and the popularity of this city is now something to behold. But that doesn’t mean the charm has worn off and if you ask us, this is one of the most beautiful large cities in all of Europe. Especially for Harry Potter fans, as this is where soem of the books themselves were written.

St Petersburg Russia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

45. Explore the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia

Russia’s two biggest cities are often where you will find international travelers and that’s for good reason. St Petersburg was once the capital city of Russia, and as such has a long list of attractions to offer. But there is one such attraction we’d argue surpasses all the rest. And that is, of course, the Hermitage Museum. Once a winter palace, the Hermitage today is home to countless artefacts, art works and is itself a living history.

Dubrovnik Croatia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

46. Walk the city walls of Dubrovnik

If you find yourself in Croatia, then be sure to stop by Dubrovnik, the coastal city that has become a hot spot for international travelers. This walled city is as beautiful as it looks in films. And if it looks familiar, you might recognise the city as one of the main filming locations for popular HBO series Game of Thrones .

Guide to Ljubljana | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

47. Explore Ljubljana, Europe’s most underrated Capital City

Speaking of underrated capital cities (at this point we have named a few), you really must add Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, to your Europe bucket list. This city is quaint, charming, and especially so in the summer months.

european countries to travel to

48. Walk through history in Poland

There are too many cities and towns in Poland you must visit to name just one, so we’ll name two: Warsaw (the capital) and Krakow (the gatway to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps). Both of these cities offer insight into Poland’s turbulent past, and both are worthy of a visit on your tour of Eastern Europe.

Pisa - best day trips from Florence | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

49. Visit the most celebrated failure in architecture

The leaning tower of Pisa was in fact never supposed to be this way. But this work of architecture is perhaps the most celebrated failure of its kind, with many travelers makeing their way to Pisa just to take a photo with the icon.

Istanbul Bucket List | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

50. Visit the wonders of Istanbul

Some may say we’ve saved the best ’til last and others may catch us out on a technicality – but we’d be doing you a disservice to not mention the wonders of Istanbul! This city is the largest in Turkey and straddles both Europe and Asia, separated by the Bosphorus Strait. Across the city you will notice the many empires that have once ruled here and the many names this city has held, at the hands of various rulers. There is no other city in the world quite like it – so be sure to add Istanbul to your bucket list.


Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

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The Best Places to Go in Europe in 2024

By CNT Editors

The Best Places to Go in Europe in 2024

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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

In considering the best places to go in Europe in 2024, we asked our expert contributors to nominate the destinations that are on the up—either because of a flock of hotel openings, perhaps, murmurings of Michelin arrivals, shiny new museums, or a concerted conservation effort taking root. Across the continent, we heard about a first-time sports events in Italy ; astonishing nature and new glampsites in Scandinavia ; and an unexpected surf scene in France with heightening buzz. There are also classic Greek escapes, which are easier to reach than ever before, and Hungarian cities evolving wholesale in time for major anniversaries.

What follows is an edit of Europe's countries, regions, cities, and neighborhoods that are worthy of your time and attention in 2024—all thoughtfully selected by our editors at Condé Nast Traveller UK and Spain . It's just a fraction of what Europe has on deck in the year ahead, but it's, we feel, the best place to start. 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

Antwerp, belgium.

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

Enjoy the cocktails at August in Antwerp then head next door for dinner at the new Untitled which offers rustic dishes...

Enjoy the cocktails at August in Antwerp; then head next door for dinner at the new Untitled, which offers rustic dishes from a renowned team.

August and sister property Hotel Julien showcase the effortless cool that characterizes Belgium's most underrated city.

August, and sister property Hotel Julien, showcase the effortless cool that characterizes Belgium's most underrated city.

So often overlooked in favor of its Dutch neighbor 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. 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 htere 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 favorite. 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

Asturias, Spain

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

Sink into Asturias's mountainous landscapes at Ecoboutique's Solo Palacio in the Picos de Europa mountain range where...

Sink into Asturias's mountainous landscapes at Ecoboutique's Solo Palacio, in the Picos de Europa mountain range, where smart interiors beg travelers to stay a while.

In this lessertrammeled slice of Spain rural hotels provide a place to rest your head between days spent hiking and...

In this lesser-trammeled slice of Spain, rural hotels provide a place to rest your head between days spent hiking and visiting Michelin star restaurants. Talk about balance.

While the pandemic generated a new type of traveler—increasingly 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 travelers 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 is aiming to be the country's Gastronomic Capital for 2024, bringing together more than 200 chefs at the Euro-Toques conference in April. — Clara Laguna

Biarritz, France

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

Sunsoaked Biarritz has built on its Belle Époque heritage with hotels like Villa Magnan .

Sun-soaked Biarritz has built on its Belle Époque heritage with hotels like Villa Magnan (unsurprisingly, you may fine local interior designers sitting beside you at its restaurant).

Breathe in the salty air atop the roof terrace at Regina Biarritz a new opening from the Parisianborn Experimental...

Breathe in the salty air atop the roof terrace at Regina Biarritz, a new opening from the Parisian-born Experimental Group—and added proof that the surf town is having a comeback.

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. These travelers 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 delight, lapping up a hip surf scene (Biarritz is one of Europe’s oldest surf destinations, thanks to a bunch of Americans who visited in the 1950s) and fueling a youthful Basque culinary scene, from the thrilling Les Halles covered market to neo-bistro Epoq and Michelin-starred favorites such as L’Impertinent . — Anna Hart

Bodø, Norway

Go for: stargazing, spectacular nature, and can't-miss cultural events

The aurora borealis are one of the biggest draws for those visiting Bodø in winter, but cultural events in 2024 will means days equally full of colorful entertainment.

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 program, including about 1,000 events and an influx of people interested in creativity in all its forms. The region’s unique Sámi heritage is championed here, while striking modern expansion is seen in buildings such as the world-class, harbor-fronting Stormen Concert Hall , which can hold 900 people and will form a crucial centerpoint 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

Budapest, Hungary

Go for: a fresh take on the 150 year-old city

As the city of Budapest turns 150 an overwhelming sense of oldmeetsnew is inspired by historic attractions living...

As the city of Budapest turns 150, an overwhelming sense of old-meets-new is inspired by historic attractions living alongside just-opened hotels (such as the art deco-inspired W, above) and futuristic buildings (like the House of Music Hungary).

Renowned for its architecture, the Hungarian capital is home to 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, 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. 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

Carlsberg City District in Denmark

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

Petit fours are served at Studio a new restaurant from acclaimed chef Christoffer Sørensen. It joins a select set of...

Petit fours are served at Studio, a new restaurant from acclaimed chef Christoffer Sørensen. It joins a select set of eateries in the Carlsberg District.

From Studio's food to fashion ateliers and design houses Carlsberg is an intentional hub of creative newness in the...

From Studio's food, to fashion ateliers and design houses, Carlsberg is an intentional hub of creative newness in the beloved Danish city.

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 neighborhood. 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 modernized smørrebrød, is also here, along with Neopolitan pizzeria Surt ; Kona , a destination izakaya from former Noma chef Philipp Inrieter, 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 Carlsberg brewery itself springs back to life, with a state-of-the-art, interactive visitors’ center 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 livable density, you’re witnessing smart urban planning unfold. — Betsy Andrews

Costa de Prata, Portugal

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

Drive north of Lisbon to the quiet Costa de Prata where Areias de Seixo is one of several new hotels attracting an...

Drive north of Lisbon to the quiet Costa de Prata, where Areias de Seixo is one of several new hotels attracting an effortlessly cool crowd.

After bedding down at Areias de Seixo hit the worldclass waves lining the coast—like those Portugal's World Surfing...

After bedding down at Areias de Seixo, hit the world-class waves lining the coast—like those Portugal's World Surfing Reserve in Ericeira.

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 that 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 86 feet, 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 Costa de Prata is on track to take gold. — David Moralejo

Cyclades, Greece

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

Stylish boutique hotel Kalesma Mykonos is opening a spa in 2024 marking a hotel boom throughout the cluster of islands...

Stylish boutique hotel Kalesma Mykonos is opening a spa in 2024, marking a hotel boom throughout the cluster of islands known as the Cyclades.

It will be easy to hop between Kalesma and islands like Mykonos Santorini Paros Milos and Ios thanks to new flights to...

It will be easy to hop between Kalesma and islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Milos, and Ios, thanks to new flights to and throughout the dazzling blue archipelago.

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

Go for: new hiking and biking trails, pristine countryside views

Kosovo's untouched valleys offer the perfect canvas for multi-day hiking and biking trips—like the Trans Dinarica cycling route, opening in 2024, which will wind its way past rivers, markets, and via ferrata setups.

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 paved path will soon connect the Lumbardhi River Promenade with the popular Health Trail—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 specializes in rooms with a view and fresh trout dinners. Through-hikers can rest weary bones and fill hungry bellies further from town at rural guesthouses such as Ariu , where traditional Kosovar dishes include flija, made with dairy produced on-site. — Naomi Tomky

Mallorca, Spain

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

Whether you're looking for poolside cocktails or art installations beloved Mallorca has more where that came from in 2024.

Whether you're looking for poolside cocktails or art installations, beloved Mallorca has more where that came from in 2024.

The pool and gardens at Ikos Porto Petro a sleek resort that opened in 2023 in Mallorca add to the region's hearty...

The pool and gardens at Ikos Porto Petro, a sleek resort that opened in 2023 in Mallorca, add to the region's hearty roster of luxury stays.

The grande dame of the Mediterranean remains unrivaled 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 program and the third edition of art installation Mitico, in collaboration with Galleria Continua. — María Casbas

Northern Italy

Go for: next-level cycling, need-for-speed motorsports, and a slow travel on a new train line

No longer secondfiddle to France cycling holidays in Italy are taking off—and the north of the country is where all the...

No longer second-fiddle to France, cycling holidays in Italy are taking off—and the north of the country is where all the action is unfolding in 2024.

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 nearly 300-mile 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 the Italian Capital of Culture for 2024. — Anna Prendergast

Yorkshire, UK

Go for: star chefs leading a foodie revolution

The Abbey Inn is the latest Yorkshire opening from local foodie hero Tommy Banks—and with three luxurious bedrooms...

The Abbey Inn is the latest Yorkshire opening from local foodie hero Tommy Banks—and with three luxurious bedrooms launched in summer 2023, you won't have to travel far after indulging at one of the many Michelin-star restaurants in the area.

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-colored 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


Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel

Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel

Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

Europe Travel Guide

Europe Travel Guide

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Here's How to Plan Your Very First Trip to Europe, According to a Professional Traveler

Heading to Europe for the very first time? We've got some advice for you.

european countries to travel to

Whether you study abroad , backpack solo, or go with a group for your first trip to Europe, it's an experience that will change your life — and alter your perspective in all the best ways — forever. Even if you visited the continent with your parents as a kid, your first "solo" adventure to Europe as a young adult promises to reward you with rich memories. From digging into freshly baked pizza in Italy to picnicking beneath the Eiffel Tower with a still-warm baguette, it's a trip filled with experiences you'll talk about for the rest of your life.

Though I had visited Italy with my parents as a kid, my own first adventure to Europe as a young adult was in 2015. I was 21, newly married, and heartbroken at the loss of my father four months earlier. I had been studying British literature and European history in my college classes and was eager to make real-world connections to my curriculum. In preparation, my husband and I watched every Rick Steves video on YouTube and movies like Under the Tuscan Sun , Midnight in Paris , Notting Hill , and Eat, Pray, Love . The spring semester of my junior year ended, and we set off with nothing but backpacks containing a few (and I do mean a few) sets of clothes, a budget of about $100 per day, and five short weeks to see it all.

Besides opening our eyes, pushing us to our limits, and expanding our perspectives in ways that nothing else could, that trip ignited in us a shared passion for travel — and for encouraging others to do the same. Read on for tips for planning your first trip to Europe like a pro.

Get Around With a Eurail Pass

Do you need a Eurail pass to get around Europe? Maybe not, but I devoted a large chunk of our shoestring budget to it on my first trip, and I've bought one for every extended trip I've taken to Europe since then — even now that I've hit the ancient age of 28 and no longer qualify forEurail's discounted youth pricing — so that should tell you something.

Most of Europe is well connected via a vast rail network spanning the continent. A Eurail pass — available exclusively to non-Europeans — makes it hassle-free to hop between countries and even navigate regional trains. Depending on your travel plans, you can purchase passes for specific countries or regions and choose whether you need unlimited use or a set number of travel days.

Remember that once you're in Europe, hops between major cities are often surprisingly low-price (I've seen flights for as little as $6), but often a train is the best choice when you factor in time, convenience, price, and the chance to watch the world go by from your window. Splurge on first-class passes , and you'll always have a comfortable seat.

Plan Your Trip Geographically

Make a list of all your must-hit places, then look at where they fall on a map — connect the dots, and you have your route. Maybe you start in Spain and work your way east, or fly into London, take the Chunnel to Paris , and work your way down to Italy. Whatever you choose, ensure that your route makes sense geographically so you don't waste time (or money) crisscrossing the continent.

Keep Seasons in Mind

Europe is a large continent covering a variety of climates. It may seem obvious, but if you're planning a summer trip, don't expect to frolic in fields of Dutch tulips (that happens in the spring) or ski the Austrian slopes (that would be a winter thing). And as enchanting as the European Christmas markets look on Instagram, don't be disappointed when you put two and two together and realize that they'll only make it to your feed if you're going to Europe in November or December.

An Italian summer is nothing short of sweltering and ice-cold AC isn't a given, so if you're planning to cover all of Rome on foot at high noon, you may want to rethink that. (I learned this the hard way and damn near had a heat stroke.) A midday siesta is common in countries like Spain and Italy for a reason, so do as the locals do and take the summer weather into account before you overexert yourself.

Book in Advance

A PSA for type-A travelers like me: You don't have to have your entire trip planned out before leaving home. (I had a down-to-the-minute itinerary mapped out for my type-B husband and me on our first venture to Europe, and he almost left me as I dragged him from museum to walking tour to restaurant reservation and back again.) Part of the fun — especially if you have a Eurail pass — is going where the wind blows you and deciding what appeals to you upon arrival.

Pro tip: Taking a bus tour on your first day in a destination is a great way to get the lay of the land and cover a lot of ground quickly (without exhausting yourself).

Make a general timeline and book your departure flight from the USA to Europe before you leave home, but perhaps wait until you've hopped the pond to book your flight back. You may decide to stay longer in a particular country or run out of time to make it all the way to Portugal, where you originally intended to fly out of. Create a general outline, but leave some of your trip open and stay flexible.

The one thing you may want to do in advance is reserve hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs because they can fill up during the popular summer months. That's why it's helpful to have a general idea of where you'll be and when — just don't cling to your plan at the expense of a spontaneous sidetrack or two.

What to Bring to Europe

Start working on your packing list a few months beforehand. What you bring will vary depending on destinations, length of trip, and your fussiness level, but there are a few non-negotiables.

Don't leave home without:

  • Your passport
  • Converters for European outlets (both UK and EU, as needed)
  • A credit card and/or a debit card for getting cash out of an ATM (you'll get a better rate this way than doing it through a currency-exchange counter)
  • COVID-era items such as your vaccine card, printed copies of your negative COVID test results (if required) , and a few self-test kits
  • A secure envelope to hold all of these important documents (including a few color copies of your passport) in one place
  • An international plan added to your phone (unless you're a T-Mobile customer)
  • Global Entry (not necessary, but a definite plus when you return to the USA)

You'll also find life a lot easier with the Google Translate app and the XE currency conversion app on your smartphone. Before you depart, download the countries you'll be visiting to ensure offline availability. The Been app , where you can track which countries you've visited and how much of the world you've seen, is another fun app for travelers, especially on a trip like this where you'll be checking off a lot of countries.

And a note on packing light : You'll need nothing more than a backpack and a carry-on, max. Trust me. (There are laundry rooms at every hostel and laundromats in every city.)

Where to Go on Your First Trip to Europe

If you only have time or the budget to see a few places, start with the basics . You've likely learned about major cities like London, Paris , and Rome since you can remember — now's the time to see them through your own eyes.

Once you have the must-hit places on your itinerary, plan some additional stops according to your interests. There's a lot to see in Italy outside of Rome — I'd include Venice, Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast, Florence, and the surrounding Tuscan wine country on any trip to Italy, especially for first-timers.

Maybe you've been digging into your ancestry and found that you have Hungarian heritage like I have — Budapest was a shoo-in for us this summer — or perhaps you've always dreamed of hiking the Swiss Alps, clinking glasses in a German beer hall, or soaking up the sun in the Greek Isles .

Maybe you want to visit Poland and pay your respects at Auschwitz — I consider this sobering, heart-wrenching experience a must — or try every waffle you come across in Belgium. You can do it all if you have enough time, but start by arranging a shortlist with your top priorities and then tack on additional destinations if you have space.

These are some of the best places to visit in Europe, but the best destinations for you will depend on your interests, priorities, and goals. If you're purely on "vacation" with no remote work or school obligations, two to three days in each place should suffice, but if you can't devote your full attention each day to exploring, then you'll want a little extra time in each city to do it justice.

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Cheapest countries to visit in Europe

15 Cheapest (Yet Beautiful) Countries to Visit in Europe

Last Modified: July 8, 2023 //  by  Anda //   26 Comments

I know what you think: Europe is beautiful and I’d love to see it, but I can’t afford it now. It’s true that some European countries like Switzerland, Ireland, or Denmark have developed a reputation for being excessively expensive. But you’d be wrong believing that all of Europe is unkind to the wallet. At the other end of the spectrum, there are quite a few countries that are not only affordable, but also amazingly beautiful. So in this post I’m going to share with you some of my favorite cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Table of Contents

General considerations

Czech republic, a final word.

You may be wondering why aren’t these hidden gems as celebrated as the more expensive countries in Europe. Well for one thing, many of them lived for decades under the heavy boot of communism.

As the result, their socio-economic development was low, their infrastructure underdeveloped, and their tourism not sufficiently advertised. So not surprisingly, they rarely made the list of the best European itineraries in the past.

Most Affordable Countries to visit in Europe

When planning a visit any of these inexpensive countries in Europe, you can expect to see higher prices in the big cities, especially around the city center or in the touristy areas. But the farther out you go, the more affordable things are.

Another thing to consider is the currency exchange rate (the equivalent of one US dollar in another country). With very few exceptions, the US dollar is stronger that most currencies in Europe, which is a big advantage when you travel to the respective countries.


Despite its wild nature and untouched beauty, Estonia is a very accessible country, easy to visit and modernized (there is Internet everywhere!)

The country’s history, rich culture and beautiful architecture was influenced by the the Swedes, Russians, and the Germans, who occupied the country at various times during its history.

Top Places to Visit in Estonia

No matter where you go in Estonia you will find remnants of historic sights, and old traditions and customs. The country has many islands, each with their own unique sights and cultures to share.

Estonia’s most notable city is the is Tallinn , which is also the capital of the country. Tallinn is actually one of the best preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe.

Tallinn, Estonia, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

The country is also home to many beautiful castles. Narva Castle (also know as Hermann Castle ) enjoys a particularly beautiful setting. The castle was built in the 13th century by the Danes as a royal residence for the Danish kings. There are many other castles that you could visit, like Paide, Helme, or Keila Castle.

Narva Castle in Estonia

If you have time, you should also visit some of Estonia’s national parks, like Lahemaa (just an hour’s drive from the capital) or Soomaa National Park – a wetland that formed as a result of glacier melt from thousands of years ago.

How Much Does a Trip to Estonia Cost?

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Average hotel price per night: €44
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: €9 – €18
  • Local Transportation per person: €1.50/day
  • Average price for one week per couple: €750

Latvia is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, that somehow managed to slip under the radar of tourism. I absolutely loved this country, and especially its capital city, Riga.

If you are a fan of the Art Nouveau style and design, Riga’s architecture will absolutely amaze you. Despite the devastation suffered during the Second World War, there are still over 750 art nouveau buildings still intact in Riga.

Top Places to Visit in Latvia

After exploring the attractions in the Old Town Riga , you should visit the the vibrant beaches in Jurmala –– a gorgeous seaside resort located just a short 20 minute drive from the capital.

Jurmala seaside resort in Latvia

Also, don’t miss Gauja National Park, where you’ll see nature at its best: caves, cliffs and other rock formations that will make spelunkers feel in heaven here.

How Much does a Trip to Latvia Cost?

  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Riga: €46 € per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: €9 – €22
  • Local transportation: €3/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: €850

The fact that Lithuania doesn’t enjoy more popularity among the European countries can only be explained by the fact that people don’t know much about it. The country has plenty of attractions, but much like its fellow Baltic States Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania has only opened up to international tourism in the last few decades.

Top Places to Visit in Lithuania

Outside Vilnius , the country’s capital, the highlight of Lithuania’s attractions for tourists is most likely the city of Siauliai , with its legendary Hill of Crosses.

european countries to travel to

But if you are a nature lover, you’ll probably appreciate the Lithuania’s stunning coastline more. Especially the ravishingly beautiful sand dunes of Curonian Spit , a true natural wonder!

beautiful landscape in Lithuania, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Lithuania cost?

  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Vilnius: €39 – €46 per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: €10 – €21/person
  • Local transportation: €1.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: €620 ($739) 


With its turquoise beaches, sunburned ruins and luxury yachts, Greece may seem like one of the most expensive destinations in Europe, but it’s not. Depending on what part you visit, Greece can be really cheap. Of course visiting Athens , Santorini, or Mykonos can a little more expensive than taking a road trip in the Peloponnese . But overall, Greece is one of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe.

Top Places to Visit in Greece

Greece is one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. With thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas, a plethora of ancient ruins, sunny beaches, whitewashed villages, and tasty cuisine, it’s hard to get it wrong no matter where you go in Greece!

Acropolis of Athens

After visiting Athens , which is one of the world’s most fascinating cities, you should go island hopping. There are countless beautiful and exotic islands to visit in Greece, like Santorini, Ios, Patmos, or Mykonos , just to name a few.

buildings on the Santorini Island in Greece

How much does a trip to Greece cost?

  • Average hostel room per night: €12
  • Average 3-star hotel in Athens per night: €38
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: €16 – 24
  • Local transportation: €8/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $€850 ($1015)

Turkey’s fascinating history, engaging culture and delicious food precede its reputation. Above all else, the country’s friendly people and low prices all across the board, make Turkey one of the most desirable and affordable destinations in Europe.

Top Places to Visit in Turkey

When visiting the European portion of Turkey, you absolutely must spend at least 3 days in Istanbul . Be sure to visit the Hagia Sophia , Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar , and Chora Church while visiting the city –– and that just to scratches the surface!

Cheapest countries to visit in Europe: Turkey

READ NEXT : Where to Eat in Istanbul Without Getting Ripped Off

Turkey has attractions galore, whether you want to explore ruins such as  Ephesus , soak in the thermal pools of Pamukkale , or see some of the world’s most surreal panoramas in  Cappadocia .

Soaking in the thermal pools of Pamukkale

How much does a trip to Turkey cost?

  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Istanbul: $33 – $46 /night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: $10 – $18/person
  • Local transportation: $0.75 – $1.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $785

Romania is a country in Eastern Europe that once used to be my home. So I may be a little biased towards it, but I believe there are many reasons to visit Romania . It’s a very welcoming country, easy to visit, with beautiful scenery, old medieval towns, and an amazing cuisine .

european countries to travel to

It is also one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. Especially if you’re heading to Bucovina to explore its famous painted monasteries and untouched countryside. But even if you choose to visit its most popular destinations, like the castles and fortresses in Transylvania, or the medieval towns of Sibiu , Târgu Mures , or Sighisoara , Romania is still very affordable.

Peles Castles in Romania

READ NEXT : 10 Authentic Souvenirs You Should Buy in Romania

Top Places to Visit in Romania

There is a great abundance of unique places to visit in Romania , like the Transfagarasan highway , or the Mocanita , the last steam forestry train in Europe.

Riding the Mocanita steam engine locomotive.

Another beautiful place to visit in Romania the beautiful Danube Delta, Europe’s largest and best preserved delta.

How much does a trip to Romania cost ?

  • Currency: Leu (RON)
  • Average 3-star hotel in Bucharest: $39
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $9 – $14
  • Local transportation per person: $4.30/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $875

Bulgaria has come a long way since the collapse of communism, but it’s not my favorite country in Europe (although it’s arguably the cheapest to visit!) Sofia , the capital city, is lined with communist multi-story apartment buildings, although a few chic cafés and skinny skyscrapers pop up here and there.

buildings in Sofia, Bulgaria

But while Sofia may lack in the urban aspects compared with other European cities, finding free high-speed Internet on every street corner, makes cities like Paris and Rome look like little babies!

Top Places to Visit in Bulgaria

There are however a few interesting places to visit in Bulgaria, which will make your trip worthwhile. The country is famous for its long, sandy beaches with glitzy resorts, like the Sunny Beach, or Golden Sands in Varna , where tourists flock every summer. In fact, one of the best things to do in Bulgaria is visiting the beaches.

the Golden Sands resort in Varna

There are also many traditional fishing villages, and historical sites worth visiting along the Black Sea coast, like the historic town of Nessebar , which dates back to antiquity when it was founded as a Thracian settlement. A stroll on its cobblestone streets will bring you to the remnants of some 40 brick churches, dating back to the 5th century.

Nessebar Old Town

Another city worth visiting is Plovdiv which was voted one of the European capitals of culture in 2019. Its Old Town offers arguably the best preserved collection of traditional architecture anywhere in southeastern Europe.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Bulgaria cost ?

  • Currency: Lev (BGN).
  • Average 3-star hotel room in Sofia: $31
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $8 – $12
  • Local transportation: $2.40/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $750

Another very affordable country in Southeastern Europe is Montenegro. A remnant of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro emerged as a leisure destination only after gaining its independence, in 2006, and is today the place to go to the Adriatic.

european countries to travel to

Top Places to Visit in Montenegro

Montenegro is in my opinion the most scenic country in the Balkans, packed with irresistible medieval towns, rugged mountains and dramatic coastlines. The country’s most notable town is undoubtedly Kotor , famous for its beautiful landmarks, nostalgic atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor. But there are many other small towns and villages worth visiting along the coast of Montenegro . Like Sveti Stefan, Budva and Perast , just to name a few.

Visiting Budva in Montenegro

But the Adriatic coast is not the only spectacular place in Montenegro. Just a little more inland, on the border with Bosnia, lies the jaw-dropping Tara River Canyon , an ideal place for white-water rafting or kayaking in summer.

Water rafting in the Tara River Canyon

How much does it cost to visit Montenegro?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Old Town Kotor: $39
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $10 – $14
  • Local transportation: $10-$15/day (between towns)
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $958


Hungary is a small country in Central Europe, mostly known for its charming capital ––Budapest–– but also for its mouth-watering food , fancy Hungarian wines and friendly people . The country is filled with a lot of unspoiled natural beauty, which remains quite often undiscovered.

european countries to travel to

Top Places to Visit in Hungary

Like everybody else who heads to Hungary, you’ll want to spend at least a few days in Budapest , exploring its beautiful Old Town attractions , fantastic restaurants , and amazing cultural venues . Chances are you’ll never want to leave Budapest, once you discover its charm and friendly atmosphere. From rooftop bars and decadent baths, to jam-packed discos and quirky pubs , Budapest has an abundance of attractions to lure you in and keep you busy.

Budapest, Hungary - one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe

Budapest is beautiful even in winter , so if you want to save even more money you should visit Hungary during the shoulder season, which is actually the best time to travel to Europe .

READ NEXT : Budapest Travel Tips and Information First Time Visitors

But make sure you don’t leave Hungary before you visit some its unspoiled countryside. Or at least take a few short day trips around Budapest to see Eger, Szentendre , and Lake Balaton .

Visiting Hungary, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

How much does a trip to Hungary cost?

  • Currency: Forint (HUF)
  • Average 3-star hotel room in Budapest: $44
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $21
  • Local transportation: $5.50/day

Another inexpensive and underrated destination in Central Europe is the Czech Republic. This small country is like fairytale: dotted with castles, medieval towns, beautiful mountains, ancient ruins, and world-class wineries. 

When you speak about the Czech Republic, most people automatically think of Prague , which is definitely a gem, but it’s also the most expensive city in the country. Overall however, the Czech Republic is considered one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Czech Republic, one of the cheapest countries in Europe

Top Places to Visit in the Czech Republic

If you are visiting Czechia, go beyond Prague and you’ll discover to some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations you’ll ever experience! Head to the South Bohemian Region to experience the medieval town of  Český Krumlov , visit the Bone Church in Kutná Hora , and definitely stop in Pilsen , the birthplace of the famous Pilsner beer.

statue in Pilsen, Czech Republic

How much does a trip to the Czech Republic cost?

  • Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Average 3-Star Hotel in Prague: $58 per night
  • Dinner at a Local Restaurant: $7 to $15 per person
  • Local transportation in Prague: $5/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: Kč27,234 ($1,140)

Poland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, rich in culture, with extraordinary historic sites and scenic landscapes. The country has a large collection of very well preserved medieval cities, like Krakow, Poznanan, Wroclaw and Gdansk, each of which are worth visiting.

Old Town Krakow in Poland

Top places to visit in Poland

One important landmark not to miss is in Poland the Tatra National Park, located in south-central part of the country. The park is breathtakingly beautiful, with numerous rock formations, over 650 caves and several alpine lakes and waterfalls.

View of mountain peaks in Tatra Mountains in Poland

Also worth visiting is the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau , a sad reminder of the atrocities of WWII, and Wieliczka Salt Mine , a huge labyrinth of salt that contains salt sculptures created by miners.

How much does a trip to Poland cost?

  • Currency: Zloty (PLN)
  • Average 3-star hotel in Warsaw: $53
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $11 – $16
  • Local transportation: $4.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $936

Croatia is lovely! The food is great, the weather is good and the scenery is even better. The prices are very reasonably also, especially if you don’t travel there in summer. Croatia is definitely more expensive than some of the other countries on this list, however, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket if you find some ways to cut costs.

Visiting the town of Split, in Croatia

Top Places to Visit in Croatia

There are countless beautiful places to visit in Croatia . The best way to visit the country is to rent a car and take a road trip. You can explore the Dalmatian Coast , visit Plitvice Lakes , and stop in all the important cities along the coast, like Dubrovnik , Split , Pula, Zadar and Trogir .

How much does a trip to Croatia cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel: $45 –$60
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $15-$20
  • Transportation between cities: $10 – $15 per journey
  • Car rental: $25 – $30 per day
  • Average price for a week vacation for a couple: $1,100 (€921)

This beautiful country located on the sunny side of the Alps is a remarkable and inexpensive place to travel in Europe. From dramatic gorges, stunning river valleys and hidden waterfalls, to remote villages, attracting towns and grandiose castle, Slovenia falls short on nothing!

Kozjak Waterfalls in Kobarid, Slovenia

Top Places to Visit in Slovenia

The list of its scenic places to visit in Slovenia is quite long. You should start with its colorful capital – Ljubljana – which is one of the  best European cities to visit in December . Then take a day trip to Lake Bled , just an hour away from the city.

View of Old Town Ljubljana

Also worth visiting are the towns of Maribor where you can see the oldest vine in the world (more than 450 years) and Postojna, known for spectacular caves which have ceilings nearly 50 meters (150 feet) high. 

How much does a trip to Slovenia cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Ljubljana:  $38-$40/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $19 – $23 
  • Local transportation (bus, train or car): $16/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $930


Portugal is a stunningly beautiful country that often gets missed due to its more luxurious (and expensive) neighboring countries like France, or Italy. Lately however, Portugal started getting a lot of public attention, as a fun and energetic destination. And that’s also because Portugal is one of the very few Western European countries that you can still visit on a budget.

Lisbon, Portugal images, one of the most inexpensive countries in Europe

Top Places to Visit in Portugal

From sunny weather, historic cities, breath-taking beaches, good food, and dramatic landscapes, Portugal has it all! The most popular city that most tourists visit is Lisbon, Portugal picture-perfect capital.

Only a short train ride from Lisbon, you should visit Sintra , a beautiful historic town filled with pastel-colored villas and palaces set in a forested terrain. Also, don’t miss the medieval city of Portos with its 14th century walls, narrow winding streets, colorful picturesque houses.

castle in Sintra, Portugal

While in Portugal, you should visit the golden beaches of Algarve, which are country’s main tourist magnet, and also the rest of the coast, which is dotted with secluded coves.

How much does a trip to Portugal cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Lisbon:  $66/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $28 
  • Local transportation in the country (bus, train or car): $17.50/day
  • Average price for a one week vacation per couple: $1,350 (€1,128)

One of the Western European options list you’ll want to consider Spain, although it won’t be as cheap as other countries in Europe, like  the Balkans , or the Baltics. While popular cities like Barcelona and Madrid aren’t exactly cheap, there are many other affordable spots throughout the country. Like Toledo , Valencia, or Seville, which is home to one of the most stunning cathedrals in the world.

View of Toledo from the lookout point across the river

TIP : The best places to stay when visiting Spain are the Paradores , a chain of very affordable hotels located in historic buildings such as fortresses, monasteries, or castles. 

Top Places to Visit in Spain

In addition to the beautiful cities named above, one of the must-see places in Spain is the southernmost part of  Costa Brava , in the region of Catalonia. This beautiful region with rocky coves, serene beaches, and tranquil villages, like Tossa de Mar , deserves a top spot on any  Europe bucket list . 

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava

How much does a trip to Spain cost?

  • Average 3-star hotel room in Lisbon:  $78/night
  • Dinner at a local restaurant: $18 – $26 
  • Local transportation in the city: $2.50/day

One thing to be keep in mind when looking at this list, is that the popularity of these beautiful countries is raising fast. After the collapse of Communism in Europe, their tourist industry started developing fast and they began catching up with their neighboring competitors.

Many of these once underestimated destinations are no longer as underpriced as they used to be 10-15 years ago. So in a near future, you’ll be seeing higher prices almost everywhere in Europe. My advice would be to include these beautiful destinations in your travel plans while they are still the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

HEADED TO EUROPE? DON’T MISS THESE TIPS : How to Visit Europe Like a Pro

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cheapest countries in Europe

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

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Reader Interactions

January 18, 2024 at 4:53 am

Europe offers a diverse range of affordable yet stunning destinations, debunking the myth that the entire continent is expensive. Countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania showcase rich history, beautiful landscapes, and budget-friendly options. The hidden gems of Southeastern Europe, including Greece and Turkey, boast turquoise beaches, ancient ruins, and friendly prices. Romania, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, often overlooked, offer picturesque landscapes and cultural richness without breaking the bank.

Central Europe, with Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Croatia, features charming cities, historic sites, and natural beauty at reasonable costs. Slovenia, with its dramatic gorges and hidden waterfalls, stands out as an inexpensive gem. Even in Western Europe, Portugal shines as an affordable yet captivating destination.

July 8, 2021 at 2:41 pm

we covered about 6 countries in Europe and were really proud that we covered most countries in a short time, but after checking this list it feels like we have missed a great deal of exploring Europe. Will definitely check these countries the next time we visit Europe.

July 8, 2021 at 3:47 pm

I’m headed back to one of them myself soon, hahaha!

April 3, 2021 at 8:37 am

Great list of European countries to enjoy the rich history, culture along with architectural and natural wonders! While each of the country listed in the post is fabulous, I particularly am attracted towards Greece. It’s my cherished dream to explore this country. Other than this, I would also love to visit Portugal and Spain. Thanks for posting this list of beautiful countries in Europe that won’t break the bank account.

March 17, 2021 at 1:27 am

Wow this post made me realise how much of Europe I have not seen. I have been to Romania, Bulgaria and Portugal in this list. Other than those I still have so many other countries to visit. My friend and I had planned Greece and Turkey a long time ago but unfortunately we had to cancel our plans. I will keep these in mind for my next travel to Europe.

March 17, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Greece and Turkey are actually two of the more expensive countries on this list. If you are looking for a really inexpensive country, you should try Romania, or Slovenia. They are also unbelievably beautiful.

March 17, 2021 at 12:58 am

Well, Europe has always been somewhat of an expensive place for us. However, last year we were planning to visit Turkey and a few countries in Eastern Europe and then Covid happened! We had chalked out less expensive places and made plans for a good trip. So this post is kind of a reminder that I have to pick up that plan sometime soon. And may be add a few more countries you mentioned in my list. 🙂

Hopefully this travel ban will be soon lifted. I can hardly wait to return to Europe myself.

Ambica Gulati

March 16, 2021 at 9:54 pm

I want to take an year off and explore all the countries in one go! One week doesn’t seem to do justice to this beautiful continent. I really hope, once this COVID-19 settles down, I can plan to find work and visit these countries.

March 16, 2021 at 10:00 pm

Oh, one week in Europe is way too little, Ambica.

Chloe Beaver

March 16, 2021 at 6:31 am

I love this blog! The other great thing about visiting these cheaper European countries is that they tend to have fewer tourists, giving you an even more authentic experience. I’ve always wanted to visit Montenegro and Turkey!

March 16, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Hope you’ll visit these countries, Chloe.

Ummi Nadrah

March 16, 2021 at 3:19 am

Coming from Southeast Asia, I always find Europe to be at least 4 – 5 times more expensive than what I’m used to back home. But some things are cheaper, like fruits, cheese, and wine, so I tend to binge on those when I come visit. Hehe. From this list, I’ve been to the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and the Czech Republic. Would love to check out the rest. My current favorite is Greece. Great food at affordable price.

March 16, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Wow, you visited quite a few countries in Europe, Ummi. I agree with you, Greece is one of my top favorite countries in Europe too.

Shreya Saha

March 15, 2021 at 10:57 pm

This list is super interesting. I would really want to visit Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Even Hungary, Czech and Croatia sounds intimidating. I did not know Greece and Turkey are cheaper though.

March 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm

They are a little more expensive than Bulgaria, or Romania, but still cheaper that most Western European countries, Shreya.

March 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Just looking at this list, and the Baltics are at the top of the post. Great places to visit. However, not really cheap to visit anymore. I have property in Riga, Latvia and been going to the country since 2005, got married there, lived there, worked there etc. Unfortunately, since Latvia (as well as Estonia, Lithuania and have also seen this in Slovakia and Slovenia), when they joined the Euro currency many years ago, everything price wise went up. I used to go out all the time to restaurants, now I have to budget and most nights I will go to the supermarket and cook at my home there. I would say the Baltics are going to be the new Scandinavian countries in a few years time when it comes to costs for a visit (well, most of the buildings and companies in the country are owned by Nordic banks). 😀 I am not being funny, but its cheaper to visit Greece and Portugal than the Baltics now, thats how crazy it is, but if planned well, the countries can be done on the cheap. 😀

I don’t want to put off people visiting the Baltic’s by the way, its an amazing place! Thats my moan over. 😀 But personally, in the last year before Covid-19 came along, I went to Czechia, Poland and Ukraine…they are the cheapest for me in Europe. 🙂

March 15, 2021 at 2:34 pm

I agree with you Danik: some of the countries on this list are cheaper than other. However, when you compare them with the majority of the Western European countries, they come ahead. As I also mention in this post, the capital cities of the Baltics are indeed more expensive, but the rest of the country is not. Besides, keep in mind that for people visit from the U.S., the Baltics are not so expensive.

March 15, 2021 at 3:19 am

I have been to several of these countries but have a lot of the others still on my list especially Montenegro and Lithuania. A great post to compare travel costs once in these countries. Often Eastern European countries are overlooked which is a shame as they are incredible – Estonia was one of my all time favourite European trips.

March 15, 2021 at 12:23 pm

You are right about the Eastern European countries being overlooked.

Iuliana Marchian

March 14, 2021 at 11:40 pm

I am so happy to see that you have included my country, Romania, on this list! Cost of life here is low, indeed, compared to Western Europe, but if you travel and want to visit museum (especially take photos – you have to pay extra ticket for this throughout Romania), it is not so cheap anymore – at least for us, Romanians. Romanians usually go to Bulgaria because it is cheaper and higher quality, whereas I found very cheap to travel to Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia – in one month I hardly spent 600 euros there.

March 15, 2021 at 12:25 pm

I’m yet to visit Macedonia and Albania, but I’ve heard they are also very beautiful. As for Romania, I was born and raised there too, but when coming there from the USA everything seems really cheap!

Rob + Ann @TravelLatte

March 14, 2021 at 7:29 am

What a fantastic post, Anda! Conveniently, many of the places we want to visit most are right in this list! And you have us thinking of some new spots that we hadn’t really considered as heavily. Can’t wait to get out exploring Europe again!

March 14, 2021 at 10:46 am

Me too, Rob. I can hardly wait to go back to Europe and see my friends and relatives.

Roy Stevenson

March 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

Nice summary, Anda. I’ll be using this to plan my next European gig when we get the all-clear to travel again. Thank you!

March 14, 2021 at 10:47 am

You are welcome, Roy. Hope we’ll all be able to travel again soon.

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Home » Budget Travel » 13 Cheapest Countries in Europe: BEST Places for Budget Travel! (2024)

13 Cheapest Countries in Europe: BEST Places for Budget Travel! (2024)

If you’re dreaming of backpacking Europe – join the club! Travelling through Europe is like a rite of passage for young, bright-eyed backpackers. It’s an easy place to get started with your international shenanigans since it’s safe, easy to travel, and chock-full of other adventurers.

Oh, but… there is a but, because all the best things in life come with a small disclaimer: if you don’t watch it, travelling Europe will swallow up all your money.

What if I told you that you don’t have to work your ass off just to afford a nice holiday in Europe? That you could, indeed, have the adventure of your dreams and not even have to watch your budget all that much?

Hear ye, hear ye, all you despairing broke backpackers: there are multiple cheap-as-hell countries in Europe that you can travel through for months without breaking the bank. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of the cheapest European countries . Some of them even get close to Asian prices!

Coincidentally, these are also some of the best countries in Europe. Forget about Mykonos and Madrid – the cheapest countries in Europe are here to steal your heart.

european countries to travel to

 Cheapest Countries in Europe – All the Adventure, Half the Money!

Cheap and awesome – just how we like it.

What are the cheapest countries to visit in Europe? Keep reading to find out! Who knew that backpacking Europe doesn’t mean breaking the bank?

Note that I’ve included a couple of spots in the Caucasus, which is a part of Europe in the same way as a tomato is a fruit; scientifically, it’s true. But if you ask someone if that’s the case, they’ll be like, “ehhh…” They don’t know. I don’t know. Nobody knows. We just roll with it.

Okay, so my favourite regions in Europe deserve their own shoutout: Eastern Europe and the Balkans, I love you . Not only are they cheap, but they’re also freaking gorgeous, and full of smouldering eyed locals. Ahem, not that that is super important to me…

The hiking is off the charts and the wine is extra delicious. Basically, you want to save money and go on mad adventurers as a backpacker. And this is where you come to do it. Don’t just take my word for it, go book a ticket and fin out for yourself!

So when it comes to rounding up the cheapest countries in Europe, I leaned pretty heavily on countries in these two regions. They’re cheap and fantastic, as I said! Prepare for much fangirling – many of the countries on this list have been my favourite trips ever! What can I say? This girl loves a bargain.

european countries to travel to

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1. Bulgaria

Average daily cost: $30

european countries to travel to

Stop everything and book a flight to Bulgaria! Yes, now!

Where do I even start with reasons to visit Bulgaria ? Potentially the cheapest country in the EU, Bulgaria deserves the top spot on this list of the cheapest European countries to travel to. Because DANG – where else can you get a humongous pork-neck steak, a side of vegetables, AND a beer for like 6 euros? Germany could never .

Bulgaria is decidedly Eastern European, sure. But blame the EU-affiliation, since it feels a lot more Western or Central European than its Balkan neighbours. Its big cities are full of cultural treasures (Plovdiv was the European cultural capital in 2019), and its small towns with their imposing mountain backdrops will charm the pants off of you.

On top of that, the best things to do while travelling to Bulgaria are free. Bulgaria has some serious mountainage – so it’s big for hikers. And, best of all, it welcomes wild campers. Save your levas and pitch a good tent for the night, then hike the highest peak in the Balkans (Masala) at sunrise.

Average daily cost: $18

european countries to travel to

Have you ever heard of Moldova? Probably yes, cause you’re a traveller and travellers are geography nerds. 😉

Do you know anything about it though? Hm… that’s what I thought.

Well, backpackers come back from their escapades to Moldova with wonderful news: it’s cool, it’s hip, and it’s largely untouched by widespread tourism. Yep, even the backpacker kind of tourism.

Being one of the least visited countries on the old continent has its advantages: Moldova is also one of the coolest low-cost countries in Europe. Moldova flirts with you through its fine wine and less-travelled countryside.

Because we’re in Eastern Europe, you’ll find some very pretty Orthodox churches. Plus cave towns, castles, and princesses to rescue. One of those things I might have made up, but who’s to know?

The capital Chisinau is a chill, green city. Make sure to also visit Old Orhei, an important archaeological site.

The most adventurous adventurers can also check out the breakaway nation of Transnistria. They’ve got their own flag, currency, and plenty of moxie, but the rest of the world is yet to recognise it as a sovereign country.

Average daily cost: $24

european countries to travel to

What you might’ve thought of as just a rebellious offshoot of Serbia turns out to be a delightfully weird, thoroughly European-minded country, with tons to explore. Plus, you get bragging rights for adding a weirdo country like Kosovo to your list of countries visited. Not that anyone counts, but still.

Kosovo is probably the cheapest country in Europe – one of the best cheap European countries to visit for sure! A typical hostel bed is about $10, and a meal at a restaurant is about $5. And all the delicious, delicious burek you can eat for $1 apiece…. mmmmh .

The capital, Pristina, is home to a host of quirky attractions, including an independence monument that gets re-painted every year and a library that has been dubbed “the ugliest building in the world”. (Poor guy – I disagree.) Down south, the historical Prizren serves history and views on a platter, AND there is even great hiking for beginners (and experts!).

And never mind what you hear about this lil’ country’s rep. Kosovo is totally safe to visit. I’d stay out of the northern border areas because Serbia has still not exactly accepted that Kosovo is doing its own thing, so the vibe there can get weird.

Average daily cost: $20

ushguli mestia

Okay, okay, I promise this is the last squeeeaaak that you’ll hear from me – but seriously, backpacking Georgia is MY FAVOURITE. It’s hard not to fall in love when the country you’re courting just checks off all the boxes: great food, even greater wine, incredible mountains, friendly peeps, and very aesthetically pleasing cityscapes.

In Tbilisi, you can stuff your face with local dumplings called khinkali and bathe your pounding hangover in the underground hot springs. If there is one word to describe this city it’s ‘cool’ . In Batumi by the Black Sea, dig your toes into black, volcanic sand and party away.

People say there’s something weird in the air here, and maybe it’s the chacha fountain (freeflow vodka every night!) but I’ve never had as much fun as I did in Batumi. You could spend WEEKS exploring the many mountain trails and gorges around the country: Georgia has the best trekking in the Caucasus . 

All this travelling could get stressful if you didn’t know that it was dirt cheap. With just a few bucks, you can get whisked away to the other side of the country. Hostel beds are not much more expensive either, at around $10 a night.

And, yeah, some say that Georgia is not technically a part of Europe, but haters gonna hate. Don’t let geography get in the way of a good time.

european countries to travel to

Poland has had feet firmly planted on the traditional European backpacker trails for years. No wonder. the country is one of the best cheap destinations in Europe, easy to travel, super safe, and versatile as fuck.

They even have a desert! It’s a tiny one, but size doesn’t matter, right?

You can easily find some of the best hostels in Europe here for $10 with breakfast included. Entrance fees to attractions can put you over budget if you’re not careful but at least the beer budget doesn’t have to be too high with $2 pints.

Most backpackers have an itinerary in Krakow for a weekend of wild partying and sad Holocaust history. Maaaybe they squeeze in a few days at the capital, Warsaw.

While I love Krakow as much as the next broke dirtbag, you could literally traipse across Poland for weeks just checking off new and weird sights. Wroclaw, Poznan, and Gdansk are all just as pretty as Krakow, and need much more love!

Then there’s the Tatras – the glorious snow-capped mountain range between the border of Poland and Slovakia. Try the local smoked cheese (and bring me some too, because it’s damn delicious).

Average daily cost: $35

european countries to travel to

Look, I think we both know that backpacking Hungary is pretty much synonymous with backpacking Budapest. The capital is, after all, the glitzy, gritty, exciting centre of life in Hungary – for locals, for digital nomads, and for backpackers.

Budapest is worth its reputation and more, for sure! It’s a classic and a must on your Eastern European backpacking trip. Not only because it has ultra-cheap and very tasty food (and beer), not even because its hedonistic parties are notorious everywhere backpackers spread their gospel.

No, the coolest part about staying in Budapest is the ruin bars. Basically, they are bars that could’ve been built by Frankenstein: patchwork-y, grungy, surprising, and certified cool.

On the cultural side of things, there are real architectural gems like the Parliament building and Fisherman’s Bastion. You can also soak up your hangover at some hot springs.

But hey, I would never encourage you to spend your time in just one dirty old town. Take a trip to dance at Sziget Music Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe; see Europe’s biggest necropolis in Pécs; take a day trip to the Baroque town of Eger.

7. North Macedonia

Average daily cost: $25

european countries to travel to

Formerly known as “just Macedonia” before Greece came in and hogged the whole name. This Balkan country is eagerly awaiting entrance to the European Union AND your heart. It’s located smack bang in the middle of the peninsula so it’s almost offensive if you don’t pass through it on your Balkan adventures.

The capital Skopje is known for its crazy number of statues – there’s said to be over a hundred in the city centre. Mostly they’re new, built by the Government to “boost tourism and national pride”. Seeing that we’re talking about it here, it seems to have worked.

My favourite spots in North Macedonia are the more chill and nature-oriented ones, though. Lake Ohrid and the small shoreside towns around it are absolutely adorable, and there’s some real hiking to do as well.

Oh, and North Macedonia is not only one of the cheapest European countries to visit but also one of the cheapest in the Balkans – and if you know how affordable backpacking the Balkans is, that’s saying a lot.

8. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Average daily cost: $29

european countries to travel to

Wondering why you should add Bosnia to your backpacking itinerary? Well, first of all, if we weren’t there already, then now we’re about to enter “ cheap as fuck ” territory. But don’t let money (or your lack of it) make the decision for you; let Bosnia convince you with its pure awesomeness.

Two decades after a war that absolutely ripped the country apart, Bosnia is mostly stitched back together again. Don’t get me wrong, the country’s politics are still fucked – they erected a statue of Bruce Lee when the leaders couldn’t agree on a local hero figure that wasn’t too divisive. (One reason Bosnia is an excellent destination if you’re interested in dark tourism destinations .)

Still, the country is now totally safe to travel, as long as you stay on the well-worn trail. The countryside and unmarked mountains are still full of landmines.

Sarajevo, the capital, is like a mini-Istanbul but way more chill. Sarajevo is also one of the best cities in Europe to visit, guaranteed. You could spend the whole day meandering from one tea shop to another eating delicious little cakes, or you could take the free walking tour and learn about the tragic history of the country. 

And you can’t miss Mostar, a tiny town with rich history and beautiful small streets. Slabber up a picnic on the riverside and watch the local diving club (and sometimes daredevil tourists) dive off the 20-metre bridge over the river.

sunset over yerevan

Armenia is another one of these weirdo countries right between the squeeze of Europe and Asia. I mean yes, you could say it’s part of the backpacking Caucus journey but shhh… We Europeans like to be nice and welcoming, so for the sake of this list, we’ll say Armenia is definitely one of us.

The capital, Yerevan, is a popular weekend trip from Tbilisi, Georgia, but it’s almost criminal to leave it at that and call that backpacking Armenia. Travel in Yerevan is cool for sure; it’s brimming with art and statues of all shapes on the streets, and one of my all-time favourite sunset spots above the city. 

How about the other parts of Armenia?

Well, you have Dilijan national park, dearly dubbed the “Switzerland of Armenia” because that’s where you go to get your hike on. Further down towards the south, you’ll find small, quiet towns embraced in vineyards; one of the more famous ones being Areni. Areni is also the site of some of the most important historical findings in the region.

What makes backpacking Armenia such a cheap experience though, are the, uh, prices . You can get a hostel room for $5, a glass of wine for $2, and a train ticket for a full whopping dollar.

Just Remember: Don’t Go Diving off Without Insurance!

As safe as Europe is to travel , you never know when the road just chucks a banana peel at ya for you to slip on. There are all sorts of misfortune that can hit you on the road: lost luggage, mysterious hostel diseases, and broken toes (or broken hearts – but unfortunately you can’t claim those from any insurance).

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

european countries to travel to

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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10. Belarus


In the past, Belarus’ tourism has suffered a lot from super strict visa rules and generally being a dictatorship. (Who wouldn’t want to spend their holidays with an Eastern European dictator?) But could it still emerge as a dark horse and win the heart of shoestring travellers everywhere in Europe? Perhaps… At least it has a lot going on for it.

Minsk, the capital, is not only the city where Phoebe’s boyfriend left to do research on Friends . It’s also an interesting example of Stalinist architecture contrasted with busy squares and old churches. (The Central Square is the biggest public square in Europe!) It has a definite European metropolis feel with vibrant coffee culture and decent nightlife. 

If you’re looking for something a tad more quiet and cultural though, check out Brest and Nesvizh.

european countries to travel to

If we’re ever talking about countries with a bad rep, we’ve got a pretty good contestant for the top spot right here; Serbia was in the centre of the Balkan wars in the 90s, casually committed genocide in Bosnia, and refuses to let Kosovo go to live her best life. These days, Serbia still likes to rub shoulders with comrade Russia. Yikes.

Still, backpacking Serbia is a great adventure and a very fun time as soon as you get over all the portraits of Putin hanging all over the place. It’s a country better than its reputation, and guess what – super cheap!

The capital Belgrade is dubbed one of the most epic party cities in Europe . I’ve heard wild stories of boat bars and hedonistic shenanigans in the Belgarde night. They all seem to be true: Serbia is surprisingly big on raves. There is even a huge dance music festival, EXIT Festival, that is known all over Europe.

For mountain lovers, huge recommendations on the Tara National Park for some grade-A hiking!

12. Albania

Average daily cost: $31

european countries to travel to

Ah, Albania, the worst kept secret of the Mediterranean. The cheapest Mediterranean country is still often referred to as an “undiscovered gem”, even though it’s been firmly on the sun-tan-package holiday roster for years… It’s a gem for sure though, and if it’s still undiscovered for you, here are some good reasons to get discovered. Not to mention, Albania’s beaches are stunning.

Northern Albania = mountains. Just awesome, amazing, majestic mountains that form a part of a three-country Peaks of Balkans hike. Shkoder, the nearest city, is a chill town with nothing much going on except cuteness and coolness.

Tirana is a busy and metropolitan city with some epic sunset spots, urban exploring, and history for days. (You can even see old statues of socialist leaders; Albania used to be so socialist that they refused international cooperation with Soviet Russia and China for “not being socialist enough”.) And the seaside is parallel to that of Croatia in the sunshine and good times, except that the prices there are about a fifth of the Croatian coast.

And since I’m always talking about food (have you noticed?) I gotta mention that Albanian food is super cheap. Plus it’s the best place in the Balkans for vegetarian backpackers with way more options than other Balkan countries.

Oh, and Albanians love tourists. It’s some of the best hospitality I’ve seen in Europe. More than that, I would say peak romance; I got proposed to via Google Translate! Turns out love and sex on the road are everywhere.

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Editor’s Note: Unfortunately for our tirelessly working and author of this post… I am the editor! (Muahahahahah.) And, personally, I think it’s very interesting that there are no majority Islamic countries in the EU. There are secular states, Christian states, and there are certainly Muslims living within EU member states, but this listicle just feels… lacking.

We need some gozleme up in this bitch! Enter Turkey.

Now, Turkey is a secular society, but they are neither an EU member nor entirely on the European continental plate. Rather, they serve as the bridge between Europe and Asia.

Officially, the EU is concerned that Turkey has committed human rights violations. And to be honest, they probably have – the dictatorship is fucked, the Kurds have routinely been shafted (to put it lightly), and it’s a very large country with some rather tumultuous borders. But y’know, if we’re gonna be playing the human rights violation games… ahem… Germany – would you like to take the floor?

We can sit here and split hairs until the cows come home over what constitutes Europe (and I will!), but ultimately, Hungary is going bananas, Norway is still whaling, Kosovo is yikers, and the UK just Brexited out of that shit hot mess. And there sits Turkey being a beautiful, dreamy, and CHEAP backpacker destination.

I mean, sure, the EU might not like Muslims, but The Broke Backpacker sure does. 😉

A boat crossing the Bosphorus with a large mosque and several other minarets from smaller mosques in the distance.

Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It’s been at the centre of many historical powerhouse empires and the vibe here reflects that. The colours of the buildings, the smell of the tantalising gozleme , the echoes of the call to prayer… this is a country that reminds you what was so magical about leaving home in the first place.

The Turkish people are incredibly friendly and you won’t find it hard to make friends here! Istanbul is an especially easy place to meet up and chat with locals over the ever-famous, ever delicious doner kebab . As you venture out into some of the more rural areas, you’ll once again be treated to a delight on the senses. You’ve got epic hiking, ancient ruins, still ponds, and even fancy beaches to enjoy.

Parts of Turkey feel as if you’re stepping into another world; others are as familiar as the back of your hand. For something truly special, you could enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. As every country that made it onto the original hippy trail, there are alternative towns like Olympos and Cirali to enjoy as well.

Jam-packed full of adventure sights with a side of chilling out? What could be better! Oh yeah, Turkey is also a Ryanair destination if you love a good cheap vacation! You’ve got everything you could possibly want out of a destination rolled into one very sexy, continentally European, not quite culturally European, and definitely not in the EU, nation.

Bonus: Pockets of Cheapness in Ultra-Expensive Itineraries

Most of the inexpensive countries to visit in Europe are in Eastern Europe. Income disparities, imbalanced economies, and all that noise. That means that if you’re backpacking other parts of Europe, none of them might be across your way.

There are so many cheap places to stay in Europe but backpacking Western Europe can get expensive as hell. If your wallet needs a rest, here are a few areas that are cheaper than their surrounding countries.

european countries to travel to

(They didn’t make it on this list of cheap European countries since they’re still mid-expensive.)

  • Western Europe: Portugal and Spain, especially Andalucia
  • Northern Europe: Estonia and Lithuania
  • The Mediterranean: Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece

However, the rest of Europe isn’t exactly out of your reach either, even if your wallet is more full of dust bunnies than dollars… Learn how to travel Europe cheaply . It’s more than possible!

There you have it – The Broke Backpacker’s guide to the cheapest countries in Europe for holidays for the vagabonds and voyagers with more sense than money. Just how they teach you in budget backpacking academy of life.

Honestly, I’ve travelled most of these countries myself and I can verify that they’re AWESOME. Often I encounter a lot of prejudice from my friends about travelling Eastern Europe. Isn’t it dirty? Isn’t it completely undeveloped? Oh my gosh, isn’t it dangerous??

C’mon. The movie Hostel came out 16 years ago. How long do we have to keep fixing Eastern Europe’s reputation?

Picking any of these countries for your next backpacking destination because you want to save pennies is a good enough reason. But consider this too: heavy, filling food, the best uncrowded mountains for hiking in Europe, a side of history, and a unique culture that Western European countries have never experienced.

Off-the-beaten-path discoveries , epic parties, beautiful people. Maybe mythical creatures?

Besides, it’s just more FUN. Yep, it’s true – a lot of these countries on the list are more underdeveloped than France, the UK, or Iceland. That usually means better adventures. When I hitchhiked through Croatia and an entire tyre fell off the van in the middle of the highway, the driver pulled over, shrugged and said, “Welcome to Eastern Europe.”

Little money means bigger adventures. So, where are you headed first?

european countries to travel to

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Elina Mattila

Elina Mattila

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I’ve been to a few of these countries, they’ve all been really good experiences and worth visiting. Serbia is a hidden gem within Europe especially and it’s hard to say no to cheap beer in a lot of these countries.

The picturesque fairytale aesthetics of many Eastern European countries are often overlooked. But blogs and articles like this keep igniting the travelling spirit within me.

Eastern Europe has been by far my favorite area in Europe. Great booze, food, and architecture. Thanks for highlighting some more areas to visit Elina!

Eastern Europe really is underrated. They have so many beautiful sites and such distinct architecture I’m surprised more people don’t talk about it more often.

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12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe

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If you or a friend are planning to travel to Europe this summer, I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate any advice to help make your travels go smoother and safer. Europe is one of the busiest places for tourists over the summer months and 2024 is expected to be no exception. Here are 12 things to know before you travel to Europe. RELATED: 12 Things I Learned From Traveling to Europe This Summer

FYI: My family and I visited six countries on the continent last summer. We did a Mediterranean cruise and then continued traveling on our own. Here are 22 reasons to sail on Enchanted Princess .

1. Make Sure You Have A Valid Passport

If you’re planning to travel out of the country, make sure your passport is valid. Remember that many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months (some just three months) after your arrival date before they’ll grant entry to their country. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going for a day; if you don’t have at least six months validity, you could, and probably will be denied entry. Here’s how to renew or apply for a passport . For more, here are 10 passport tips that will save you time, money and headaches .

2. Pack Light + What Not to Pack

One of my top three travel tips is to pack light. Trust me: It will make your travel experience so much easier. When my then-girlfriend, now-wife, Natalie, showed up for our first trip together, which was just a weekend trip, she looked like a 1920s transatlantic passenger with the size of her trunk! I had to put on the brakes and show her the light.

I used to pack the same way but I learned the benefits of traveling light, like not having to pay for checked luggage, not having to show up early to the airport, not having to stand in long lines to check your bag or stand around for what seems like an eternity for your bags to come out at baggage claim (if they ever do). You also don’t have to worry about the airline losing your bag, and you’ll be able to switch to an earlier or non-delayed flight more easily and you can take public transportation to get around, which is usually faster and cheaper – especially in Europe.

Then, Natalie figured out how to pack even lighter than me and when I suggested she check a bag for one of our round-the-world trips, she looked at me like I was crazy. Now that we have kids, our carry-on days are behind us but if you can, don't check a bag. And if you have to, make sure you pop an Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag inside so you can always track your own luggage, since the airlines are currently losing record numbers of bags.

All I take is a Briggs & Riley rolling bag , which has my valuables and work supplies (laptop, tablet, chargers, etc), along with a medium-sized leather duffel bag with clothes for a week. I’ll find a place to wash my clothes when my trips are longer than seven days, which they usually are.

GOOD TO KNOW: 10 Things You Don’t Need to Pack

3. Pack an Extra Bag

If you think you might do a fair bit of shopping on your travels, then pack a zippered, lightweight bag that packs flat in your carry-on or checked suitcase. That way, if you have too much stuff, you can check an extra bag on the way back. If you purchase expensive items, then put your dirty clothes in the checked bag and carry the more valuable items on the plane.

4. Combat Jet Lag + How to Sleep on a Plane

The best way to combat jet lag is to get on the local schedule as soon as possible. I usually start doing this the day before I fly by going to bed early, and the moment I get on the plane, I set my watch to local time. I then try to sleep and eat at the times they would be doing so at my destination. If you take an overnight flight and don’t get much rest, don’t go to sleep when you arrive. Instead, fight it. Try and stay awake until at least 10pm so you can get on local time as soon as possible. Here are 10 tips for getting some sleep on a plane .

5. Call Your Credit Card Company

Tell your bank and credit card company before you leave on your trip that you are going out of the country. Let them know the places you are going and the dates you’ll be away because after all of the credit card hacking, they will put a block on your card(s) immediately and this can put a real damper on your trip. So make a quick call in advance or get online to avoid this hassle. Here's our list of credit card partners . Be sure to get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and a chip and pin. Make sure you know what your four-digit pin is because many automated machines require it.

6. Always Pay in Local Currency

One of the biggest scams I find major stores committing overseas is after they swipe your credit card and it registers as U.S., they try and make it sound like they are helping you save money by asking if you would like to pay in U.S. dollars or in the local currency. Paying in U.S. dollars would seem to be the more convenient option, but in reality, it’s not. In fact, it’s a total rip-off, since the stores and ATM machines that do this charge a higher exchange fee than your bank back home does. So, remember to always pay in the local currency of the country you're in.

7. Avoid ATM Fees

Before leaving the country, it’s always smart to check with your bank to see what ATM fees to expect. “When you use a foreign ATM, you could be charged a variety of fees, including non-bank ATM usage fees, ATM operator access fees, and international transaction fees for conversion to U.S. dollars.” That quote is directly from Bank of America, which goes on to tell its customers, “One way to limit such fees is to use your Bank of America ATM or debit card at one of our international partner ATMs. This enables you to avoid the Non-Bank of America ATM $5 usage fee for each withdrawal, transfer or balance, as well as the ATM operator access fee.” Here’s a list of Bank of America’s partners .

8. Check Your Phone Plan

Before you start using all of your apps, make sure your cell provider won’t bankrupt you. Before leaving on your trip, call your provider and ask them if you are covered for the countries you are traveling to. If not, either turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode and just use WiFi. If you have T-Mobile, chances are you will be able to get free data and inexpensive phone calls ($0.20 a minute). If you are cruising, follow this advice . If you have a new phone with an eSIM, use a company called Ubigi to get inexpensive data.

9. Download Apps like Google Maps & Google Translate

These days, you rarely have to worry about not being able to communicate overseas. People always think I speak multiple languages because I travel so often and don’t have a difficult time doing it. Sadly, I only speak English and I’m not even very good at that. However, more and more people are speaking English in the past 15 years, especially the younger generation.

During all my travels, I only once ran into a problem not speaking the local language and that was in China. But since then, there’s been so much technological innovation, including the Google Translate app ( Android and iOS ). It’s free to download and can translate over 133 languages (you can even translate dozens of languages when there's no Internet). The app also has instant camera translation whereby  you can translate text in images instantly by just pointing your camera (see screenshot above of the elevator buttons in the Hilton MUC Airport Hotel). Travelers can translate any text including street signs and menus just by holding up their camera. The translation appears as an overlay on the phone screen, just like that.

10. Get an Adapter + Power Strip

Instead of buying multiple individual plug adapters, with a power strip, you can just buy one (or if you travel a lot, then buy one multi-country adapter like this one ). That way, you can plug multiple cords in and just use one outlet. And that’s key, since a lot of hotel rooms and cabins on cruises only have one or two outlets.

11. Validate Your Bus and Train Tickets in Europe

This tip was left by reader Orit R. from Israel, who says: "I just had friends come back from the Czech Republic where they had bought bus/tram tickets. As in most European countries, this kind of transport works on the honor system, in which you must endorse [validate] your ticket when getting on the transportation. My friends thought that since they’d bought the tickets, they were okay to go. Well, the transport ticket police got on their bus and were checking all the tickets and when one of them got to my friends, he saw the tickets were not endorsed. My friends tried explaining that they were tourists and didn’t understand the language, but that didn’t help. They were 'off-loaded' at the next station and taken to the police station, where they received a hefty fine. They were on their way to a prepaid tour, and of course, due to time they missed their tour." Many European countries have this system so don’t forget to validate your bus, train or boat ticket if it’s required.

12. Tipping

Tipping has gotten out of control in the U.S. I'm now being asked to tip on takeout and using automated machines. Fortunately, it's not like that in Europe as employees are paid a living wage. Of course, tips are appreciated but they aren't always expected. The amount really depends not only on the country you're in. Rick Steves has a good post on it.

This post was originally published in 2015 but has since been updated with current information.


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12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe

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Naked? With Strangers? In Europe, It’s How You Relax at the Spa.

Austria and Germany abound with popular resorts called thermen where getting the full sauna experience typically means having to take it all off.

An illustration of many people of many different ages and skin tones wearing no clothes, lounging in a flowery garden and a sauna. Leaves, flowers, books and steam inside the sauna obscure the bathers’ breasts and other private parts, and in the background, there is a bright blue lake and a snow-dappled mountain range.

By Valeriya Safronova

Valeriya Safronova, who is based in Vienna, steamed and soaked at three nude spas while reporting for this article.

Had I ever seen so much bare flesh in one room? Naked in a mixed-gender Austrian sauna, I sat opposite two dozen other nude people on wooden benches. Even after more than a year of living in Europe, as an American, I still felt a little uncomfortable sitting there in nothing but my own skin.

The sauna master came in to warm things up. Tall and lanky, wearing just a towel wrapped around his hips, he wheeled in a cart with several grapefruit-size balls of crushed ice infused with essential oils like black pepper, lime and eucalyptus. After a short speech telling us to leave immediately if we felt dizzy, he placed one of the ice balls onto a tray of hot coals, and it began to sizzle. The smell reminded me of an expensive aromatic candle: a touch sweet, a touch spicy.

He twisted forward, backward and sideways with a large towel clutched between his hands, like a half-dressed matador, moving the air around the room with a singular goal: to get us very, very hot, as part of a sauna ritual called aufguss, German for “infusion.” As I watched, mesmerized, I began to forget my awkwardness — or that I was even naked.

No swimsuits allowed

Austria and Germany abound with spas called thermen — resorts with pools, saunas, lakes, restaurants, bars and treatment areas. Typically, they have a warm mineral spring, and a section where nudity is required. Walk in wearing swim trunks and you’ll get glares and maybe even reprimands.

I had traveled to St. Martins Therme & Lodge in Frauenkirchen, a small town about an hour southeast of Vienna. St. Martins stands next to a serene, shallow lake where guests can swim in the summer or take a cold plunge in winter. At the center of the therme is an atrium with a pool that has indoor and outdoor areas connected via a tunnel, floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the lake and several levels of balconies with rows of lounge chairs. The complex has five saunas and a steam room; 11 thermal pools; a treatment area with massages, facials and more; a restaurant; and a cafe. A day pass is 53 euros, or about $58.

After about five minutes of intense sweating in the sauna, we moved on to the second stage of the aufguss: Still naked, we filed outside into a courtyard with a whirlpool and walls covered in vines. My skin was so hot that the normally stinging 40-degree November air felt like a balm. An attendant handed each of us scoops of a salt-and-coconut-oil scrub, which we dutifully rubbed into our skin.

Thoroughly scoured, we returned to our perches inside, where the sauna master whipped out an oversize fan and spent the next six or seven minutes in a hot-air crescendo. After about 15 minutes total, the aufguss ended, and we flooded back out through the door, our bodies bright red and steamy.

Sit back, relax and ‘don’t stare’

The aufguss is just one of the joys of a day at a therme, which might also include a body treatment, a soak in a heated outdoor pool with rotating jets and a fresh schnitzel with an icy glass of wheat beer or sparkling apple juice. For locals in German-speaking countries, the aufguss is a hugely popular pastime, especially in the late fall and winter.

“I really enjoy it after a week of hard work, or when I just need relaxation, or if my body is really tense and my muscles are really stiff,” said Laura Blumenstiel, 29, a psychologist from Freiburg, in the southwestern corner of Germany, who has been a frequent visitor to thermen for about decade.

Typically, a therme complex is divided into two sections: one with several heated indoor and outdoor pools, where bathing suits are required and children are allowed, and a second that usually contains all the saunas, where clothing is verboten.

For some Americans, including me, nudity, especially in a mixed-gender environment, can initially feel extremely uncomfortable. Keon West, a professor of social psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, explained that cultural standards often affect what level of nudity people find tolerable: In some places, seeing women with their hair uncovered might feel racy, while in others, stripping down on a public beach is perfectly acceptable.

“You might think the Germans are a bit risqué, whereas they think they’re normal, and you’re a bit silly,” Dr. West said.

In countries like the United States, he said, there is a “highly sexualized and puritanical culture, where sex is tightly controlled. Attitudes are generally much more conservative concerning what women do and women’s bodies. In Europe that tends to be less of the case.”

In a number of studies, Dr. West and his team have found that being naked around others can increase self-confidence and life satisfaction. “If you go to a naturist event, you see a lot of normal people, people who aren’t airbrushed and aren’t Beyoncé, and you realize you don’t look bad compared to the average person,” Dr. West said. “And you spend time naked in their company and nothing bad happens. No one says anything bad to you, no one laughs at you.”

Some Americans have found that the discomfort of being nude in the sauna is fleeting and has a worthwhile payoff.

After moving to Graz, Austria, Amy Feineman, 38, a saddle fitter originally from Colorado, made the hourlong drive to Rogner Bad Blumau , a colorful, trippy therme and hotel designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian architect who believed that “the straight line is the curse of our civilization.” At the therme (day visit, €57), this philosophy translates to wavy floors, circular buildings with uneven ceilings, and bright orange, blue and green mosaics. On their first visit, Ms. Feineman and her husband skipped the nude sauna area, instead exploring the pools and outdoor gardens partly clothed. But on their second visit, they felt brave enough to bare it all in the sauna area.

“It took us most of our first day there to build up the courage to check it out, and then we spent most of our time there,” Ms. Feineman said. “I’m a plus-size person, and in the U.S., I would never wear a bikini in public. Here, I’m happily walking around the nude area.”

Ms. Feineman and her husband are regular guests at Rogner Bad Blumau now. Her main piece of advice for other nervous Americans? “Don’t stare,” she said. “And don’t worry about them judging you either.”

The most basic entry ticket to a therme, with the sauna section included, usually costs from €40 to €65, depending on how fancy or large the complex is. Typically, thermen offer at least three ticket options: a three- or four-hour pass, a day pass, and an evening pass. For example, Therme Erding in Germany, about an hour northeast of Munich, has 24 saunas and a large indoor-outdoor pool in the nude section, and costs €62 for an entire weekend day.

The best way to experience a therme is to relax and settle in for at least a half day. Bring a book. Schedule a massage, a facial or a “soft pack,” a treatment in which a massage therapist rubs a hydrating cream into your skin, then leaves you ensconced in a contraption that’s a cross between a sleeping bag and a warm water bed.

Thermen usually offer packages that encourage daylong retreats. For example, St. Martins, where my aufguss odyssey began, has an option that costs €107 and includes a bathrobe, slippers, unlimited towels and snacks.

Sweltering with a soundtrack

The sauna master was playing pulsing Austrian pop music and handing out bottles of cold, nonalcoholic beer to the 40 or so of us gathered at Alpentherme Gastein , about 90 minutes south of Salzburg (day visit, €45.50), for a party-themed evening aufguss. The balls of crushed ice flashed from the lights shining beneath them, and he encouraged us to chat, a rarity in most saunas.

Aufguss sessions come in all different types. Some sauna masters blast Metallica, while others prefer calming beats. Some dress up as Vikings. But there are two immutable rules: No clothes, and don’t enter an aufguss once it’s started (you can leave anytime).

A few other tips: Always sit on a towel in the dry saunas, claim your spot at an aufguss a few minutes early (the higher you sit, the hotter you’ll be), don’t bring your phone into nude areas, and shower before entering.

I had come a long way toward embracing my naked self by the time I sat down in the party-themed aufguss and started grooving to the music. It required a little bit of letting go: of my fears, of my ego and of my control. Glancing around — without staring, of course — I could see that no one around me looked like Jennifer Lopez or Jeremy Allen White. We were all just beautiful lumps and bumps.

Was anyone judging my body? To be honest, I was way too hot to care.

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A cruise ship at the end of the square at San Marco in Venice which is crowded with tourists between the old buildings

Entrance fees, visitor zones and taxes: how Europe’s biggest cities are tackling overtourism

From Seville to Venice to Amsterdam, Europe is learning to improve locals’ lives by curbing tourists’ enthusiasm

O riginally built for the grand Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, Seville’s ­flamboyant neo-Moorish Plaza de España has for nearly a ­century been one of the city’s major ­attractions, an ornate ­showcase for Spanish architecture and ­decorative tiling.

But the several thousand visitors from around the world who throng the plaza every day, on foot or in horse-drawn carriages, may soon have to pay for the privilege, with proceeds from a planned entry fee going towards its upkeep.

“We are planning to close the Plaza de España and charge ­tourists to finance its conservation and ensure its safety,” Seville’s mayor, José Luis Sanz, announced on X last week, posting a video showing missing tiles and damaged facades.

Sanz made clear local ­residents and visitors from Andalucía ­province would not have to cough up to visit the plaza, which served as a backdrop in a Star Wars film, and is used regularly for concerts, fashion shows and theatrical performances.

Many residents objected to the scheme nonetheless – but their ­criticism was mostly that it would be complicated to administer and not very effective. Far better, many locals said, would be a hefty tourism tax on all visitors to Seville.

“Mass tourism,” said one, “is destroying our city.”

It’s a refrain heard in historic ­cities across Europe , from Prague to Barcelona, Athens to Amsterdam. Mass tourism, promoted by cash-hungry councils since the 2008 crash and fuelled by cheap flights and online room rentals, has become a monster.

After plummeting during Covid, tourism numbers are soaring again and set to exceed pre-pandemic ­levels this summer. The number of low-cost airline seats in Europe, which rose 10% annually from 2010 and hit 500m in 2019, could pass 800m in 2024.

A sticker saying “Tourism kills the city” with a skull and crossbones image on a post in Barcelona

Before lockdown, Airbnb, the ­biggest but far from only ­platform for short lets, saw triple-digit growth in some European ­cities. The net result is that the most ­popular city break destinations now annually host 20 or more visitors for each local.

What to do about it, though, is no easy question. Delicate ­balances need to be struck between the much-needed revenues and jobs generated by tourism, and the ­quality of life of residents; between managing tourism and ­discouraging it.

One strategy that Seville – 3 million tourists a year for 700,000 inhabitants – may adopt is to charge for the big attractions. Since January, foreign visitors to Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, which gets about 3.5m ­visits a year, have been paying €25 for the privilege.

Venice is so overrun by visitors it has introduced what amounts to an entrance fee for the entire city, ranging from €3 to €10. Paris has almost trebled its tourist tax rates, from – depending on area and accommodation type – €0.25-€5 to €0.65-€14.95.

A dense crowd of tourists in sunglasses, some in baseball hats, others in vests, stand with the Acropolis in Athens in the background

Other cities are relying on better management – Athens, for example, last summer introduced a time-slot system for visits to the Acropolis, while summer access to Marseille’s Calanques is now regulated through a free reservation scheme.

Some places are launching ­information campaigns aiming to reshape tourist flows. France, where 80% of visits are concentrated in 20% of the country, will this spring roll out a €1m campaign urging domestic and foreign tourists to head more off the beaten track .

From Mont Saint-Michel and the ­seaside resort of Étretat in Normandy to the Atlantic beaches of the south-west and the Riviera, ­peak-season influxes now threaten the environment, locals’ quality of life and the visitor experience, authorities say.

They are also setting up a tourism observatory to accurately measure flows and identify possible overloads. “France is the world’s biggest tourist destination, but we have a serious lack of data to help manage the crowds,” the government said.

Some anti-tourism ­measures, however, turn out to be just rumours. Last summer, the walled Croatian town of Dubrovnik, said to be the most over-visited ­destination in Europe, with 36 ­visitors per resident, was widely reported to have banned wheelie suitcases.

In fact, as part of a Respect the City campaign urging visitors to dress appropriately in the historic centre and avoid climbing on monuments , the town hall had just asked them to carry their bags over cobblestones to reduce the noise level for locals.

The Netherlands

In the capital of the country that coined the term overtoerisme , ­tourist might be a dirty word – but Amsterdam is also increasingly ­desperate for visitors’ cash.

A plan last March to dissuade partying young British men with “stay away” videos warning of fines, hospital and criminal records made headlines worldwide. It’s unclear what effect it had, though, as Amsterdam’s overnight tourist numbers last year hit almost pre-pandemic levels at 9 million – 21% more than in 2022.

A soft-soap Renew your View campaign highlighting positive aspects off the beaten track (rather than sex and drugs) launched in November. Meanwhile the city is expected to expand its stay-away campaign to dissuade nuisance tourists from Germany, France, Spain and Italy after the summer.

A crowd of young people and lots of bicycles outside a cannabis/coffee shop

Since last spring there has been a ban on smoking cannabis in ­public space in the red light district, while bar closures at 2am instead of 4am have reduced street numbers by between 30% and 60%. However, after complaints about safety, sex-worker brothel windows are open until 6am again rather than 3am.

Amsterdam is reducing the number of licensed B&B premises by 30%, has voted to close a city centre cruise terminal and is trialling tougher licensing measures to remove “rogue” tourist businesses such as candy shops suspected of being criminal fronts.

The council says it is monitoring tourist numbers to try to maintain a balance. But multimillion budget shortfalls and a bill of billions to repair crumbling canalsides mean tourism is essential for Amsterdam: this year, the tourist tax rose from 7% to 12.5%, the highest in Europe , with a day tax of €14 a head for visiting cruise ships. Senay Boztas

Spain received 85 million ­tourists in 2023, nearly 2% up on pre-­pandemic 2019 – and in a country where ­tourism generates 13% of GDP, after the economic ­devastation of the Covid years, voices ­calling for curbs on numbers have been ­virtually silenced.

The hospitality business, however, continues to chant the mantra of quality over quantity – nowhere more so than in the Balearic Islands, where a new law is being drafted to crack down on drunk tourists.

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Last year about 15 ­million ­people visited the Balearics (­population 2 million), more than half British and German, with a ­significant percentage coming for what the regional government calls “tourism of excess”: a week-long drinking binge.

The new law to crack down on booze tourism is expected to be in force when the season kicks off at Easter. Under a 2020 law, areas such as Magaluf in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza were named as ­trouble spots.

Heavy fines were imposed for “balconing” (leaping into a pool from a balcony), shops were banned from selling alcohol after 9.30pm, and organised pub crawls, beach parties, party boats and two-for-one happy hours outlawed, Local businesses faced fines of up to €600,000.

But after areas such as Magaluf complained of being stigmatised, the new law will focus more on ­individuals. Among the planned measures are deportation for antisocial behaviour and a blacklist of people banned from visiting the islands.

Lawyers warn that this would infringe the EU’s principle of ­freedom of movement, although as the UK is no longer a member, rowdy Brits – who are among the worst offenders – could soon find themselves personae non gratae . Stephen Burgen

After years of talk, Venice is the first major tourist hotspot in Italy to introduce an entrance fee for day trippers. The measure kicks off at the start of peak season on 25 April, and in a first experimental phase will apply only on certain days until 14 July.

The €5 tickets have been bookable online since mid-January. Time will tell whether the controversial initiative works, but with visitor numbers back to pre-pandemic levels – an average of 40,000 day trippers on peak days – and the perennial threat of the fragile lagoon city losing its Unesco heritage status, authorities were forced to act. The city is also poised to limit tourist groups to 25 people from June and to ban the use of loudspeakers because they “generate confusion and disturbances”, Venice council said in late December.

Florence has long suffered from similar overtourism woes and an exodus of residents from its historic centre, prompting the council in October last year to ban new short-term lets in the historic centre from Airbnb and similar platforms.

The city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, said that while the initiative was not a “panacea”, it was a “concrete step” for tackling the issue in a city with a population of about 720,000 that records, on average, more than 16 miilion overnight visitor stays a year.

Elsewhere in Italy, drivers along the Amalfi coast will again be hit by a measure aimed at ­preventing a perpetual jam along the ­winding 35km coastal road described as “a nightmare” by locals. Cars with number plates ending in an odd number are allowed to use the road one day, and those ending in an even number the next.

In Cinque Terre, another Unesco site, local authorities are also pondering how to manage overtourism. “We don’t want fewer tourists, but we want to be able to manage [tourism] in a sustainable way,” Donatella Bianchi, president of Cinque Terre national park, said last month. Angela Giuffrida

In Greece, one of the most ­visited places in the world, soaring ­tourist numbers are not only ­straining infrastructure on island idylls but increasingly stretching ­capacity in Athens, where residents, as ­elsewhere, are up in arms.

Once a stopover for travellers en route to isles, the Greek ­metropolis is now a “must-see” destination in its own right, drawing more than 7 million tourists – an all-time record – in 2023, with Americans and Britons topping arrivals.

To cope with an influx that is only expected to grow when the Asian market rebounds, Greek authorities have announced that crowd control policies – implemented in pilot form at the Acropolis in September – will be expanded to other archaeological sites next month.

A cruise ship docks at Mykonos.

Last year, at the height of the ­season, more than 20,000 ­tourists a day climbed the hill to see the fifth-century BC site. “We got to the point of as many as 23,000 a day,” the Greek culture ­minister, Lina Mendoni, said. “Tourism is ­obviously desirable for the country, for all of us, but we have to ensure overtourism doesn’t harm the monument.”

The visitor zone scheme, in ­operation from 8am to 8pm, aims to ease congestion, with authorities introducing a time-slot system, ­electronic ticketing and fast-lane entry points for organised groups. “It will help ensure the safety of the monument and those who work there, and improve the experience of visitors,” Mendoni said.

Museums will also cap visitor numbers from April.

The spectre of the country enjoying another bumper year of tourism has been met with mounting fears among environmentalists on islands where communities have increasingly struggled with waste management, water scarcity, insufficient public services and illegal construction.

In the face of local disgruntlement the government has been forced to step in. On Santorini, where complaints of ­oversaturation have grown steadily over the years, a berth-allocation system for cruise ships was introduced, with the number of disembarkations in any 24-hour period being limited to 8,000 passengers.

On Mykonos – like Santorini, one of the most popular islands in the Cycladic chain – authorities have clamped down on illicit construction, bulldozing illegally built bars and eateries in prime sites. Helena Smith

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    43. Attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. This list of Europe bucket list items would not be complete without mention of Germany's Oktoberfest. The beer festival takes place annually and has become a huge drawcard for international travelers, especially those in their 20's and 30's seeking a fun social experience.

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    1. Marbella, Spain. Marbella, European Best Destination 2024. EBD. This year's winner is a destination that drew 149,192 votes, a record since the creation of this competition, placing Marbella ...

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    1. For history lovers: Greece. Greece, often hailed as the best country to travel to in Europe, is where timeless history and modern vibes meet. Picture yourself in Athens, standing in the shadow of the majestic Parthenon, feeling like a character in an ancient myth. But Greece isn't just about the past.

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    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 ...

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    MONTENEGRO. Another very affordable country in Southeastern Europe is Montenegro. A remnant of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro emerged as a leisure destination only after gaining its independence, in 2006, and is today the place to go to the Adriatic. The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

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    Here are some basic guidelines for how many places you can visit depending on how much time you have: With 7 days: 2 cities OR one city with day trips. With 10 days: 3 cities OR 2 cities with day trips. With 14 days: 4 cities OR a road/train trip through one or two countries. Barcelona, Spain.

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    Kosovo is probably the cheapest country in Europe - one of the best cheap European countries to visit for sure! A typical hostel bed is about $10, and a meal at a restaurant is about $5. And all the delicious, delicious burek you can eat for $1 apiece…. mmmmh.

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    Visitors from the EU, Schengen travel areas and green list countries can enter Finland with no travel restrictions. The Finnish Border Guard gives advice on cross-border traffic by phone and email.

  21. Best Cheap European Vacations for 2023-2024

    Reykjavik. #14 in Best Cheap European Vacations for 2023-2024. Iceland's capital can easily be enjoyed on a budget. Rent a bed at one of Reykjavik's affordable hostels for less than $35 per night ...

  22. Welcome page

    System for registering non-EU nationals travelling for a short stay in 29 European countries ... Go to EES website. ETIAS. Travel authorisation for visa-exempt travellers to enter 30 European countries (starting in mid-2025) Go to ETIAS website. Share this page New requirements to travel to Europe.

  23. 12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe

    1. Make Sure You Have A Valid Passport. If you're planning to travel out of the country, make sure your passport is valid. Remember that many countries require that your passport be valid for at ...

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    At the therme (day visit, €57), this philosophy translates to wavy floors, circular buildings with uneven ceilings, and bright orange, blue and green mosaics.

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  26. Best places to Visit in Europe

    These are your bucket lists of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe. Discover the best destinations for Christmas, the most beautiful beaches in Europe, the best summer festivals, the best family destinations, the most romantic destinations, the hidden gems or the best fairytale destinations and many more. There is so much to discover ...

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