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  • European Best Destinations 2022

The best places to visit in Europe selected by travellers

europe travel ideas 2022

Best places to travel in Europe

Over half a million of travellers from 182 countries have voted for the European Best Destinations 2022 .

Out of over 400 destinations, discover the 20 most voted destinations awarded the title of "Best European Destinations 2022".

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

Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Countries to visit in Europe , Most Beautiful Islands in Greece , Most Incredible Castles in Germany , Best Secret Destinations in Italy , Most Amazing Nature Wonders in Austria , Most Beautiful Beaches in Portugal or Spain and much more…

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

europe travel ideas 2022

1. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana  is a city for curious and adventurous souls. The city is a treasure trove of exciting secrets and natural joys. The proud green capital of Slovenia invites all vagabonds who are hungry for culture, art, entertainment, and large green areas, which provide a relaxed atmosphere.

It's not just travellers from all over the world who visit Ljubljana , the capital of Slovenia. Whole delegations of mayors, environmental advisers and town planners visit Ljubljana to understand the green miracle of this unique capital in Europe.

Earlier than other European destinations, Ljubljana opted for a pedestrianized historic center. In its heart, while strolling from a trendy boutique to an authentic store, a trendy restaurant or a trendy café, you can hear birdsong.

The conglomerate of colorful history and natural heritage adorns the great heart of Ljubljana . Your first visit will definitely not be your last. Ljubljana ’s authentic charm is most enjoyed by those travellers who keep coming back for the wonderful culture, cuisine and varied city life.

This year, b ook your flights to Ljubljana as well as your accommodation , tours and activities in Ljubljana and discover the European Best Destination 2022.

  Best for:  Nature,  City break, Foodies, Culture, Instagrammers,  Lovers, Families. 

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Ljubljana.

  Covid-19 latest information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/SVN/7001

  Where to stay:  " Hotel Heritage “ situated in the real heart of Ljubljana.

Marbella European Best Destinations 2022

2. Marbella, Spain

Thanks to your votes, Marbella can also bear the title of "European Best destinations 2022. Capital of the sun in Europe, Marbella is the preferred destination for travellers looking for relaxation, shopping, refined hotels and restaurants, also local handcrafts, golf, outdoor sports, elegance and refinement for unforgettable holidays.  

Thanks to the work carried out by the City Council, Marbella also attracts more than ever  digital nomads, sports enthusiasts, gourmets, but also companies and investors . Marbella develops sustainable and responsible tourism of very high quality and is an example of good practice at European level. 

Depart from your 4- or 5-star hotel and recharge your batteries on Puerto Banus Beach. At noon, indulge your taste buds in a Michelin-starred restaurant or tapas bar in the historic center of Marbella . The authentic alleys with thousands of flowers and plants hanging on the walls and balconies are the inimitable signature of this destination which has been number 1 in your heart for decades.

Marbella ’s warm microclimate and year-round sunshine make it an outdoor sports paradise. This sunny destination is also first ranked among the  most prestigious & exclusive destinations in Europe .

Book your flights to Malaga (40 min by car or public transport) and your accommodation and tours and activities in Marbella and discover the Best destination in Spain  and one of your top 3 European destinations 2022 .

  Best for:  Beach, Sun, Nature, Golf, Foodies, Shopping, Outdoor Sport, Lovers, Families.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights    to  Malaga Airport and your transfer .

  Covid-19 latest information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001

  Where to stay:   " Marbella Club Hotel " is a luxurious beach front hotel in Marbella.

Amiens European Best Destinations 2022

3. Amiens, France

Would you like to take an extraordinary journey in the footsteps of Jules Verne , find yourself in a peaceful haven of canals and floating gardens, discover the most beautiful and largest cathedral in France  and enjoy a great family holiday ? Look no further: Amiens is the destination to put at the top of your travel wish list .

Ideally located in the heart of the Paris-London-Brussels triangle, Amiens is a lovely town ranking as the 4th greenest city in France . As the only French city to have three UNESCO heritage listings and dominated by its imposing cathedral, Amiens shines with its stunning architecture and natural heritage.  Amiens was the source of inspiration for Jules Verne when he settled here in 1871. The famous author left his mark on the city; his influence is visible in every corner of the streets in Amiens . 

Amiens is also home to an international garden festival to be discovered in the famous Hortillonnages site   voted the  most beautiful City Park in Europe .   The Hortillonnages, a 300-hectare green paradise in the heart of the city, can also be explored on foot, by bike, in a rowing boat, in a kayak or even on a paddle.

Don't miss the must-see Musée de Picardie, hop on a bike and head to Amiens Zoo, a real island of biodiversity where endangered species are protected in the peace of nature. Get on the little touristic train or take a horse-drawn carriage ride: both take you through Saint-Leu, a typical historic district marked with colourful houses. This is an ideal place to taste some local specialities such as “ficelle picarde”, or to have a drink in the evening on one of the many terraces along the Somme river.

Above all, Amiens is a city where people like to relax. You don't have to rush from one place to another; just experience the friendliness of the inhabitants, the gentle bustle of the pedestrian shopping center or immerse yourself in the nature.

  Best for:   Families, Nature Lovers, Culture, City Break, Foodies.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Paris (1h) or Brussels (3h).

  Covid-19 latest information:

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/FRA/7001 

  Where to stay:     “ Hotel Marotte ” offers a tea room, a champagne and wine bar.

Plovdiv European Best Destinations 2022

4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Did you know that Plovdiv , besides being one of your European Best Destinations 2022, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and one of the most ancient in the world? As the main cultural centre of Bulgaria,  Plovdiv  deservedly won the title of European Capital of Culture 2019. 

The city is home to impressive monuments of antiquity – the 1st-century theatre, the Roman Stadium from the 2nd century, the Ancient Forum, fine examples of Roman mosaic heritage, seen in The Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis (4-6th century) and in The Small Early Christian Basilica (4-6th century), and others.

Plovdiv Old Town, the city’s finest gem, is a cultural phenomenon that enchants with its beautiful and richly decorated Revival houses. Thanks to the economic and cultural impulse carried by the Mayor of Plovdiv, Mr.  Zdravko Dimitrov  but also the Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture & Tourism Mr. Plamen Panov and the Tourism Department of Plovdiv this destination is also ranked first among your  Best Cultural Destinations in Europe 2022.   Plovdiv  has also been the  most voted Bulgarian destination  since the creation of this competition in 2009.  

Plovdiv is the city in which millennial history, culture and heritage are in harmony. Ancient and eternal, artistic and modern, cosmopolitan and romantic, this city is so captivating and full of life.

  Best for:   Culture, Architecture, Instagramers, Foodies, UNESCO, Lovers, City Break, Wine lovers.

  Nearest airports:    Book your flights to Plovdiv.

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/BGR/7001

  Where to stay:   " Plaza Hotel Plovdiv " offers an airport shuttle service from Plovdiv Airport.

leuven-belgium-best-destinations-2022

5. Leuven, Belgium

Welcome to Leuven , a picturesque city in the heart of Belgium, an ideal destination for an exciting all year round city break with your friends, family or individually, a destination awarded among the " European Best Destinations 2022 "

Thanks to its rich and varied offering in heritage, art, culture, science, beer, gastronomy and shopping , this town is an invite to stroll and discover. Moreover, it’s very easily accessible and everything lies within walking or biking distance. The moment you walk out of the Leuven Railway Station, you can already feel the radiation of a hip & urban vibe in an historical setting, guaranteed to draw you into its vibrancy. 157 nationalities from all walks of life call it home and are the beating heart of this 21st century-old university town. 

This attractive destination is also on the first place of the podium of the Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe , a ranking of destinations actively working on accessibility, social diversity, solidarity, tolerance, respect and living together. 

Enjoy shopping in attractive, car-free shopping streets , from eco fashion to major chain stores, from markets with local products to souvenir and gift shops. You are in the land of chocolate, beer and gastronomy so don’t forget to drop by one of the many cosy cafés and charming restaurants you can find one around every corner. Home to the legendary and world-famous Brewery Stella Artois , Leuven has an incredibly rich brewery history (goes back to 1366!). It’s without a doubt the capital of beer. Experience the local breweries in action and enjoy a wonderful beer after your tour.

Book your flights to Brussels-Zaventem Airport as well as your accommodation in Leuven and discover one of the "European Best Destinations 2022"  and the best Belgian destination to visit in 2022.

  Best for:  City Break, Events, Culture, Gastronomy, Shopping, Instagram, Lovers, Friends.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Brussels-Zaventem Airport (20 min by public transport or car).

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/BEL/7001

  Where to stay:  " PentaHotel Leuven ". The Grote Markt is 400 m away.

European Best Destinations 2022 - Oradea

6. Oradea, Romania

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, Oradea is one of your must-see destinations in 2022.

Oradea is a city that fully enjoys each season and pumps live energy in a surprising architectural landscape, becoming one of the region’s best-known destinations for slow and stress-free tourism .

Situated on the western Romanian border, at only 490 km from Vienna, Oradea breathed in the influence of the occident in every moment of its long history. The architectural patrimony in Oradea is so unique that the city has been voted the  most beautiful Art Nouveau town in Europe .

Oradea is the city of the young, of health and relaxation. It was voted the “ Most beautiful city in Romania ”. Boosting an incredible events agenda that spread all year long, Oradea is the perfect destination for city break tourists. Cultural addicts can enjoy an impressive range of exhibitions in local museums and unwind during one of the Philharmonics or Oradea National Theatre performances. The Nymphaea Aqua Park is the perfect place to ‘recharge your batteries’, offering a whooping area of 7 hectares, 10 water slides and 15 pools. 

This year discover one of the best destinations to visit in Romania and one of your favorite destinations in Europe.

europe travel ideas 2022

7. London, UK

After Brexit, Covid and border closures, it is high time to rediscover London in 2022, one of Europe's most extravagant destinations. Capital of the United Kingdom, London brings together like no other destination, traders, business people, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers and more. Its tourist offer goes well beyond Big Ben, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, which will always delight young and old. London is also an atmosphere, parks of rare beauty ranked among the most attractive city parks in Europe .

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

There are a thousand good reasons to visit London this year. Our favorite times to discover London is in spring and summer. It’s less crowded and the parks in the city center and surrounding areas like Richmond Park, are sublime with flowering plants ancient trees and deer roaming freely. 

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

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

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

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to  London.

  Where to stay:   " Motel One London " 800 m away from Tower Bridge.

Nijmegen European Best Destinations 2022

8. Nijmegen, Netherlands

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands with a city center full of important historical locations. And it’s not just a rich cultural history that Nijmegen has to offer: a large number of students, numerous events and festivals , unique hot spots and cosy restaurants all add up to an unprecedented liveliness in the city. Just put your feet in the sand at our city beach next to the river Waal, or relax at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes.

A large array of both chain stores and small and unique specialty stores will complete your Nijmegen experience, whether you’re here for a day or for the entire weekend. And don’t forget to have a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes .

This year treat yourself to a city break combining nature, culture, shopping, outings, gastronomy in one of the most sparkling destinations in Europe. Nijmegen is the Dutch destination that has received the most votes since the creation of this competition, ahead of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is also ranked  Best Youth Destination in Europe.

Book your flights to Amsterdam or Rotterdam (1h15) or even from Germany to Dusseldorf (1h15) or Weeze (50 min), your accommodation in Nijmegen and your tours and activities in the Netherlands , such as a " Nijmegen: 2-Hour Tour of the Oldest City in the Netherlands ".

  Best for:  Sustainable Tourism, Youth,  Food, Culture, City Break, Nature, Nightlife, Families, Events, Shopping.

  Nearest airport:   B ook your flights to  Amsterdam or Rotterdam Airport (1h15).

  Covid-19 latest information:  

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/NLD/7001

  Where to stay:   " Hotel Credible ". Situated in the best rated area in Nijmegen.

European Best Destinations 2022 Lahti Finland

9. Lahti Region - Finland

This year you put sustainable tourism destinations at the top of your ranking.

The city of Lahti is a gateway to the Finnish Lakeland – the largest in Europe. Finland has over 188,000 lakes and the water is the cleanest in the world . Lahti is located only an hour north of the capital Helsinki , the international airport and port and just 2.5 hours away from St Petersburg by train.

As European Green Capital , Lahti is a frontrunner in climate work and a pioneer in sustainable and smart solutions. In the Lahti region , you can experience pure and diverse nature sustainably.

From Lahti the waterway opens up from local lake Vesijärvi to the pure Lake Päijänne which is the second biggest lake in Finland , providing drinking water to the whole Helsinki region. 74% of the city area is covered by forest, while 11% consists of bodies of water. The best tap water in the world, filtered and purified naturally by the Salpausselkä ridges, is an everyday luxury for the people of Lahti . A Lakeland Finland holiday is all about relaxing in connection with nature . 

A Finnish traditional sauna, swim in open pure lakes , slow walks in the forest and nights in a private lakeside villa are essentials for every visit. The Lahti region is one of the busiest cottage holiday destinations in Finland.

This year, discover Lahti  also    awarded the title of European Best Sustainable Destination 2022.

Book your flights to Helsinki, your accommodation at the best price in the Lahti Region and your tours and activities in Finland .

  Best for:  Nature, Outdoor Sport, Sustainable Tourism, Wellness, Foodies.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights  to  Helsinki (1h by car, 40 min by public transport).

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/FIN/7011

  Where to stay:    " Solo Sokos Hotel ", located at the very heart of Lahti.

istanbul-turkey-best-destinations-2022

10. Istanbul, Turkey

For decades, Istanbul has been ‘the destination’ for travellers looking for a change of scenery, authenticity, culture, traditions and a certain sweetness of life. 

Cosmopolitan city, straddling two shores and two continents, sparkling generous city, Istanbul remains, surprisingly, a city on a human scale. Steeped in an incredible historical past, it is teeming with exceptional sites such as the Topkapi Palace, the Maiden’s Tower and its legends, and sumptuous mosques open to curious visitors.There are plenty of off-beat sites for those who really want to soak up the native culture and leave tourist crowds behind.

A short trip across the Bosporus on one of the city's typical ferries will land you at Üsküdar, a bustling town with many important examples of Ottoman architecture and some great food shopping. If you want to go further afield, the Bosporus 'villages' have much to offer: wooden Ottoman houses and the village ambience of Arnavutköy, the fortress of Rumeli Hisari with its unforgettable views over the water and fresh seafood.

During your stay in Turkey do not miss to visit the best hidden gems in Turkey such as the Cappadocia Region .

Do you want sun and relaxation? Discover the best beaches in Turkey . Extend your stay and discover the Best Castles in Turkey  and Best Tours and Activities in Turkey for exceptional trips.

Book your flights to Istanbul, your accommodation at the best price as well as your tours and activities in Istanbul , such as the " Istanbul: Bosporus Cruise ". 

  Best for:  City Break, Culture, Instagramers, Foodies, History Buffs.

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

  Covid-19 latest information: https://www.turkishairlines.com/pt-pt/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/travel-restrictions/

  Where to stay:  " Sumahan on the Water " for its unique location on the bank opposite the old town.

European Best Destinations 2022 - Amalfi Coast

11. Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is considered one of Italy's hidden gems as well as the perfect place for a honeymoon or a marriage proposal and the whole Amalfi Coast awaits you for sunny, gastronomic, romantic, utterly unforgettable holidays. 

With its steep cliffs resembling the cliffs of Madeira in Portugal , the Amalfi Coast stretches for more than 50 kilometers of breathtaking landscapes . The traditional fishing villages of the Amalfi coast are incredibly colorful and utterly charming as they nest like eagles in the cliffs on the rock spurs.

Come and visit it outside the high season; in spring, lemon trees perfume the sea air of the Amalfi Coast and in September-October the incredible vineyards carved out of the cliffs come alive. Rightly considered a jewel of Italy , the Amalfi Coast is a legendary destination , a mythical vacation spot that has turned the heads of illustrious heroes such as Ulysses bewitched by the sirens. Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, colorful villages await you during your stay on the Amalfi Coast.

Book your flights to Naples, your accommodation on the Amalfi Coast and your tours and activities on the Amalfi Coast such as a "From Naples: Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi Full-Day Tour". 

Ready for an unforgettable stay in Italy ? Discover the Best hidden Gems in Italy , Best Christmas Markets in Italy , Best Castles in Italy , Best Nature Wonders and Best Beaches in Italy for a 5-star vacation in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe .

  Best for:  Lovers, Instagramers, Foodies, Hikers, Wine Lovers.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to  Naples (1h30) or Rome (3h30).

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ITA/7011

  Where to stay:   " B&B Al Pesce d'Oro " for their private balconies overlooking the sea. 

prague-best-destinations-2022

12. Prague, Czech Republic

It used to be slightly crowded like Barcelona , London or Paris but Prague is the perfect destination to discover in 2022. Many travellers have left the big cities, wishing to escape the crowds for secondary, lesser-known destinations. The result? Prague , like Lisbon , Venice and London , are much more pleasant to visit nowadays.

Don't hesitate for a second to put this romantic destination at the top of your travel wishlist. Do you like discovering cities away from the crowds? Wake up a little earlier than usual, at 5.30 am-6am, and walk around Prague before city life starts up again. Discover its markets, cafes, restaurants at dawn, watching the sun rise over the most beautiful monuments of Prague . This little tip will cost you nothing (other than a few hours of sleep) and will allow you to see Prague from a different perspective.

Need more reasons to visit Prague in 2022? You have ranked it among your Best Christmas Markets in Europe , Best destinations to celebrate New Year's Eve , Best honeymoon destinations in Europe, Best places to propose in Europe and Best Fairy tale destinations in Europe .

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

  Best for:  Lovers, Instagramers, Foodies, Shopping Addicts, City Break.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Prague.

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/CZE/7002

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

European Best Destinations 2022 - Rome

13. Rome, Italy

With London , Paris , Prague and Barcelona , Rome is one of the most visited destinations in the world. A true open-air museum, Rome is utterly fascinating. People obviously come here to discover "Roma Caput Mundi" the capital of the world and the power of the Roman Empire. We marvel at the Colosseum, considered one of the 7 wonders of Europe , or at the Spanish Steps, considered one of the best places for a marriage proposal .

Obviously ranked as your best destinations to visit in Italy , Rome has been regularly on the podium of your best destinations in Europe for over 10 years. Rome is much more than a city, so why not extend your stay for a few days and discover the province of Rome.

The province of Rome is a matching frame for the many treasures of the capital and the surrounding area has, more or less directly, experienced the influence of the history of the Eternal City. The region has a great deal to offer: sea, nature, good food and villages rich in history and art . 

Sea, hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards: the surroundings of Rome offer a kaleidoscope of diversity and attractions for nature lovers. Don't forget to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain . The best possible wish is to come back to Rome.

This year, book your flights , your accommodation in Rome as well as your tours and activities in Rome , such as a " Rome: Street Food Tour with Local Guide " and discover one of the best destinations to visit in Europe .

  Best for:  Lovers, Families, Foodies, Culture, History Buffs, Shopping Addicts, City Break.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Rome.

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ITA/7002

  Where to stay:  " Singer Palace Hotel " set 350 m from Trevi Fountain.

bavaria-best-destinations-2022

14. Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria is Germany 's most visited region and one of the favorite destinations for travellers new to Europe. A historic region, with its many legendary castles ranked among the most beautiful castles in Germany , such as the "Neuschwanstein Castle", a fairy tale castle located a few kilometers from Munich Airport, Bavaria is also a modern and open-minded region.

Bordering on Austria and Switzerland, Bavaria has an incredible history and traditions that fascinate travellers from all over the world who come to discover the Oktoberfest, a colorful event combining tradition, funfair, regional gastronomy, songs and dance in Munich , its capital. 

Green and rich in wild flora and fauna, Bavaria offers the largest forest in Europe for those looking for a trip combining nature, outdoor sport, culture, gastronomy and history. Traveling in winter? Do not miss the best ski resorts in Germany ; the most stunning, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf are located in Bavaria . 

During your stay visit the enchanting Christmas markets in Germany : some Christmas markets in Bavaria such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber are classified among the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.

This year, book your flights to Munich, your accommodation in Bavaria as well as your tours and activities in Bavaria , such as a " From Munich: Neuschwanstein Castle Full-Day-Trip " and discover one of the  European Best Destinations 2022.

  Best for:  Nature lovers, Instagrammers, Foodies, Outdoor Sport, History buffs.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to  Munich as well as your transfer .

https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/DEU/7002

  Where to stay: " Ameron Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa " set in Schwangau, 1km from Neuschwanstein Castle.

European Best Destinations 2022 - Athens

15. Athens, Greece

Over the last ten years Athens has repeatedly been ranked among your top of the Best European Destinations .  Travellers will return time and time again for the Acropolis or the Temple of Poseidon and will also discover much more than historic sites in Athens , a youthful city resolutely turned towards the future.

During your stay, be sure to visit the Varvakios Agora, an amazing indoor and outdoor food market. This is the perfect place to mingle with the true Athenians and experience the unique ambience of this authentic market.  You will love to stroll with them through the Monastiraki neighborhood teeming with bars, cafes, restaurants, markets, small shops, flea markets and Greek handicrafts.

Did you know that many theories indicate that philosophy was born in Greece thanks to the great clear horizons which allow the spirit to escape? Take a walk and leave the city center to visit the Athens ’ seaside, its restaurants and fish markets or take refuge in the green oasis of the" National Gardens"; 16 hectares of pure nature await you in the heart of the Greek capital . Kids will love the small zoo where they can see pretty little Greek goats, chickens, peacocks and other feathered animals.

Extend your stay by a few days and discover the Best Hidden Gems of Greece such as the clifftop monasteries of Meteora.   Book online your tours and activities in Greece , such as the "From Athens: Full-Day Meteora Trip by Train". 

Do you want sun and relaxation? Discover the most beautiful beaches in Greece . Still need some inspiration? The Best Castles in Greece , Best Things to do in Greece , Best Nature Wonders in Greece , Best Islands in Greece : just take your pick.

Book your flights to Athens, your accommodation , tours and activities in Athens and discover one of the best destinations to visit in 2022 .

  Best for:   Citybreak, Culture, Families, Foodies, Shopping, Instagram, History. 

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

  Covid-19 latest information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/GRC/7002

  Where to stay:  " Athens Life Gallery " located in the sophisticated suburb of Ekali.

European Best Destinations 2022 - Clonakilty

16. Clonakilty, Ireland

Awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism combining environmental protection and local development of regional products, Clonakilty is one of Ireland's top sustainable tourism destinations .

Clonakilty was founded by Richard Boyle, Great Earl of Cork in 1588, and is usually flush with color from the traditional shop fronts to the many flowers and plants blooming along the narrow bustling streets.  A number of festivals take place in Clonakilty every year including the West Cork Rally, an International Guitar Festival and the Michael Collins Festival. Music, good food and a bit of ‘craic’ (good time) can be had in the many hostelries in this delightful town.

A long list of restaurants, cafés and bars, all serving the very best of what West Cork has to offer, will make sure you are well looked after while the wide range of amenities, leisure activities and attractions will ensure your experience of Clonakilty is truly memorable.

For these reasons Clonakilty is not only one of the best destinations to visit in Europe, it is also one of your best gastronomical sustainable destinations and one of the best destinations in Europe for sustainable experiences . 

Book your flights , accommodation , tours and activities in Clonakilty , such as a ‘ Whale watching tour ’. 

Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Beaches in Ireland , Best Hidden Gems in Ireland , Best Places to Visit in Ireland , Best Castles in Ireland  and Best Tours and Activities in Ireland .

  Best for:   Nature lovers, 

Sustainable Tourism, Foodies, Outdoor Sport, Families.

  Nearest airports:   Book your flights to Cork (50 min by car, 2h by public transport).

  Covid-19 latest information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/IRL/7002

  Where to stay:  " Clonakilty Park Hotel " in the heart of Clonakilty.

vienna-european-best-destinations-2022

17. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is one of the capitals of love and one of your favourite destinations in Europe in 2022 .

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

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

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

We love Vienna in spring and summer, with its parks classified among the most beautiful city parks in Europe ; its amusement park "The Prater" in the heart of the city is considered to be one of the best places for a marriage proposal . 

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

Book your flights to Vienna, your accommodation , tours and activities in Vienna , such as a " Vienna: Classical Concert at the Mozarthaus ".

  Best for:   Lovers, Signles, Foodies, LGBTQ+, City Break, Families, Culture, Safe holiday.

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

  Covid-19 latest information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/AUT/7002

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

lucerne-best-destinations-2022

18. Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne is a real postcard destination that attracts travellers from all over the world. 2022 is probably the best time to find out as it has been less crowded since the pandemic.

Geographically, it lies in the heart of Switzerland and, historically, the Lake Lucerne Region with the world-famous city of Lucerne (or Luzern) is Switzerland’s birthplace. Its landscape is shaped by the spectacular Alps covered in a magical blanket of snow in winter. You could say that the Lake Lucerne Region is a “pocket-size version” of Switzerland. 

No other region offers so many memorable Swiss vacation moments in such a small area: enjoy a raclette (cheese fondue) on a winter boat trip on Lake Lucerne , spend a day in the snow in the foothills of the Alps with a panoramic view of the mountains or take a  gentle winter stroll through Lucerne, the “Festival City” and “ Christmas City ” in the heart of Switzerland.

Enjoy memorable excursions on a paddle-steamer on Lake Luzern, soak up pure nature on the close-by mountains and relax in the mild climate of the “Lucerne Riviera” with its great offers of wellness hotels. The idyllic lakeside villages of Weggis and Vitznau on the shores of Lake Lucerne on the sunny southern flank of Mt. Rigi offer a variety of holiday experiences.

Book your flights to Zurich (50 min by car or public transport), your accommodation in Lucerne and your tours and activities in Lucerne such as a " Classic Rigi Round Trip from Lucerne ", and discover one of the  European Best Destinations 2022.

  Best for:  Families, Instagrammers, Lovers, Shopping Addicts, Nature,  Foodies, Culture. 

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Zurich Airport (50 min by car or public transport).

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/CHE/7002

  Where to stay:   " Hotel des Alpes ". Stay in the heart of Lucerne.

graz-austria-best-destinations-2022

19. Graz, Austria

Austria is a very trendy destination for history buffs, culture and shopping. It is also a premier destination for those looking for sustainable tourism destinations like Landlust and Mostviertel . It also attracts travellers looking for the most beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna , Graz , Innsbruck or Salzburg . If Vienna is a must-see destination, so is Graz . 

Although the second-largest city in Austria with a quarter of a million residents, Graz is by no means a “big city” and you can drift happily for hours and hours in the lanes. 

Comfortable footwear goes easy on busy feet here. In the historic old town with its roads, streets, squares and courtyards there’s lots to explore and even more to be enjoyed, for Graz is also the culinary capital which you should not only see but taste as well. You should obviously use your sense of taste and smell, because in no other city is “Austria’s delicatessen” as omnipresent as it is here. 

Leave the beaten track and also discover the Best Hidden Gems in Austria , the Best Castles in Austria and the Best Nature Wonders in Austria .

Book your flights to Graz or Ljubljana (2h), your accommodation in Graz and your tours and activities in Graz , such as a " Graz: Old Town Highlights Private Walking Tour ".

  Best for:  Nature lovers, Hikers, Gourmet Lovers, History Buffs; Families, Sustainable tourism.

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Graz.

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/AUT/7002

  Where to stay:   " Park Hotel Graz ". Stay in the heart of Graz.

crete-greece-best-destinations-2022

20. Crete, Greece

In 2022 discover the secret of longevity by visiting Crete , one of the best destinations in Europe .

This Greek island bathed in sunshine and warm winds is an ideal destination for lovers of wild life but also for farniente and relaxation. Come drink your raki (cretan brandy) while enjoying a typical meal; it is said that the secret of longevity of its inhabitants is its gastronomy.

Visit the historical sites of Petras and Kommos, dive into the warm blue waters of Matala or Falasarna. Stay in the legendary city of Heraklion or in the beautiful port cities of Chania and Agios Nikolaos.

Book your accommodation in Crete and your tours & activities in Crete such as a wine and olive oil day tour or a Heraklion and Knossos half-day tour or a discovery tour of Greek mythology.   

  Best for:  Foodies, Beach, Sun, Families, Lovers. 

  Nearest airport:   Book your flights to Chania or Heraklion Airport.

  Covid-19 latest information:   https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/GRC/7002

  Where to stay:     " Hotel Port 7 " located right at the entrance of Agios Nikolaos'port, 100 m from Kitroplatia Beach.

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Ready for europe the 20 best and safest places for travel and tourism in 2022, according to european best destinations.

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Ljubljana - Slovenia Church and river Ljubljanica

As countries around Europe reopen borders and relax or altogether end coronavirus restrictions, and as flights, hotels, restaurants and cafes reopen, holidays to Europe  are again a realistic possibility for relief-seeking travelers.

With votes from more than 500,000 travellers from 182 countries and considering the safety measures taken by countries and regions, the European Best Destinations organization (EBD) has released the list of the 20 trendiest destinations in Europe for 2022.

The winning contenders of the coveted “Best European Destinations 2022” title will be promoted throughout the year to millions of travelers — and will be authorized to display the title "European Best Destination" in their marketing.

As “a growing call to consider the coronavirus a permanent fixture in our lives is resonating in the world of travel and among industry representatives,” according to the New York Times , and as governments reopen borders and lift Covid-19 virus restrictions, tourism has been picking up across the continent, despite the fact that the situation in each country is still fluid and tourists, tour operators, hotels and restaurateurs must remain highly flexible.

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An overview of European Union travel measures, including information on the EU Digital Covid Certificate, is available via  the European Commission website and the  Reopen EU platform .

“Discover Europe's must-see destinations, hidden gems and small sustainable tourism places,” suggests EBD - a component of the European Commission’s  EDEN Network  (European Destinations of Excellence). “Today is the perfect day to start planning your next trips to Europe.”

Ljubljana, Slovenia

1. Ljubljana, Slovenia

  Ljubljana , the capital of Slovenia, is a city for the curious and adventurous, a treasure trove of exciting secrets and natural joys.

The proudly green capital of Slovenia welcomes all travelers hungry for culture, art, entertainment and offers broad, green areas, which have made it a global example of environmental planning. Earlier than other European destinations,  Ljubljana  opted for a fully pedestrian historic center.

Colorful history and natural heritage combined with authentic charm, culture, cuisine and varied city life have placed this beautiful capital at the top of the list of best destinations.

Marbella's picturesque old town.

2. Marbella, Spain

Marbella  is known as the “capital of sun” in Europe. It’s a preferred destination for travelers looking for relaxation, shopping, refined hotels and restaurants, as well as local handcrafts, golf, outdoor sports, elegance and refinement.  

Marbella is als0 among the most attractive destinations for digital nomads, sports enthusiasts and gourmets — and a favorite attraction for companies and investors.

“Marbella has developed sustainable and responsible tourism of very high quality and is an example of good practice at European level,” according to EBD.

The historic center with its authentic alleys full of flowers and plants hanging on the walls and balconies are an inimitable signature of this destination.

Marbella’s warm microclimate and year-round sunshine make it an outdoor sports paradise. This sunny destination is also first ranked among the  most prestigious and exclusive destinations in Europe .

Amiens Cathedral of Notre Dame and traditional houses on La place du Don Square at the embankment of ... [+] the Somme canal, Picardy, France.

3. Amiens, France

A peaceful haven of canals and floating gardens that display one of the most beautiful and largest Gothic cathedrals in France, Amiens is also a place to take an extraordinary journey in the footsteps of Jules Verne.

Divided by the Somme River, the city also is well known for its medieval belfry. Shops and cafes line the old Quartier St.-Leu’s narrow streets as floating market gardens (“hortillonnages”) dot the city’s canals.

Ideally located in the heart of the Paris-London-Brussels triangle, Amiens has been ranked as the fourth-greenest city in  France and is the only French city to have three UNESCO heritage sites, including its imposing cathedral and stunning architecture.

The city was a source of inspiration for Jules Verne when he settled there in 1871. The famous author left his mark on the city and his influence is visible in many corners of its streets.

Amiens is home to an international garden festival around the famous floating Hortillonnages that has been voted the  most beautiful City Park in Europe . The Hortillonnages, a 740-acre green paradise in the heart of the city, can be explored on foot, by bike, in a row boat, kayak or even on a paddleboard.

“Don't miss the must-see Musée de Picardie or hop on a bike and head to Amiens Zoo, a real island of biodiversity where endangered species are protected in the peace of nature,” advises EBD.

The ancient theatre of Philippopolis, a historical building in the city center of Plovdiv (ancient ... [+] Philippopolis), Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. The theatre dates back to the time of Emperor Trajan (reigned 98 - 117 AD).

4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Besides being one of the European Best Destinations 2022, Plovdiv is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Europe and one of the world’s most ancient.

As the main cultural centre of Bulgaria,  Plovdiv  also won the title of European Capital of Culture 2019. 

The city is home to impressive monuments of antiquity – the 1st-century theater, the Roman Stadium from the 2nd century, the Ancient Forum, the fine examples of Roman mosaic heritage in the Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis and in the Small Early Christian Basilica, both dating back to the 4th-6th centuries.

Plovdiv’s Old Town, the city’s finest gem, is a cultural phenomenon, with beautiful and richly-decorated Revival houses. This destination also has been ranked first among the Best Cultural Destinations in Europe 2022 and has been the most-voted Bulgarian destination since the creation of this competition in 2009.  

Leuven, a picturesque city in the heart of Belgium

5. Leuven, Belgium

Leuven , a picturesque city in the heart of Belgium, east of Brussels, is an ideal destination for an exciting all year round city break.

Thanks to its rich and varied offering in heritage, art, culture, science, beer, gastronomy and shopping, this centuries-old university town invites visitors to stroll and discover everything within walking or biking distance. A hip and urban vibe in an historical setting, guarantees to draw visitors into its vibrancy.

Leuven also nabbed first place in the  Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe , a ranking of destinations actively working on accessibility, social diversity, solidarity, tolerance and respect. 

With car-free shopping streets, street markets offering local products, this is also the land of chocolate and well known for its rich history of breweries dating back to 1366, and includes a number of well-known beer-makers, among them the legendary and world-famous Stella Artois.

On a central square is the 15th-century town hall, guarded by its tall spires. The building is decorated with hundreds of statues of local figures, biblical characters and saints. Opposite, the late Gothic St. Peter’s Church houses a “Last Supper” by the Flemish Primitive painter Dieric Bouts. Nearby, Oude Markt is a long square lined with bars and cafes.

Oradea city hall seen at dawn, Romania.

6. Oradea, Romania

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Romania,  Oradea  is a city that fully enjoys each season and pumps live energy in a surprising architectural landscape, which has made it one of the region’s best-known destinations for slow and stress-free tourism.

Situated on the western Romanian border only 300 miles from Vienna, Oradea  exhibits the influence of the occident throughout its long history. Its architectural patrimony is so unique that the city has been voted the  most beautiful Art Nouveau town in Europe .

Oradea, a city of the young, of health and relaxation as well as of cultural events, music, theater and exhibitions spread throughout the year also was voted “the most beautiful city in Romania.”

London Big Ben, double-decker bus and red telephone box

7. London, U.K.

After Brexit, Covid and border closures, it’s high time in 2022 to rediscover  London , one of Europe's richest destinations. Capital of the United Kingdom, London, like very few other destinations, brings together traders, business people, bankers, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers and tourists.

Its tourist offer goes well beyond Big Ben, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, which will always delight young and old. London also offers urban parks of rare beauty ranked among the  most attractive city parks in Europe .

“Head for Portobello flea markets and colorful houses that are the backdrop to  legendary films like “Notting Hill,” discover the eccentric and colorful neighborhood of Camden Town, stroll among the tidy commercial streets of Regent Street and Oxford Street to the designer, artistic and independent shopping districts of Carnaby Street or Covent Garden — and do not miss the gay and  LGBTQ  district of Soho and marvel at the theater posters hosting world-renowned musicals,” EBD recommends.

Favorite times to discover London are in spring and summer, when it’s less crowded and the parks in the city center and surrounding areas such as Richmond Park are sublime with flowering plants ancient trees and deer roaming freely.  

Historic buildings at the Great Market in Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands

 8. Nijmegen, Netherlands

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, the second to be recognized as such in Roman times and with a city center full of picturesque, historical locations to prove it.

Close to the German border, the Nijmegen region occupies a perfect position in a magnificent, undulating river landscape between the Rhine, Meuse and Waal rivers.

It’s not just a rich cultural history that makes Nijmegen  one of the most sparkling destinations in Europe: Events and festivals, unique hot spots, cosy restaurants, sidewalk cafes and varied shopping areas add to the liveliness of the city.

Nijmegen is the Dutch destination that has received the most votes since the creation of this competition, ahead of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It’s also ranked  Best Youth Destination in Europe.

Aerial view of Finland's Lahti and harbor on an autumn morning.

9. Lahti Region - Finland

Lahti, situated an hour north of the capital Helsinki, is a green destination in every sense: The country’s eighth-largest city is packed with beautiful forests, parks and reserves replete with hiking trails and lookout points.

The city also tops the list of the best  sustainable tourism destinations  in Europe and this year was awarded the title of  European Best Sustainable Destination 2022.

A gateway to the Finnish Lakeland – the largest in Europe — Lahti is a front-runner in climate work and a pioneer in sustainable and smart environmental solutions.

Finland boasts more than 188,000 lakes and the water is the cleanest in the world. Lahti is located only an hour north of the capital  Helsinki , its international airport and port, and just 2 1/2 hours by train to St. Petersburg.

From Lahti, the waterway opens up from local Lake Vesijärvi to the pure Lake Päijänne, which is the second-biggest lake in Finland, providing drinking water to the entire region. Nearly 75% of the city area is covered by forest, while 11% consists of bodies of water.

The best tap water in the world, filtered and purified naturally by the Salpausselkä ridges, is a daily luxury.

‘Take a Finnish traditional sauna, swim in open pure lakes; take slow walks in the forest and nights in a private lakeside villa,” writes EBD.

Blue mosque and hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

10. Istanbul, Turkey

A cosmopolitan city straddling two shores and two continents — with one foot in the East and the other in the West —  Istanbul  is the perfect city destination, with its captivating blend of sights, sounds and colors.  

Magnificent mosques, atmospheric churches, intriguing museums and Sultans' palaces alongside stylish art galleries, world-class restaurants and nightclubs, the city is a fascinating melting pot of the 21st-century as well.

Istanbul has been home to three empires: the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. And its unique blend of Christian and Islamic sites is present everywhere.

“See the Iznik tiles at the world-famous Blue Mosque, enjoy the majesty of the Hagia Sophia and tour the harem and exhibits at the home of the Ottoman Sultans, the Topkapi Palace” writes EBD. “Your itinerary should include the unique Byzantine frescoes of the Kariye Museum, the Ottoman architect Sinan’s masterpiece the Suleymaniye Mosque complex overlooking the Golden Horn and the Genoese Galata Tower with its panoramic views of the whole city.”

A  short trip across the Bosphorus  on one of the city's ferries will land you at Üsküdar, a bustling town with many important examples of Ottoman architecture and great food shopping. Further afield, the Bosphorus’s villages have much to offer: wooden Ottoman houses, the village ambience of Arnavutköy and the fortress of Rumeli Hisari with its unforgettable views over the water and fresh seafood.

View of Positano, the famous Italian resort on Italy's Amalfi coast

11. Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast  is not only one of the Europe’s 2022 Best Destinations. It’s considered one of  Italy's hidden gems  and a perfect place for  honeymoon s or  marriage proposals .

With its steep cliffs resembling those of  Madeira  in  Portugal , it stretches for more than 30 miles. The traditional fishing villages of the Amalfi coast are picturesquely colorful and charming as they nestle in the cliffs along the blue marine sea.

In spring, lemon trees perfume the sea air and in September and October the incredible vineyards carved out of the cliffs come alive.

Rightly considered a jewel of Italy, the Amalfi Coast is a mythical vacation spot that has turned the heads of illustrious heroes such as Ulysses, bewitched by the sirens. Amalfi, Ravello, Positano are among the colorful villages to visit.

Panoramic view of Vltava River and Charles Bridge in Prague, capital of the Czech republic.

12. Prague, Czech Republic

In the past, tourists mobbed European cities such as  Barcelona ,  London  or  Paris . But due mainly to the fact that “many travellers have left the big cities, wishing to escape the crowds for secondary, lesser-known destinations, Prague —like  Lisbon ,  Venice  and  London — is much more pleasant to visit nowadays,” says EBD.

This  romantic destination  has ranked among the  Best Christmas Markets in Europe , Best destinations to celebrate  New Year's Eve , Best  honeymoon destinations  in Europe,  Best places to propose  in Europe and  Best Fairy tale destinations in Europe .

Tourists waving hats at the Colosseum in Rome at sunrise.

13. Rome, Italy

With  London ,  Paris ,  Prague  and  Barcelona ,  Rome  is one of the most visited destinations in the world. A true open-air museum,  Rome  is utterly fascinating.

“People come here to discover ‘Roma Caput Mundi’ the capital of the world and the power of the Roman Empire,” explains EBD.

The Roman Colosseum is considered one of the  seven wonders of Europe and the city’s Spanish Steps one of the  best places for a marriage proposal .

For more than 10 years, Rome has regularly been selected among Europe’s best destinations. The province of Rome is a matching frame for the many treasures of the capital and has experienced the influence of the history of the Eternal City.

The region offers sea, hills, lakes, rivers, vineyards, good food and villages rich in history and art.

Panoramic view of mountain scenery in the Alps with fresh green meadows in bloom in springtime at ... [+] the National Park Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, Germany.

14. Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria  is  Germany 's most visited region and one of the favorite destinations for travelers new to Europe. An historic region with many legendary castles ranked among the  most beautiful castles in Germany , such as the "Neuschwanstein Castle," a  fairytale  castle located a few kilometers from Munich Airport, Bavaria is also a modern and open-minded region.

Bordering on Austria and Switzerland, Bavaria has an incredible history and old traditions that fascinate travelers from around the world.  

Green and rich in wild flora and fauna, Bavaria offers the largest forest in Europe for those looking for a trip combining nature, outdoor sport, culture, gastronomy and history.

Traveling in winter? Don’t miss Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf, counted among the  best ski resorts in Germany and located in Bavaria. 

The Theater of Herod Atticus in Athens at the foot of the Acropolis hill

15. Athens, Greece

Over the last ten years,  Athens  has repeatedly been ranked among the top Best European Destinations. Visitors return time and again for the Parthenon or the Temple of Poseidon and also to discover more than historic sites in this old but youthful city resolutely turned towards the future.

Still, Crete’s 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple, are among the most visited by tourists from around the world.

The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece. 

“During your stay, be sure to visit the Varvakios Agora, an amazing indoor and outdoor food market, a perfect place to mingle with the Athenians and experience the unique Greek ambience and stroll through the Monastiraki neighborhood teeming with bars, cafes, restaurants, markets, small shops, flea markets and Greek handicrafts,” recommends EBD.

Take a walk and leave the city center to visit the Athens’ seaside, its restaurants and fish markets or take refuge in the green oasis of the National Gardens, 40 acres of pure nature in the heart of the Greek capital.

Red strand in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland

16. Clonakilty, Ireland

Awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism combining environmental protection and local development of regional products,  Clonakilty  is one of Ireland's top sustainable-tourism destinations.

Founded in 1588 by Richard Boyle, Great Earl of Cork, Clonakilty is usually flush with color from the traditional shop fronts and the many flowers and plants blooming along the narrow bustling streets. 

A number of festivals occur in Clonakilty every year, including the West Cork Rally, an International Guitar Festival and the Michael Collins Festival. Music, good food and a bit of ‘craic’ (good time) can be had in the many hostelries of this delightful town.

Clonakilty is not only one of the best destinations to visit in Europe, it’s also one of the  best gastronomical sustainable destinations  and one of the best destinations in Europe for  sustainable experiences . 

Vienna, Austria , one of Europe's most beautiful cities.

17. Vienna, Austria

Vienna  is one of the  capitals of love , in addition to landing among Europe’s Best Destinations.

An ideal locale for romantics, with horse-drawn carriage rides followed by a visit to the Royal Palaces and in the evening, a waltz to the sound of Strauss's Blue Danube to put you in the mood.

 Vienna is also great for a sparkling, original city break for friends and families.

An openly  gay-friendly  city, it’s also one of the  safest cities in Europe .

“We love Vienna in spring and summer, with its parks classified among the  most beautiful city parks in Europe ,” says EBD. The amusement park called "The Prater" in the heart of the city is considered one of the  best places for a marriage proposal . 

For people who want to meet other people, the Palmenhaus, the largest  greenhouse in Europe , houses a bar and a trendy restaurant where you can eat Austrian specialties or drink lighter cocktails.

Famous Chapel Bridge in the historic city center of Lucerne, Switzerland, the city's symbol and one ... [+] of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

18. Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne  is a postcard destination that attracts visitors from around the world.

It lies at the heart of Switzerland and, historically, the Lake Lucerne Region, with the world-famous city of Lucerne (or Luzern), Switzerland’s birthplace. Its landscape is framed by the spectacular Alps, covered in a magical blanket of snow in winter.

It is said that the Lake Lucerne region is a “pocket-size version” of Switzerland. 

These are some of EBD’s recommendations: Enjoy a hot-cheese raclette on a winter  boat trip on Lake Lucerne ; spend a day in the snow at the foothills of the Alps with a panoramic view of the mountains; take a gentle stroll through the city or an excursion on a paddle-steamer on Lake Lucerne and relax in the mild climate of the “Lucerne Riviera,” with its great wealth of wellness hotels.

The idyllic lakeside villages of Weggis and Vitznau on the shores of Lake Lucerne on the sunny southern flank of Mount Rigi offer a variety of holiday experiences.

The famous clock tower on Schlossberg hill, in Graz, Styria region, Austria, at sunrise.

19. Graz, Austria

Although Austria ’s second-largest city, with 250,000 residents,  Graz  is a walkable city where visitors can stroll happily for hours.

In the historic old town, with its roads, streets, squares and courtyards, there is much to explore and even more to be enjoyed for  Graz  is also a culinary capital. At its heart is Hauptplatz, the medieval old town’s main square.

Shops and restaurants line the narrow surrounding streets, which blend Renaissance and Baroque architecture. A funicular leads up to Schlossberg, the town hill and Uhrturm, a centuries-old clock tower.

Austria  is a trendy destination for history buffs, culture and shopping. It’s also a premier destination for those looking for sustainable tourism destinations like  Landlust  and  Mostviertel . It also attracts travelers hunting the most beautiful Christmas markets.

Beach in Bali village, north Crete, Greece

20. Crete, Greece

Discover the secret of longevity by visiting  Crete , one of the best destinations in Europe for 2022.

This  Greek island  bathed in sunshine and warm winds is an ideal destination for lovers of wild life but also for foodies and those looking for relaxation. It’s said that the secret of longevity of Crete inhabitants is its gastronomy.

Visit the historical sites of Petras and Kommos; dive into the warm blue waters of Matala or Falasarna; stay in the legendary city of Heraklion or in the beautiful port cities of Chania and Agios Nikolaos.

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica.

Cecilia Rodriguez

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Mauricio Ruiz is a writer and journalist who has lived in the US, Belgium, Mexico and Norway. His work has appeared in  Words Without Borders, Catapult ,  The Common ,  The Rumpus ,  Electric Literature ,  JMWW ,  River Teeth ,  Literal Magazine , among others. He’s been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and Myriad Editions Competition in the UK, as well as the Fish Short Story Prize in Ireland. He has received fellowships from OMI writers (NY), Société des auteurs (Belgium), Jakob Sande (Norway), Can Serrat (Spain), and the Three Seas’ Council (Rhodes). His second book, Silencios al sur , was published in early 2017, and his work has partially been translated into Dutch and French. Mauricio Ruiz can be followed on Twitter and Instagram .

Over half a million of travelers from 182 countries have voted for the European Best Destinations 2022. Out of over 400 destinations, discover the 20 most voted destinations awarded the title of “Best European Destinations 2022”.

Here below is a list of the top destinations to visit, according to European Best Destinations . Hopefully you will find inspiration among for a city break, a sunny vacation, a romantic getaway, shopping, culture or immersion in nature.

Ljubljana is the Best European Destination to visit in 2022

1. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana was voted the European Best Destination 2022. A city for curious and adventurous souls, Ljubljana is a treasure trove of exciting secrets and natural joys. The proud green capital of Slovenia invites all vagabonds who are hungry for culture, art, entertainment, and large green areas, which provide a relaxed atmosphere.

It’s not just travelers from all over the world who visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Whole delegations of mayors, environmental advisers and town planners visit Ljubljana to understand the green miracle of this unique capital in Europe. Earlier than other European destinations, Ljubljana opted for a pedestrianized historic center. In its heart, while strolling from a trendy boutique to an authentic store, a trendy restaurant or a trendy café, you can hear birdsong.

The conglomerate of colorful history and natural heritage adorns the great heart of Ljubljana. Your first visit will definitely not be your last. Ljubljana’s authentic charm is most enjoyed by those travelers who keep coming back for the wonderful culture, cuisine and varied city life.

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2. Marbella, Spain

Capital of the sun in Europe, Marbella is the preferred destination for travelers looking for relaxation, shopping, refined hotels and restaurants, also local handcrafts, golf, outdoor sports, elegance and refinement for unforgettable holidays.

Thanks to the work carried out by the City Council, Marbella also attracts more than ever digital nomads, sports enthusiasts, gourmets, but also companies and investors. Marbella develops sustainable and responsible tourism of very high quality and is an example of good practice at European level.

Indulge your taste buds in a Michelin-starred restaurant or tapas bar in the historic center of Marbella. The authentic alleys with thousands of flowers and plants hanging on the walls and balconies are the inimitable signature of this destination which has been number 1 in your heart for decades. Marbella’s warm microclimate and year-round sunshine make it an outdoor sports paradise. This sunny destination is also first ranked among the most prestigious & exclusive destinations in Europe.

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3. Amiens, France

Ideally located in the heart of the Paris-London-Brussels triangle, Amiens is a lovely town ranking as the 4th greenest city in France. As the only French city to have three UNESCO heritage listings and dominated by its imposing cathedral, Amiens shines with its stunning architecture and natural heritage. Amiens was the source of inspiration for Jules Verne when he settled here in 1871. The famous author left his mark on the city; his influence is visible in every corner of the streets in Amiens.

Amiens is also home to an international garden festival to be discovered in the famous Hortillonnages site voted the most beautiful City Park in Europe. The Hortillonnages, a 300-hectare green paradise in the heart of the city, can also be explored on foot, by bike, in a rowing boat, in a kayak or even on a paddle.

Don’t miss the must-see Musée de Picardie, hop on a bike and head to Amiens Zoo, a real island of biodiversity where endangered species are protected in the peace of nature. Get on the little touristic train or take a horse-drawn carriage ride: both take you through Saint-Leu, a typical historic district marked with colourful houses. This is an ideal place to taste some local specialities such as “ficelle picarde”, or to have a drink in the evening on one of the many terraces along the Somme river.

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4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and one of the most ancient in the world. As the main cultural centre of Bulgaria, Plovdiv deservedly won the title of European Capital of Culture 2019.

The city is home to impressive monuments of antiquity – the 1st-century theatre, the Roman Stadium from the 2nd century, the Ancient Forum, fine examples of Roman mosaic heritage, seen in The Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis (4-6th century) and in The Small Early Christian Basilica (4-6th century), and others.

Plovdiv Old Town, the city’s finest gem, is a cultural phenomenon that enchants with its beautiful and richly decorated Revival houses. Thanks to the economic and cultural impulse carried by the Mayor of Plovdiv, Mr. Zdravko Dimitrov but also the Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture & Tourism Mr. Plamen Panov and the Tourism Department of Plovdiv this destination is also ranked first among your Best Cultural Destinations in Europe 2022. Plovdiv has also been the most voted Bulgarian destination since the creation of this competition in 2009.

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5. Leuven, Belgium

Leuven is a picturesque city in the heart of Belgium and an ideal destination for an exciting all year round city break with your friends, family or individually, a destination awarded among the “European Best Destinations 2022”.

Thanks to its rich and varied offering in heritage, art, culture, science, beer, gastronomy and shopping, this town is an invite to stroll and discover. It’s very easily accessible and everything lies within walking or biking distance. The moment you walk out of the Leuven Railway Station, you can already feel the radiation of a hip & urban vibe in an historical setting, guaranteed to draw you into its vibrancy. 157 nationalities from all walks of life call it home and are the beating heart of this 21st century-old university town.

This attractive destination is also on the first place of the podium of the Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe, a ranking of destinations actively working on accessibility, social diversity, solidarity, tolerance, respect and living together.

Enjoy shopping in attractive, car-free shopping streets, from eco fashion to major chain stores, from markets with local products to souvenir and gift shops. You are in the land of chocolate, beer and gastronomy so don’t forget to drop by one of the many cozy cafés and charming restaurants you can find one around every corner. Home to the legendary and world-famous Brewery Stella Artois, Leuven has an incredibly rich brewery history (goes back to 1366!). It’s without a doubt the capital of beer. Experience the local breweries in action and enjoy a wonderful beer after your tour.

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6. Oradea, Romania

Oradea is a city that fully enjoys each season and pumps live energy in a surprising architectural landscape, becoming one of the region’s best-known destinations for slow and stress-free tourism. Situated on the western Romanian border, at only 490 km from Vienna, Oradea breathed in the influence of the occident in every moment of its long history. The architectural patrimony in Oradea is so unique that the city has been voted the most beautiful Art Nouveau town in Europe.

Oradea is the city of the young, of health and relaxation. It was voted the “Most beautiful city in Romania”. Boosting an incredible events agenda that spread all year long, Oradea is the perfect destination for city break tourists. Cultural addicts can enjoy an impressive range of exhibitions in local museums and unwind during one of the Philharmonics or Oradea National Theater performances. The Nymphaea Aqua Park is the perfect place to ‘recharge your batteries’, offering a whooping area of 7 hectares, 10 water slides and 15 pools.

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7. London, United Kingdom

London brings together like no other destination, traders, business people, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers and more. Its tourist offer goes well beyond Big Ben, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, which will always delight young and old. London is also an atmosphere, parks of rare beauty ranked among the most attractive city parks in Europe.

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

There are a thousand good reasons to visit London this year. Our favorite times to discover London is in spring and summer. It’s less crowded and the parks in the city center and surrounding areas like Richmond Park, are sublime with flowering plants ancient trees and deer roaming freely.

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8. Nijmegen, Netherlands

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands with a city center full of important historical locations. And it’s not just a rich cultural history that Nijmegen has to offer: a large number of students, numerous events and festivals, unique hot spots and cosy restaurants all add up to an unprecedented liveliness in the city. Just put your feet in the sand at our city beach next to the river Waal, or relax at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes.

A large array of both chain stores and small and unique specialty stores will complete your Nijmegen experience, whether you’re here for a day or for the entire weekend. And don’t forget to have a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes.

This year treat yourself to a city break combining nature, culture, shopping, outings, gastronomy in one of the most sparkling destinations in Europe. Nijmegen is the Dutch destination that has received the most votes since the creation of this competition, ahead of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is also ranked Best Youth Destination in Europe.

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9. Lahti Region, Finland

The city of Lahti is a gateway to the Finnish Lakeland – the largest in Europe. Finland has over 188,000 lakes and the water is the cleanest in the world. Lahti is located only an hour north of the capital Helsinki, the international airport and port and just 2.5 hours away from St Petersburg by train.

As European Green Capital, Lahti is a frontrunner in climate work and a pioneer in sustainable and smart solutions. In the Lahti region, you can experience pure and diverse nature sustainably.

From Lahti the waterway opens up from local lake Vesijärvi to the pure Lake Päijänne which is the second biggest lake in Finland, providing drinking water to the whole Helsinki region. 74% of the city area is covered by forest, while 11% consists of bodies of water. The best tap water in the world, filtered and purified naturally by the Salpausselkä ridges, is an everyday luxury for the people of Lahti. A Lakeland Finland holiday is all about relaxing in connection with nature.

A Finnish traditional sauna, swim in open pure lakes, slow walks in the forest and nights in a private lakeside villa are essentials for every visit. The Lahti region is one of the busiest cottage holiday destinations in Finland. This year, Lahti was also awarded the title of European Best Sustainable Destination 2022.

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10. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a well-known destination for travelers looking for a change of scenery, authenticity, culture, traditions and a certain sweetness of life. Cosmopolitan city, straddling two shores and two continents, sparkling generous city, Istanbul remains, surprisingly, a city on a human scale. Steeped in an incredible historical past, it is teeming with exceptional sites such as the Topkapi Palace, the Maiden’s Tower and its legends, and sumptuous mosques open to curious visitors.There are plenty of off-beat sites for those who really want to soak up the native culture and leave tourist crowds behind.

A short trip across the Bosporus on one of the city’s typical ferries will land you at Üsküdar, a bustling town with many important examples of Ottoman architecture and some great food shopping. If you want to go further afield, the Bosporus ‘villages’ have much to offer: wooden Ottoman houses and the village ambience of Arnavutköy, the fortress of Rumeli Hisari with its unforgettable views over the water and fresh seafood.

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11. Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is considered one of Italy’s hidden gems as well as the perfect place for a honeymoon or a marriage proposal and the whole Amalfi Coast awaits you for sunny, gastronomic, romantic, utterly unforgettable holidays. With its steep cliffs resembling the cliffs of Madeira in Portugal, the Amalfi Coast stretches for more than 50 kilometers of breathtaking landscapes. The traditional fishing villages of the Amalfi coast are incredibly colorful and utterly charming as they nest like eagles in the cliffs on the rock spurs.

Come and visit it outside the high season; in spring, lemon trees perfume the sea air of the Amalfi Coast and in September-October the incredible vineyards carved out of the cliffs come alive. Rightly considered a jewel of Italy, the Amalfi Coast is a legendary destination, a mythical vacation spot that has turned the heads of illustrious heroes such as Ulysses bewitched by the sirens. Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, colorful villages await you during your stay on the Amalfi Coast.

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12. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the perfect destination to discover in 2022. Many travelers have left the big cities, wishing to escape the crowds for secondary, lesser-known destinations. The result? Prague, like Lisbon, Venice and London, are much more pleasant to visit nowadays.

Don’t hesitate for a second to put this romantic destination at the top of your travel wish-list. Do you like discovering cities away from the crowds? Wake up a little earlier than usual, at 5.30 am-6am, and walk around Prague before city life starts up again. Discover its markets, cafes, restaurants at dawn, watching the sun rise over the most beautiful monuments of Prague. This little tip will cost you nothing (other than a few hours of sleep) and will allow you to see Prague from a different perspective.

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13. Rome, Italy

A true open-air museum, Rome is utterly fascinating. People obviously come here to discover “Roma Caput Mundi” the capital of the world and the power of the Roman Empire. We marvel at the Colosseum, considered one of the 7 wonders of Europe, or at the Spanish Steps, considered one of the best places for a marriage proposal.

Obviously ranked as your best destinations to visit in Italy, Rome has been regularly on the podium of your best destinations in Europe for over 10 years. Rome is much more than a city, so why not extend your stay for a few days and discover the province of Rome.

The province of Rome is a matching frame for the many treasures of the capital and the surrounding area has, more or less directly, experienced the influence of the history of the Eternal City. The region has a great deal to offer: sea, nature, good food and villages rich in history and art. Sea, hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards: the surroundings of Rome offer a kaleidoscope of diversity and attractions for nature lovers.

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14. Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria is Germany’s most visited region and one of the favorite destinations for travellers new to Europe. A historic region, with its many legendary castles ranked among the most beautiful castles in Germany, such as the “Neuschwanstein Castle”, a fairy tale castle located a few kilometers from Munich Airport, Bavaria is also a modern and open-minded region.

Bordering on Austria and Switzerland, Bavaria has an incredible history and traditions that fascinate travelers from all over the world who come to discover the Oktoberfest, a colorful event combining tradition, funfair, regional gastronomy, songs and dance in Munich, its capital.

Green and rich in wild flora and fauna, Bavaria offers the largest forest in Europe for those looking for a trip combining nature, outdoor sport, culture, gastronomy and history. Traveling in winter? Do not miss the best ski resorts in Germany; the most stunning, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf are located in Bavaria.

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15. Athens, Greece

Travelers will return time and time again for the Acropolis or the Temple of Poseidon and will also discover much more than historic sites in Athens, a youthful city resolutely turned towards the future.

During your stay, be sure to visit the Varvakios Agora, an amazing indoor and outdoor food market. This is the perfect place to mingle with the true Athenians and experience the unique ambience of this authentic market. You will love to stroll with them through the Monastiraki neighborhood teeming with bars, cafes, restaurants, markets, small shops, flea markets and Greek handicrafts.

Take a walk and leave the city center to visit the Athens’ seaside, its restaurants and fish markets or take refuge in the green oasis of the” National Gardens”; 16 hectares of pure nature await you in the heart of the Greek capital. Kids will love the small zoo where they can see pretty little Greek goats, chickens, peacocks and other feathered animals.

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16. Clonakilty, Ireland

Clonakilty is one of Ireland’s top sustainable tourism destinations. The city was founded by Richard Boyle, Great Earl of Cork in 1588, and is usually flush with color from the traditional shop fronts to the many flowers and plants blooming along the narrow bustling streets. A number of festivals take place in Clonakilty every year including the West Cork Rally, an International Guitar Festival and the Michael Collins Festival. Music, good food and a bit of ‘craic’ (good time) can be had in the many hostelries in this delightful town.

A long list of restaurants, cafés and bars, all serving the very best of what West Cork has to offer, will make sure you are well looked after while the wide range of amenities, leisure activities and attractions will ensure your experience of Clonakilty is truly memorable.

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17. Vienna, Austria

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

Vienna is also the perfect city for a sparkling, original city break for friends, families, lovers and singles. An openly gay-friendly city (you’ll remember Conchita Wurst was from Vienna), it is also one of the safest cities in Europe. The feeling of security is very high and these cities are known for their quality of life and low crime rate.

We love Vienna in spring and summer, with its parks classified among the most beautiful city parks in Europe; its amusement park “The Prater” in the heart of the city is considered to be one of the best places for a marriage proposal.

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18. Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne is a real postcard destination that attracts travellers from all over the world. 2022 is probably the best time to find out as it has been less crowded since the pandemic. Geographically, it lies in the heart of Switzerland and, historically, the Lake Lucerne Region with the world-famous city of Lucerne (or Luzern) is Switzerland’s birthplace. Its landscape is shaped by the spectacular Alps covered in a magical blanket of snow in winter. You could say that the Lake Lucerne Region is a “pocket-size version” of Switzerland.

No other region offers so many memorable Swiss vacation moments in such a small area: enjoy a raclette (cheese fondue) on a winter boat trip on Lake Lucerne, spend a day in the snow in the foothills of the Alps with a panoramic view of the mountains or take a gentle winter stroll through Lucerne, the “Festival City” and “Christmas City” in the heart of Switzerland.

Enjoy memorable excursions on a paddle-steamer on Lake Luzern, soak up pure nature on the close-by mountains and relax in the mild climate of the “Lucerne Riviera” with its great offers of wellness hotels. The idyllic lakeside villages of Weggis and Vitznau on the shores of Lake Lucerne on the sunny southern flank of Mt. Rigi offer a variety of holiday experiences.

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19. Graz, Austria

Although the second-largest city in Austria with a quarter of a million residents, Graz is by no means a “big city” and you can drift happily for hours and hours in the lanes.

Comfortable footwear goes easy on busy feet here. In the historic old town with its roads, streets, squares and courtyards there’s lots to explore and even more to be enjoyed, for Graz is also the culinary capital which you should not only see but taste as well. You should obviously use your sense of taste and smell, because in no other city is “Austria’s delicatessen” as omnipresent as it is here.

Austria is a very trendy destination for history buffs, culture and shopping. It is also a premier destination for those looking for sustainable tourism destinations like Landlust and Mostviertel. It also attracts travelers looking for the most beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck or Salzburg.

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20. Crete, Greece

This Greek island bathed in sunshine and warm winds is an ideal destination for lovers of wild life but also for far niente and relaxation. Come drink your raki (cretan brandy) while enjoying a typical meal; it is said that the secret of longevity of its inhabitants is its gastronomy.

Visit the historical sites of Petras and Kommos, dive into the warm blue waters of Matala or Falasarna. Stay in the legendary city of Heraklion or in the beautiful port cities of Chania and Agios Nikolaos.

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European road trips: 15 of the best journeys across the continent

Sep 13, 2022 • 13 min read

Driving with red convertible car in the Dolomites mountains during autumn season

Coasting through Italy's Dolomites Mountains © Artur Debat / Getty

In light of the recent travel chaos at airports across Europe, there has never been a better time to buckle up and explore Europe’s legendary landscapes by road.

Lonely Planet's new Epic Road Trips of Europe book  is the perfect inspiration to get out there and explore Europe by road. The new book offers a gorgeous collection of routes, gathered from contributors around the world. Enjoy the unique freedom a road trip allows while exploring Europe's wondrous landscapes, delicious regional food and drink and fascinating local culture and history. 

From ancient ruins to some of the world's best wine, here's a first look at the new essential European road trip companion guide.  

Ancient ruins and coastal views

The picture-perfect coast of Gythio in Peloponnese, Greece

The Peloponnese, Greece

Start: Ancient Corinth End: Nemea Distance: 395 miles (635km)

History and legend collide on this mountainous peninsula where you’ll find classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities and Venetian fortresses. Combined with dramatic peaks and deep gorges that give way to turquoise seas and deserted beaches, it makes a glorious spot for a road trip. In the northeast corner of the peninsula sits Ancient Corinth, a mostly Roman city, home to Jason of the Argonauts, stealer of the Golden Fleece. From here, you can take a route that combines historic, fortified cities with beaches and some of Greece’s most interesting wineries. Head for the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea, hilltop Mycenae or coastal Epidavros with its 4th-century-BC theatre, one of the best preserved ancient Greek structures in the country. Then loop by the mountaintop Byzantine city of Mystras, ancient Olympia, home to the original games, and the Lousios Gorge where you’ll find the cliffside Prodromou Monastery.

The best sustainable tourism experiences in Greece

The Costa Brava, Spain

Start: Girona End: Girona Distance: 118 miles (190km)

Mixing Greek and Roman ruins with medieval towns, the eccentricities of Salvador Dalí and a wild and rugged coast, Spain’s Costa Brava makes a fascinating, eclectic destination for a road trip. Begin   by exploring Girona’s hilly medieval core with its web of alleys and Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches. From here it’s an easy trip to Besalú, its strikingly well-preserved medieval streets fanning out around the handsome 11th-century Pont Fortificat (Fortified Bridge). Heading east to Figueres things get decidedly more bizarre at the Teatre-Museu Dalí , a fittingly trippy tribute to the local hero and Surrealist artist. Dalí spent his later life nearby in Port Lligat near Cadaqués , a whitewashed village with a pretty harbor and bohemian vibe. South along the coast are the extensive ruins of the Greek city Empúries and its later Roman neighbor, while inland is Castell de Púbol, a 14th-century castle that was Dalí’s gift to his wife and muse, Gala.

5 spectacular road trips around Spain

Taking a pit stop in Havr Town, Dalmatia, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia

Start: Hvar Town End: Jelsa Distance: 22 miles (35km)

Fought over by the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians, Hvar has long been a sought-after destination. Medieval walls topped by an imposing Spanish fortress enclose the Old Town, whose marble streets are lined with elaborate Gothic and Renaissance palaces. In high summer, Hvar attracts a party-hard international jet set, but outside the peak it’s a magical place that acts as the perfect gateway to crystalline waters and quiet villages. Head for Stari Grad on the north coast, a quieter town set on a horseshoe bay, to visit Stari Grad Plain , a Unesco Cultural Landscape whose stone walls and terraces of olives and grapes were laid out by the ancient Greeks. Drive backcountry roads through a patchwork of lavender and rosemary to discover isolated beaches and hidden coves, colorful former fishing villages such as Vrboska or Jelsa, and some of Croatia’s best wineries.

The 7 best road trips in Croatia for fans of history and epic coastlines

Captivating lakeside drives

Sveti (Saint) Jovan Kaneo Church on Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Lake Ohrid to Lake Prespa, North Macedonia

Start: Ohrid End: Oteshevo Distance: 34 miles (55km)

Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world, straddling the border between North Macedonia and Albania . Despite its Unesco status and being home to a multitude of endemic species, it remains remarkably unvisited. Begin in the ancient, picturesque city of Ohrid, continuously occupied since Neolithic times. Its Grecian theatre, recently rediscovered and restored, hosts an arts festival each summer. As you drive south you pass fortresses and monasteries, teetering dramatically above the water. Leave Lake Ohrid on a series of switchbacks climbing up through Galičica National Park, where at the road’s highest point a trail leading farther up offers a view across both lakes. Descend to the tranquil Lake Prespa in time for dinner, stopping at one of the many small restaurants in Oteshevo that serve fish landed straight from the lake.

North Macedonia: how to explore this little-known gem

Annecy, France

Start: Annecy End: Annecy Distance: 25 miles (40km)

Lake Annecy found fame in Paul Cézanne’s Le Lac d’Annecy painting, a post-Impressionist masterpiece that captures all the beauty, grandeur and violence of the landscape here. But nothing beats seeking out that drama yourself. It takes just a lazy day’s driving to travel its circumference, along glimmering blue water with snowcapped Alps behind. Base yourself   in Annecy and explore the gorgeous Old Town and lively markets before setting off. Impressive Château Menthon is well worth visiting and has guided tours throughout the summer months. Stop at Talloires for lunch – it has a fine selection of restaurants and good swimming beaches – and then,   if you’ve still got the energy, hike one of the many trails that wind up to the peaks that surround the lake. Finish back in Annecy for a sunset drink with panoramic views across the water at the Hotel Belvédère.

The 12 best beaches in France

Finnish Lakeland

Start: Varkaus End: Anttola Distance: 86 miles (138km)

A quarter of the Finnish Lakeland region is water – there are at least 55,000 lakes here, making it the largest lake district in Europe. To drive in this area is to lose all distinction between the water and the road. From Varkaus, it’s less than an hour’s drive to the Järvisydän spa , offering every type of soaking and sweating you can imagine. It’s not all about relaxing though – as you drive across this watery landscape there is ample opportunity for swimming and canoeing, fishing and boat trips, or, in winter, skating and snowshoeing. Finland’s ‘Right to Roam’ means that camping is permitted just about anywhere, but the hotels might still tempt you. The Ollinmäki Wine Farm, just outside Anttola, has villas, fabulous food, homemade wine and nearby lakes for a final road trip dip.

Finland’s best road trips: lakes, Lapland and local delicacies (think reindeer)

Drives around Mediterranean islands

Traditional fishing boats in Gozo, Malta

North Coast Gozo, Malta

Start: Ramla Bay End: Dwejra Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Gozo is the second-billed island in the Maltese archipelago, but for scenic appeal it easily rivals Malta proper. A drive along Gozo’s north coast reveals one of the country’s least built-up corners. Begin with a dip at Ramla Bay , a wide and largely wild beach not to be confused with the resort of the same name on the main island. Once you’ve brushed off its characteristic orange sand, take a coastal drive through the small harbor of Marsalforn, beyond which the route passes a surreal landscape of seaside salt pans. The road gets gravelly after it ducks round the inlet of Wied il-Għasri , but stick with it if you can along the clifftops to reach Wied il-Mielaħ, a natural sea arch to replace the famous Azure Window that collapsed in 2017. The location of the latter still makes a fitting trip finale, with sunset views beside the Dwejra Inland Sea.

Malta’s best diverse and delicious eating and drinking experiences

Mount Pantokrator Circuit, Corfu, Greece

Start: Pyrgi End: Pyrgi Distance: 41 miles (66km)

Mount Pantokrator is the highest point in Corfu (2972 ft/906m), and a lap of its flanks brings generous mountain and coastal views as you round the northeast corner of the island. Start in Pyrgi village and proceed north and clockwise if you want to get the climbing done early. From Pyrgi the road zigzags up past olive groves through the villages of Spartylas and Strinylas. Here you can drive east on a road up to the summit of Pantokrator itself (a car with a nimble turning circle is an advantage) where there’s a small but richly decorated monastery under a rather unfortunate communications mast. Return to the coast at the resort town of Acharavi, and head east as the road snakes round lushly wooded bays and charming villages such as c and Kalami, with views towards Albania just two miles across   the water.

10 incredible Greek hiking trails you can tackle right now

Lipari Loop, Italy

Start: Lipari Town End: San Salvatore Distance: 17 miles (28km)

Lipari is the middlemost of the Aeolian Islands , and as you drive the encircling main road, each of the other volcanic islands puts in an appearance on the horizon. Lipari Town is reached by car ferries and faster hydrofoils from Sicily , and heading out north the route is a palm-lined corniche running along a yacht-filled bay. From the road skirting the shingle beach at Canneto , you’ll have views towards the islands of Panarea and – half-concealed behind it – the ever-smoking cone of Stromboli. Past the pumice quarries at Lipari’s northeast corner, twin-peaked Salina lumbers into view, and after that, more distant Filicudi and Alicudi, if summer haze doesn’t obscure them. Last to appear as you turn the southwest corner is Vulcano. It’s visible from the main road, but for a close-up, end your drive at the viewpoint beside the Geophysical Observatory in San Salvatore, at Lipari’s southern tip.

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Europe's best vineyard drives

The vineyards of Douro Valley near Peso da Regua, Portugal

Douro Valley, Portugal

Start: Porto End: Miranda do Douro Distance: 222 miles (358km)

Portugal kept this one up its sleeve for a long time, but oenophiles have finally clocked on to the romance – and increasingly outstanding wines – of the Douro Valley . The world’s oldest demarcated wine region (in 1756, for the record) is a real beauty, with mile after mile of twisting, terraced vineyards that rise sharply from the Douro River. Its true heart is the Alto Douro (Upper Douro), a Unesco World Heritage Site. The drive kicks off in the grand port lodges of Porto , gradually inching east to the Spanish border. En route expect to find an abundance of historic wine estates – Quinta Nova and Quinta do Crasto are names to remember. And you’ll want to linger at the Casal de Loivos lookout, where the gasp-eliciting view over the vines is the Douro reduced to postcard format. Allow five days to a week to do the drive justice.

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Lavaux Vineyards, Switzerland

Start: Lausanne End: Château de Chillon Distance: 25 miles (40km)

Easily doable in a day trip from Geneva , this short but sublime drive takes in the Unesco World Heritage-protected Lavaux vineyards , which stagger up from the northern shores of Lake Geneva in a series of sheer, stone-walled terraces that beggar belief. The road trip along Rte 9 begins in the higgledy-piggledy French-speaking city of Lausanne and takes in pretty lakeside towns like Vevey before swinging southeast to Montreux (of summer jazz festival fame) and Château   de Chillon , an extraordinary 13th-century fortress, brought to world attention in 1816 in Lord Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’. Painters William Turner and Gustave Courbet subsequently immortalized the castle on canvas. In the vineyards, pause at a cave to taste beautiful Chasselas white wines that are crisp, minerally and usually only produced on a small, artisanal scale. Lavaux Vinorama in lakeside Rivaz whisks you through the region’s 300 wines and offers insightful tastings.

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Chianti Road, Italy

Start: Florence End: Siena Distance: 44 miles (71km)

Toscana simply doesn’t get more bella than this classic drive on the SR222 through Chianti country. Linking two great medieval cities, the road meanders languorously through gently rolling countryside striped with cypress trees, olive groves and vines. After an art and architectural feast in Florence , it’s time to head south to Siena , crowned by its magnificent cathedral   and 12th-century Piazza del Campo . In between are honey-colored hill towns, where life revolves around the town square, and is punctuated by the chiming of the campanile. Stop by enotecas (wine shops), open for tastings of the region’s revered red wines, including Chianti Classico, a sangiovese-dominated drop. The road   is technically drivable year-round but is perhaps at its most photogenic during the late springtime eruption of poppies and other wildflowers.

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Trappist beers of Belgium

Start: Westmalle End: Vleteren Distance: 347 miles (558km)

Explore Belgium while tasting beers from Trappist breweries, where monks have been creating flavourful beers for centuries before the contemporary focus on craft beer. Begin northeast of Antwerp at Café Trappisten , where Westmalle beers are matched with cheeses also made by monks from the adjacent Westmalle Abbey . Heading south through Brussels , beers from the Rochefort Brewery are partnered at local cafés with venison from the nearby Ardennes region. It’s then a 50 mile (80km) drive further south to Orval for their bottle-conditioned beer, a favorite of many craft brewers around the world. To the northwest, a quick spin of the wheels through France brings you to Scourmont Abbey , the base for Chimay. At the Poteaupré Inn at the Espace Chimay visitor center, try the Chimay 150, originally brewed in 2012 to celebrate the brewery’s 150-year anniversary. From here, it’s then a two-hour drive north to Vleteren, to end the trip with some excellent beers from Westvleteren.

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Southeast Ireland suds explorer

Start: Dublin End: Cork Distance: 236 miles (380km)

Guinness in Dublin and Murphy’s in Cork are two of Ireland’s most renowned breweries, and linking these heavyweights is this itinerary visiting up-and-coming craft breweries in between. After touring Guinness’ historic St James’s Gate brewery, continue south for a hoppy Wildfire red ale from Wicklow Wolf Brewery , before making the 20-minute drive along the Irish Sea to the Wicklow Brewery. Sunday roast for lunch is always a good time to visit the brewery’s Mickey Finn’s pub. Continue through a patchwork of farmland to YellowBelly Beer in County Wexford . YellowBelly’s seasonal brews include unusual sours and farmhouse ales, while the Gallow’s Hill barley wine, found west at the Dungarvan Brewing Company, is ideal in cooler months. Complete a hop-fuelled Irish journey with a pint of Murphy’s stout at the Shandon Arms in Cork.

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The Düsseldorf, Germany skyline from across the Rhine River

German beer loop

Start: Cologne End: Düsseldorf Distance: 1130 miles (1818km)

Beer has been brewed in Germany for three millennia. It’s a major part of the country’s culture, with many regional styles. Begin with a delicate straw-colored kölsch in the shadow of Cologne Cathedral before heading southeast to Bamberg , home of interesting rauchbiers made with smoked malt. South, near the border with Austria , Munich is famous for its golden Helles lagers and the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, while to the north, in former East Germany, the traditional beer style of Leipzig is gose, a tart beer flavored with salt and coriander. Nearby, Berlin is famous for Berliner Weisse beers, refreshingly low in alcohol, and often spiked with berry syrup. To the southwest, via Hanover and Saxony , Düsseldorf is the heartland of copper-colored altbiers – the name translates to ‘old beer’, as this is one of Germany’s most historic brews.

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A beach on the Isle of Eigg, looking towards the Isle of Rhum, Scotland.

22 sustainable holiday ideas for 2022: where we’re dreaming of

From hiking the Highlands to vintage train journeys, our travel writers pick the breaks on their wishlists

Disconnect on the impeccably green island of Eigg

In both ethics and aesthetics, Eigg is remarkable. In sustainability terms, it’s unique: the first island, indeed region of the UK, to be self-sufficient in renewable energy. Eigg disconnected from the mainland back in 2008 . By balancing solar, water and wind power, the community-owned Eigg Electric provides enough power all year round to supply the 100 or so permanent residents and the 10,000 visitors who come every summer.

The wind turbines were positioned on the slopes of Eigg’s landmark mountain, An Sgurr , not only to maximise wind exposure and minimise turbulence, but to fit into the spectacular setting. Even the solar panels on a flowery south-facing hillside look good.

Ownership of Eigg was transferred to a Heritage Trust in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust in 1997, with contributions from thousands of members of the public. With empathy and commitment, the community has organised its island so that we can enjoy it too. No visiting cars or campervans are allowed, but it’s small enough for a day trip (from Arisaig on the mainland, a one-hour ferry ride). The redeveloped An Laimhrig community hub with cafe – designed by Hebridean architect Will Tunnell, will open in time for the 25th anniversary of the community takeover this summer – and the annual celebratory party takes place on 12 June.

Nowhere on Eigg is more than a two-mile hike and Charlie’s taxi is usually by the pier. Next door to the cafe, the shop has a surprisingly eclectic range of goodies and essentials, and bikes to hire.

Despite Eigg’s size (five miles by three), it has several places to stay, including a guesthouse and a great hostel , and campers are welcomed. A new (sustainable) shower block and cool camping pods (from £45 a night for four) by the pier opened last year, and the Isle of Eigg Brewery , a cooperative operating along impeccably green lines, will open in 2022.

The climb up An Sgurr is rewarded with one of the best views in the Highlands. Walks around Laig Bay, with views across to Muck and mighty Rum, could be taken every day, and the ethereal interplay of sand, sea and sky would still mesmerise. Last summer I visited a lot of Scottish islands for a new photo guide to be published in the spring, but none has its act as consummately planned and holistically together as Eigg. isleofeigg.org Pete Irvine, author of Scotland the Best: the Islands , published on 3 March

Thessaloniki’s cosmopolitan and tolerant energy

Thessaloniki cafe at sunset

I spent the best part of last summer lying on idyllic and isolated Greek island beaches thinking about a very different place and time: the rich and complicated urban history of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city.

British historian Mark Mazower’s thought-provoking book, Salonica: City of Ghosts, transported me from the Byzantine to the Ottoman era, the city’s integration into the new Greek state in the early 20th century and the fallout from the second world war. As much of the region continues to tread a dangerous path of deepening nationalist hostility, Thessaloniki’s history of diversity and coexistence is a sobering reminder that things do not have to be this way: Christians, Muslims and Jews lived side by side in peace for hundreds of years.

Salonica, as it is is also called, was the only city in Europe with a majority Jewish population – the “Jerusalem of the Balkans”, though few survived the Nazi occupation and Holocaust. However, Thessaloniki’s cosmopolitan and tolerant energy survives today, with a vibrant culinary and cultural scene. It was recently named Greece’s first Unesco city of gastronomy

I will be going for the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in March on one of the high-speed trains from Athens which launch this month. From the UK, get a train to Bari or Ancona in Italy, then ferry to Patras and continue on Greek railways (OSE) via Athens to Thessaloniki (with a short substitute bus on the first, Patras-Kiato, section). Alex King

Cycle Grenoble’s riverside parks

Grenoble, the French city surrounded by the Alps in the Rhone-Alpes region.

The city of Grenoble, in south-east France, has been named Green Capital of Europe for 2022, and while it’s well known to skiers, it makes a great destination year-round. Head there in spring, when the train via Paris whizzes through Burgundy’s blooming vineyards and on into the mountains. Grenoble sits at the point where three valleys meet, and is surrounded by the Belledonne, Vercors and Chartreuse mountains. Getting around is easy: the city’s cycle-share scheme, Métrovélo , has 7,000 bikes, and there are 200 miles of cycling routes in and around the city. Visitors can ride between parks and out along paths that follow the rivers Drac and Isère.

For the best views, take the cable car from the city centre up 500 metres to the 19th-century Fort Bastille. Hikers are spoiled for choice with trails that zigzag around the mountains. The food scene has long embraced sustainability, and several restaurants use only local produce. Book a table at Jeanette , where chefs Manon Bocquentin and Thaïs Giannetti use suppliers from within 20 miles of the restaurant and forage for mountain herbs for their delicate and inventive dishes.

To rest weary limbs after hiking and biking, check into the bright and modern Okko Grenoble Jardin Hoche Hotel (doubles from €98 room-only) in the ecodistrict of Zac de Bonne. The first of its kind in Europe, it’s a former military brownfield site that was transformed into a sustainable community. Carolyn Boyd

Molise is waiting to be discovered

Italy, Molise, Termoli, Old town

Molise, a sparsely populated region of southern Italy, is so off the radar that many Italians joke that “ Molise non esiste ” (Molise doesn’t exist). But after visiting for the first time in 2019, I realised the mockery is unfair. Molise contains the very best of Italy , from the scenery to the food. But best of all, it feels like uncharted territory.

Being someone who enjoys travelling by train, I am now looking forward to returning in 2022 on board the Molise Express, a vintage train that will show visitors the best of the region’s mountains, coastlines and ancient villages.

“Molise is among the least-known regions in Italy,” said Fabrizio Minichetti, president of Le Rotaie-Molise , the association that helped launch the initiative. “But we have mountains, the sea, wonderful scenery and many beauty spots that deserve to be discovered.”

The service will be rolled out this year and take passengers through the Biferno valley, from the coastal town of Termoli to the regional capital of Campobasso, stopping off at the villages of Casacalenda and Larino before returning to Termoli. The day trip, costing €24, will give passengers ample time to explore the historic towns, including a trip to the Kalenarte open-air contemporary art museum in Casacalenda. The train carriages, with wooden interiors, date back to the 1920s.

The initiative is one of several vintage train routes planned in Italy as the country seeks to promote train tourism. In 2023, the Dolce Vita train will be launched: it’s a luxurious sleeper that will show passengers the best of the Italian landscape, from north to south, with stops in more than 100 cities. The service plans to introduce visitors to lesser-known spots, such as the Sila mountains in Calabria. Angela G iuffrida

Czech Republic

A monastery and brewery under one roof in Prague

Prague

It’s one of the greenest cities in Europe when it comes to parks and open spaces, but Prague has been sluggish on the uptake of sustainability – aside from the newly installed pink city bikes and a sprinkling of zero-waste grocery stores. That’s what makes the Břevnov Monastery such a great spot. Founded in 993, this still-active Benedictine friary is a fascinating U-shaped complex, enveloped in a tangle of trees, lakes and winding little paths.

The embedded Adalbert Hotel (doubles from €75 B&B) is an award-winning guesthouse, and its recent eco-revamp has seen it embrace a number of sustainable, planet-saving practices, such as waste reduction, energy saving and using environmentally friendly products. As well as the hotel and monastery (tours available), the complex also rather brilliantly houses a brewery – the oldest in the Czech Republic, no less. You can sample their lagers, IPAs and wheat beers from the bottle shop-cum-beer hovel, or even better, head to their rustic, fire-heated tavern opposite and combine it with a bowl of delicious mushroom soup. Mark Pickering

Ancient theatres get back in the act

Parga, Greece

The Epirus coast is one of the prettiest in Greece, yet one of the least visited, despite having the most accessible stretch of beaches for those who prefer to avoid flying, as it starts south of Igoumenitsa, terminus of the ferries from Italy.

I went on holiday to Parga when I was 12 and have vowed to return ever since. Not a resort on everyone’s radar, Parga is built over a double-curve bay. Memories of its transparent waters, fringed as they were by jungle-thick vegetation, merge in my mind with those of Brazil’s, a later love of mine.

Syvota, further north, presents an incongruous sight to Greece aficionados: a mountain village lording it over a magnificent coast, whose low treeline resembles a Norwegian fjord. I have long yearned to explore its archipelago of tiny offshore islands and their pristine sandy beaches.

It’s ancient history, though, that grabs me this year, associated with five ancient theatres restored and promoted as part of a new archaeological route. I’m particularly curious about Gitana, with its carved seat names – unusually one reserved for a woman, called Filista – and romantic Dodona, built by Pyrrhus, him of the “pyrrhic” victory which inspired Lord Byron to write a poem.

I won’t miss the theatre at ancient Nikopolis, founded by Octavian after his victory against Anthony and Cleopatra. Its successor, Preveza, is a delightful, laid-back town worth exploring that serves both as a cultural springboard and as a holiday choice in its own right, with a good share of pleasingly uncrowded beaches. John Malathronas

The beaches and cosmopolitan backstreets of Piran

Piran

I had spotted it on the map a few years ago: Slovenia has a coastline. Who knew? The region around the Italian port of Trieste is full of such geographic curiosities; the borders having ebbed and flowed with the tides of empire ever since the Romans lost the plot at the close of the sixth century. At the end of the second world war, Tito’s Yugoslavia occupied the wider area, but later agreements pushed back, snipping all but 29 miles of coast from what was, until 1991, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, sandwiched between Croatia and Italy.

Last year I managed to snatch a brief look at one of the towns, Piran, a gorgeous labyrinth of old Venetian architecture around a lovely harbour. It’s the sort of town where you get lost, discover some fantastic back streets, then emerge totally disoriented close to where you started.

Despite swapping countries and empires with baffling frequency, it retains a laid-back cosmopolitan ambience. In high summer, I am told, it gets over-populated with visitors, so I’ll avoid those months: I just want to wander in those shady slot canyons of ancient houses, emerging occasionally by the sea to eat a seafood platter or some of the excellent prśut ( cured ham) with a glass of a Slovenian wine.

The hills behind the town are known for their teran reds and malvazija whites, but don’t miss the other local speciality, dry white rebula. The nearby town of Izola looks interesting and Portorož is said to have a good beach. For cycling tours check out Visit Good Place . Kevin Rushby

Cycle all the way to the Black Sea

Bikepacking Germany Iron Curtain Trail

An unusual, but highly sustainable way to explore some of Germany’s lesser-touted regions is to hop on your bike – or rent one locally – and follow part of the Iron Curtain Trail. Officially called the EuroVelo 13 , the trail stretches over 6,000 miles along the former cold war divide between east and west, from the Black Sea up to the Barents Sea.

The Germany section combines two separate routes: the Baltic Sea Cycle Route, where you can experience stunning coastal landscapes and beach-peppered holiday islands like Usedom and Rügen; and the German-German Border Trail, whose former depopulated zones have been transformed into a major green belt.

As you make your way down past the border areas with Poland and the Czech Republic, you’ll find plenty of nature areas, including the Lauenburg Lakes and Harz mountains, plus dense forests and sights like Wartburg Castle. If it’s not far enough, continue all the way down to the Black Sea. If it’s too far, try the Iron Curtain Gravel Trail . Paul Sullivan

Temptation overload on Galicia’s dramatic west coast

Cíes Islands

Beyond Santiago de Compostela, Spain’s beautifully green north-west corner remains one of the country’s less-visited pockets. On Galicia’s west coast, where the mist-shrouded Costa da Morte gives way to the deep inlets of the Rías Baixas, fabulous fresh seafood, silky Atlantic surf beaches, clifftop hiking trails, up-and-coming albariño wineries and pristine offshore islands are just some of the temptations.

Opened in 2020, the sustainability-driven Parador Costa da Morte (doubles from €150), near Muxía, ups the appeal, with design inspired by Galician culture and landscapes; it’s part of a years-in-the-making regeneration project after a 2002 oil spill. Or stay at an inspiring rural hotel such as Casa Fontequeiroso (doubles from €70 B&B)– a stone-built 100-year-old home above off-the-beaten-track Nemiña beach, where Mari Carmen Leis Calo serves home-cooked meals. A quick ferry ride from Vigo (Easter week and May to September) lie the stunning Cíes Islands, whose plunging cliffs and pearly beaches are the stars of the Illas Atlánticas (Atlantic Islands) national park. Take the ferry to Santander or Bilbao with Brittany Ferries , from £101 pp ) then road-trip or train west to Galicia Isabella Noble

A pilgrimage to Bardsey Island

Solitary sheep on Welsh coastal headland overlooking Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli, a lump of Precambrian rock in the Irish Sea off the Llŷn peninsula in north-west Wales, has been a place of tranquil worship since the sixth century, and a place of dedicated pilgrimage since the middle ages. I feel as if I have been trying to get there for almost as long. Over the years, I have been foiled by storms twice (the two-mile ferry crossing from the mainland through strong tidal races is frequently disrupted), misadventure and even the birth of one of my children.

Going on a “pilgrimage” has seen renewed interest recently, with people seeking meaning and adding purpose to a trip – and in the spirit of the steadfast pilgrimages our forebears made to Bardsey, known as the “Island of 20,000 saints”, I am going to cycle there in 2022 – 150 miles from my home in the Black Mountains, following winding green river valleys and crossing the hauntingly empty moors of mid-Wales. Training for this will help fulfil another key goal for this year: to finally slough off the lockdown laziness and get seriously fit once again. Rob Penn

Algae, almonds and an eco retreat near Olhão

Casa Modesta Algarve - Portugal

An “old sea dog” known to his family as the Champ, Joaquim Modesto de Brito inspired his grandchildren to build Casa Modesta (doubles from €120 B&B) converted into an ecoretreat from the old family home on the edge of the eastern Algarve’s Ria Formosa, a natural park. The renovation by grandson Carlos Fernandes used locally sourced and sustainable materials, and an organic garden was sown so that the harvest could be enjoyed by guests.

A partner of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), it has nine rooms, decorated by Fernandes’s sister, Vânia, making features of the original vaulted ceilings and terracotta floors. Local olives, almonds and algae are used in the spa treatments, and bikes are provided for guests to explore the cycle paths along the estuary, as well as the nearby fishing town of Olhão. The family says: “Our door is always open to welcome those who arrive with the same joy with which we would run to our grandparents’ arms when we were little.” Audrey Gillan

Cutting-edge culture in Antwerp

KMSKA Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium Koninkijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen

Whether art to you means a directional Dries Van Noten outfit or a dark and dramatic Rubens painting, Antwerp will appeal. The city combines an artistic pedigree dating back to the Flemish masters in the city’s 16th-century golden age with a thriving fashion scene, forward-thinking back-street galleries and edgy warehouse clubs.

This year is an especially important year for the city, with the reopening of the Fine Arts Museum (KMSKA) in September after a 10-year renovation. The revamp of its beautiful historic building includes a new wing over four painstakingly restored courtyards. Two halls will be dedicated to Antwerp’s most famous painters: Rubens and Van Dyck.

KMSKA is conveniently located in the trendy Zuid neighbourhood, handy for Antwerp’s more recent cultural contributions. Here you’ll find MoMu, a world-famous fashion museum, alongside Ann Demeulemeester’s airy flagship store and Dries van Noten’s Het Modepaleis, which mixes cutting-edge design with vintage furniture. For up and coming designers, try Nationalestraat and Kloosterstraat.

For an insight into the future of Antwerpian culture, visit Het Eilandje in the northern docklands. There are forward-thinking restaurants in the Felix Pakhuis warehouse and contemporary galleries along the Artland trail, as well as MAS, a maritime museum with spectacular city views. Borgerhout, near the central station, is popular among a younger, artier crowd – try Pekfabriek, a club in a former pitch factory that hosts Belgium’s best underground DJs. Rachel Hall

Sustainable luxury in one of Europe’s top surfing towns

The town of Ericeira, north of Lisbon, may be famous as a world-class surfing spot, but until now it had no five-star hotel. There is an abundance of hostels and guesthouses, but Immerso (doubles from €175 B&B), built into a green valley just outside the town, will be the first high-level destination hotel aiming to combine a concern for the environment – on local and planetary levels – and luxury.

The owners say sustainability is at the heart of the project and that the design and colour palette will reflect the landscape and the sea. Due to open in early summer, Immerso will have 37 rooms and a restaurant – Emme – under the consulting guidance of Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Silva of Lisbon’s Loco restaurant. There will be a vegetable garden, in-house beer production (one Pilsner, one ale) and plans are afoot to host surfboard workshops. Audrey Gillan

Clock up your steps on the Lake District’s Ullswater Way

View of Patterdale, Ullswater

In late 2020 a new bridge opened at the northern end of Ullswater, five years after Storm Desmond destroyed the old one, and first across it was a flock of sheep. Leave the car behind and go off-season for spring flowers, autumn colours or crisp winter hikes. Penrith station is half an hour away by bus: the 508 rolls from there, past the green fells that rise out of Ullswater’s misty, island-dotted water. Ullswater Steamers from Pooley Bridge run to remote Howtown Pier on the eastern shore of the lake or to the 150-metre-high Aira Force waterfall on the west.

The Ullswater Way is a weekend-ready, 20-mile circuit of the lake. It climbs to the iron age circle of Maiden Castle , with views that stretch east to the Pennines, and heads down again through rugged, ferny woods. Fellwalking author Alfred Wainwright called Ullswater “loveliest of lakes, curving gracefully into the far distance”, and opined that the seven mossy waterside miles from Howtown to Glenridding formed the “most beautiful and rewarding walk in Lakeland”.

The Ullswater Way opened in 2016; its daffodil waymarkings flag up that this is the lake where Wordsworth wandered past his verse-inspiring flowers. A new five-mile loop from Pooley Bridge leads to the Dalemain Estate, for tea by a log fire in the medieval hall; another detour, added in 2019, takes in Lowther Castle.

Stay in a hobbit hole or a cabin with a stargazing roof at green-award-winning glamping complex the Quiet Site (from £85 a night for two adults and four children). It’s right on the Ullswater Way, and there’s a zero-waste shop and off-grid cafe. New pet- and family-friendly, carbon-positive Gingerbread Houses with wooden walls, heat pumps and beech hedges, opened in 2021. Phoebe Taplin

700km of waterways for the taking in a Unesco biosphere

Kopački Rit nature park

They’re calling it the “Amazon of Europe” – which might be overselling it a tad – a vast, newly declared Unesco biosphere reserve that follows the routes of the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers as they meander through Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia.

It’s the biggest protected river area in Europe, covering over 400 miles of waterways, and I’ve got my eye on a couple of areas in Croatia and along its border with Serbia. The first is Kopački Rit nature park, a huge area of wetlands between the Drava and Danube rivers by the Serbian border. You can take a small boat tour along its waterways to watch the birdlife, and hire a bike to cycle along the park’s beautifully flat trails. You could also hop across the border into Serbia and hike through the forested trails of Gornje Podunavlje nature reserve which runs along the Danube.

The second area isn’t quite so well known to British visitors. Where the Mura meets the Drava river by the Hungarian border near the village of Legrad, there’s the specially protected nature reserve of Veliki Pažut, where a solar-powered boat runs along the river to spot rare birds, including the little tern. I’d then hire a bike and cycle along the Drava and head inland along the old Iron Curtain EV13 bike trail to the pretty baroque town of Koprivnica. I’d carry on to the village of Hlebine, birthplace of Croatian naive art, which I’ve always found fascinating. And then finish with a swim in Šoderica, a lake formed by the Drava, and a cold beer in one of the lakeside cafes. Mary Novakovich

Red wine and Roman ruins in Tarragona

The Aqueduct Ferreres

Once the capital of Roman Spain, Tarragona tends to get overlooked, but there’s something for everyone in this elegant Mediterranean city, from ancient monuments to the bars and restaurants of the old town. The city was founded by the Scipio brothers, both Roman generals, in 217BC and their legacy includes a largely intact Roman amphitheatre and circus as well as the spectacular Devil’s Bridge aqueduct two miles north of the city. The city was declared a Unesco world heritage site in 2000.

The town is dominated by a 13th-century cathedral, built on the site of a mosque and before that a Roman temple. Unlike Barcelona’s gothic quarter, Tarragona old town hasn’t been lost to tourism. There are excellent restaurants serving local specialities such as romesco de peix , a Catalan fish stew. It’s also a treat to eat in the restaurants by the port, where the fish is cooked more or less straight off the boat.

People associate the region with cava, Catalonia’s sparkling wine, but some of Spain’s best reds also come from Tarragona, notably priorat and montsant, and the local Yzaguirre vermouth makes a great aperitif.

Tarragona also has a fine city beach, Platja del Miracle. A nine-mile coastal walk runs along beaches and through umbrella pines to Altafulla, a good lunch stop before catching a train back to the city. Those with strong stomachs and no fear of heights might prefer the Port Aventura theme park and its 65mph rollercoaster. Trains to Tarragona leave from Barcelona Passeig de Gràcia every half-hour, taking time 1¼ hours Stephen Burgen

Celebrate the 1,900th birthday of Hadrian’s Wall

A stretch of Hadrian s Wall known as Thorny Doors

This year marks exactly 19 centuries since Emperor Hadrian oversaw the start of work on the 73-mile wall to guard the Roman empire’s remote north-western border – and a year-long festival is planned to celebrate. From the banks of the Tyne in Newcastle to the Solway Firth, west of Carlisle, this Unesco-listed frontier has a national trail tracking it from coast to coast.

You can walk beside sections of wall or follow its former course, snaking over grassy hills, past turrets, milecastles and whole Roman towns. There are huge views across the landscapes of Northumberland and Cumbria from ruins like Housesteads fort with its barracks, hospital and communal loos. Fragments of ancient life here – a hobnailed leather shoe or a bowl with a carved soldier’s name – survive in the museum.

Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival kicks off in late January and will include new site-specific artworks, summer evening concerts, re-enactments, walks, Roman-themed light trails and a travelling Saturnalia. It’s a great time to explore – I intend to walk it in stages over the course of the year. Phoebe Taplin

Rock up at a skyscraping wooden hotel on the east coast

The Wood Hotel, Sweden

International visitors usually head for Sweden’s big southern cities or the mountainous north, where local companies offer a flurry of wintry outdoor experiences, from ice-carving to snowy horseback safaris. But it’s sometimes the less obvious destinations that offer a true taste of Sweden. Take Skellefteå, 430 miles north of Stockholm along the sand-fringed east coast. By international standards, this former gold-mining outpost is tiny, with a population smaller than Scunthorpe’s.

Its eco-credentials are world class, though: Skellefteå is leading the way in sustainable timber construction, and The Wood Hotel (doubles from £150 B&B), with Scandi-minimal and a rooftop terrace, has just opened inside a new cultural centre. This 20-storey architectural triumph is one of the world’s tallest timber buildings, with epic views of the surrounding forests.

Skellefteå is not a tourist hub, but it should be. During winter you might see the northern lights, and there are tons of eco-friendly activities to try in the forests nearby, from hiking to elk-spotting. Photographers can snap golden eagles in the wild right through until March, and in summer pristine beaches are perfect for evening swims. Steve Vickers, editor of Routes North Scandinavia travel guide

Brittany’s enchanting coastline and seaweed spas

Brignogan Plages

On a fine sand beach in the small seaside town of Brignogan-Plages on Finistère’s dramatic north coast, Hôtel de la Mer (doubles from €90 room-only) reinvented itself as an ecologically responsible hotel in 2016.

The spacious 18-room residence is warmed and powered by renewable energy; it harvests rainwater and recycles as much as possible; and its owners are passionate about the local crop – seaweed. With foraging workshops, seaweed-based spa treatments and seaweed-themed menus in the restaurant, there is much to enjoy, but it is the hotel’s position on this enchanting and little-visited coastline that steals the show.

After a day exploring Finistère’s pretty islands and broad sweeping Atlantic beaches, head back to the hotel for a drink, then enjoy a pre-dinner paddle among the rocks in the shallows as the tide creeps in, enjoying the stillness of the evening. And as this region is just an overnight ferry ride away – on Brittany Ferries’ Plymouth-to-Roscoff route – the journey there is stress-free. Carolyn Boyd

A living artwork in Cornwall’s Eden Project

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg at Eden Project

The huge greenhouse domes that form the Eden Project have gardens inside and out: valleys of spring bulbs, hothouse-pungent rainforests, an oasis of rose and jasmine, and a treetop walkway overlooking palms and papayas.

Eden has just announced a new 55-metre-long living artwork. An autumn-planted, bee-friendly Pollinator Pathmaker by artist Alexandra Ginsberg will be a permanent installation, due to be in flower for human and insect visitors by June.

You can arrive by train at St Austell station and catch the new Daytripper bus or cycle four miles through wooded valleys. St Austell is also an easy bus or bike ride from sandy beaches, village pubs and the subtropical Lost Gardens of Heligan . It’s a five-minute stroll from the station to St Austell’s Victorian brewery, where seagulls call, the air is heavy with hops and tasting tours have just restarted. Phoebe Taplin

Unwind in a hot seaweed bath in County Waterford

County Waterford

Waterford is curiously overlooked and under-appreciated as a destination. The star destinations of Dublin, Kerry and Galway grab the headlines and by far the greater number of visitors, but the small southern county has an abundance of attractions – and some serious sustainable travel credentials.

From historic, walkable and rapidly regenerating Waterford City – recently voted “best place to live in Ireland” in the Irish Times – venture out on the Waterford Greenway, the country’s longest dedicated cycling and walking trail, which runs for 28 miles to Dungarvan using a former railway track that features 11 bridges, three viaducts and a 400-metre tunnel.

Alternatively, hug the scenic and secluded Copper Coast, a 15-mile stretch of rugged shoreline between Tramore and Dungarvan that is one of only three Irish Unesco-designated Geoparks. Stop off for seaweed foraging, tastings and beach picnics with Marie Power, or the Sea Gardener (three-hour trips €35). A little further on at Helvick pier is Sólás Na Mara , a wellness centre offering one of Ireland’s oldest natural therapies – hot seaweed baths.

Lismore, in the west, is possibly the prettiest town in Ireland and celebrated for its charming cathedral, imposing castle and beautiful River Blackwater views; downstream, in Villierstown, is Blackwater Eco Tours , a not-for-profit community enterprise that has four family-size eco-pods (from €95) and activities such as self-drive boats and canoeing. Hikers heading to the peaks, plateaux, moorlands and corrie lakes of the unexplored Comeragh and Knockmealdown mountains should stay at Nire Valley Eco Camp (from €125 a night for two) which boasts five “bedrooms in a meadow” – stylish solar-powered cabins with dedicated wetlands to process wastewater.

“People who stay with us soon realise that Waterford has this fabulous mix of mountains and sea, woodlands and rivers – all within easy reach of each other,” says Hilary Britton, owner of the Getaway (pitches from €20), a new motorhome and glamping eco-park near Dungarvan that provides “clear-conscience camping”. Britton adds: “For most visitors to Ireland, it’s a forgotten county.” Philip Watson

Lech-Zurs aims for more sustainable skiing breaks

View over the resort of Zurs

As a sector that will be hugely affected by global warming, the ski industry is making progress towards a more sustainable model.

Pyha, in Finland’s eastern Lapland, wants to become the world’s “cleanest” ski area, and was the first Scandinavian resort to go carbon neutral, back in 2011. Laax, in Switzerland, wants to do the same by 2030 – making the entire resort self-sufficient, not just the mountain infrastructure of lifts and restaurants; many resorts, including Ishgl in the Austrian Tirol, have already achieved this. In Italy’s Trentino region, Pejo 3000 claimed it was the “world’s first plastic-free ski resort” when it banned disposable plastic in 2019.

Also aiming to impress with its eco credentials, and with an epic ski area to boot, is Lech-Zurs in Austria’s Arlberg. Depending on Covid restrictions, it’s worth a visit in 2022. Linked to St Anton, which has some of the best off-piste riding in Europe, and with its own extensive freeride terrain (which gets tracked out far less rapidly thanks to the popularity of long lunches at its mountain restaurants), it is working hard on the green front. The number of guest beds is capped at 10,000 to curtail development, lift pass numbers have been limited, local biomass heaters provide heat and communal hot water, and so on.

On the white front there’s plenty of steep off-piste, cruisy pistes to tiny mountain villages, plus shopping for traditional Austrian boots and clothes on Lech’s twinkling main drag. The Alpenland hotel (doubles from €195 half-board) is great value, but better still, escape the glitz in the peaceful riverside hamlet of Zug, staying maybe at the family-run Schafberg (doubles from €125 B&B). Riding a classic off-piste route that drops 1,000 vertical metres from the Madloch-Joch to Zug is a pleasure one hopes will continue. The nearest station is Langen am Arlberg (trains from Innsbruck and Munich) or St Anton (trains from Zurich), both linked by bus Gemma Bowes

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75+ Essential Europe Travel Tips You Need to Hear

Planning a trip to Europe and want to make sure you know exactly what to expect? These Europe travel tips will help you prepare!

We absolutely adore traveling in Europe–so much so that after spending more than 1.5 cumulative years traveling the continent, visiting most European countries along the way, we finally moved here!

Today, Lisbon, Portugal is our base between trips in Europe.

We’ve stayed in hundreds of hotels and apartments in Europe, visited countless cities and towns, and explored via plane, train, bus, and road trip.

Along the way, we’ve picked up plenty of travel tips for Europe, from cultural quirks to be on the lookout for, to ways to save yourself a few headaches or a bit of money.

Here are the best Europe travel tips to keep in mind before you go.

Table of Contents

A Quick Note on the Generality of Europe Travel Tips

Tips for staying in hotels + apartments in europe, restaurant tips for europe, europe travel tips for grocery shopping, tips for driving in europe, train travel tips for europe, bus + taxi travel tips for europe, tips for flying in europe, travel tips for paying for things in europe, logistical travel tips for europe, sightseeing tips for traveling europe, packing for your trip to europe.

View of O'Brien's Tower at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

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Given that Europe is made up of around 53 independent countries and is roughly the size of the USA, obviously, these travel tips for Europe won’t be able to delve deeply into the individual intricacies that come with traveling somewhere that is home to such a variety of cultures, languages, and topography.

We’ve intentionally kept these Europe travel tips fairly high-level, and while they will help guide your general expectations for traveling on the continent–especially if you’re going on a multi-country trip–you’ll definitely want to follow up with additional research into your specific destinations.

We’d love to help with that, of course!

S ee our Destinations page or use the search bar in the top-right corner of the screen to see what information we have on the locations you’re headed to.

We’ve also primarily written this post from the perspective of people from the USA, and while we think that other non-Europeans will find value here as well, some of these Europe travel tips do speak to cultural differences between the USA and Europe specifically.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik: Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm on Dubrovnik city walls

Hotels and apartments will commonly make a copy of or take a picture of your passport.

This is done for tax and licensing purposes on their end and is totally normal, so don’t worry about it!

Leaving your room key at the hotel when you go out is common.

This won’t happen absolutely everywhere, but just know that if a hotel asks you to leave the hotel key at the front desk when you leave for the day, this is perfectly reasonable.

For obvious reasons, you’re much more likely to find this practice in hotels with beautiful, old-fashioned keys.

Modern hotels with electronic room access don’t need to keep your physical key on hand.

Librairie Jousseaume in Galerie Vivienne in Paris in December

You’ll need to pay a tourist tax in most places you visit.

This is collected by your hotel and increasingly by private apartments/Airbnbs (they’re required to do so).

This fee is set per person, per night, and is usually around 2-4 Euros, though it does vary.

So, for example, if you’re a couple spending 4 nights in a city with a 2 Euro tourist tax, you would owe 16 Euros: 2 Euros per person (aka 4 Euros per night for you as a couple), for 4 nights.

This tax must be paid in cash. There are exceptions–some upscale hotels will let you charge it and then handle the cash on their end–but we’ve only had that offered a couple of times. Cash is always deeply preferred.

Hotels will generally request the tax at the beginning of the stay, but most won’t make a big deal out of having you pay anytime before check out if you don’t have cash on hand during check-in.

These taxes are never paid before arrival–so even if you paid for your hotel in full through a service like Booking.com before checking in, you’ll still owe the tax upon arrival.

You’ll see these taxes imposed in most major European tourism destinations, but not necessarily everywhere on the continent.

Cliffs of Capri with bright blue water and boats visible to the left. Definitely consider a visit here when planning a trip to Italy!

Air conditioning is not a given.

If you’re visiting Europe during the summer, double-check that your hotel or apartment before booking.

Air conditioning isn’t always standard, even in countries that get quite hot, but it’s often very necessary in our opinion.

Don’t expect a clothes dryer.

Even if your apartment rental or Airbnb comes with a washing machine, you generally won’t find a dryer–but there will be a rack to line-dry your clothes on.

Couple in front of Colosseum: Visiting Rome in Winter

You may turn the electricity on in your hotel room with your key.

In some hotels, you’ll turn the electricity on and off by entering your hotel key into a slot near the door.

This is done in order to ensure electricity is used efficiently.

If the lights in your hotel room aren’t working when you arrive, keep an eye out for a slot to place the key in!

If you have mobility concerns, choose a place to stay carefully.

Narrow, steep staircases are not uncommon in Europe–we’ve climbed many of them to reach apartments or hotel rooms.

Elevators/lifts are also far from a guarantee, especially at small, family-run properties.

ranger storm sitting on a bed in a rented apartment lucca italy

The first floor isn’t the first floor.

You run into this cultural difference in far more places than hotels, but the odds are good that your hotel will be the first place you experience it!

In Europe, floor levels are counted starting from 0, not 1.

So the ground floor is 0, the first level off the ground (what Americans would call the second floor) is the first floor, and so on.

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm on a balcony overlooking matera on a southern italy itinerary

Google Maps is excellent for finding reliably good food on the go.

Out sightseeing and not sure where to stop to eat?

We use Google maps and its reviews in order to find reliable restaurants nearby–and it virtually never steers us wrong!

Most importantly, it cuts the pressure to choose a restaurant just by looking at it down dramatically, making it easier than ever to avoid tourist traps.

Plate of Grilled Meat at Tanjga Family Restaurant in Kotor, shot from above. Fun Things to Do in Kotor Montenegro

Make note of the local tipping culture before you sit down.

Tipping culture in restaurants varies wildly throughout the continent. 

In some places, leaving nothing is normal.

Sometimes, you’re expected to round up a Euro or two.

In other places, 10% is the norm, and in still others, a standard fee is automatically added to the bill that serves as a tip.

Be sure to check the specifics before sitting down to avoid a faux pas!

Pan of Pasta Carbonara from Trastevere food tour, What to Do in Rome at Night

Keep in mind that restaurants won’t always be open all day.

In many countries in Europe, it’s common for restaurants to close in the afternoon between lunch and dinner–usually roughly from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, give or take.

Don’t shy away from reservations, especially in major cities.

If you want to eat at a particular restaurant, especially one that’s well-known, making reservations in advance will make all the difference.

If you’d rather not make them yourself, your hotel concierge is generally happy to help.

Kate Storm in a red dress in front of La Consulat cafe in Montmartre, one of the most instagrammable places in Paris

Slow service doesn’t mean bad service.

In most of Europe, polite service is reserved and slow–so don’t expect your waiter to hover over you, ask questions about your life, or bring the check until you ask for it (that would be considered rushing the customer).

It’s definitely a cultural difference from the USA, but honestly, we’ve grown to prefer it!

Close up of Greek salad, Santorini Honeymoon

Waiting for a table is not common–you’re more likely to be turned away.

This goes along with the tip for traveling Europe listed above: since service is slower and meals are generally longer, it’s rare to be told that there’s an X-minute wait for a table at a restaurant.

Since those who have a table are welcome to keep it for the night, you’re more likely to be told the restaurant is full and to try again tomorrow.

The exception?

If you call to make a last-minute reservation and are willing to eat on the early side, you may occasionally get a restaurant that will seat you and say you’re welcome to come, but you have to give up the table by X time so the original reservation can take over.

Food in Istanbul: Lamb Dish

Consider taking a food tour at least once during your trip to Europe.

Food tours are one of our absolute favorite ways to explore a new city (or just favorite ones).

Not only will they help you learn more about the cuisine and embolden you to order dishes for the rest of your trip that you may not have known about, but they’re also tons of fun and a great way to get a walking tour in–with a twist.

Devour Tours and Take Walks put on some of our favorite boutique food tours on the continent.

Get Your Guide often has fantastic options as well (and covers far more cities than the first two).

two aperol spritzes being held up in piazza dell'anfiteatro, one of the best places to visit lucca italy

Asking for tap water is fine, but it’s not guaranteed.

Whether or not a free carafe of tap water will be provided to you depends not only on the country and city that you’re visiting, but even on that particular restaurant.

If you prefer to drink water with many meals, it’s generally worth a shot to ask.

“Gas or no gas?” is a question you’ll get asked in virtually any restaurant.

Pretty self-explanatory, but “gas” is sparkling water.

If you want to pay by card, ask for the card machine when you ask for the check.

The waiter will bring the card machine right to the table and run your card in front of you.

In Europe, taking your credit card out of the sight of its owner in order to run the charge would be a major faux pas–you will always keep your card with you!

Kate Storm in a white shirt and blue jeans overlooking the blue domes of Oia in Santorini--this island is incredible and worth visiting as part of your 2 weeks in Europe!

Don’t forget to weigh your produce.

In the USA, you’ll bag your produce and then it will be identified and scanned at the register–but in Europe, that’s usually your job.

Each kind of produce will be marked with a number.

Take the number to the nearby scale, place your bag of produce on it (one type at a time, obviously), and press the respective number.

A sticker will automatically print with a barcode, weight, and price.

While this is the most common method, it’s not the only one–in some stores, the cashier will still weigh the produce at checkout.

Best Food in Budapest: Fruit Stand at Central Market Hall

Bring your own bags, or prepare to pay for them.

Plastic bags typically come with a small charge in Europe.

They’re available at the register in the supermarket, and you’ll either place however many you need on the conveyor belt yourself, or, if they’re stored under the register, the cashier will ask you how many you want (if any).

Of course, the best thing to do is to bypass this problem entirely and bring a reusable bag .

We love ours and have been using it to buy groceries in Europe (and for a myriad of other things) for years.

Consider buying produce at outdoor markets instead of the grocery store.

This varies depending on where you are, but in many places in Europe, grocery stores are better for basic staples–think yogurt, boxed foods, etc–and markets are a better place to get high-quality produce.

Outdoor Capo Market food stalls, Best Things to Do in Palermo

You might need an international driving permit.

This depends on the country and also what language your original license is printed in, so be sure to double-check requirements for any countries you plan to drive in before leaving for Europe!

Small Tuscan country road lined by trees--roads like this are one of the benefits of taking epic day trips from Florence!

Don’t drive your rental car to a different country without doing your research.

While it’s legal to cross borders in your car throughout much of Europe, that doesn’t mean your rental contract doesn’t prohibit it!

If you’re planning a multi-country European road trip, be sure to disclose exactly where you’re going when renting your car to make sure you have all the right permissions in your contract.

For finding the best rental car prices, we suggest searching via Discover Cars.

Discover Cars will search both international and local car rental brands to help you find the best prices for your dates, and it’s the search engine we use when renting cars in Europe.

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia postcard view from above with lakes in the center surrounded by trees, a must-see on your 10 day trip to Croatia!

The United Kingdom isn’t the only place you’ll need to drive on the left.

… if you’re headed to Ireland , Cyprus, or Malta , you’ll drive on the left there as well.

kate storm in a navy blue dress in front of the marsaxlokk harbor, one of the best places to visit in malta

In Europe, you’ll generally only buy insurance for the car itself–not for liability.

Generally speaking, in Europe the car’s owner–ie the rental company–is required to carry liability insurance, which is why you’ll only be offered collision insurance (to cover literal damages to the car) in most cases.

If you’re planning on using your own rental insurance to cover a rental car, double-check the requirements.

Your insurance policy back home may generally cover you in a rental car–but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will in Europe, or in each and every individual European country.

Rent the smallest car you can.

The roads in Europe–especially off the major highways–are typically smaller than what we’re used to in the USA.

Keep things simple (and affordable) with a small car.

Expect to pay lots of tolls.

Toll roads are extremely common throughout Europe, so you can expect to pay many of them on a European road trip.

Some places do accept credit cards, but it’s always best to have small bills on hand to pay cash when needed.

Road in Ireland surrounded by trees on either side--you'll see plenty of views like this during your 10 day Ireland road trip!

… and to deal with a high gas bill.

Fuel is typically much more expensive in Europe than in the USA.

Driving in cities is generally a nightmare. Avoid it if you can.

There is generally absolutely no reason to pay for a rental car in a major European city.

If you’re headed to places like London , Amsterdam, or Rome, skip the rental car and find other transport.

Rental cars shine in Europe when traveling in the countryside and small towns, and are best used to explore a rural or semi-rural region in depth.

We adore road trips in Europe, but tend to avoid major cities when we do them!

Senanque Abbey shot from above--the abbey is in the bottom left of the shot with lavender fields to the right--definitely stop here on your France road trip!

Don’t expect an automatic car unless you ask for it.

While most rental car agencies will have some automatic rental cars on hand for tourists, manual cars are much, much more common in Europe.

As a result, automatic cars also tend to be much more expensive to rent!

Pay attention to gas vs diesel.

Diesel cars are much more common in Europe than in the USA, and it’s imperative to remember which one you rent!

Putting gas into a diesel engine or vice versa is catastrophic to the engine, so proceed with an abundance of caution.

whitewashed buildings lining streets in ronda

Trains are more useful in some parts of Europe than others.

In western and central Europe, train routes are plentiful: if you’re perusing these travel tips for Europe while planning a trip to places like Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and the UK, you’ll have endless choices for trains.

As you move further east in Europe, though, the train routes become much more limited.

If your travel route is taking you to the Balkans, for example, you’ll be much more likely to use buses to get around than trains.

Traveling by train in Europe generally isn’t the cheapest option, but it is the most comfortable.

Between arriving and departing from centrally-located train stations instead of hard-to-reach airports, avoiding security lines and bag-check fees, and the general comfort of traveling on high-speed trains, there’s no doubt that train is our absolute favorite way to travel through Europe.

You’ll often be able to find flights that are cheaper, and even more frequently that buses are cheaper.

If you have room in your budget, though, we’ll always suggest traveling by train in Europe when the route makes logistical sense.

Photo of a pink and white train in a station in Paris. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the top right of the photo. If you follow this 3 day Paris itinerary, you might take this train to Versailles.

The differences between first class and second class tickets are generally minimal.

When traveling via fast train in Europe, buying a first-class ticket generally comes with slightly larger seats, sometimes the ability to reserve your exact seats when you can’t in second class (both of those facts vary based on the company you travel with, though) and possibly a small snack like a water bottle and a pack of cookies.

Generally speaking, the perks of first-class are nothing worth paying extra for in our opinion.

Český Krumlov in Winter: Couple in Cesky Krumlov

Consider using Omio to buy train tickets in Europe with ease.

This is especially true for inter-country trips where you’ll likely be traveling with multiple countries.

For example, when we took the train from Paris to Venice recently, we traveled with a French company from Paris to Turin and then an Italian company from Turin to Venice and booking through Omio made everything very simple.

Search  train routes and tickets prices in Europe  today!

Photo of a piece of the Eiffel Tower sticking out from behind a tree with a sun flare on the left of the screen--you'll definitely see plenty of the Eiffel Tower during yoru weekend in Paris!

You may also want to consider an Eurail pass.

Though Eurail passes are not the best fit for budget travelers, depending on where exactly in Europe you are going, they can be an excellent choice to help you move around the continent with ease.

Buses are generally the most affordable way to cover long distances in Europe.

… They’re also frequently the slowest and least comfortable, but they’re great for the wallet (and in some places, like parts of the Balkans , they’re the only viable public ground transportation option).

A group of white and blue buses parked under a yellow awning at the bus station in Trogir--riding a bus is almost certainly going to be part of your 10 day Croatia itinerary!

You can also use Omio to search for bus tickets.

Omio allows you to compare rates for bus services like Flixbus with train ticket prices to allow you to make the best choice based on a combination of travel time and price.

Search  bus routes in Europe  today!

Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip: View from Marienbrucke

Check for a local taxi app rather than hailing one off the street.

While Uber doesn’t exist everywhere in Europe, a similar equivalent–usually an app that hails an actual registered taxi, but not always–will exist in most major cities.

If you’re planning on hailing rides frequently in a city, downloading the local app should be one of the first things you do when you arrive.

Not all of the apps allow you to pay via the app itself like Uber, but they’re excellent for regulating prices and avoiding the uncertainty of negotiating a fare.

FreeNow is used in many places in Europe and is our go-to local taxi app.

Cars parked outside of Siena Italy--parking outside of historical city centers is the norm when on a Tuscany road trip!

Have a ground transportation plan before leaving the airport.

Metro, bus, taxi?

Know exactly how you’ll be getting from the airport to the hotel before you arrive, and your day will be much easier for it.

If you’ll be taking a taxi, look up and see if there’s a flat/set fare to get to the city center from the airport–there usually is, and it’s government regulated.

However, that won’t always stop drivers from telling you that your hotel isn’t in the center (it probably is).

kate storm in front of igrejo do carmo azulejos, one of the best places to visit in porto in a day

Make careful note of what airports you fly in and out of.

This is especially important if you’re taking budget flights, as many of them fly out of a separate, less-expensive airport that is further out of the city 

For example, in Paris, a budget air flight is likely to avoid Charles de Gaulle and head right for Orly or even Paris Beauvais–which is over an hour outside the city!

Kate Storm spinning in front of a clock tower in Riquewihr, one of the best day trips in Alsace!

Always check flights for a few different dates if possible.

Prices can vary dramatically for prices between different cities on different days, especially because many budget airlines only run bargain flights on certain routes a few days of the week.

… and consider being flexible with where you go.

For example, Bologna and Pisa are both less than an hour by train outside of Florence, but it’s often significantly cheaper to fly there than directly to Florence!

The Best Things to Do in Bologna: Climb Asinelli Tower

Don’t bother showing up at the airport more than 2 hours before your flight.

If you have to check bags, the counter won’t take them, and you’ll be stuck outside security until the 2-hour mark.

Of all these tips for traveling Europe, this is the one that probably took us the longest to get used to when we started traveling, as it’s such a huge change from how things are done in the USA!

Always carry cash.

While card use is prominent in Europe, it’s essential to have cash with you at all times.

You never know when you’ll happen into a cash-only restaurant or store!

Kate Storm sitting a table at BamBar in Taormina. There's an orange granita in front of her and yellow tile work behind her. Visiting BamBar is absolutely one of the best things to do in Taormina Sicily!

Keep in mind that not all European countries use the Euro.

If you’re planning a multi-country trip to Europe, keep in mind that you’ll likely need to change currencies a few times.

For example, the UK, Switzerland , Czechia, Hungary , and Croatia all have their own currencies, as do many others.

The easiest way to get cash is from ATMs.

Leave your travelers’ checks in the 20th century and avoid the hassle and excessive fees of currency change stores.

For cash, head directly to the ATM.

Keep an eye on the fees, of course–for our fellow US citizens, be aware that Charles Schwab offers a checking account that refunds all ATM fees worldwide.

We never paid a single ATM fee in our 4 years as full-time travelers!

Flower market as seen in Aix-en-Provence during a south of France vacation--you can see a clock tower in the upper left of the photo.

… but avoid Euronet ATMs like a plague.

The fees on Euronet machines are egregious and border on scam-worthy.

Find an ATM from an actual local bank instead!

restaurants underneath cliff overhand in setenil de las bodegas spain

Bring a Visa or Mastercard to Europe.

American Express, Discover, and Diners Club are not as commonly accepted.

… and ideally one with no foreign transaction fees.

In the USA at least, credit cards without foreign transaction fees are so common these days that it seems a shame to use anything else for your big trip to Europe.

Kate Storm in a yellow raincoat standing in front of Torc Waterfall Ireland--one of our Europe travel tips is to make time to see a bit of nature

Call your credit card company before you leave for Europe.

Otherwise, there’s a good chance your card will be blocked when you try to buy something abroad for the first time–and that’s the last thing you want to deal with on your first day in Europe!

Keep track of your coins.

While in the USA the largest coin we typically use is a quarter, Euro coins go as high as 2 Euro.

Be sure to spend them ASAP to avoid ending up with a heavy and cumbersome 20 Euro worth of coins (it’s not hard to do, trust me).

Clock tower in Kotor Montenegro--one of our travel tips for Europe is to get off the beaten path and find less-visited countries like Montenegro to visit!

Don’t take unnecessary risks: purchase travel insurance for your trip to Europe.

Possibly one of the most important travel tips for Europe out there is to always purchase travel insurance for your trip.

Anything can happen on the road, and traveling abroad is definitely a case of better safe than sorry.

We use and recommend Safety Wing for trips to Europe.

Tourist boat with Greek flag at volcano hot springs, 3 days in Santorini itinerary

Know your Schengen Zone from your non-Schengen Zone.

This is an especially important tip for traveling Europe if you’re planning a longer trip.

Most people reading this blog post (so US citizens, Canadians, Australians, etc) are entitled to stay up to 90 days out of any given 180 in the Schengen Zone , a group of European countries that have open borders with each other.

Not all of Europe is part of this agreement, however, so be sure to check visa rules before arriving!

… and in general, be sure to check visa requirements.

Turkey, for example, requires many nationalities, including US citizens, to get a visa in advance before arriving.

Regardless of your destination, it’s always best to double-check visa requirements before booking any tickets abroad.

Fun Things to Do in Istanbul: Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet

Expect to pay to use the restroom.

Of course, this is one of the better-known Europe travel tips out there, but it still bears repeating.

In large public spaces like train stations, many toilets will require payment (though this is oversimplifying things– this guide goes into much more detail).

These costs can range from as little as .25 Euro to well over a Euro–if it does cost over a Euro, though, try to find another restroom if you can.

… and carry a small pack of tissues with you, just in case.

This is one of those travel tips for Europe that may never be important, but can be a lifesaver in the right situation!

Carrying a small pack of tissues has saved our very full bladders more than once when a public restroom was out of toilet paper (not an entirely uncommon situation).

Close up of a sunflower blooming in Bulgaria--experiencing blooming seasons is one of our top Europe travel tips if you are looking for a way to time your trip!

One-way tickets are risky.

Technically, you must have transportation booked that shows when you’re leaving a country in order to enter most foreign destinations–the Schengen Zone and the UK included (and the UK is known for being stringent).

Airlines are typically tasked with enforcing this boundary, so if you’ve booked a one-way ticket to, say, Paris, don’t be surprised if you’re required to show proof of onward travel–another plane ticket, for example–at the gate before boarding.

Generally, the best advice is to have your exit plan in place before arriving.

Don’t try to see it all in one trip.

You can’t, of course, but one of the most important travel tips for Europe out there is simply… not to try.

We recommend spending an absolute minimum of two full days (so not including the day you arrive or depart) in each major city, and even that is for fast-paced travelers who are determined to stay on the go.

Madrid Royal Palace with garden in foreground, a must see during your 3 days in Madrid Itinerary!

Don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes to change destinations.

“Oh, it’s only a 3-hour train ride away! That’s nothing!”

I think we’ve all said that at some point when planning a multi-country trip, but be cautious: 3 hours on the train doesn’t account for packing and unpacking, getting to and from the train station, checking out of and into a hotel… you get the picture.

If you’re looking at a high-level schedule without picking a specific date or time, you may also come to find that sure, there’s one direct 3-hour train between two cities… but it leaves at 10:00 PM or 6:00 AM, and the rest of the trains require layovers. 

Or perhaps the direct train only runs 3 days a week.

Or maybe you’re looking at a plane, in which case, be sure to add at least 4 hours to your transit time: getting to and from the airport and security/check-in beforehand.

Long story short, travel days between countries are virtually always more tiring and time-consuming than they look at first glance, so don’t overcommit on those days!

4 Days in Lisbon: Street Car Alfama District

Wake up early as often as you can.

Want to get beautiful photos of world-famous monuments without crowds around them, or stroll empty streets, or have famous viewpoints all to yourself?

If so, then be sure to get acquainted with experiencing the sunrise.

Luckily, if you’re coming from North America, this is easier than it seems: the jetlag will help!

Colosseum at Blue Hour: What to Do in Rome at Night

Don’t shy away from traveling during the off-season.

You may need a coat and to mentally prepare for gray skies and the possibility of rain, but traveling in some of Europe’s most popular (read: crowded) cities can be an absolute delight during the winter.

Cities like Paris , Rome , and Amsterdam see an absolute fraction of the tourists in January than they do in June, resulting in bargain-basement prices, shorter lines, and an overall more pleasant experience.

Learn at least a few phrases in the local language.

This isn’t for necessity, exactly–in major tourism destinations, virtually all Europeans that work in the tourism industry will speak some English–but for politeness.

View of Hvar Town from Spanish Fortress with Pakleni islands in background and Kate Storm in a pink dress standing on the fort. Don't miss this view during your 10 day Croatia itinerary!

Holy Week is a big deal.

Planning a spring trip to Europe? Check when Easter is!

In much of Europe, Easter isn’t just a religious holiday but a secular one as well.

As a result, many tourism destinations get incredibly crowded and expensive in the week leading up to Easter.

Think of it as a combination of US-style Christmas/winter break and Spring Break, and plan accordingly.

jeremy storm and ranger storm in lacoste france

Consider picking up a local SIM card to get around.

If you have the ability to switch your phone SIM card yourself, absolutely consider buying a European one! Not only is data generally far cheaper than in the USA–we usually pay about 20 Euros/month for ours–it’s easy to get your hands on and will make everything about your trip, from choosing restaurants to finding your way around cities, infinitely easier.

Venice Grand Canal with gondola paddling across it--a must-see item for your 2 week Italy itinerary!

Book tickets to must-see popular attractions in advance.

With limited time to explore Europe, one of our favorite Europe travel tips is to simply never wait in line.

Skip-the-line tickets and tickets booked in advance are rapidly becoming the norm around the continent, especially in a post-2020 world.

For some attractions (like the Arc de Triomphe) there’s no upcharge, and for others (like the Colosseum) it costs a few Euros more.

Either way, though, it’s money and planning time well spent.

We book all of our skip-the-line tickets through Get Your Guide and highly recommend their service.

3 Day Paris Itinerary: Arc de Triomphe

Watch out for museum closures.

In many cities, there’s one day of the week when most museums close (in Florence, for example, it’s Monday).

When planning your trip, be sure to check museum hours for any must-see spots, as they’re frequently only open 6 days per week.

Kate Storm walking down a narrow street in Goult during our France road trip. There's a pink building to her left and she's wearing a long blue skirt.

Try to avoid getting out-churched.

Europe is absolutely covered in opulent churches!

As impressive as they are, if you try to see as many as possible, you’ll likely end up feeling like they all start to look the same.

Trip to Italy Cost: Florence Duomo

… and out-museumed.

You could spend years traveling in Europe and still not see everything its museums have to offer. 

One of our biggest Europe travel tips is not to try to see it all–and that includes all the major museums in any city.

Fun fact: if you spent 30 seconds with every work of art inside the Louvre, it would take over 100 consecutive days to see them all!

Three Days in Paris Itinerary: The Louvre at Night

Get (at least a little) off the beaten path.

Whether that means exploring a neighborhood in a major city that sees fewer tourists, taking a day trip to a lesser-known small town, or heading to a country that sees dramatically fewer visitors than tourist hotspots like Italy or France, your trip to Europe will absolutely be enhanced by stepping a bit off the beaten path–whatever that means to you.

If your trip is focused on cities, try to plan at least one day trip.

Head to a small town or beautiful slice of nature to see an entirely different side of the continent.

On a busy multi-country trip, I know how hard it can be to justify leaving the world-famous cities, but it’s absolutely worth it.

View of the countryside from the edge of Montepulciano, an excellent stop on any Tuscany itinerary!

Double-check your packing list.

We have detailed Europe packing lists for the summer , fall , and winter to help ensure you don’t bring too much or too little for your trip across the pond.

Couple in Soprabolzano: these coats are a great example of what to add to your packing list for Europe winter.

You’ll probably need an adaptor.

Plugs in Europe are likely different than those at home–plan ahead and ensure you’re able to charge your electronics abroad with adaptors like this .

… and maybe two.

While the adaptor I linked above can be used across most of Europe, certain countries, like the UK, Ireland, and Malta , use different plugs.

For those countries, you’ll want adaptors like this .

Things to Do in Malta: Marsaxlokk

Keep in mind that these are different (and cheaper) than converters.

… which is what you’ll need if you plan to bring hairstyling products along with you, like a hairdryer or curling iron. 

Personally, as part of our travel tips for Europe, we recommend keeping it simple and leaving those items at home.

Most hotels and many apartments will have a small hairdryer available to use in a pinch.

Even in the summer, be sure to bring a jacket.

The outside might be stifling, but anywhere with a/c–trains, buses, and museums included–has a decent chance of being an absolute icebox at any given time.

View of Vernazza Harbor from Above: One Day in Cinque Terre Itinerary

Bring at least one church-appropriate outfit.

While the strictness of the dress code varies across the continent, generally you’ll want to avoid packing at least one outfit that covers your cleavage, shoulders, and knees.

Men can usually get away with shorts that hit at the knee, but not always.

Mosaics on the ceiling of the Church of Martorana, Things to See in Palermo Sicily

Bring a travel journal.

This one is personal preference, but trust me: travel memories fade so fast, especially when you’re experiencing so many incredible things back-to-back, and one of my favorite travel tips for Europe is centered on helping you preserve them.

If you’re not big on huge time commitments, I can highly recommend my One Line a Day Journal .

I’ve kept mine for over 5 years now and have now moved onto my second volume, and my full journal is one of my most cherished possessions.

It only takes a couple of minutes each day, and I adore the memories that it has helped me preserve in detail.

Austria Christmas Market Trip: Innsbruck Houses in December

Don’t forget to leave some extra room in your luggage.

Because you’re not coming all the way to Europe to leave without doing a little souvenir shopping, right?

Ideally, bring luggage you’re comfortable carrying.

This doesn’t necessarily have to mean a backpack, of course–but at the very least, one of our tips for traveling Europe is to be prepared to navigate a few train stations, airports, quick walks through the city, and staircases with your luggage in hand.

If you have mobility concerns that prevent this, be sure to budget for door-to-door transfers and transportation on days when you switch locations.

Two photos: top photo of Acropolis with a blue sky behind it, bottom photo of harbor in Cassis France. Black text on a white background reads "75+ Essential Europe Travel Tips"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

9 thoughts on “75+ Essential Europe Travel Tips You Need to Hear”

Great and useful information for my first trip to Western Europe in September. Thanks for sharing.

Instead of bringing a heap of adaptors for all your electronics, just bring one and buy yourself a power board from your own country and bring it with you, then you can plug everything into the 1 board, also look at powerboards with 1 or 2 usb slots and bring a USB lead for the plane or the airports

That last photo is definitely not Bolzano, it’s Innsbruck!

… Yes? As the alt tag says lol. Of course it’s Innsbruck.

Hi Kate ! Thank you so much for all of the information. Everything has been more than helpful. You might have mentioned this and i could have missed it but do you mind saying what your budget was and how much you ended up spending / needing to live on? I know every trip is different but i am just wanting an idea and ballpark of how much i need to save.

Hi Madison!

I would love to put a whole post together on this one day, as it’s detailed question to answer!

These days, we spend an average of $250-350/day or so when on the ground, for both of us plus our dog Ranger. That’s incredibly variable and doesn’t reflect traveling on a budget, but (often) staying in nicer hotels, renting a car, taking high-speed trains, eating in restaurants daily, taking tours, etc.

Our trips aren’t quite typical now, as we have a tendency to overload our schedule and try to do EVERYTHING, so we can write about it afterward!

If you’re on a strict budget and looking for hostels/takeaway food/just wanting to see the sights, there are places in Europe you can travel on $50/person/day–and we’ve done quite a bit of that too, once upon a time! If you look into our archives you’ll find a few of our on-the-ground travel budgets from our backpacking days in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and I think a few more.

And, of course, there’s no limit to how much you can spend on an ultra luxury vacation in Europe. 😉

Wel written, fun to read and with what seems to be very practical advice for travel to Europe. I was born and raised in the Netherlands but have been here so long I needed the refresher for today’s technology etc. Your blog was fun and filled with good, practical info. Love it.

Thank you! That’s exactly our goal. 🙂

Wow, great tips ! definitely helps for planning. Thank you so much !

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

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2 weeks in Europe itinerary

2 Weeks in Europe – 10 Excellent Trip Itineraries

Last Modified: January 31, 2024 //  by  Anda //   106 Comments

If you are planning a 2 weeks trip to Europe and need some itinerary ideas for your vacation you have come to the right place. As someone born and raised in Europe, I can give you some good advice when it comes to my home continent.

14 days may sound like a long trip, but not on this incredibly diverse continent. With so many attractions, sights to see and cultures to experience, your 2 weeks vacation in Europe will go by in the blink of an eye! 

Prague - 2 Weeks in Europe Itinerary

Table of Contents

How to Plan a Perfect Europe Trip Itinerary

• london, paris, and amsterdam, • lisbon, madrid, barcelona , • rome, florence, and venice ,  • prague, vienna, and budapest.

  •  • Berlin, Dresden and Wroclaw     
  • • Zurich, Lucerne, Lugano and Milan      
  • • Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen      
  •  • Riga, Tallin, and Vilnius      
  • • Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest        
  •  • Ljubljana, Split, Dubrivnik, Kotor     

How to Plan a 2 Weeks Trip to Europe

  • Tips for Spending 2 Weeks in Europe 

A Final Note

If this is your first time in Europe, you probably have quite a few places on your Europe bucket list . Without knowing anything about you or your interests, I can only give you basic, generic advice.

Below is a list of 10 suggested itineraries for for a 2-week trip to Europe. The itineraries are grouped according to the different European regions. However, you can choose any combination from the cities listed here, according to your tastes and interests.

2 weeks in Europe Itinerary

Best Western Europe Trip 2-Week Itinerary

These three cities have more than enough to keep you engaged for 2 weeks. You can easily spend the entire two weeks in Paris , if you were to visit all its amazing churches and museums.

London, Amsterdam and Paris are among the Europe’s greatest cities and enjoy a perennial popularity, despite the many problems they have been facing lately. I think they are worth seeing at least once, even though they are always crowded.  

images for 2 weeks in Europe Itinerary: Paris, London, Amsterdam

You have excellent direct flights, trains, or bus connections between all three. There are overnight trains between Lisbon and Madrid that run daily, departing at 11:34 p.m. and arriving in Madrid at 8:40 a.m. Also, there are direct flights, trains, or busses from Madrid to Barcelona.   

All these Iberian cities are packed with culture, culinary delights and incredible landscapes. They are easy to reach from most major airports from around the world.

Although you could easily spend two weeks in Spain alone, visiting other historical places like Toledo , or Cordoba for instance, I suggest including Portugal in your European itinerary as well. Lisbon , its capital city, is not only very romantic and cultured, but also quite inexpensive. 

Book  this private walking tour of the highlights of Lisbon and enjoy the history of this city.

Two weeks in Europe itinerary idea

These are three of Italy’s most captivating and rewarding cities. If you like archeology, you’ll love Rome ! Florence and Venice are also very charming cities, although quite different from Rome. If you prefer to spend your time in one single country, this combination is one the best itineraries for a 2 weeks trip to Europe.  

Italy has a wealth of archeological sites, most of which are concentrated in relatively compact areas. These three cities also have excellent train, bus, and plain connections (buy your ticket on omio.com ).

images for a 2 week trip to Europe itinerary in Rome

Sicily is another great place in Europe where you can easily spend 2 weeks. There are so many archeological sites and  beautiful towns in Sicily to add to your list! I promise that you won’t get bored if you choose to spend your entire European vacation on this island. 

Palermo alone can easily justify a 10-day Italy itinerary . You have good bus connections between cities, but Sicily is best explored by car . You can choose visit the nearby Malta if you go to Sicily.

Central Europe 2 Weeks Trip Itinerary

Central Europe is becoming increasingly popular. 30 years ago, cities like Prague , Budapest , Dresden, or Wroclaw were largely unknown to the world traveler. But after the fall of communism, Central Europe experienced a strong cultural and tourist revival.

images for Central Europe 2 weeks trip Itinerary

These three capitals have it all: beautiful architecture, fascinating history, packed concert calendars, and delicious food. For those who want to tour Central Europe, this trip itinerary is perfect.

Traveling by rail is the best way to go between these three, as distances are relatively short. You can buy tickets at the station right before the train is scheduled to depart.      

READ NEXT : Budapest Travel Tips and Practical Information for First Time Visitors

 • Berlin, Dresden and Wroclaw      

Combining the cosmopolitan  Berlin with the  phoenix-city  of Dresden and the picturesque Wroclaw, will give you a great understanding of what makes this part of Europe so fascinating. You have direct trains between all these cities.

Berlin, Dresden, Wroclaw images

• Zurich, Lucerne, Lugano and Milan        

You can never go wrong with Switzerland and the northern part of Italy! Cities like Lucerne, Zurich, Lugano and Milan have stunning scenery, art museums, old cathedrals, historic palaces, and more charm than you can imagine.  However they are not very big, so 2-3 days in each one would most likely be enough.  

images for 2 Weeks Europe trip Itinerary: Zurich, Lucerne, Lugano, Milan Itinerary

The best way to move between these cities is by rail. Switzerland is famous for its top of the line panoramic trains , so you can choose to travel from Lucerne to Lugano aboard the  Gotthard Panorama Express.  You can also take the same route on a non-panoramic train  if you want to avoid paying the mandatory reservation fee.

READ NEXT : 10 Days in Switzerland Itinerary by Scenic Trains

Northern Europe 2 Weeks Itinerary

• oslo, stockholm, copenhagen        .

These three cities are definitely in a league of their own. Although they can’t compete with Rome’s historic sites or with the charm of Paris, Copenhagen , Oslo and Stockholm have stunning architecture, world-class museums, and some of the best shopping and dining in Europe.

If you plan to spend your 2 weeks vacation in Northern Europe during the summer months, this trip itinerary is your best bet. While the rest of Europe is be boiling hot, Northern Europe enjoys much cooler temperatures and longer days in summer.

2 weeks in Europe itinerary ideas

READ NEXT : 10 Fantastic Things to Do in Stockholm in a Week

  • Riga , Tallin, and Vilnius       

I can’t mention Northern Europe without including a tour of the Baltic capitals. The Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania weren’t even on the map when I was growing up. But like many other European countries that lived in the shadow of the Soviet Union till the 90s, they have enjoyed a true renaissance in the past years.

If you want to travel somewhere your friends haven’t even heard of, you should visit the Baltic capitals. Plus these are among the cheapest countries to visit in Europe .

Vilnius, Tallin, Riga 2 weeks in Europe Itinerary

South-Eastern Europe – 2 Weeks Trip Itineraries

The Balkan Peninsula is the most culturally diverse in Europe. This region has also an extremely varied topography. Bordered by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea to the west, Aegean Sea to the south, the Sea of Marmara to the southeast and the Black Sea to the east, the Balkan countries are stunningly beautiful.

There are so many great destinations in South-Eastern Europe, that it’s difficult to decide which ones to include into your trip itinerary. Here are two suggestions:

• Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest          

If you plan to build your itinerary around these three cities, you could spend 3 days in Athens , 7 days in Istanbul and 2-3 days in Bucharest . Or you can choose spend your entire 2 weeks trip to Europe by visiting just one country. We did that last year and took a road trip in the Peloponnese. It was an unexpected success, it was pleasant and we had a great time there. Peloponnese is one of the less explored parts of Greece, but is so beautiful that you won’t believe. It has plenty of beach town, some of which are nicer and more sophisticated that the Ritzi Greek island, like the beach tow of Nafplio .

Countries like Greece , Turkey, or Romania have plenty of amazing sites to keep you entertained and engaged for 14 days. 

Athens, Istanbul, Bucharest itinerary

The best way to travel between these 3 countries is by plane. Between Istanbul and Athens you an use Pegasus Airlines (a budget airline) and between Istanbul and Bucharest you can use Turkish Airlines.

 • Ljubljana , Split , Dubrivnik, Kotor      

These four cities will take you through 3 of the most beautiful countries in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro . The best way to travel between these cities would be by car or by bus, as there are no train connections between Split and Dubrovnik.

For those who want to rent a car to drive through the Balkans, I recommend this 14 days Balkans road trip itinerary . If you have a car, you can extend your itinerary to some other points of interest in this region.

europe travel ideas 2022

Planning a trip to Europe? Read next: 12 Tips for Traveling to Europe Like a Pro

Being born and raised in Europe I always get asked these two questions:  when is the best time go to Europe and what is the best itinerary for a first time visit to Europe. My answer it’s always the same: it depends what you want to do in Europe and how much time you can spend there.

If this is your first time in Europe and all you have is 14 days, there are a few things to consider before deciding what to add to your list:      

 • Keep your travel plans simple      

Most first time visitors to Europe are determined to see as much as possible on that first trip. Keep in mind that Europe is a big and diverse continent. There is a lot to see everywhere you go. Fitting all your bucket-listed locations in a 2 weeks trip to Europe is nearly impossible.      

 • Start with the most popular cities   

Your first trip to Europe is not the best time to go off the beaten path. I recommend sticking to the big cities, even though they are more crowded. Major European cities have it all: top notch museums, beautiful architecture, great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Besides, they are big transportations hubs and are cheaper for flying in and out of Europe.

View of Paris skyline

• Choose to visit places that are close to each other   

The closest major European cities are at least two hours apart, whether you travel by car, by train, or by plane. Transit between cities takes at least half a day, if you consider the time you need to check out of one hotel and check into your next one. Therefore, you won’t be able to do much sightseeing on the day you travel.        

 • Plan to spend at least 3-4 days in each city you visit   

While it’s possible to cover more than half a dozen countries in your 14 days in Europe, just running between destinations doesn’t mean you actually visited them! If you want to see at least the major sights, you should plan to spend a minimum of 3-4 days in each city you visit.

• Book an open-jaw ticket     

If you plan on touring a specific region or doing a multi-destination trip, you can often save a lot of time and money with booking one.

destinations for 2 weeks in Europe itinerary

Once you’re further along in your planning process, you can use our  Travel Resources page for the best deals in airfare, accommodations and local guided tours.

• Rent a car only if you are planning to travel outside the big cities, where parking is expensive and difficult to find. Nonetheless, sometimes renting a car will save you a lot of time and is obviously more comfortable. We usually use Discovercars when we travel in Europe.

Tips for Spending 2 Weeks in Europe  

• book accommodations in the city center      .

Hotel rates are higher in the city center, but it’s worth paying the extra dollars if you can afford it. You’ll save time and money on transportation.     

• Use Hotel Alternatives

AirBnB or VRBO   for lodging instead of booking hotel rooms, especially if you travel in a bigger group. They are a much better deal and have beautiful apartments all around the world. For the same price you would pay for an average hotel, you could rent an entire apartment.    

• Don’t exchange money in the airport   

Airports, train stations, or tourist areas have the worst exchange rates. But if you look for an exchange office outside these areas, your hard earned money can go a way longer way. If no exchange booths are around, use the ATM machines throughout the city.    

   • Consider using public transportation

Driving a car Europe is an expensive and inconvenient complication. None of these European cities were built with cars in mind, so the roads are crowded and full of restrictions. Rather than worrying  about parking fees, one way streets, and pedestrian zones, consider using public transportation during your 2 weeks in Europe.     

 • Travel by train, or use budget airlines  

Train travel through Europe is one of the best ways to see the continent. The rail network is extremely developed and train service is very reliable. For longer distances, flying one of the many European airlines is also a great option.

There are over a dozen budget airlines in Europe that fly anywhere on the continent for unbelievably low prices. They charge extra for seats and luggage, but even so you can fly for as low as €30-40/one way.    

   • Dress comfortably

Dressing comfortably when you travel to Europe is very important, but avoid looking like a tourist. Not sure how to blend in with the locals? Read my guide about how to dress like a European .  

Buy the best shoes you can afford. I can stress enough the importance of wearing comfortable shoes while traveling in Europe. Many of the old European cities are still paved with cobble stones which are very rough on your soles.

   • Travel off season  

Everyone wants to travel when the weather is stable, but summers can be brutal in Europe: big crowds, expensive accommodations and airfare, busy trains and public transportation and very hot.

The best time to visit Europe is in fall or in spring, when temperatures are milder and there are less crowds. December is also a very popular time of year to visit Europe, when most European cities dress up for the holidays .

• Get acquainted with the European lifestyle

Most travelers to Europe expect to encounter cultural differences, yet when confronted with them they are always caught off guard. I wrote a very detailed post about what will surprise you as a first time visitor to Europe. These are very useful tips that you will need before traveling to Europe.

READ NEXT : 15 Cheapest Countries to Visit in Europe

This guide is a good resource if you intend to visit Europe independently. However, if you prefer an organized tour there are plenty of great tours of Europe to choose from.

Hope the itineraries above gave you some idea on how to travel Europe in 2 weeks. And if you like a place you saw, make a plan to return and explore it more in depth. Two weeks in Europe will not be enough to see this magical continent.

Did you enjoy this post? Please pin it to help other travelers to Europe:

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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.

europe travel ideas 2022

Reader Interactions

Vipin Singh

January 13, 2024 at 6:56 am

Greetings from Singapore Anda. I am an avid traveler but have only done Asia so far. I am planning my first Europe trip in this upcoming June, mid month. I have circled down to 4 cities that iam keen on going to. But now, after reading much online, i figured that it will be more ideal to include just 3 cities in my itinerary. I had London, Paris, Rome, Spain (Madrid/Barcelo) in mind initially. I am looking for advice to reduce one city if needed for this trip. I have 13 days to spend (including arrival date to London in the morning before 7am. And excluding departure date) Appreciate your reply.

January 16, 2024 at 2:24 pm

Since this is your first trip to Europe, I’d go to London, Paris and Rome. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Chetan Sahu

October 7, 2023 at 5:59 am

Planning my dream 2-week European adventure, and this guide is a goldmine of itinerary ideas! From the iconic cities to hidden gems, it’s packed with invaluable tips for an unforgettable trip. So, which European journey will I embark on? The possibilities are endless!

Chandra Bdr Gurung

July 6, 2023 at 11:43 pm

Excellent advice for those who are first-time visitors. This blog really impressed me. Europe has some really interesting sites to visit.

Ana Delos Santos

April 28, 2023 at 10:55 am

Hi, this is really helpful for 1st time Travelers in Europe. Just want to also ask you, for a 2 week Europe Trip, what do you advise to those traveling with Kids that wanted to visit countries in Europe with an Entry and Exit point from the Philippines? Thanks for the possible response. God bless you.

April 28, 2023 at 11:58 am

I am not aware that coming from the Philippines (with or without kids) may pose any problem for entering any country in Europe. However, if you want further more detailed information you should check the respective country’s entry requirements. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

basil swamy

March 22, 2023 at 11:36 am

Looking for Europe tour starting from India, for honeymoon would like to explore Europe. Places need to cover Norway Amsterdam Brussels Paris Switzerland Pissa Florence Rome Venice

Travel dates will be 9Jun to 29Jun It should be not very expensive , reasonable place to stay either good apartment or good Hotel You can suggest if some needs to be cut short or some other place. Do not want any museum or historical place to cover. It should be main and popular area only.

March 22, 2023 at 7:16 pm

I’m sorry, but I am not a travel agent, Basil. You can use my post for reference in order build your own itinerary.

July 13, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Great guide – but overwhelming!! My wife and I are taking our first trip to Europe next year – a long kid- and COVID- delayed 20th/25th/30th anniversary! – and want to make the most of our 3 weeks. But you just listed 31 must-see cities, and suggested 3-4 days per city!! 🙂

My wife wants to “see the highlights” – if we never can come back, what should we make sure we see? I think we’d probably be best served by a managed tour, but maybe I can cobble together something with even hand-holding? 🙂 Advice would be *so* appreciated!

July 13, 2022 at 6:16 pm

Hi Rick, Thanks for reading my guide. I have indeed 31 must-see cities in Europe, but those are 10 independent itineraries and each one of them is for two weeks. If you want to spend 3 weeks in Europe you definitely won’t be able to include all those places in your itinerary. I can give you a few suggestions for a 3-week itinerary, but planning the trip in detail will require a lot of effort from your part.

You’ll need to research each destination and decide what you’d like to see once you get there, book hotels, check timetables for trains and busses, or maybe rent a car in some places, etc. Since I don’t know anything about your travel style, I can’t tell you whether to attempt this trip on your own, or book a guided tour. Many people prefer to be care-free when they travel and just sit back and enjoy. We like to travel independently and do our own planning, but I can assure you it’s not easy. One other option would be to book local guided tours in each country, but travel independently between countries.This way you’ll have more control over what countries you may want to visit.

In regards to the “highlights” of Europe, there are so many! But regardless of what you choose, you shouldn’t include more than 4 countries in 3 weeks because you’ll have to account for the days you loose when moving from one place to another. Here are my suggestions. My first choice for Europe would be Italy, France and Spain. They are rich in culture and architecture and have gorgeous scenery. My second choice is Portugal, Switzerland and Croatia. Not as culturally rich as Italy, or France, but surely breathtakingly beautiful. If you are looking for less expensive destinations, Central and Eastern European countries are more budget friendly (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania).

I hope this helps. I have lots of European destination on my blog in case you want to do some further reading. And remember: no matter what country you choose, you’ll love Europe!

July 6, 2021 at 11:40 am

Hi there Anda!

Me and my are planning eloping and then honeymooning to Europe. Neither of us have been and I have family in the Sicily area. I originally wanted to go to Hawaii as I am an avid beach lover and have been to many in search of the most beautiful beach. My finance enjoys the beach, but is definitely more of a historian. So, I would like to encompass a little of both. We plan on late September or sometime in October….14 days. What are your thoughts? Do you think we should use a travel agent? Thanks so much!

July 6, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Hi Carrie, September-October is a great time of year for visiting Italy and I think Sicily is a wonderful choice if you like beaches. It has plenty of historic sites, so it’s the best of both worlds: history and beaches. I have a lot of information about Sicily on this blog, so for further reading you can go under Destinations > Europe > Italy > Sicily and read more. I also have a very informative post about driving in Sicily, should you decide to rent a car for your trip.

I don’t believe you need a travel agent to design your itinerary or make reservations for you. At the bottom of my home page there are some links that you can use to check out prices. I also have a Resource Page if you need more information on car rental and lodging. And if you need more itinerary ideas, read this post: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/10-days-in-italy-itinerary/ . It includes 4 itinerary ideas for Italy to choose from. Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

March 1, 2021 at 10:40 am

This is very informative. My husband and I have been to several countries in Europe, but not our son. He wants to go to Germany, and I think with more than 2 weeks travel time that we will have, a visit to several cities in Central Europe will make sense to us. My friend in Zurich will be happy to take us around.

March 1, 2021 at 7:38 pm

Hope you’ll get to visit Germany, Umiko. I have relatives in Münich and go to Germany quite often.

January 27, 2021 at 3:03 am

Hi Anda, I have to say, this is a great itinerary for first time travelers. I’ve been living in Europe for almost 2 years now but I still have not seen most of the places in this list and I would consider myself a “first time traveler” to most of these destinations. It gave me tons of ideas though once we finally get to travel again and I love your pctures.

January 28, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Thanks, Marielle.

I love Croatia

January 9, 2021 at 6:09 am

Absolutely stunning! Thank you on a detailed impressive guide!

January 9, 2021 at 10:51 am

Thanks, Karlo.

October 22, 2020 at 8:00 am

Hi Anda! Thank you for all of your articles and tips! I’m trying to soak everything in while planning for a 2-week trip next August 2021. I know you said August is the worst time to go to Europe but I am to be a part of a bridal entourage early that month and have no leeway in that regard – hoping to make the best of it! What are your suggestions for 3 first time Europe travelers to make the MOST of our time but with about three days locked in at London for the ceremony? I was thinking of coming a week before the festivities and staying a week after, putting the wedding in the middle of the two weeks – if that makes sense. Please help! Thank you so much, Christine

October 22, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Hi Christine, A wedding in London sounds like a great reason to visit Europe. The good news is that London is not so hot in August as other cities in Europe. Here are my recommendations for you:

1. I would get the wedding out of the way and then go on with my travel plans. Or leave it for the end of the trip, but not place it in the middle.

2. I would avoid big, crowded cities (like Paris or Rome) where the asphalt radiates even more heat in summer. Keep in mind that many of the buildings in Europe don’t have air conditioning, so there is very little relief from the heat.

3. Rather than big cities, I would visit places that have a breeze, or have access to the Mediterranean, or the Adriatic Sea. My personal favorites for summer are the French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes), Italy (the Amalfi Coast, or Sicily), Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast (Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, etc.) Italy, France and Croatia seem like good options for you since they are also close to England.

4. Other great countries to visit in August are: Austria, Switzerland and Germany. For instance, you could spend 1-2 days in Vienna, then go to Salzburg and use it as a base for wonderful day trips in the Alps. Or stay 2 days in Zurich and do a Switzerland itinerary. You can also do a combination of countries, but I wouldn’t visit more than two considering that you already have London on your list.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions. I’m sure your trip is going to be great!

October 18, 2020 at 11:25 am

Hi: A friend and I would like to visit somewhere in Europe for 2 or so weeks, and stay in a smaller village and “live” like a local. Yet, also be close enough to other places or countries to take day trips via public transportation. Any suggestions?

October 19, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Your friend could stay for instance in one of the many villages on the French Riviera (like Ezé Village) which are close to Nice,and visit the the entire coast in two weeks. Or perhaps stay in one of the villages in Tuscany, which are close to Florence, and many other fascinating places in Italy.

RAJEEV JAIN

October 6, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Me & my wife wants to cover Europe in 20-30 days. Just for your information I had travelled to Italy & covered Rome, Florence, Venice & Milan. I want to cover other countries & beautiful cities of Europe. Can you suggest best time & an itinerary to visit except July/August when the weather is pleasant & one can travel in budget.

October 7, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Hi Rajeev, late September to early October is a great time to travel to Europe. So is spring, late April to early June. As for an itinerary, you can cover a lot of territory in a month in Europe. I would suggest visiting some of the countries in the Balkans (Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia).I have a complete itinerary for the Balkans on my blog, if you are interested. Also, you could visit the Baltic countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) and Sweden. Eastern European countries like Hungary and Romania are also good choice for a fall visit. Hope this helps.

Mitos Soria

February 13, 2020 at 6:19 am

Hello, me my friend will be traveling to Europe in August 2020 ( I know not a good time to go there) for the first time. We have 2 weeks to go to cities we prefer. And that is Italy and Paris. We are in for outlet shopping, visit museum and architectures. Can you recommend us a place to go to met our preferences? And if we would add one more country what would that be? By the way we are flying from Manila. Thank you very much.

February 13, 2020 at 11:09 am

Hi Mitos, even though August it’s kind of hot in Europe, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun. Especially if you plan to go shopping, hahaha! Paris and Rome are great places to shop and so is Milan and London. I also like shopping in Vienna, where they have a big pedestrian area (the Graben) lined up with stores. All these cities have magnificent architecture, old churches and palaces that you can visit. Prices are a little higher in Europe than they are in Asia or the US, but I love shopping there just the same. They have so much trendier clothing stores than we do. My favorite one is Massimo Dutti, you should check it out.

SHYAMSUNDER GAIKWAD

February 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Hi Anda, Me and my wife plan to travel to Europe for about 10 to 14 days(depends) from the first week of August’2020 (After my sons final semester Exams). Flight ticket are yet to be booked. This would be our first trip to Europe. We plan to cover Europe in six visits, this would be our first. Both of have past our half century mark and have taken a sabbatical. Could you please suggest us an Itinerary? Is August a good time to travel

February 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Hi Shyamsunder, August is one of the worst times to go to Europe: it’s hot, it’s expensive and it’s crowded. I know you may be bound to your son’s vacation time, so if August is the only time you have available, I would suggest going to Northern Europe. You can visit Sweden, Norway, and the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). Either that, or choose to spend your entire vacation in southern Italy, in places close to the sea (Capri, Positano, Cinque Terre, or Sicily).

January 27, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Thanks for your insight and prompt response. Travel planning can be overwhelming and your site has been extremely helpful. The more I dig into options and different itiniraries my gut keeps saying to stick with Italy and you helped confirm this even more! Another thought was to combine a 7n cruise but again my gut (and hubby) prefers a land based trip. So sticking with Italy it seems just 3 cities maybe better (based on your suggestion) with day trips mixed in…Venice, Rome & Florence. Initial plan was for Cique Terre which maybe too much. The idea of Lake Cumo is a really good one! Now need to explore those logistics!

Anda Galffy

January 27, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Glad I could be of help, Sandra. Just one last note: keep in mind that Rome is a big city, rich in history and archeological sites. You will need at least 4-5 days to explore it properly. Have a wonderful trip.

January 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Hi Anda, Just found your site and love the information. We are late in planning our 20th anniversary trip to Italy in May. We have 16 days so 14 nights exculuding travel. This is our first time to Europe (other than Greece) in a very long time. Initial thoughts are fly into Venice 2n, Florence, 4n, Cinque Terre 4n, Rome 4n – Now second guessing about all Italy (which I know is all good) but maybe adding Amsterdam or another city and subtracting days from Italy. Any thoughts input appreciated!

Hi Sandra, first of all congratulations on your 20th anniversary! Italy is a great choice to mark this important event in your life and I’m sure this will be a trip to remember. My personal opinion is that Italy has so much to offer that it’s not a good idea to add Amsterdam to the mix. The two-week European itineraries I recommend in my post are for people who want to get a feel of Europe and explore some of the big cities. I think you’ll be better off spending all your time in Italy and exploring as much as you can there. Instead of Amsterdam, you could go to Lake Como, for instance. It’s a very romantic destination for an anniversary.

January 18, 2020 at 10:37 pm

Anda So glad I found your site. I’m in the beginning stages of planning a trip for late 2020 (Christmas time) for my husband and myself. I think you’ve helped me decide on Italy. Christmas is the only time he has vacation so we’re locked in to that time of year. We’d both like to see Pompeii, so I was thinking Naples to Rome and ending up in Venice. We have 2 weeks, so I think we could take our time and stop if we’d like to see something along the way. What do you think about going to Italy this time of year? Are trains reliable in winter? Thanks for any help you can give me. Karen

January 19, 2020 at 12:01 am

Hi karen, Italy is actually a great choice for winter, particularly in December when you’ll have the Christmas markets everywhere. Prices may be still pretty high because of the Holidays, but there will definitely be less crowds. You may expect colder weather in Northern Italy (Rome and Venice), but the Amalfi Coast (Pompeii and Naples) will be beautiful. I don’t think you’ll have any issues with the trains. It doesn’t snow often in northern Italy and even if does, the weather doesn’t impact public transportation. I think you’ll enjoy Italy tremendously! It’s a great place to visit. You may want to check this post as well if you are traveling to Rome: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/best-areas-to-stay-in-rome/

cybele ryan

January 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm

Anda what wonderful information. My husband and I planning a trip to Europe in mid May for two weeks. Thinking about flying into Switzerland or Austria, dipping down into Italy then on to Slovenia and Croatia. We are told Slovenia is very similar to Italy. We could stay in Slovenia and train over to Venice for the day, avoiding crowds ect. Any ideas? take the train, rent a car?Thank you! Cybele

January 23, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Train is probably better for the day trip. Besides, in Venice you won’t have any need for the car.

December 31, 2019 at 4:44 am

Hullo Anda, your article literally saved my life. I have read it twice and sucked in as much of your advice so thank you. I am black and I was wondering if you have any specific advice for a black travelers in Europe. What is the general reception for black africans in Europe? I may be overthinking it, but I am worried that it may be negative. Your honest thoughts will be appreciated. thanks.

December 31, 2019 at 3:39 pm

I’m truly happy that my article was of help to you. I don’t think you have any reason to worry about traveling to Europe as a black person. As far as I know, Europeans are quite open and welcoming to any race and nationality. I think you’ll have a wonderful time there.

December 28, 2019 at 6:04 am

Thankyou for the suggestions. We are planning to visit Europe from US for two weeks from April 24 to May 9 . Our itenrary idea is to arrive in Paris > Milan > Venice > Cinque terra> Florence > Rome . While at florence we planned to visit Pisa for half day Will this be aggressive or Do-able? Can you please suggest on how many days each city require to explore? Thanks in Advance

December 28, 2019 at 9:15 am

Hi Satya, What you are listing here looks like a very busy itinerary. All these cities are loaded with attractions. Besides, you need time for transportation between the different destinations and time to check in and out from the hotels. Rome and Paris require at least 3 days each. Milan you can probably do in a day, but for Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre you’ll also need a minimum of two days. My suggestion would be to leave Paris for another time and concentrate on Italy.

December 28, 2019 at 7:44 pm

Thank you Anda

December 26, 2019 at 10:30 am

Hi Anda, Thankyou for the detailed itenenaries. We are planning for Europe trip during last week of April for two weeks. Our plan is to arrive in Paris and depart back from Rome. So planning for Paris> Fly to Milan> Venice> Cinque terra > Florence> Rome . Is this agressive or Doable? Do you recommend driving from Milan to Rome for this trip? Can you help me with how many days we will needing to explore these places? Appriciete your help on this.

December 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Hi Anda, I am planning a trip with my wife and 2 kids (3 & 9) to visit Europe in Mid-June. we are planning to spend 14 days and planning to land in Paris then train to Zurich > Interlaken (might add Zermatt if time permits) > Venice > Florence > Rome. Does this sound doable in 14 days? Any tips and recommendations? Should we get the Euro Rail Pass or buying individual trip will be better and cheaper option? Thanks.

December 18, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Hi Ali, your plan sounds great for two young adults who can move fast. However, with two kids in tow and using public transportation (not having your own car) this sounds like a very busy itinerary. You need a minimum of 3 days in the big cities like Rome and Paris. As for Zurich, Venice and Florence, you could probably spend only 2 days in each city. But even if you do that, you’ll be left with only two days, which is not enough time if you want to squeeze in Zermatt and Interlaken. I understand you are planning to use Rome as your departure city, but exploring it with a 3-year old will be very difficult. Rome is huge and truly overwhelming, even for adults. I would suggest spending more time in Switzerland instead, which is a friendlier place for small children. You can buy a pass for the scenic trains and go from Zurich to Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, St.Moritz, Engadin and maybe cross over to Lake Como in Italy. The Glacier Express is a fantastic train and goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Your kids are going to love the train rides. I wrote a few posts about our train trip through Switzerland, in case you need more information.

November 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Hi, my husband and I have plan 13 days trip 11 nights for travel to Barcelona, Switzerland, Munich and Amsterdam. The 1st arrival destination has decided is Barcelona as we want to catch the football match. 2nd destination we not sure want to start from Amsterdam, Munich and end in Switzerland or vice versa. Is it possible to squeeze Milan or Paris in between by the way?

November 14, 2019 at 5:09 pm

You can easily squeeze one day in Milan on your itinerary, Agnes. I wrote a post about how to spend a day in Milan, in case you are interested you can check it here: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/one-day-on-the-streets-of-milan/ . From Barcelona you can go to Milan, then to Switzerland, Munich and Amsterdam. Not sure exactly what means of transportation you intend to use in Europe, but it makes sense to do it this way rather than jump from Spain all the way to the Netherlands. In regards to Paris, I would leave it for another trip. There is too much to see there to be able to squeeze it into this itinerary. You’ll need at least 3 days for it, while Milan can be done in one day.

November 5, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Hi Anda.. Greetings from Malaysia.!! Great advice for first time traveller to europe. Me and my friends planning to come over to europe in may next year. We are having some difficulties choosing places to visit as europe is super big and all the places look so beautiful. We will be landing in amsterdam. I would love to go paris,london n also swiss. And we have only two weeks to cover and we have no idea where to start. Super confussed. First time in europe.! Thank you.

November 5, 2019 at 9:30 pm

Hi Reva. Since you land in Amsterdam you could probably do Amsterdam, Paris and London. You need to spend at least 3 days in each of these cities in order to see at least the main points of interest. You probably have time to see one city in Switzerland as well. I would recommend Lucerne, since it’s a smaller one and can be done in about two days. Hope this helps.

September 14, 2019 at 4:10 am

Great suggestions! Planning a trip next June ( I know, I know), your suggestions are great.

September 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm

I’m glad if you found my suggestions useful. Thanks, Jackie.

April 21, 2019 at 6:25 am

Anda, thank you for the very informative article. Loved going through it and your detailed responses to the questions below. I and my wife are planning to travel in August(2nd and 3rd week). We have zeroed in on France(only Paris) and Italy. I know the temperature will be on the higher side, but I guess should be a breeze considering we are from India 🙂 (or are we way off the mark?) What according to you are good destinations to include in the itinerary in Italy, beyond Rome, Venice, and Florence)?

April 21, 2019 at 9:31 am

Hi VB, since your trip to Europe in in full summer, I would suggest a couple of destinations closer to the water. In Italy you can add Cinque Terre and maybe Lake Como. Both of them absolutely spectacular. In France, just about an hour away by plane you can go to he French Riviera. The coast is much cooler and absolutely spectacular. You have places like Nice, Monaco, Cann, Antibes, plus the many perched villages along the coast that are absolutely a dream to visit. Hope this helps.

April 9, 2019 at 8:56 am

I was trying to plan a 20th anniversary trip for myself and my wife in July, 2020. I was planning on just doing a Western trip visiting London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Berlin but now I’m worried it’s going to be too hot. We already live in Charleston, South Carolina (US) which is miserably hot in the summer so we always try to find cooler places to go.

I was thinking of this route because there are now direct flights from CHS to London and I get employee discounts at Hilton properties (about $50 USD/night). There are hotels all within 1.5 miles of the train station in each of those cities so this would be most economical.

I would rather visit Northern Europe because of the cooler weather and because my family immigrated from Sweden. However,, there are no Hilton properties in any of the Scandavian cities except Stockholm.

I’m just wondering if you think it is worth it to spend a lot more to visit Northern Europe or just battle the heat and crowds to visit Western Europe.

April 9, 2019 at 10:15 am

Hi Michael, Europe is very hot and humid in summer, as you already know. I would rather spend a little more and go to countries like Norway, Sweden or the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). I believe there is a Hilton in Riga as well, if I am not wrong). However, you may want to look into Airbnb as an alternative if you can’t find a Hilton. Most of the time they are way cheaper than a hotel and you get much more for your money.

April 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

This is a great guide! I’ve been searching everywhere for ideas on how to go about a European trip. I’ve never been so I wasn’t sure where to start. Is it possible to do a trip with London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, and Venice? What would be the beat way to do that?

April 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Squeezing 7 cities of this size into a 2 weeks trip seems too much to me. I would recommend keeping it at 4, at the most. You will spend too much time on the road and too little time visiting the sites. Florence and Amsterdam could be done in about 4 days, if you just want to rush by, but the other cities requires way more time for proper visiting. I would not advise you to add more than at the most 5 cities to your itinerary, unless you have more than just 2 weeks.

April 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Hello Anda,

This article is very informative and useful as I am planning a graduation gift for my girlfriend this summer. She’s a mechanical engineer and loves architecture, but has never been to Europe. I do plan on 2 weeks, give or take a few days. Do to the traveling being in June (not the best time), where would you recommend going? Regarding weather, locations, travel season, etc. I’ve only been to France but was there for wine industry. I’m fine with traveling by train or by car as I have done both. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your time!

April 7, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Hi Nick, I’m glad you found my post useful and informative. Summers in Europe may be very hot, so I would recommend you go to Northern Europe, where the weather is much cooler. And if your girlfriend loves architecture, she will have a blast visiting cities like Stockholm and Riga. I would recommend the Baltic countries and Sweden. You don’t need to drive there. You can fly between the cities for very little money.

March 31, 2019 at 7:45 am

Hi, Anda. I’m taking my daughter to Europe in May. Got a great R/T flight into (and out of) Barcelona. We will be there 2 weeks, and I’d like to add 3 other cities. She really wants to go to Florence (but not Rome??‍♀️). We plan to book a rail pass and Air BnBs. Any recs for our 3 must-see cities. She’s 20 and has never been to Europe.

April 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Hi Stacy, Barcelona is a very exciting destination for young people. I’m sure your daughter will love it. You’ll have to decide how many countries you want to include in your two weeks trip. You have quite a few choices in Spain, if you decide to stay only there. You can spend 3 days in Barcelona, then go towards the west and Visit Madrid (3 days), Toledo (a day trip from Madrid), Granada and Sevilla. From there you can fly back to Barcelona. Or you can spend a few days in Barcelona, then go to Paris, Milan and Florence. The second option includes 3 countries, but it will give your daughter a taste of some of the most impressive cities in Europe. Hope this helps.

February 26, 2019 at 9:36 am

I will be visiting Europe for two weeks in may and would like to know what do you suggest we could see as we will arrive in Rome and depart from Paris.

February 26, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Hi Rhea, May is one of the best times to visit Europe. The weather is just perfect and the tourist season is not in full swing yet. Since I don’t know you and your interests, I would make some suggestions based on my own taste and experience. Both Rome and Paris are very big cities and you might want to allow yourself at least 3 days in each one of them. They are packed with attractions, ranging from historic sites and landmarks, to museums, art galleries, parks and restaurants. In Rome you might want to concentrate on the historic center (including the Vatican) and allow yourself a little time to simply wander the streets and admire the beautiful architecture. I wrote a post about the best areas to stay in Rome that will give you an idea about what attractions are in the different parts of the city ( https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/best-areas-to-stay-in-rome/ ). While you are in Italy, you might also want to include Florence and Milan in your itinerary. Florence is not very big and it quite easy to explore (great for art galleries and museums). You could spend 2 days in Florence and one day in Milan ( https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/?s=one+day+in+milan ). From Milan you could go to Switzerland and maybe take a scenic train trip through Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne).Or you may go directly to France and visit Marseille, Lyon and then Paris. If this is your first time in Europe I would suggest keeping it simple. Probably just Italy and France would be enough. For Paris, you might want to refer to this post that will give you an idea about what you can see in 3 days: https://travelnotesandbeyond.com/?s=3+days+in+paris . I hope this helps and I hope you’ll come back with some great memories from your trip to Europe.

January 31, 2019 at 9:46 pm

Hi Anda Me and my husband are planning a trip to Europe for 2 weeks in early May 2019. As of now we are planning to visit Prague, Vienna, Budapest & Greece. Could you please suggest if its doable also if its the good time to visit these places.

P.S : We will be visiting Europe for the first time and we are more inclined towards scenic and natural beauty , could you please suggest more affordable options.

Many Thanks ! Parul

January 31, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Hi Parul, Europe is beautiful at any time of year, but particularly in spring. Vienna, Budapest and Prague are very close to each other so can move easily from one to the next (either by train or by car). Trains are very affordable in Europe, especially if you buy a pass. I suggest spending 3 days in each one of these cities to at least get a taste of what they have to offer. You could leave Greece for last, as you will need to take a plane to get there. In regards to affordability, Europe in generally expensive. However, you will find Budapest (and Greece) more affordable overall. For lodging I use Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner), as I get more for my money. Hope this helps.

Vaibhav Jain

February 2, 2019 at 10:21 am

Hey, thanks for this informative and detailed info about getting around in Europe.. every word made sense to me.. I just want a small suggestion from you.. I am solo traveller and will be starting my itinerary as “Prague (2n)-Copenhagen (4N)-Budapest (2N)- Barcelona (3N)- Amsterdam (2N)” in total of about 13 N starting from 13 th March 2019.. My question is : I want to add another city between my trip from Copenhagen to Budapest as I think 4 Nights will be too boring in there.. so can you please suggest which place to add in for 1 N ??? I am getting some real good deals for Brussels, Berlin, Milan… for Ryan Sir & Easy jet from Copenhagen.. please enlighten me for this as I am super confused ??? Thanks in anticipation ….

February 2, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Your itinerary seems pretty busy for 13 days. All these cities you selected make wonderful destinations in themselves. You could easily spend 13 days in each one of them and still have plenty to see and do. My suggestion would be to spend 3 nights in Prague or in Budapest, rather than trying to squeeze in another city into the itinerary. Europe is packed with attractions and if you were to spend any less than 3 days in a big city you’ll be rushing too much. However, if you want by all means to include another city, you can try Milan. You can just concentrate on visiting the Duomo and the area around it and that would be enough for one day. Hope this helps.

October 1, 2018 at 10:41 am

My family has a two week planned trip to Europe and I am having difficulty picking a third location to visit in addition to London & Paris. I am glad I came across your website which is full of good ideas. I could use some help picking a third city and places to stay. One of my challenges for the trip is traveling around Christmas which I understand the trains close.

Some of the other questions I have are: How long is it recommended to be at an airport before a flight between cities like London & Amsterdam? Is taking a train recommended even though it takes twice as long.

Where are the best areas to stay in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Ghent? We would like to rent an apartment in each city.

We arrive at 6:15am on 12/21 in Gatwick and leave on 1/3 in the evening out of Heathrow. What might be the best itinirary taking into account Christmas and New Years?

Thanks, Michael

October 3, 2018 at 10:24 am

Hi Michael, I’m afraid I can’t make any specific recommendation in any of these cities. We usually stay in Airbnb apartments when we don’t stay with friends or relatives in Europe.

Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)

July 27, 2018 at 4:36 pm

You are so right, Anda – Two weeks in Europe will fly by! We love your itinerary ideas though. Two weeks is such a short time for so many great places to see and enjoy, but these really help make the most of the time. Can’t wait to get back and explore more!

Jennifer Melroy

July 27, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I love exploring northern Europe. The cities have a charm that the rest of the continent lacks. I can’t explain it, but they do. I always feel like they are more welcoming as a city. Plus Stolkhom has the best museums to visit.

Suruchi Mittal

July 24, 2018 at 10:36 am

That is a complete exhaustive guide on Europe. I liked the way how you have divided the itinerary and it is going to be super helpful while we plan up our trip. The 2 weeks really seems like a less time now, for Europe.

Cynthia | Adventuring Woman

July 23, 2018 at 5:12 am

You’ve covered all the important things! I agree that Paris, Amsterdam and London should be #1. I really want to do Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Also the Balkan itineraries. So true that it’s best to spend time really experiencing a place, rather than running around between them.

July 22, 2018 at 12:27 am

These are good itineraries for those who want a quick glimpse of certain areas of Europe. Im not sure on the Nordic ones, I think I need a bank loan for that one. 😀 I found after exploring much of Europe, to see better history, buildings, parks, scenery etc, is to get away from the cities and find the true heart of each country. However, first timers, these are good plans BUT make sure you come back for some more European fun 🙂

July 22, 2018 at 10:58 am

One visit to Europe is never enough, Dabik.

July 21, 2018 at 11:55 pm

Although I agree with you to start with the more popular cities in your first ever trip to Europe and to make sure that all the cities you’re visiting are geographically close to each other (and you’ve grouped them out perfectly), I also think that visiting only the bigger cities in countries like Switzerland, Austria, Greece don’t give you a real flavour of what the country is about. For example- going to Athens and not Santorini would be something I’d not recommend at all! Or going to Zurich and Lucerne but not Interlaken. Having said that, if one wants to focus only on the bigger cities and not venture to the smaller towns and villages, then these itineraries make perfect sense!

July 22, 2018 at 11:00 am

Of course, Medha. Visiting only the bigger cities will barely touch the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. These itineraries are intended for first time visitors to Europe and it is implied the subsequent visits would be necessary to really get the feel of many of these countries.

Christina Pfeiffer

July 21, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Your itineraries certainly highlight the diversity of Europe. There are so many different countries to visit it’s hard to choose! One of the things I love about Europe is that no matter where you go, there’s history, culture and cobblestone streets to discover. Hmm, I think I’m due for another trip to Europe soon!

July 21, 2018 at 11:35 pm

That is so true, Christina. I love everything about Europe!

July 21, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I am a big fan of itineraries! I have created several I want to follow. Sometimes, an itinerary does not work for one particular year but then it is feasible later. From your list, I want to do Northern Europe and the Berlin-Dresden-Wroclaw. I am with you on staying 3-4 days on a city. I do not like to rush places.

July 21, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Planning is part of the fun when you travel, isn’t it?

July 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

I love your recommendations! I’d love to go and visit Europe one day and this guide will come in very handy. Indeed 2 weeks is such a short time to see the entire continent, but good to know that you can still see as much as long you plan well (especially considering the geographical location and transportation availability).

July 21, 2018 at 10:18 pm

I didn’t realize you haven’t been in Europe, Marvi. Hope you’ll get there soon. You’ll love Europe, I promise!

Jill Chapman

July 21, 2018 at 7:40 pm

I haven’t been to Europe for five years so I am very excited to be heading there this fall. Great tips – we’ve already used a few – booked hotels in the city center or air bnb’s and are traveling off-season a bit but I hope to utilize more when I’m there.

July 21, 2018 at 8:05 pm

I hope you are going to have a great trip, Jill.

July 21, 2018 at 5:31 am

Great idea’s, even for a European. We need to discover more things close to home.

July 21, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Well, if you live in Europe you probably have visited all these places, Wendy.

Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

July 21, 2018 at 4:09 am

What a useful post. I think those of us who travel frequently forget that there is a lot of basic stuff we just take for granted.

July 21, 2018 at 10:00 pm

So true, Lyn.

July 21, 2018 at 12:45 am

I have spent quite a bit of time in Europe but I still have so much to see. I would love to do your Balkans roadtrip, I haven’t been to that area yet.

July 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm

The Balkans make one of the best European itineraries, Anisa. You should definitely do that road trip.

July 20, 2018 at 6:27 pm

These are all great ideas. Isn’t it such a gift to be able to spend two weeks exploring?? We love to spend 3 days in cities so we know where we want to return… I also love to pair big cities with smaller towns, too. It’s a great to experience both sides of the coin in the same country. I would love to do your Balkan itinerary! Those places all just look beautiful!

July 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm

I love exploring smaller cities too, Sara. However, for first time visitors it’s always better to start with the more popular sites.

July 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Great tips for first-time visitors, especially if you have only two weeks. I wish I’ve been to all the destinations you covered … if we could only travel when I was still living in the middle of it ;).

July 21, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Yep, I hear you! I have the same frustration, Emese.

July 20, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Great advice for first time travelers! We did a similar trip, to your first itinerary, when we went to Europe the first time. Ours was London, Paris, Munich, and Amsterdam. I have to agree that giving yourself 3-4 days in each place is ideal. I ended up feeling like I didn’t see much in London, because we were only there for two days of our trip. Thankfully, we were able to return to London for a longer period later.

Tomas Novak

July 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm

As I live in Prague – kind of a center of Europe. It’s pretty easy for me to do this short trips and I think I visited more than half of this cities. I like how you group them in smaller trips by three. I just have to visit the Baltic states and Balkan… hopefully next year. Thanks for your tips

July 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

It’s much easier to do these trips when you live in Europe, Thomas. The challenge is for people who travel there from far away.

California Globetrotter

July 20, 2018 at 1:11 pm

What a great itinerary you’ve put together, Anda! You’ve hit up all the best cities and I also recommend 3-4 days in each city!

July 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm

I’m glad you agree with me, Lolo. Now that you live in Europe it’s much easier for you to see all these other smaller cities on week-end trips.

Rhonda Albom

July 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

I think two weeks is a great intro and taster for Europe. Europe is addictive and by the end of those two weeks you’ll already be planning on which areas you want to concentrate on for your next visit. I agree that you should spend three to four days in each city in order to get comfortable and enjoy the feel of the city.

July 21, 2018 at 10:17 pm

Hahaha, you are so right that traveling to Europe becomes addictive. Everybody I know wants to return there to see more.

Priscilla Willis

July 20, 2018 at 6:23 am

Great tips, Anda. Your suggested Itineraries are perfect – it’s difficult to fully experience a destination when you try to do and see too much!

July 20, 2018 at 9:52 am

Good to hear from you, Priscilla. I know you just came back from a trip to Europe. Hope it was fun.

July 20, 2018 at 9:53 am

Good to hear from you, Priscilla. I know you just came back from Europe. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

March 28, 2020 at 11:11 pm

Anda looking for a 14 day itinerary first time in Europe. This is for my 25 Anniversary. Looking to bring my 3 daughters ages 25/22/20. Also looking to invite my in laws 65/72. My wife is first generation born in the states from Hungary. My 72 year old father in-law has a bad ankle is there scooters to rent or would it be a pain in the butt to travel everywhere with it. Also ball Parker cost per person along with either plane or rail tickets to hop around

March 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm

This looks like a multi-generational reunion and a great celebration. Since your wife is of Hungarian descent, you might want to take a trip to Central Europe that would include Hungary as well. I think all of you are going to love Budapest! You could probably do Prague, Vienna, and Budapest and spend at least 3 days in each of these big cities. There are also a few side trips that you can take around them. I wrote extensively about these three destinations, in case you need some ideas on things to do, places to stay and eat in each one of these cities.

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europe travel ideas 2022

Happy to Wander

100+ Europe Travel Tips for First Timers & Must-Knows Before You Go

Last Updated: November 6, 2023

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Headed to Europe for the first time and trying not to cry?

I get it. You’re probably a hot mess of emotion right now. Between the excitement of ticking off bucket list moments and the anxiety of getting pickpocketed or (possibly worse) getting side-eyed by cool European youths, there’s a lot of potential for stress carbs and sheer overwhelm.

Don’t worry though – I have all the Europe tips you need in this post to keep those first time jitters at bay, and ensure you’re fully prepared for your big European adventure.

So, what are some must-knows before you travel to Europe for the first time? Read on for a full of my best Europe travel tips, after over a decade of travelling around/living on this gorgeous and delicious continent.

NOTE: As an aggressively apologetic Canadian, I must first clarify that these European travel tips are written from a North American perspective, and there are some culture shocks that (while seemingly basic) can really confuse a 1st time visitor, so… yes, this is just me covering all the bases. Enjoy!

europe travel ideas 2022

Save this list of Europe Travel Tips for Later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

Europe Travel Planning Tips

Let’s start with some planning-related Europe tips to help you with flights, booking hotels in Europe, choosing dates, the best times to visit Europe, etc. to get you from armchair travel to your real-life dream trip.

Steal my step by step guide to planning a trip to Europe from scratch

This post is full of random Europe travel tips, but if you are looking more for step by step guidance, be sure to check out my step by step guide to planning a Europe trip.

Also be sure to check out my free Europe trip planner book , as well as my free International Travel Checklist for a list of things to do before you travel abroad.

europe travel ideas 2022

Avoid peak travel times

If you have the luxury of flexibility, I’d avoid visiting Europe between mid-June to the end of August.

Simply put, this is when prices and crowds are at their highest, and (depending on where you go) temperatures during this season can reach a point of salty, sweaty discomfort.

Instead, consider going in the Spring , Fall or Winter!

europe travel ideas 2022

Avoid European holidays

In addition to avoiding North American holiday periods, be sure to also consider popular European school holidays too.

Generally, speaking longer European school holidays will take place during Easter/Christmas, a very popular time for European families to travel around the continent too.

Yes, Europeans can be avid tourists too. Don’t forget that!

europe travel ideas 2022

Go for Christmas markets!

Okay, this may be a direct contradiction to what I said above, but one exception I’d make for “peak season travel” in Europe is going to Christmas markets.

This is one of the most magical times to visit Europe, and if you plan your visit for earlier in the season (late November, rather than close to Christmas), you’ll usually be able to avoid the bulk of the crowds.

Here are my top must-knows for visiting Christmas markets in Europe if you want to learn more.

europe travel ideas 2022

Consider getting a travel credit card

I’m going to level with you: no matter how you plan it, even if you stay in hostels and subsist solely on hummus and bread scraps, you will end up spending a lot of money on your Europe trip.

… so you might as well try to reap as many rewards from it as possible!

Getting a travel rewards credit card before booking all your hotels and flights is one of my favourite underrated Europe travel tips.

There’s a million options out there, so I’ll leave the research/choice up to you, but just make sure you’re booking everything on a card that maximizes the amount of benefits you get.

For me personally, I have the Amex Platinum , which yes has a really high fee but at least for the first year it’s super worth it because you get travel credits, travel insurance, lounge access, and most importantly, enough bonus sign-up points to get you a roundtrip flight to Europe from North America! It’s not for everyone, but definitely worth looking into.

Bonus sneaky point hoarding tip: Travelling with friends? Especially if they don’t collect points of their own, offer to book for everyone, then have them pay you back. Whee – free points without needing to spend all the money!

europe travel ideas 2022

Get a Wise card

If you’re not interested in getting a travel credit card, a handy and free alternative I can highly recommend is a Wise card.

Having a Wise card allows you to “send and spend money around the world at the real exchange rate”, avoiding hidden fees in the process.

It is SO handy for travel, because you can use it for over 150 currencies around the world, and you even get 2 free ATM withdrawals per month with it overseas.

And because your card is linked to your Wise account, you can simply load it up with a minimal amount of money so you don’t have to risk your normal credit/debit cards while walking around.

You can use my referral link here to transfer your first $500 fee-free.

NOTE: I’ve also had a good experience with Revolut when I lived in Germany, but they don’t offer services for Canadians so I can no longer use them.

europe travel ideas 2022

Focus on one or two countries for shorter trips

Unless you have a lot of time to work with, I would recommend getting to know one or two countries well rather than trying to visit too many countries in one go just for the sake of checking them off your list.

While travelling between European countries can be affordable and quick, hopping around too much can be a sure recipe for burnout and time lost commuting.

Plus, the more you see of one country, the more you’re able to get more off-the-beaten path and find spots you hadn’t heard of before!

Check out my list of 1 week itineraries for Europe if you need inspiration.

europe travel ideas 2022

Learn all about the Schengen Area

An important must-know for all first time visitors to Europe is that border-free travel doesn’t exist across the continent (as is commonly believed).

Rather, border-free travel apples only between countries in the Schengen Area, this group of 27 countries (accurate as of 2023):

  • Liechtenstein
  • The Netherlands
  • Switzerland 

When crossing borders outside of these countries, you will need to clear passport control as normal.

Understanding this distinction will help you plan how long you can stay in different countries, as well as Europe in general, and give you some insight into logistics like when you’ll need to clear passport control, and which visas you might need for where.

europe travel ideas 2022

Use your understanding of the Schengen Zone to legally stay in Europe longer

For most tourists, the maximum amount of time you can spend in the Schengen Zone is 90 days out of 180 days .

Simply put, if by the time you leave, you can look back on the past 180 days and say you stayed less than 90 days total, you’re good.

BUT if you want to stay in Europe for longer than that amount of time, you can utilize your Schengen Area understanding to stay longer, simply by including travel to non-Schengen countries.

For example: Let’s say you can only spend 90 days in the Schengen Zone, but you’re allowed to spend 180 total in the UK. You can easily make your European trip longer than 90 days by adding time in the UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania or any other non-Schengen country.

Wonderful, hidden must-sees in Bucharest, Romania. Here's a crazy list of some of the best things to do in Bucharest, most of which are hidden/unknown.

Consider more off-the-beaten path destinations

Another benefit of visiting non-Schengen countries is they’re often lesser visited, and filled with some truly amazing hidden gems.

For example, I’m a HUGE fan of Bulgaria. (Here are some of the coolest things to do in Bulgaria that you probably haven’t heard of.)

While I totally understand the desire to see the most popular and best-known destinations on your trip, sometimes visiting these lesser known spots can bring amazing surprises that end up being the highlight of your vacation!

Of course, there’s a middle ground too – you can easily get the ‘best of both worlds’ by combining a hugely popular destination with some side trips to other lesser known places in the same country. These posts might help with that:

  • The Best Places to Visit in England (Besides London)
  • The Best Places to Visit in France (Besides Paris)

europe travel ideas 2022

Offset pricey destinations with more budget-friendly ones

If you’re hoping to visit Europe on a budget, but still have some pricier destinations on your bucket list (e.g. Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, UK, Germany, etc.), then a great way to cut costs is to round out your itinerary with more affordable stops (e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Montenegro, Lithuania, etc.)

This of course makes more sense on longer trips where you’ll be covering a lot of ground, but just remember than some European destinations are MUCH rougher on the budget than others, so mix it up if you’re looking to give your wallet a break.

europe travel ideas 2022

Alternate between busy and chill destinations

On a similar note, you should make sure your Europe trip itinerary also includes a mix of busy and relaxed places.

One of the biggest mistakes I made during my first backpacking trip was I crammed SO many huge cities into my itinerary, one after another.

But when your itinerary is nothing but European heavyweights like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome and Florence… yikes, you’ll be sightseeing your eyeballs off daily with zero chance for breaks.

So, here’s a very important Europe travel tip when planning your itinerary: try to space out the “big” cities with chiller destinations, maybe nature or beach breaks so you have time to rest up before sightseeing like the Energizer bunny once more.

Absolutely stunning photos of the Dolomites in Italy! This post is travel inspiration at its finest, inspiring you to travel to Italy, travel to Europe and beyond! #italy #europe #travel #photography

Learn the tricks to getting cheap flights TO Europe

Not sure how to get the best flight deals for your big Europe trip? Be sure to check out my guide on how to get the cheapest flights to Europe .

I promise it’ll save you hundreds of dollars, if not more.

europe travel ideas 2022

Take advantage of free stopovers

Certain airlines have a free stopover program where you can have a long layover for no extra cost, meaning you get two destinations for the price of one plane ticket!

Here are some Europe-based airlines that offer this:

  • IcelandAir: Free stopovers in Reykjavik for 1-7 days
  • Iberia: Free stopovers in Madrid for 1-6 nights
  • TAP Portugal: Free stopovers in Lisbon and Porto for 1-5 nights

europe travel ideas 2022

Steal my step by step process for finding the best hotels

If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of booking all your own places to stay, I have just the resource for you.

Here’s how to find the best accommodation in Europe every time.

europe travel ideas 2022

Book hotels far in advance

And if you don’t have time to check out my whole step by step process, then here’s the #1 piece of Europe accommodation wisdom I can give you: book your hotels as soon as possible.

In many of Europe’s most popular destinations, good value accommodation books out quickly, so your biggest defense against outrageous prices and poor quality hotels is booking early.

Even if you’re not going in peak season, you never know when an unexpected event (e.g. a big concert, sports game or conference) will send hotel prices soaring, so the sooner you book, the better.

I know that committing to a hotel early can feel scary, but if you use  Booking.com , you can find hundreds of hotels that offer free reservations and free cancellations up until a certain point.

I’ll often hop on Booking.com to make a placeholder / “just in case” reservation in the early stages of my planning just to ensure I have a Plan B in case prices skyrocket.

europe travel ideas 2022

The European hotel star system is different to North America

I grew up with a North American hotel system where 5* meant opulent luxury and 1* meant run for the hills, unless you want to lose your kidneys.

The star ratings in Europe are a bit different. Instead of stars coinciding to quality on a scale of 1-5, the stars actually correspond to a checklist of amenities/requirements.

SO, you can get some amazing 2* properties that are simply smaller and don’t really have things like a spa or pool, while also finding crappy 4 or 5* properties that have that rating just because they’re big and have amenities like fitness centers and valets (i.e. many chains).

Learn more about the criteria for star ratings here.

europe travel ideas 2022

Avoid airport hotels unless flying in or out

Tempted by a cheap hotel deal near the airport? Run.

Unless you are flying into your destination late and need a place to crash or are flying out early in the morning, do NOT book a stay at any airport hotels.

With Europe travel, you want to ideally be close to the sights or at least in a scenic neighbourhood, not next to a motorway. Adding in the time and cost of commuting to/from the city centre, it’s rarely worth it so keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted by the siren’s call of an airport Ibis.

Learn the options for free accommodation in Europe

Hoping to find places to stay for free in Europe? There are indeed options for that!

Here are a few ways you can potentially find accommodation for free:

  • Couchsurfing:   Crashing with someone within a community of travellers where people offer to host each other in their homes free of charge
  • House Swap: Trading homes with someone (like in The Holiday). Many sites facilitate these exchanges, including  HomeExchange  and  Kindred
  • House and Pet Sitting:  Looking after someone’s house/pets in exchange for free accommodation. One of the most popular platforms for this is  Trusted Housesitters
  • Workaway:  Volunteering your time/services in exchange for accommodation

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t forget travel insurance

I personally believe that travel insurance is a must for every trip. Trust me, the peace of mind is worth the cost!

Click here to check rates with WorldNomads.

europe travel ideas 2022

Make sure you’ll have Internet access

This tip goes without saying, but if you’re old school and prefer to travel without Internet, don’t.

Really, as romantic as it is to disconnect during your travels, having an Internet plan for your phone is crucial. It allows you to navigate with Google Maps, use translation apps, do research on the go, etc.

Without it, your trip will be infinitely harder. No joke – some places these days even require you to have data to scan menus!

Luckily, roaming within the EU is free, and it’s wayyyy cheaper than what we have in Canada.

iPhone taking a photo of tulips

Download helpful apps before you go

On that note, once you have a data plan set up, you can take advantage of all the helpful apps for Europe travel available.

Some of my favourites include…

  • Omio : Great for comparing and booking transport options (including buses, trains, and flights) from Point A to Point B.
  • Google Translate : A must for translating signs and menus if you are in a country where English isn’t the main language
  • Splitwise : Helpful for tracking expenses split between friends, great for minimizing awkwardness when dealing with trip finances
  • Too Good to Go : Perfect for buying discounted meals at the end of the day to save food from going to waste

europe travel ideas 2022

Download TripIt to keep track of all your travel bookings

Speaking of helpful Europe travel apps, another one I can recommend is TripIt.

This app works like magic to organize your hotel bookings, flights, tickets and all in one place… the best thing is, it does it automatically through scanning your inbox for confirmation emails.

If you’re planning a long trip with multiple stops, hotels, modes of transport, etc. to worry about, then TripIt is a great tool for organizing everything in one neat place.

europe travel ideas 2022

Ensure you have proof of onward travel

“Proof of onward travel”  is a very important consideration that many first-time travellers forget about.

In sum, it’s proof that you’re leaving your destination before your visa or allowance expires.

Usually this proof is provided in the form of a ticket back home, or a ticket elsewhere to prove that you’ll be leaving at some point.

A lot of people dismiss this requirement as a myth, but trust me: it’s not.

I was once almost barred from boarding a flight to Germany because my return flight was after the 90 day Schengen Zone allowance, and I didn’t have proof I would be leaving the Schengen Zone before the 90 days was over. I intended to spend some time out of the Schengen Zone to ensure I never overstayed, but they demanded proof… so yes, they do check!

Want to learn more?  I have a full article if you want to read more about  proof of onward travel  and my experience lawyer-ing myself out of that (very awkward) situation.

Passport and boarding pass with coffee at airport

Steal my pre-made itineraries

Lastly Europe travel planning tip: I know that making itineraries can be exhausting, but luckily there are Type A laptop gremlins like me who adore doing it.

So, here are some itineraries for you to steal in case you need them:

  • My 1.5 month Western Europe backpacking itinerary
  • My 40+ one week in Europe itineraries

The most beautiful and scenic train rides in Europe! Don't miss this seriously epic rail travel bucket list on your next trip to Europe. #Europe #Trains #TrainTravel #BucketList

Europe Travel Tips for Transport & Getting Around

Getting around Europe can be really daunting for a first-time visitor, so here are all my best Europe tips related to transport and getting from one place to another.

Public transport is abundant and amazing

Don’t be afraid of using it!

I’m always shocked when I hear travellers who think that they’ll need to rent a car for their Europe trip.

Oftentimes, you really won’t need to, especially if you’re mainly visiting big cities.

europe travel ideas 2022

On that note…

Avoid renting a car

Unless you are doing a trip that focuses heavily on natural sights or smaller remote villages, odds are you won’t need a car.

Public transport (as I mentioned above) is a solid option, and involves a fraction of the stress often unleashed by car rentals.

German road trip inspiration! Click through for a funny story of a road trip around Germany gone wrong (then right).

… But beware of hidden costs if you do rent a car

When it comes to car rentals in Europe, often the first price you see isn’t indicative of what you’ll have to pay in the end.

Some hidden/additional costs might include…

  • Age or nationality based surcharges
  • Additional driver fees
  • Multiple country fees
  • Extra miles
  • Extra insurance
  • One way fees
  • Tolls/vignettes

So if you still want to rent a car, here is a post to help you figure out how much renting a car in Europe really costs .

Hoping to travel Europe by car? Don't miss these important considerations and hidden fees to ensure you have a smooth rental process! #europe #carrental #travel #traveltips

Renting a car? You might need a vignette 

One of the pains of car rentals is the additional fees. In many European countries, you need to pay for a vignette (a sticker you put on your car) to use their motorways.

In Switzerland for instance, this costs 40 francs… and yes, you need to make sure you have the vignette BEFORE you drive into the country, as there are automatic scanners at the border that can pick up your details and send you a ticket later (which we learned the hard way).

europe travel ideas 2022

Do a lot of research before committing to a Eurail pass 

Many first time visitors to Europe think of a rail pass as the cheapest option, but very often, booking your train tickets in advance will work out to be cheaper than a Eurail pass, especially if you aren’t taking that many trains and don’t need full flexibility (i.e. you are okay to book the trains advance).

Eurail passes can be great value, but not always. If you need help figuring out whether they’d make sense for you, read my full Eurail review for more details.

europe travel ideas 2022

Look into scenic European train rides

I’ve already made my allegiance to European public transport pretty clear, but one of the main reasons is simply how beautiful it can be.

Sure, trains aren’t always the cheapest way to to travel Europe , but they’re often the most scenic and beautiful.

So if you’re into the idea of travel as an experience, then be sure to read my post on the best scenic train rides in Europe , and the best scenic train rides in Switzerland .

europe travel ideas 2022

Familiarize yourself with Europe’s most famous budget airlines 

One of the cheapest ways to get around Europe is hopping around on budget airlines… where sometimes an international flight is cheaper than a 6 pack of nuggets.

Of course, the epic prices come with their own set of drawbacks, usually in terms of the flight experience, customer support, and additional add-ons (which always come at an extra fee).

You can learn more specifics about Europe’s top budget airlines through my reviews here:

  • Honest RyanAir Review
  • Honest easyJet Review
  • Honest WizzAir Review

RyanAir plane interior

Consider bus/coach travel if you’re on a budget

In addition to planes and trains, Europe is very well connected by an extensive bus (AKA coach) network.

One of the main contenders in this space is Flixbus, but depending on the country you’re visiting, there’s often local companies offering affordable bus travel between cities as well.

Again, I’d recommend using Omio so you can quickly compare buses, trains, and flights at the same time, but just know that bus travel in Europe can be a really cheap, safe, and easy way to get around.

Although there are of course some downisdes as well. You can read my full Flixbus review for more details.

This honest Flixbus review is epic! It compiles all the pros and cons of riding with Flixbus and 14 important must-knows before your trip. #Flixbus #Europe #Travel

Book an airport transfer for minimal stress

I love navigating Europe with public transport but if you’re travelling with a lot of luggage or as a big group, one of the more cost effective ways might actually be to just book a private transfer or taxi.

Of course, depending on where you go, taxi scams can be a real possibility, so for the least stressful option, consider booking a Welcome Pickups transfer, which is a set price, includes an English speaking driver who monitors your flight arrival time, and offers free cancellations up until 24 hours before.

This saves you the hassle of trying to get a taxi/navigate the language barriers to do so.

… Plus they pick you up with a cute little sign that has your name on it!

europe travel ideas 2022

Do research on how trains work in your destination

I have to say, one of the most overwhelming things for me in Europe was getting used to how trains work. I come from West Coast Canada, where passenger rail from city to city is very limited.

SO if you’re new to train travel, it might be helpful to do some research on how the train system works in your destinations, paying attention to particularities like…

  • Where to find the right platform for your train
  • Where to stand in order to find the right section of your train
  • Whether you need to buy and validate tickets before you get on board

Train stations are chaotic and stressful places, so you’ll ideally want to know these main things before you get there, otherwise you may have a lil mental breakdown on-site.

europe travel ideas 2022

Use train station lockers

If you’re looking for a stress-free way to explore a city for the day, or if you need a place to dump your bags before check-in or after check-out, a convenient solution can often be found at your destination’s train station.

At larger train stations in Europe, there will usually be paid lockers or a ‘left luggage’ office for you to leave your bags for a small fee. Be sure to take advantage of these so you can explore without hauling all your lively possessions with you.

europe travel ideas 2022

Order taxis or rides through apps whenever possible

Of course, this isn’t possible everywhere, but taxi scams are so widespread in certain European countries that you should definitely use an app when you’re able to.

The most popular ones in Europe include Uber, or FreeNow which is like Uber except you’re ordering an official licensed taxi.

Ordering through an app helps ensure you get a fair rate, and is also (in most cases) more convenient than waiting at a taxi stand or trying to wave one down in the street.

europe travel ideas 2022

Always look for deals with public transport

If you’re relying on public transportation to get around during your trip (which I highly recommend), then doing a bit of research on ticket types and discounts can really save you a lot of money.

Most major European cities offer some kind of discount for day tickets, group tickets, or multiple trip bundles, so be sure to look into those rather than buying single tickets every time.

europe travel ideas 2022

Always validate and hold onto your ticket

When it comes to navigating public transportation in Europe, most times it’s not enough to simply buy a ticket – you must usually a) validate it properly and b) keep it on you in case of inspection.

Who’s checking you ask? Well, most major European cities have random ticket controllers who periodically go around to make sure you’ve paid for and validated your fare correctly.

Sometimes (like in Paris) they’ll even ask to see your ticket after you’ve left the train platform, so be sure to hold onto your ticket until you’ve left the station.

The most thorough guide out there for using Munich's public transport system. #Germany #Munich #PublicTransport #Travel

Avoid public transport during rush hour… and during big events like sports games

When you’re a care-free tourist, it can be easy to forget the woes of mundane daily life like trying to get home during rush hour. Well, don’t forget: no matter where you go, they have a rush hour too, so be sure to avoid it whenever possible.

Ideally, you should aim to avoid public transport during times that locals are commuting to/from work. Pay special attention as well to big events like huge concerts or sport games, which can also make public transport a nightmare.

europe travel ideas 2022

Easily rent bikes or scooters

Most major European cities now have e-bikes and e-scooters that you can easily rent on-the-go through an app. This can be a fun way to quickly and cheaply get around the city.

Options will depend on your destination, but keep an eye out upon arrival! If they are available, odds are you will see them everywhere.

europe travel ideas 2022

Europe Tips for Attractions

Odds are, if you’re visiting Europe, your plans involve a lot of sightseeing. So, here are some of my best Europe travel tips related to attractions and itinerary planning.

Prepare yourself for scaffolding and restorations

Europe is an amazing destination thanks to its history.

… But the flip side of that is that it is old and so are many of its most famous monuments.

So, mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that the amazing church or landmark you’ve seen a million times on social media is covered in scaffolding, or doesn’t look as you hoped due to restorations.

For example, the first time I went to Rome, I was devastated to see the Trevi Fountain completely covered with scaffolding, and drained of water.

And most travelers have similar stories. There’s no way around it, but just keep in mind that it’s possible!

europe travel ideas 2022

Look into age-based discounts

Oftentimes, whether you’re looking at train tickets or attraction tickets, there will be enticing discounts available based on your age, so be sure to look into those for additional savings, especially if you’re considered a child, youth (often this goes up to age 27!) or senior.

europe travel ideas 2022

Get an ISIC Card if you’re a student

Here’s a very important Europe travel tip for students: if you are a student, the good news is you’re eligible for a wealth of additional discounts and offers.

The bad news is, often European institutions won’t recognize or accept student IDs from abroad, since they’re all so different.

An easy way to get around this though is by getting an  ISIC Card , which is an internationally recognized student ID that costs about twenty dollars, but will save you at least that much in discounts. 

I’d recommend getting one if you plan to travel around Europe for a longer time.

europe travel ideas 2022

On a budget? Prioritize free museums and sights

This is one of my top Europe backpacking tips – do not sleep on the many free things to see and do in Europe.

Everywhere you go in Europe, there will be free things to do and see, ranging from free museums to beautiful architecture and street art.

So, be sure to research beforehand and see what free things there are to do at your destination.

NOTE:  A lot of museums across Europe offer free admission on particular days of the month. Take advantage of these offers!

europe travel ideas 2022

Book tickets for attractions in advance whenever possible

This is usually cheaper, and can save you a lot of time on the day of your visit because at major attractions, there’s usually a separate line for people who already have tickets.

europe travel ideas 2022

Skip the line tickets are usually worth it

If you’re visiting a busy destination, then I’d highly recommend looking into Skip the Line tickets for major attractions, which will allow you to get in quicker.

Remember, during your trip, time is money, so paying a bit extra to skip the line is definitely a good use of funds.

europe travel ideas 2022

Visit attractions shortly before closing time

While most guides advise that you visit the main sights early, another sneaky hack that works quite well is visiting right before it closes.

I did this once with the Vatican Museums, entering about 1.5 hours before closing time and it I practically had the place all to myself!

In contrast, one time I did an early morning tour of the Vatican and it was already quite busy because other tour groups were starting at the same time. 

Gorgeous photos of Rome in the off-season - excellent inspiration for your next trip to Rome, featuring amazing must-sees and attractions.

Book special tours that are before or after public opening hours 

Many busier destinations will offer this now, and it’s a magical way to experience the top sights with a fraction of the crowds.

I once did a sunrise tour around Venice and it was incredible to see all the main sights and feel like I had them mainly to myself.

europe travel ideas 2022

Seek out fun and unique tours in general

Gone are the days that destinations offer just your old standard tours that cover everything generally.

These days, in most major European destinations, there are special tours you can book based on interest, with tours focusing on everything from history and food to street art and photography.

I usually like to have a quick search on GetYourGuide to see what’s available.

Barcelona is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Click through for big, beautiful photos of this vibrant city, and discover why you need to book a trip to Spain ASAP.

For touristy cities, research on local blogs 

In big cities like Paris or London, sure there’s a lot of tourists, but there are even more locals, who live there and call it home.

This means there’s a whole other side to the city that many tourists miss out on, from cool pop-ups and restaurants to special cultural events. I always try to look up fun events/updates on local blogs before every trip, and have gotten some really fun travel memories out of it.

You might find my guide on  How to Find Cool Stuff to Do Near You  helpful.

europe travel ideas 2022

Seek alternate viewpoints to main landmarks

If you ever find yourself in a place wanting to get THE photo of a major landmark (e.g. the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome, etc.) then a great way to get an amazing photo away from the crowds is by seeking out alternative angles and perspectives.

Remember, landmarks are big, so odds are you can find some cool places to get your photos without having to cram with everyone else. Simply walk a few blocks away and try to find unique views!

Sacré-Coeur Basilica from Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet

Always search for information on the official websites of attractions (even in the local language)

These days, hours/entry requirements can change quickly and third party guides (yes, even Google Maps!) may be inaccurate. 

So, if you’re trying to find information on how to book tickets or what opening times are, make sure you always go straight to the source rather than other sites or blogs (even mine!)

For example, on my most recent visit to Rome, the Pantheon had changed its policy to be open only for reserved time slots on weekends, which would have been really unlucky because I saw no information about this anywhere else.

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t spread yourself too thin

An ideal itinerary should have a mix of sights, experiences & relaxing. Don’t burn out by forcing yourself to see everything. I personally always ensure that there’s a relaxing or chill activity on each day, whether that be a picnic or just a relaxed coffee/cake afternoon.

europe travel ideas 2022

If you’re not interested, don’t force yourself just because it’s a must do

I think too often, first-time visitors in Europe get caught in this trap of needing to see all THE most famous things, but remember: at the end of the day, this is your vacation, so don’t force yourself to see something just because a random person on the Internet told you to.

I personally love museums but they’re not for everyone, so just remember it’s your vacation and there’s no need to do something just because it’s famous.

… but psst – if you ARE into museums, don’t wait until your trip to go! There are tons of really cool virtual museums you can check out when you’re bored. Pro tip from one hopeless nerd to another.

europe travel ideas 2022

Safety Tips for Europe (And How to Not Get Scammed!)

Is Europe dangerous to travel? This is one of the most common questions that first-time visitors ask. Honestly, so long as you keep the following Europe safety tips in mind, you will be fine.

Be wary of petty theft and scams when you visit Europe

Certainly in more touristy cities like Paris and Barcelona, opportunistic crime is abundant.

You can learn the most common pickpocket techniques and how to avoid them in my post about how to avoid pickpockets in Europe , but overall, the key is to always be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings.

Pickpockets thrive on distraction, and tend to operate in high-traffic areas that have a lot of people/tourists (e.g. train stations), so be especially careful to not let anyone get too close.

europe travel ideas 2022

Look into theft-proof bags and accessories

There are a lot of amazing theft-proof travel accessories out there these days. The bad news is they’re not always the cheapest.

If you’re willing to splurge a bit on something high-quality and designed to thwart pickpockets, here are some options:

  • PacSafe’s  products are all made to be theft-proof, including their signature backpack  here  and day bag  here
  • Secret passport scarves  like these  are a great way to stash THE most important things in a subtle and discreet way 

Research the pickpocket hot zones for your destination

Most major cities have certain areas that are particularly well-known as pickpocket destinations.

In Rome for example, there’s Termini Train Station where I got pickpocketed, and Bus 64 AKA the Pickpocket Express.

Knowing where pickpockets tend to operate can help provide some ease of mind, and help you figure out when to be on guard.

europe travel ideas 2022

Keep valuables out of sight

Leaving your phone on a terrace table, or your purse hanging on your chair are both easy ways to get your valuables stolen!

Sure, it’s easy to let your guard down when you’re trying to relax, but remember that keeping your valuables out like that can be an easy way for them to get snatched.

Whenever I’m dining anywhere, I always keep my bag between my feet so they’re hard to access, and make sure to not leave my phone out on the table (on my lap, under a big napkin is often a safer bet!)

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t take “free stuff”

A very common scam in touristy European places is people will offer you something for free “as a gift”, but then demand you (or one of your travel buddies) pay for it.

Some examples include…

  • Friendship bracelets

Generally, they will set up shop in busy, touristy areas, so remember to be especially cautious in these areas.

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t sign any petitions

Another common scam is the petition scam, usually run by groups of young women.

They’ll come ask you to sign a petition (often first breaking the ice by asking if you speak English) and then either demand a donation from you, or distract you as someone else picks your pockets.

… So if someone asks you to sign a petition, just ignore and walk away. Better safe than sorry!

Rudeness is the way to get rid of scammers

On that note, if you find yourself in a situation where you are being followed or confronted by one of the aforementioned scammers, the best thing to do is ignore them and walk away.

They can be very persistent, but will give up eventually when you ignore them.

Limit the amount of cash you bring out with you

I always say to plan for ‘worst case scenario’, so another one of my top Europe safety tips is to not bring around more cash than you’d stand to lose.

Once upon a time, my friend was carrying around hundreds of euros in her bag (at the start of her trip) and was pickpocketed in Nice on her very first day! Pickpockets work quickly and unexpectedly, so don’t bring out more than you’d be okay losing.

europe travel ideas 2022

Store your cards separately

On a similar note, make sure to not carry all your cards in one wallet, so that (in case you are pickpocketed), you have a back-up.

I would recommend keeping one card in your suitcase, or in a separate bag.

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t make yourself appear to be a good target for robbery

Sometimes when I’m travelling I’ll see people doing photoshoots posing with their designer shopping bags, completely oblivious to the fact that they’re making themselves targets.

Worse, sometimes they just leave the bags on a bench or on the stairs while they’re occupied on their phone.

If I were to write a “how to get robbed in Europe” article, these are the types of behaviours that would make the list, so make sure you’re not making yourself a clear target, and don’t wear unnecessarily flashy outfits or accessories which might catch a thief’s eye.

europe travel ideas 2022

Keep your phone out of reach

Phone snatchings are becoming a really common crime, especially in big cities like London, so avoid having your phone haphazardly out, or at least be sure to pay more attention when you do, especially…

  • If you’re standing close to doors on public transport
  • If you’re walking along a bike lane or road

europe travel ideas 2022

Be careful of bike lanes

Speaking of bike lanes, here’s another important (physical) Europe safety tip: be mindful of them.

If you’re like me and come from somewhere that they’re not overly common, it’s way too easy to accidentally walk onto them and potentially get yourself run over (or more likely, make yourself an annoyance to a cyclist just trying to get home).

europe travel ideas 2022

Beware of strangers asking you to go for drinks randomly

This is a scam that’s more prevalent in famous party cities, but if a random person (usually an unreasonably attractive woman) comes up to you off the street and asks you to grab a drink, odds are rather good that they’re not just a friendly local looking to grab drinks with a stranger.

This is a common scam where people (again, usually beautiful women, but not always) will bring targeted tourists into bars they’re working with to get a few drinks, only for these tourists to get charged extortionate rates for these drinks, because you never question how much stuff costs when you’re trying to flirt.

Extreme stories even say that bar staff will block the door until the tourists pay up.

Moral of the story: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

europe travel ideas 2022

And beware of children

A general rule of thumb is this: if a kid is confidently coming up to you and/or getting close unannounced, keep your valuables close and watch your pockets. This is often a distraction tactic used by pickpockets, and sadly some kids are also trained to steal from a young age too.

I almost lost my wallet in Bratislava this way, when a woman asked me to take her photo and her kid started running around me as a distraction.

I realized pretty quickly what was happening and caught my pickpocket literally with her hand in my purse. Luckily, I was able to swat her hand away just in time.

europe travel ideas 2022

Buy some small locks to put around your zippers

Another great travel hack I’ve picked up over the years is simply buying a set of small cable locks  like these  and keeping one in each bag.

That way, you can quickly lock your zippers together in crowded situations and prevent anyone from randomly opening your bag.

Simple, but effective.

Look up common taxi rates and scams before arriving

While I’m a firm believer that public transport is the way to go, sometimes you might need to take a taxi, whether it’s because you’re arriving late, running late, or just want to splurge a little.

While this varies depending on the country, taxis are often prime scam zones! I’ve personally been scammed by taxis in  Prague  and also in  Sofia.

Particularly if you are leaving from busy areas like airports or train stations, some opportunistic drivers will take advantage. This is how I got charged 4x the usual fare in Sofia, mainly because I didn’t know better.

So, if you plan on taking a taxi, make sure you search up how much that route should generally cost, and also familiarize yourself with common scams.

europe travel ideas 2022

Know the emergency numbers

In North America, 911 is the go-to when you have any kind of emergency, but the numbers are different in Europe.

Within the EU (and a handful of other countries), the general emergency number is 112, and most countries will have other numbers for more specific emergency services as well.

So, be sure to take note of what these are before your trip, although I’ve heard anecdotally that 911 should reroute to emergency services as well.

europe travel ideas 2022

Avoid sketchy EuroNet ATMs

If you’re going to an ATM, try your best to find one that’s connected to an actual bank.

There are a lot of ATMs (especially around tourist areas) that charge huge fees, or make currency conversion more confusing than it needs to be so you can get charged more.

As a general rule, don’t use any of those Euronet ATMs – they’re the worst!

Have a plan in case of a worst case scenario

This isn’t just a good Europe travel tip, but a good tip for travelling anywhere – make a plan for the worst case scenario.

Imagine your bags get stolen with your passports and all your cash/cards – what would be your backup plan? What would you do if you lost your phone?

Having a plan in place can minimize stress in the event that anything does happen, and having that peace of mind is very important for any vacation!

europe travel ideas 2022

Get a good VPN

If you plan to be travelling longer-term, getting a reliable VPN is a must.

In short, VPNs (or Virtual Private Networks) mask your IP address and encrypt your data so that you can protect your identity online, browse anonymously, and even change the geographical location you’re browsing from.

This can be helpful in a lot of backpacking situations. In the past, I’ve used a VPN to…

  • Access streaming for my favourite TV shows that weren’t available in the country I was travelling in
  • Visit sites that were blocked in the country I was travelling in
  • Access important sites (e.g. banking portals) that flagged my visit as suspicious because I was in a new country
  • Securely browse the Internet with public WiFi knowing my data/identity was protected

As a real cheapskate (especially in my earlier travel days), I’ve tried every free VPN under the sun, and always found them to be unreliable or buggy.

After doing lots of research, I decided to splurge on  Private Internet Access , which I’ve been using for the past few years, and I’ve been loving it. It’s super easy to use, very reliable, and actually (when you break it down) not expensive it all.

Subscribe via  this link  and you can get it for under 3 bucks a month.

Laptop with Netflix loaded

Food & Drink Tips for Europe

When in Europe, eating and drinking well is a must! Here are some of my best tips for making the most of Europe’s varied food culture.

Visit grocery stores to save big

Not only is visiting supermarkets abroad just a fun cultural activity in general, you can save a great deal of money by buying snacks/drinks there vs. from vendors as you’re out and about.

If you have cooking facilities at your accommodation, making some of your own meals can also be a huge money-saver, even if you’re just swapping out a sit-down lunch for a picnic one.

Grocery store display with fruits and drinks

Beware that you might need to weigh your own produce

Of course, visiting supermarkets abroad can come with its own healthy dose of culture shocks, one of the main ones being that most countries have their own different method of handling produce.

Should you weigh it? Print a sticker? Just bring it as-is?

The answer will depend, so observe what others are doing before you get caught awkwardly at the cashier with a woman shouting at you in Bulgarian because you didn’t weigh your tomatoes (true story).

europe travel ideas 2022

Have a quick search of regional specialties before you go

European cuisine is SO diverse, and even within one country, you’ll have all kinds of different regional dishes to try, so I’d recommend doing some research beforehand about the top must-tries, so you can keep an eye out for them.

For example, you might think you know what Italian food is but when you go to actual Italy, you’ll realize that every region has their own special dishes, so be sure to look into what those are before just getting pizza everywhere.

europe travel ideas 2022

Dine far away from tourist attractions

A general rule of thumb is that any restaurants right next to major tourist attractions are probably gonna have a poor price to quality ratio, since they cater more to tourists who are flush with cash and unlikely to return.

My tip? Just walk a few blocks over before starting your food hunt, or d some research beforehand to find well-rated restaurants near you.

Pasta Il Porticciolo Manarola

Learn how to spot a tourist trap restaurant

Tourist trappy restaurants are a dime a dozen in Europe’s more popular destinations, so make sure you work on your tourist trap radar.

A few red flags include…

  • Big pictures
  • The menu being translated into a million languages
  • The words “TOURIST MENU” over it
  • A really persistent person out front beckoning you to come inside

europe travel ideas 2022

Double check that places have prices on display before ordering

This may be the oldest scam in Europe’s “let’s extort tourists” playbook, but any restaurant with fair pricing will be transparent with their pricing.

If you come across a restaurant that doesn’t list prices upfront, then run for the hills.

Never assume “it can’t be that bad” because odds are they’ve omitted their prices for a reason and plan to charge you an extortionate amount, like  this place  which went viral for a 500 euro lunch bill.

europe travel ideas 2022

A quick check of reviews is a must

While I don’t believe reviews are accurate 100% of the time, I do think they’re very helpful for establishing patterns, especially when there’s a bunch of reviews all saying the same thing.

A quick search of the restaurant (even on Google Maps Reviews) can help prevent you from getting scammed or being subject to mediocre food/service.

Lunch specials are usually cheaper

If you’re gonna splurge and treat yourself, lunch might be the time to do it. Many places will offer special deals for lunch, so keep an eye out for those!

europe travel ideas 2022

Usually the bill won’t come until you ask for it

Generally speaking, the ultra-friendly and proactive customer service you get in North America doesn’t really exist in European countries.

Very rarely will you have servers come up to constantly check on you and ask how you’re doing, so if you’re wondering why nobody has brought the bill around, just get their attention because they don’t tend to drop it off until you ask (doing so without asking is actually considered a bit rude in itself).

Don’t shy away from food tours

If you’re running on limited stomach space but want to try as many local specialties as possible, then food tours are a really fun and delicious option.

Most big destinations in Europe have them these days, and they’re a great way to sample a lot of local foods while also getting a local guide’s perspective and expertise.

Context is key and learning about food (while eating it!) is the best.

Sofia, Bulgaria city guide ft. tips from an insider resident! This guide includes all the must-knows like things to do in Sofia, what to eat, where to stay and more.

Take a cooking class 

Another foodie activity that’s now offered in most European destinations these days is cooking classes.

There’s no better souvenir than learning how to prep your favourite foods once you get home, so definitely consider adding one to your itinerary.

europe travel ideas 2022

Get used to sparkling water

Sparkling water is a lot more common in certain European countries than in North America, to the point where sometimes it’s the default if you ask for water.

If you’re not a fan of spicy H20, then make sure to specify Still when you order water.

Don’t pay extra for hotel breakfast

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotel breakfast when it’s included in the room rate, but if you’re given a choice, you can save a lot of money by going out to get breakfast at a bakery, which is also more fun in my opinion.

Breakfast Sheraton Essen

When weather permits, picnics are a much better option

I love picnics. They’re such a romantic and affordable way to enjoy a meal, especially when you have a great backdrop.

Make sure you picnic at least once during your trip – I promise you’ll love it! And your wallet will too.

Picnic spread with cupcakes and a baguette on a checkered blanket

Generally speaking, Europeans eat later than North Americans

After living in Germany for a few years, making dinner plans with friends at home almost put me in a coma. Dinner at 5:30 or 6pm? Wayyyy earlier than most European countries, especially Spain where dinner time is often after 9pm.

Of course, you can take advantage of this cultural difference by getting a table at popular restaurants simply through booking as soon as they open.

europe travel ideas 2022

Be openminded with trying new foods

I hated beer until I had it in Belgium. I hated cheese until I tried smoked cheese in the Netherlands.

I don’t know how to explain it, but certain food and drink items just taste different, and frankly, better in Europe than they do in North America.

So before you write something off as a food you don’t like, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised, especially if it’s the regional specialty.

Giant special beer glasses at Dulle Griet in Ghent

Get takeout for super cheap with Too Good to Go

One of my favourite (little-known) Europe travel apps is called  Too Good to Go.

They service many major European cities, and basically, it’s a free app that restaurants use to sell their leftover food at the end of the day (sometimes at lunch too).

This helps minimize food waste, and means you can pick up an entire take out meal for less than 5 euros.

Sure, you don’t get to choose what you get, but it’s an excellent way to eat cheap and help reduce waste at the same time.

europe travel ideas 2022

Culture & Etiquette Tips for Europe

Tourists can often have a reputation for being rude… but not you! Not on my watch. Here are some culture and etiquette tips to keep in mind for your trip to Europe.

Culturally, Europe is a million different entities

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to Europe travel advice is when books or sites tell you “In Europe, tipping is like…”, “In Europe, locals are…”

… Which I know is kind of ironic in an article simply called “Europe Travel Tips” but shhh just go with it.

Long story short: Europe is composed of dozens of countries, each with their unique cultural nuances and norms, so be sure to research culture tips specifically for where you’re going, because things like tipping, queuing, meal times, etc. can vary considerably across the continent.

Looking for things to see and what to do in Kotor, Montenegro? Check out these gorgeous photos of Kotor for inspiration!

Learn at least hello and thank you 

While visitors can often survive just fine without learning the local language, i’s generally good manners to know basics such as hello and thank you for every country you visit.

… So be sure to practice that a bit before you go!

Do not tip by North American standards

As I previously mentioned, tipping in Europe does vary from country to country, but never would a 20% tip be considered the bare minimum like in North America sometimes.

So, be sure to research tipping culture in your destination before you go. In many countries, tipping involves simply rounding up.

europe travel ideas 2022

Try to not speak too loud

In Europe, North Americans generally have a reputation for being… loud. Sometimes obnoxiously so.

So if you’re out in public, try to lower the volume of your voice to closer match what’s around you (easier said than done, I know, but something to be mindful of).

When in doubt, mimic the locals 

Cultural norms can vary widely from place to place, so your best bet is to just observe the status quo and try to imitate that.

If nobody is chatting on the train, it’s probably a good sign that you shouldn’t either. If everybody is lining up in an orderly queue, maybe you should join that queue instead of barging in the front.

Remember, tourists can have a reputation for being disrespectful and annoying, so try your best to shatter that stereotype wherever you go.

europe travel ideas 2022

Look into festivals and folk events to attend 

One of the most amazing things about Europe as a continent is that it is so deeply rooted in heritage and tradition, with some cultural traditions dating back thousands of years.

For a truly unforgettable experience, I’d recommend looking up some fun festivals or events to enjoy. 

Here are some of my favourites I’ve been to:

  • September: Bad Dürkheim Wurstmarkt (the world’s largest wine festival)
  • September/October: Oktoberfest in Munich (the world’s largest beer festival)
  • February: Crazy Days at Cologne Carnival
  • March – April: Starkbierfest in Munich (unique strong beer festival)
  • March – May: Keukenhof (the world’s largest flower garden)

europe travel ideas 2022

Packing Tips for Europe

Not sure what to wear and what to pack for Europe? Here are my top Europe packing tips.

Steal my pre-made packing lists

If you’re overwhelmed with what to pack, I’ve already made some packing lists that you can use as a starting point!

Download them, print them, mail them to all your friends and exes! I hope you get tons of use out of them:

  • My Europe winter packing list
  • My Europe summer packing list
  • My versatile minimalist packing list
  • My toiletries packing list

europe travel ideas 2022

Don’t bring any suitcases you can’t carry

I’ve always been an advocate for packing light, but a good rule of thumb is to not bring any suitcases you aren’t physically capable of carrying yourself.

There’s a million and one scenarios where you might have to end up carrying your suitcase in Europe, like…

  • Your hotel or accommodation unexpectedly has no elevator
  • The elevator you were counting on at the train station is out of order
  • You need to carry your bag up some ancient staircase to get to your accommodation
  • You need to lift your suitcase on/off the train you’re taking

So yes, whatever bag or suitcase you bring, make sure you’re able to carry it yourself.

europe travel ideas 2022

Good walking shoes are a must

I cannot explain to you how much walking you’ll end up doing, so comfortable shoes are much more important than cute stylish ones.

That said, if you’re able to find comfortable walking shoes that are a bit dressier, opt for those over beat up runners.

Generally speaking, casual wear in Europe is more dressed up than what we’re used to in North America, so packing a nice pair of white sneakers or comfy leather boots would definitely be a more versatile choice over hole-filled running shoes.

europe travel ideas 2022

Buy AirTags to track your suitcases

With airlines losing baggage all the time these days, I’ve finally caved and bought an AirTag to track my checked bag.

And honestly? I regret nothing! I love the ease of mind it provides, and should a thief ever nab my bag one day, I feel very smug knowing I’ll be able to track them down.

europe travel ideas 2022

Pack an emergency outfit in your carry-on

On a similar note, one Europe packing tip I live by is always having an emergency set of clothes in your carry-on bag.

Checked bags get lost all the time, so having extra clothes with you is key for ease of mind. I usually bring all the top essentials with me in my carry-on. Better safe than sorry!

Pack clothes with hidden inner pockets rather than a money belt

While many travel experts tout the the benefits of money belts, I’ve honestly never been able to get on board with them. They’re awkward, sweaty, and reaching under your clothes to get change for an ice cream is just… not my idea of fun.

Instead of a money belt, I always have either:

  • A backpack with a zippered pocket in the back, which makes it inaccessible to anyone else when worn
  • A crossbody purse with a pocket on the backside, again making it inaccessible to anyone so long as I hold it close to me 
  • A jacket with inner pockets so it’s impossible to reach in without getting super super close

These anti-theft methods are a LOT more comfortable to me than a money belt… so remember: a money belt isn’t the only way!

europe travel ideas 2022

Bring a universal adapter

Power sockets in most European countries have two round holes and if you’re visiting from overseas, odds are you’ll need an adapter for your plugs to fit.

I’d strongly recommend buying a universal adapter  like this one  if you don’t have one already. Not only is it good for the standard round hole outlets, but it can also work for the three prong plugs in the UK, Malta, and Cyprus.

It’s cheap, can be re-used for every trip, and covers you in all situations. Definitely some of the best money I’ve ever spent!

Use packing cubes to organize and compress your clothes

I am such a packing cubes fangirl.

These beauties are a magical way to keep all your goods organized, while saving space in your bag as well. Gone are the days that you rummage through your entire pack for a particular t-shirt!

Not all packing cubes have to be expensive either. There’s plenty of affordable options on Amazon, like this blue set from  Amazon Basics , but you definitely get what you pay for.

PS: I’m a total packing cube nerd and once bought a bunch of different brands to compare. See my full  packing cube showdown  for more.

europe travel ideas 2022

Pack a re-usable bag for purchases

Single use bags are slowly getting phased out in Europe, so I find it’s always a good idea to bring an extra bag or two whenever I travel, whether to stash my souvenir haul for the day or to carry around snacks.

So, when in doubt, pack a tote or two! They can be such lifesavers.

DIY your own travel sized toiletries

This is a very basic  packing tip  I always recommend, but rather than buy the bottles of toiletries which give you like, three good squeezes of shampoo, I find it’s easier (and more eco-friendly) these days to buy small reusable bottles that you can fill with your own toiletries of choice.

This allows you to bring your favourite products with you, and saves needless one-use toiletries from ending up in the landfill.

Need help picking the right one?  Read my guide to  reusable toiletry bottles  for more info.

europe travel ideas 2022

Final Europe Travel Tips to Know Before You Go

Alright, before I let you get back to… your real life, friends, and family, here are some final random Europe travel tips to keep in mind.

Having cash is important

With the exception of Northern Europe and some parts of the UK, cash is still important to carry around, whether for small purchases or for essentials like using the washroom. Keeping coins is also a good idea.

So, don’t forget that cash is still king in many parts of Europe!

europe travel ideas 2022

Claim VAT refunds at the airport

Taxes are generally built into the price in Europe, so many travellers don’t realize they are paying up to to 20% in VAT (Value Added Tax) for everything they purchase.

The good news is, when it comes to goods that you are buying and taking home (e.g. clothes, gifts, etc.), non-residents of Europe are eligible for a refund on this VAT that you pay.

VAT refund rules vary from country to country, but usually there’s a minimum spend amount in one single location (around 175 EUR in most cases).

So, keep this in mind and you can get a good chunk of change back. To get the step by step process, Google your destination + VAT refund, as the process does differ country to country.

Floors start at zero so don’t get confused 

If you’ve seen Emily in Paris you’ll already know this one.

The floor system in European buildings tends to differ from North America.

Whereas in North America, the ground floor is often the 1st floor, the ground floor is considered its own separate entity in most countries (i.e. Floor 0) and then the next one above that would be the 1st floor.

europe travel ideas 2022

Prepare for beds to be different

Bed sizes in Europe tend to be smaller, and doubles can often just be two single beds pushed together (so romantic, I know).

Depending on where you go, the pillows and comforters can be different as well, like in Germany where they’ve randomly decided that the optimal shape for a pillow is square. *shudder*

europe travel ideas 2022

Beware of words you know that may mean a different thing in other languages

For example, a menu for North Americans is a list of dishes you can order, but a menu in France means a set meal or combo.

Similarly, entrées in North America are the main course, when in France, it means appetizer.

Use Google Maps to save spots you want to see

Google Maps is an amazing resource not just for navigating a new city, but also for saving spots you might want to visit in the future.

One of my favourite  travel hacks  is starring every location I deem interesting on Google Maps. You can do this by pressing the Save button when you search up that spot.

This allows you to have a visual map of all the cool cafes, street art murals, attractions, restaurants, etc. that you’ve saved during your research, which means you can easily organize your itinerary/sightseeing.

I love doing this because I’ll often end up in new areas during my explorations, and I can just look at my map to see if anything interesting I read about happens to be nearby. Saves a lot of planning!

europe travel ideas 2022

Need customer support? Hop on Twitter

Don’t ask me why this is, but if you need to get ahold of customer support during your trip (e.g. an airline, a train company, etc.), usually the quickest response time will be through Twitter.

The best way to tell if you’ll get a reply on Twitter is by checking the official accounts’ replies – if there are recent replies to Tweets, odds are good that there’s a dedicated staff member monitoring the account.

This of course works in non-travel settings as well!

Get crowdless photos by using this cool photo hack

For iPhone users, there’s a super easy way to get cool photos in crowded places without getting a bunch of people in the shot.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Turn on Live photo
  • Pose for your photo, making sure to stand still
  • Get your photographer to snap a few photos of you standing still
  • Edit the photo by going in the upper left corner, click on the LIVE button with the downwards arrow, and turn on Long Exposure
  • The crowds walking around you should now be blurry, with you still in focus

Binge on movies set in your destination before your visit

You know, I could binge travel quotes all day but nothing will put me in more of a wanderlusty mood that a good movie set somewhere beautiful.

So, if you binge travel movies set in your destination, I promise your trip will be 1000000x times more enjoyable when you recognize the sights that you’re seeing. Trust me.

europe travel ideas 2022

Consider learning the Cyrillic alphabet

If you are travelling somewhere that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, it can be very beneficial to learn how to read it.

This is because sometimes destination names at train/bus stations are written only in the local alphabet, which can lead to a lot of confusion if you’re unfamiliar with it.

European countries that use the Cyrillic alphabet include…

  • North Macedonia

europe travel ideas 2022

Remember: Europe is more about the experience than it is about seeing a million sights

Last but not least, I have to say… Europe is beautiful, yes. It’s packed to the brim with gorgeous museums, architecture, natural beauty, etc. BUT at the end of the day, what you need to focus more is on the experience of just being present and enjoying every moment.

Don’t stress yourself out too much with a heavy itinerary and trying to cram as much as possible in.

Enjoy it! Because your trip will go by far quicker than you think.

europe travel ideas 2022

I hope this list of Europe travel tips was helpful!

If you’ve made it this far, wow. I applaud the stamina. And patience! This ha admittedly been a VERY long list of tips for Europe, but if you have any more questions, let me know in the comments… and be sure to read my list of unconventional travel hacks if you’re eager for more.

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Airalo: My go-to eSIM

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights : For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

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European Travel in 2022 is Booking Up: How to Plan Your Trip Now

Updated:  February 23, 2022

Customers rate Zicasso's travel referral service  5  on a scale of 1 to 5 based on  1532  reviews on Trustpilot

We match you with top tour companies that specialize in the trip you want,  whether it's a customized private tour or a group tour.

Oia White City, Santorini Island, Greece

Oia White City, Santorini Island, Greece

Whether looking for the perfect couple’s trip to Greece, a family getaway to Spain or the trip of a lifetime to Italy, now is the time to consider your vacation plans for 2022.

With Zicasso travel specialists reporting many top properties and destinations are already booked at 90% and upwards for summer 2022, planning now may be the only way to ensure your first-choice options can be yours to enjoy.

From how to pick your travel dates to which country to visit, this short guide to European travel 2022 will get your plans moving in the right direction.

Pick Your Travel Dates - Tips for Every Season

Determine your travel goals, find inspiration and new ideas, customize and personalize your vacation.

Summer Tuscany scenery with red poppy flowers and grain fields surrounding cute Vitaleta chapel and Pienza on the hill in Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Last-Minute Travel for March, April, and May

As entry requirements have eased over the last two weeks and logistics simplify, it is the perfect time to consider a last-minute trip.

With nearly two dozen countries across Europe welcoming American travelers , you will find fantastic weather, beautiful scenery, delicious food, sumptuous wines, historical sights, and local traditions to savor.

For vaccinated travelers, many countries in Europe offer entry without testing. To date, you can arrive in France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom without the hassle of testing.

While we do recommend testing ahead of your trip to ensure that you are healthy to travel, the pressure of taking a test outside of a precise time period certainly eases your pre-trip to-do list.

Zicasso can connect you to a travel specialist specializing in your chosen destination. At the top of the list for many of our travelers are Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

Italy Travel Tip: “A last-minute trip to Italy could be great for travelers, as long as they are vaccinated,” says Elena, an Italy travel specialist. With many popular sites requiring proof of vaccination, you can enjoy iconic sites before the summer crowds arrive.

Greece Travel Tip:  “We are still seeing availability for March, April, and the first half of May,” says Seetha, a Greece travel specialist. “It’s a fabulous time to explore the mainland of Greece, discover the wonderful nature, gastronomy, history, and culture. For islands, we’d recommend Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, or even Santorini for March or April. In May, many of the other islands would be more accessible for even more opportunities.”

Spain and Portugal Travel Tip: A last-minute trip for March is an excellent idea for those interested in Spain or Portugal. “The pandemic is easing, and in a couple of weeks, we foresee that the situation will be very good; there are no longer many restrictions, and the weather is already nice,” says Ana, a travel specialist for Spain and Portugal. With summer bookings quite full, sneaking in ahead of the crowds will offer you greater availability with desired accommodations and experiences.

Related: Where Americans Can Travel Now

For dates in June, July or August, Book Now

As international travel continues to rebound, summer dates in 2022 are filling quickly. Our travel specialists report that preferred properties are already at 90% and above for bookings in many regions. Trips postponed in 2020 and 2021 also impact availability with rising rates as itineraries are rebooked for future dates. The longer you wait to book, the fewer the options and the higher the cost.

June may be the most challenging for preferred properties and activities for the most popular destinations. If this is the month you would like to travel, connect with a travel specialist for personalized advice, as circumstances vary across Europe.

July and August will bring crowds but also opportunities to move off the beaten path and into less-discovered regions. While coastal and beach areas fill quickly, exploring the cities and smaller towns is a fantastic option. Availability changes by the minute, as do rates and choices at top properties. For travelers looking at peak summer travel dates, last-minute travel will likely not be possible, so planning now is the best chance for your ideal vacation.

The best way to secure your top choices is by speaking with a travel specialist to book your trip now. Whether you want to explore along the winding panoramic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, wander the medieval streets of Toledo in Spain, or indulge in a sunset cruise off the coast of Santorini in Greece, your travel specialist can make your dream come true.

Consider Travel Next Fall

After the high season of summer, the crowds relent as the weather cools across Europe. Enjoy the colors of changing foliage, wander comfortably between iconic highlights, and enjoy authentic cultural experiences with fewer crowds than in the summer.

In some corners of Europe, a beach trip is still possible to enjoy in fall, and with the pleasant weather continuing, the shops are open, creative festival season swings to life, and the chance for more advantageous rates are yours.

Expert Tips for Discerning Travelers

Eiffel tower and the skyline of Paris, France

Paris, France

What do you want to see and do most?

Define your goals, and you will know where to begin your journey. Perhaps you wish to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, are interested in staying in a castle estate property, or wish to cycle a section of the Tour de France.

Each goal you set can help refine how you travel and where you travel to make your dream trip a reality. When you work with a Zicasso travel specialist, your dreams become tangible possibilities and can inspire the outline for your Europe trip.

From private cooking classes to hidden museum galleries, driving a racecar, to leaping into a world of magic, the possibilities are endless.

Learn more: Top 15 Best Places to See in Europe | Top 10 Things to Do in Europe

Do you want to visit one country, or see several?

One of the most challenging questions to answer when visiting Europe is whether you wish to see a single country or discover multiple countries during a single trip. Many multi-country trips follow a theme often associated with the highlights of a region and visiting bucket-list destinations, while a single-country trip often focuses on a more immersive cultural experience.

For 2022, we recommend exploring a single country for your vacation. While restrictions are easing around the world, keeping your plans simple to focus on just one set of entry requirements can eliminate significant hassle and stress throughout your trip.

Learn more: Europe in 2022: 3 Reasons to Choose a Single Country for Your Vacation

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

As the landscape of travel changes, so do the possibilities to create unforgettable travel experiences. As our lives change, so do our travel dreams.

From honeymoons and anniversary trips to multi-generational family trips, action and adventure to luxury safari, Zicasso has itineraries to guide you to new ideas.

Every itinerary on our trip is a starting place, as no Zicasso trip is like any other. Every detail can be customized with the help of a travel specialist to capture the perfect Europe trip designed for you.

Start exploring with the Zicasso 2022 Travel Guide for our top itineraries for Italy, Greece, Spain, France and beyond.

Big Ben and Westminster bridge in the London evening

London, England

If you are ready to visit Europe and bring your travel dreams to life, our travel specialists are destination experts and can guide your plans based on your preferences, goals, needs, and desires. Their local connections and ability to surprise you with innovative ideas will result in a customized vacation tailored to make this next trip your best one yet.

By filling out a Trip Request, we will match you with at least two travel specialists who are experts on your preferred destination or destinations. They will compete for your business by learning what the most important factors are for you and design a personalized tour based on your dream trip. You can use the sample itineraries on our site for inspiration to see what is possible.

With Europe incredibly popular with travelers all around the world, you should not delay in making your plans to ensure your preferred destinations and activities. You can speak with a travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707 .

Learn more: 8 Most Requested Itineraries to Europe | 7 Perfect Itineraries for First-Timers to Europe

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A monument at Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary

30 Days in Europe: Travel Tips & Itinerary Ideas

Discover Europe in 30 days with our tips and itinerary ideas for a diverse and enriching adventure

A budget-friendly journey blending adventure and culture awaits

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Welcome, willkommen, bienvenue to Europe, one of the most diverse continents on the planet. Steeped in history, culture and tradition, Europe is famously abundant with art, antiquity, and ornate architecture –there’s good reason why the Grand Tour was a right of passage for the 18th-century aristocracy– and a 30-day tour offers a chance to experience more than a brief snapshot of its character and beauty.

With 44 countries spanning nearly four million square miles (10m sq. km), Europe is a vast yet surprisingly connected continent. In a month, you can beach hop around the Mediterranean, trek through the Tatra Mountains, and see Amsterdam through Rembrandt’s lens with ease.

A staircase between two buildings in Montmartre, Paris, France

Spending 30 days in Europe costs less than you think. While it’s relatively cheap and straightforward to fly between major cities, exploring by road or rail is the most popular – and best – way to see Europe. Whether you want to scale the lofty Eiffel Tower in Paris, explore Rome’s ancient Colosseum, or see the gargantuan dome of the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, a well-thought-out itinerary can be accessible to all budgets. 

One of the most logical, convenient, and time-savvy ways to see Europe is on an organized adventure, where all the planning, logistics, and hard work is done for you. Whether you’re on a backpackers’ budget or want a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, here’s how to get the best out of Europe in just 30 days .

Top tips for planning your itinerary

1. don’t try to see everything.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And Europe can’t be seen in a month, but you can scratch more than the surface on a 30-day traveling budget. Whether you want to tick off the top sights or spend your time more leisurely and get to know the vibe of a city, research, and planning is always the key to a successful trip. 

Feeling free and easy? Why not leave the itinerary to the professionals and book an organized adventure? With many trips starting in London, the adventures begin as soon as they hit the rails or road, traveling through key cities across Europe, including Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and Budapest.

2. Schedule in plenty of downtime

So many cities, so little time can be the death knell of fun when you’re traveling. While it’s tempting to pack your 30 days in Europe to the brim, it’s important to remember it’s a holiday, not a challenge. Let go of the FOMO and factor in some downtime on the beach or in the mountains to rest and recharge.

The northern lights over water in Northern Norway

3. Pick your top destinations

Whether you want to island hop around Greece, bathe in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon or embark on a Game of Thrones pilgrimage to Dubrovnik, take time to choose what you really want to get out of your 30 days in Europe. Have a wish list as a baseline and work your itinerary and budget around it.

There are dozens of 30-day organized adventures available across Europe, many of which combine the big-hitting city stops like Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin, along with lesser-known destinations like Kotor, Tirana and Delphi.

A sailboat floating in the sea off the coast of Santorini, Greece

How to get around Europe

Although vast, Europe is an accessible continent and you can cover plenty of distance in 30 days. Depending on your budget and what you want to achieve, flying is usually the quickest way to hop between major cities; however, you do lose much of the charm you get from seeing Europe from ground level.

Traveling by train is one of the best ways to explore the continent. Europe has an extensive cross-border rail network which is reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced. Eurail offers interrailing passes that fit a 30-day budget and allow more freedom to explore on your own timetable.

A red train travelling along forest and mountain peaks in Switzerland

If keeping costs down is a major factor, low-cost coach and bus services such as FlixBus and Infobus can be good options, having routes to more than 1200 destinations in 24 countries.

Alternatively, booking an organized adventure will really make the most of your 30 days on the continent. There are dozens of brilliant itineraries covering all interests and budgets –almost always including travel, accommodation, and the services of a tour leader– it’s a great way to travel around Europe with like-minded people. 

See Also: The Seven Most Scenic Train Rides in Europe

30 days in Europe: Where to go and what to do

With 30 days to play with, Europe really can be your oyster. Amsterdam to Antwerp, London to Ljubljana, Zurich to Zagreb, you can easily check out 10 countries or more on a 30-day budget. Classic Europe itineraries include Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, while the more unique itineraries include destinations like Pamplona, Liechtenstein, and the Rhineland. Focus on one or two regions and get stuck into seeing the best of it on a 30-day European holiday. 

See Also: 50 Fabulous and Free Things to Do in Europe

Western Europe

From Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam to the Zurich opera, most classic pan-European tours focus on the big hitters – Paris, Berlin, Rome, Venice, Barcelona – where there’s enough culture and history to fill 300 days, let alone 30. 

Close up of the bottom half of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Some organized adventures will take a deeper dive into western Europe, starting in London and winding through 18 or 19 destinations, including Biarritz and Madrid, the French Riviera and Monaco, Florence, Venice, and Rome, while others will include a river cruise through the Rhineland, a tour of Cologne and the last few days enjoying Amsterdam.

Southern Europe

Sweeping across from Spain to Serbia, the southern Europe region incorporates Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia and more. From the temples of ancient Greece, the ruins of Rome to the beaches of Spain, Cyprus, and Albania, southern Europe is great for combining culture and kick-back time. 

Gondolas gliding down a canal in Venice, Italy

For something a little different from the classic European Grand Tour, book an organized adventure that takes in the most fascinating destinations along the Mediterranean and Dardania route. Several 30-day itineraries have options that start in Tirana, Albania, and wind across the length of southern Europe, including overnights in Naples and Pompeii, Durmitor National Park in Montenegro, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Budapest.

Central and Eastern Europe

From the emerald-hued Plitviče Lakes in Croatia and the bohemian nightlife of Sofia, to the Gothic architecture and beer taverns of Prague, there are a million and one reasons to include central and eastern regions on your 30-day European trip, not least because these affordable cities will make a tight budget stretch even further.

A monument at Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary

Whether you start in Vienna or Vilnius, there are a number of organized adventures that explore central and Eastern Europe’s most captivating cities, including Bucharest, Sofia, and Plovdiv. Alternatively, choose an itinerary that ventures into the rugged landscape of the High Tatra Mountains between Poland and Slovakia.

Northern Europe

With its design-centric cities, glacial fjords and stark arctic wilderness, Northern Europe can feel like an entirely different planet, compared to the rest of the continent. From the geothermal waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, and the pop culture museums of Stockholm to the fjords of Norway, there are plenty of reasons to head north on your adventure. 

A fishing village and rocky shoreline in Norway

From Copenhagen and Oslo to Stockholm, you can have some incredible Nordic adventures on these 30-day itineraries across northern Europe. Several include overnight cruises from Stockholm to Helsinki or crossing over the Arctic Circle to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. 

For more inspiration — or to book a hassle-free holiday and travel with a group of like-minded people — check out our full range of 30-day Europe tours.

See Also: The Best Places to Travel Alone in Europe

Person standing in front of Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland

Tracey Davies

Tracey Davies is a Brighton-based travel writer, journalist and editor of 101 Singles Holidays, as well as a former co-host of “The Carry On” travel podcast.

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europe travel ideas 2022

10 Ultimate Tips to Know for your Europe Travel in 2022

by Madhumitha Viswanath | Oct 1, 2022 | Europe , Travel Tips

Explore the medieval castles in Najac, France, it is one of the hidden gems in France

Traveling through the the many layers of Europe will be the adventure of your lifetime if you have these hacks under your belt. From money and banking tips to recent Covid-19 restrictions in Europe, we got you covered!

1. Get in Touch with your Sim Provider

Every traveler’s nightmare is to find a large phone bill waiting for them post-vacation. To avoid this predicament, get in touch with your sim provider as soon as you starting making plans for your Europe travel.

But know that international data roaming can get very, very expensive. An easier and cheaper alternate would be a prepaid multi-country sim that you can buy online or locally in Europe.

You can get one that covers the entire EU or country specific ones like Mamma Mia prepaid for Italy, Bonbon prepaid for France or Guay prepaid for Spain. 

The Holiday Europe SIM Card and the Holiday Europe eSIM Card from Orange ; Eurolink ’s Prepaid Regional eSIM and Cellhire prepaid sim card are some reliable options. These work in more 35 countries in the Schengen area on affordable rates.

2. Overcome Jet lag by Switching to European Local Time

Knowing how to overcome jetlag is one of the essential tips for traveling to Europe

Jet lag has the power to make you regret planning a vacation altogether. It makes you tired, irritable and puts a big, wet blanket on your adventurous spirit. But there are some very simple remedies to avoid this. Follow these to get your energetic self back in three to four days.

Jet lag travel tips for Europe:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine or energy drinks before and during your flight. These dehydrate you and messes with your sleeping pattern. 
  • Change your routine and sleeping time to match the local time in Europe two days before you start traveling. 
  • Try not to sleep during the entire flying time. Once you arrive in Europe, power through your fatigue and hit the sack only at bedtime. Resist the temptation to sleep in the day.
  • Stretch your legs in connecting airports and drink lots of water. These will help in reducing muscle cramps and body pain.

3. Money and Banking Tips for your Europe Travel

Make your europe trave 2022l easy by knowing about international exchange rates and banking tips

Informing your bank about your Europe travel trip in advance is as crucial as booking flight tickets. This must be the top task on your checklist. Get a list of their international partner banks to withdraw cash in Europe with the cheapest ATM charges. 

Always travel with a mix of payment options like hard cash, coins, debit and credit cards. In European countries like Germany and Austria, especially in smaller towns, cash rules.

As an international tourist traveling from US or Asia , always remember to pay in local currency only. Even while swiping your card, always go for this option. This way you can avoid paying exorbitant exchange rates. 

Keep in mind that only 19 out of 51 European countries use the Euro as their currency. So, make it a habit to withdraw cash from local ATMs after reaching your destination.

Here is some tourist banking tips from finance experts in Forbes for further reading.

4. Plan Itinerary with Hidden gems and Cliches

Going on a romantic boat ride in Venice, Italy is one of the popular  things to do in europe

Plan your next EU travel trip with healthy doses of both hidden gems and cliches. Sometimes, it is totally worth it to follow in the footsteps of typical tourists. But you can balance it out by renting a car to travel through Europe’s off-the-beat destinations. 

The Eiffel Tower experience in Paris; a cable car ride over the Swiss Alps; a romantic boat ride through the canals of Venice ; or a trip to the Stonehedge in Britain are cliches for a reason which shouldn’t be missed!

Brainstorm the best places to see in Europe with the help of JoinMytrip’s collection of blogs on Europe . Take a look at our handpicked top 10 hidden gems in Europe and must-see places for more information. 

If you feel pressured to make a thorough itinerary, plan your next Europe travel trip with JoinMyTrip. Leave the responsibility of planning and creating itineraries to our experienced and knowledgeable Trip Leaders. Explore the treasures of Europe with a travel buddy and share memories. 

5. Get all documents ready for EU Schengen area travel

If you an American traveling to Europe, or an Indian or an Australian, irrespective of you nationality, check all your travel documents ASAP. Valid visas, passport with enough pages, and travel insurance are some basics to look at first.

Europe is a massive continent with more 40 countries which have different visa requirements. If you are an US citizen , look at Department of State’s visa norms for EU. People from other countries should look at country-vice regulations put down by the European Union .

Alternatively, you can take the help of private websites like ivisa and Schengenvisainfo to see the list of travel documents and other important paperwork to get done. 

6. Travel by Public Transport with Affordable Tourist Passes

europe travel ideas 2022

One the easiest and most hassle-free ways for traveling in Europe is by using their public transport system. They are well-connected, reliable and made easy to access for tourists. 

Look for train and bus passes designed specially for tourists. These will save you a ton of money and time while navigating through Europe’s endless landscapes. 

Traveling by train is the most efficient way to see the best destinations in Europe. There are intercity, international, local, high-speed and scenic route trains. Take a look at Eurail Global pass for this. Each country in Europe has its own national services, check these out for intra country train travel. 

See Europe’s stunning mountain scenery surrounded by beautiful lakes by taking scenic train routes specially curated for sightseeing. 

For shorter journeys, consider taking the bus. FlixBus , Regiojet and Omio are some popular options to check out. 

7. Book Everything in Advance

From train and bus tickets to museum and restaurants, reserve, reserve, reserve! Europeans love to plan ahead and resent last minute scheduling. Hence, if you are planning to travel to Europe soon, book everything in advance. 

This will make your Europe travel trip bereft of confusion and missed opportunities. From canal rides in Amsterdam to cable car services in the French Alps, everything can be booked online. 

Tip: Most shops and services shut their doors from 2pm-5pm in countries like Spain, France, Portugal for an afternoon Siesta. And all shops in Germany and parts of Austria are shut on Sundays and public holidays. Hence, read up and plan accordingly. 

8. Go on Free Walking Tours to Explore Europe like a Local

Traveling to Europe in 2022? Participate in free walking tours in Europe to see the best places in Europe

Europe is teeming with World War era heritage buildings, churches with grandiose architecture, cobbled streets lined with canals and more. And you can immerse yourself in this beauty by going on free walking tours in each city in Europe. 

There are many companies conducting such events and you can find tours focused on food, history, nightlife, architecture and more.

But these tours are not completely free. It is a common practice to tip your local guide around €5 to €20. Some popular companies offering such free tours are Walkative , and Sandeman’s New Europe . 

9. Most Public Toilets are Paid 

Yes you heard that right! If you a US citizen traveling to Europe, this might come as a shock to you. Most countries in Europe have a paid public toilet system to ensure hygiene and cleanliness. 

You will be able to find a toilet almost anywhere in Europe, but you will have to pay to use them. In bigger cities, you can even swipe your card to pay the fee (50 cents to €2).

But in smaller towns and cities, the system only accepts coins. So make sure to always carry some change. 

10. Covid-19 restrictions to know for your Europe travel

Is it safe to travel to Europe? Are there any Covid restrictions for Europe travel? Can americans travel to europe now? YES, you can.

Is it safe to travel to Europe? Are there any Covid restrictions for Europe travel? Do you need to be vaccinated to travel to Europe? These are the most common questions posed by travelers planning to visit Europe in 2022. And the answer is yes and yes! 

Most countries part of the European Union have lifted all remaining Covid-19 restrictions for tourists and travelers coming from non-EU countries. This includes showing proof for vaccination. 

Such countries include Luxembourg , Netherlands, France, Malta, Portugal, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Finland, and Greece. 

You can get further updates about Covid-19 rules and vaccination norms in Europe on the Re-Open EU platform. You can also follow Euro News Travel and Deutsch Welle for regular updates on this issue.

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13 Affordable Places to Visit in Europe — From Country Escapes to Stunning Cities

You can visit Europe on a budget — here's how.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

europe travel ideas 2022

If you have big dreams of jetting off to Europe, but worry that your bank account isn't quite ready, don't worry. For every expensive city, there are dozens of charming — and surprisingly affordable — places that offer all the European charm for a fraction of the price. Ljubljana, Porto, Budapest, even Berlin — these cities have all the rich culture, stunning architecture, and delicious food that you'd find in pricey European capitals, but they're perfect for budget travelers.

You can even travel to some of Europe's best (and famously expensive) destinations without breaking the bank — you just have to know how to save money without sacrificing on experiences. Travelers can often score deals on flights from the United States to major cities like Paris or London, and upon arriving, transportation within Europe can be much more affordable (hello, budget airlines). Those large cities also offer a wide range of accommodations, so you can certainly find something in your budget. You can even save money on food by hitting the local markets. After all, a bottle of wine, fresh bread, and cheese from a Parisian market make for an unforgettable meal when picnicking under the Eiffel Tower.

And you might be surprised by how many museums, churches, and other attractions are free or inexpensive to visit, too. Be sure to keep an eye out for free entry days (often one day a month) or tourist cards that offer entry to multiple attractions for one flat fee. (Do the math ahead of time by calculating the cost of every included attraction that you want to visit to make sure it's really worth the money.)

Trimming your budget doesn't mean sacrificing the quality of your trip. Sometimes, the less you spend, the more you can immerse yourself in the local culture. Staying in a thatched Irish farmhouse, perusing old masters in Rome, or snacking your way through Spanish specialties aren't just tricks of the frugal traveler — they're the stuff dream vacations are made of.

Here are some of the top destinations for an affordable European vacation (and tips for saving money once you arrive).

Bavaria, Germany

For a storybook-worthy vacation in Europe, head straight to Bavaria. Book a room at Burg Colmberg , a 14th-century castle rising from a rocky crag above a tiny village. It offers an eclectic collection of rooms tucked throughout a warren of crooked hallways, hidden staircases, and cozy sitting nooks. Be sure to visit the postcard-perfect Neuschwanstein Castle , resplendently perched atop a mountain, and take the time to tour Hohenschwangau, the castle in which "Mad King" Ludwig II actually lived. The latter is a more modest pile of battlements on a smaller nub of a hill in the valley below. What it lacks in the carefully crafted pomp and circumstance of Neuschwanstein — which Ludwig II never lived to see completed — it more than makes up for in homeyness and history.

Puglia, Italy

The iconic architecture of Puglia — the "heel" of Italy's boot — is the prehistoric trullo, a cylindrical whitewashed house with a cone-shaped roof of stacked gray stones. There's no greater concentration of trulli than in the UNESCO-protected town of Alberobello, where whole neighborhoods are made of the structures, and the local entrepreneur behind Trullidea has fixed up dozens of the abandoned ones and rents them to visitors. Cool in the baking summers and with cozy indoor heating for wintertime, a rental trullo lets you live like a local for less than the cost of a tourist-class hotel in town. Want to sample what the Amalfi Coast was like before the hotshots and high prices moved in? Puglia's forested Gargano Peninsula is popular with sun-loving Italians, but is otherwise refreshingly off the tourist map.

Budapest, Hungary

Alisha McDarris/Travel + Leisure

The capital of Hungary, Budapest offers all the charm of more popular European destinations for a fraction of the price. The Hungarian Parliament Building and Fisherman's Bastion are just a couple of the picture-perfect attractions you'll spot in the city, and you'll find lots of affordable accommodations, meals, and nightlife, too. Even the city's famous thermal baths — some of which are over a century old and feature beautiful architecture — can be affordable to visit.

Andalusia, Spain

Rory Fuller/Travel + Leisure

Take a break from sizzling on the crowded Costa del Sol beaches for a self-guided driving tour along the route of the Pueblos Blancos. This string of clifftop, whitewashed villages stretches from the Moorish town of Arcos de la Frontera through the Sierra de Grazalema to Ronda, a maze of medieval streets perched above a 500-foot gorge. Opt for a stay in nearby Seville — the capital of Andalusia — to take in the beautiful architecture, watch some flamenco dancing, and indulge in classic tapas.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin has Cold War mystique, contemporary architecture, and booming gallery and restaurant scenes. With its cosmopolitan, East-meets-West edginess, it's no wonder the city has become a cultural capital of central Europe. It's a destination that continues to attract creative types and in-the-know travelers. Begin your trip to Berlin in the fashionable Mitte (or "middle") district, as it's convenient to major sites such as the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz.

Bath and the Cotswolds, England

The charming villages of the Cotswolds look like they're straight out of a fairy tale — Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Bourton-on-the-Water are among the prettiest. There are inns and pubs sprinkled throughout the little towns, but we'd suggest staying in Bath, a quaint city dating back to the Roman era, for its variety of accommodations. While there, check out the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey, and of course, the historic Roman baths. Best of all, Bath is under two hours from London by train, making it an easy weekend trip from the city.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul's major state-run museums may charge hefty admissions, but the Great Palace Mosaic Museum, just behind the Blue Mosque adjacent to the Arasta Bazaar, costs only 60 Turkish lira (that's about $4). These delightful mosaic scenes of hunts, myths, animal battles, and everyday life in antiquity — boys riding a camel, a man milking his goat — once covered the floor of a large courtyard of the Palatium Magnum, the Great Palace built between the time of Constantine the Great himself and Justinian I (fourth to early sixth centuries). You can even cruise between the continents for an affordable price when taking the ferry.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Take a tour of the architectural masterworks of prodigious local talent Jože Plecnik, who took the Secessionist Art Nouveau style he learned in Vienna back home (via Prague) to remake his native city along his own, idiosyncratic lines. Like Gaudí in Barcelona, Plecnik designed his buildings right down to the smallest fittings, like the Pegasus door handles on the entrance to the National and University Library. Plecnik designed a bit of everything around town, from the central market to the two flanking spans of Ljubljana's iconic Triple Bridge to the café-lined embankments of the Ljubljanica River. The city also has a number of incredible, affordable restaurants, and you can take a public bus (for a small fee) to nearby Lake Bled for a day trip.

The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Skip the overexposed island of Hvar for the walled medieval village on the Adriatic island of Korcula, purported home to Marco Polo. Korcula is more of a day-trip destination, and that means the tourist crowds thin considerably by sundown, leaving those who remain to relax in the cafés and stroll the narrow alleys. While every old city in Europe has an Old City historic district, Split has the only downtown actually carved from the carcass of an ancient Roman palace. When the emperor Diocletian left his throne in A.D. 305, he built a lavish palace on the Croatian coast to live out his days as head of the empire's eastern half. In the 1,700 years since, the ruins of his enormous structure have been colonized by the locals, the buildings turned into medieval town houses, and the emperor's tomb transformed into the cathedral.

Paris, France

Want to experience fabulous French cuisine on a budget? Opt for a midday splurge — many cafés and restaurants offer less expensive menus at lunch. And a picnic is always a good idea in Paris. Stop by a market to peruse the (typically) extensive options for cheese and wine, or pick up a simple yet delicious crepe from a stand. If you plan to visit the City of Light's top museums and attractions, you might want to invest in a Paris Museum Pass . For one fee (priced depending on the number of days you purchase), you can gain admission to top tourist spots like the Arc de Triomphe, Sainte-Chapelle, Panthéon, Louvre, Musée Rodin, and more, and you get to skip the ticket line. Talk about a win-win.

County Clare, Ireland

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure

Avoid the tour bus-clogged Ring of Kerry for its neighbor to the north, County Clare, home to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher rising more than 700 feet from the crashing Atlantic waves; the weirdly eroded limestone landscape of the Burren, where prehistoric slab tombs perch on the rocky flatlands like miniature houses of cards; and Doolin, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it village that has become a popular destination for traditional Celtic music. Local pubs are the perfect evening stop for hearty (and usually affordable) Irish fare and — if you're lucky — live music.

Rome, Italy

Daniel Gorostieta/Travel + Leisure

Rome has more than 900 churches, all of them free, displaying great works of art and architecture by the likes of Raphael, Bernini, Caravaggio, Bramante, and Pinturicchio. And that's just the short list of artists contained in one church — the little-visited Santa Maria del Popolo. Other iconic landmarks, like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Rome's famous piazzas are all free to visit, too, and some museums offer free entry days, so check their websites for details.

Porto, Portugal

Paula Galindo Valle/Travel + Leisure

Portugal's northern city of Porto is among Travel + Leisure readers' favorite European cities, and once you visit, you'll see why. In Porto, visitors can admire the Art Deco architecture, sip port wine, and explore the walkable city on foot without going over budget. Plus, a day trip to the Douro Valley, a picturesque vineyard region along the Douro River, is worth the trek.

europe travel ideas 2022

Top Tips for Planning a Summer Trip to Europe 2022

Top Tips for Planning a Summer Trip to Europe 2022

Dreaming of a European summer? It’s about that time of year when flight sales and warmer weather beckon a voyage to Europe. Where you go and how you do it all play role in planning one epic trip to Europe. There are a few tips for a successful trip and I want to share them with you.

Europe has been a second home for me and my family (my family is in France). Every year we make a point to return to Europe for a few weeks. Then oftentimes work brings me back over for a shorter stint. Over the years, I’ve learned a few ways to get the best bookings and plan a trip that is not a logistical nightmare.

If you’re at the beginning stages of dreaming up your European getaway, I want to share these tips with you to help you plan a successful trip. It can be challenging to navigate the several options there are when it comes to transportation. Even considerations for types of accommodations, and deciding on how long to go come to play.

This year in particular brings on a whole new set of challenges for European travel. With entry requirements changing constantly, you’ll want to be up on the know as you plan. All of this and more are covered below. (Plus read on to see whether train or plane is best this summer.)

I just finished planning a 10-week trip to Europe, so I’ve got a few takeaways from the past month I spent researching. It’s with great pleasure to return to Europe for the first time since the pandemic began. And though there may be a few extra hoops to jump through, I know it’s always worth the effort once there.

Tips for Planning a Summer Trip to Europe 2022

1. know the entry requirements.

Before we get started on any travel planning tips, the most crucial topic is, can you enter the country? With the ever-constant changing rules due to COVID, it may feel like a bit of a mess. The short story is if you’re vaccinated, it will be much easier to get in (barring any other major outbreak). If we look at the last two years for summer tourism, Europe has mostly been opened with a few steps for entry.

The key takeaway? Be flexible. If these last two years have taught us anything it’s that anything can change at any time. You can also plan on masks to be required in some countries as well, this is ever-changing too. For example, since I began writing this post, France dropped testing for triple-vaccinated passengers — it is changing that frequently.

Steps for entry are country-dependent. Some are requiring a PCR test for entry, others are not. It’s truly all over the place. If you’re transferring through an airport, say San Francisco to Frankfurt to Mallorca, you need to know the entry requirements for both Frankfurt and Mallorca. The airport website should have this information listed. Remember when transferring at an airport in the EU, you will do customs at your first transfer which may mean the said country will have its own entry requirements.

If you are looking for specific country requirements, the best advice is to go to the country’s tourism site. You can do this by searching “country tourism entry requirements.”

Sources for current information: Re-open EU (you can select a country and see updated information on local measures) Politico (this news outlet updates information weekly, I would still double confirm) Call Your accommodations (call your accommodations to ask what the requirements are for check-in. For instance, most hotels in Italy are requiring proof of vaccination.)

Can you hop between countries in the Schengen zone?

As we stand right now, it seems so. Again this is ever-changing, I would recommend checking this EU site for the most up-to-date information. You may need to be vaccinated or have a negative test to enter from one country to the next.

2. Book with flexibility and read the fine print

Cancellation policies are your best friend this summer. In case you do need to change your travels, I would recommend reading the fine print well. My suggestion is to utilize third-party sites that have good cancellation policies. My list of places I like to book are:

Hotels — Booking.com or Hotels.com provide an extensive inventory of hotels that nearly most offer a flexible cancellation policy. I often see cancel with full refunds up to 48 hours prior for both of these booking engines.

Cars — Kayak.com . My top tip for booking cars in Europe is to book third party. Most car agencies allow you to secure a car reservation with a cancellation policy up to the week of

Trains — RailEurope or Omio. If you are wanting the ability to rebook or cancel, select the right flexible fare for your booking.

Flights — This is SO airline dependent. Most are offering the ability to rebook when it’s a certain fare, doublecheck before you book.

*A note on Airbnb: tread lightly and read the cancellation policy well. I am starting to see more listings offering cancellation policies up to 48 hours before arrival.

3. A private tour, private guides, and advance tickets are worth it

The travel industry is expecting a busy summer as we reemerge this year even more than last year. I’d recommend booking your entry tickets in advance to confirm entry. Another great resource for travel is booking a private guided tour. I think it’s one of the most overlooked travel experiences and it can be such an enriching add-on. Often times private tours get extra perks like early entry so something worth considering as you research.

Where to book private tours and skip the line passes? My preferred tour agency is Get Your Guide . I have personally done three private tours with Get Your Guide in California (they started in Europe). It is always led by a knowledgeable local and there are so many booking options.

On Get Your Guide you’ll find advance tickets for museums and sights, group tours, and private tours.

Popular attractions like the Vatican Early Access Tour , skip-the-line Louvre tickets , and this Seville group tour are all available on Get Your Guide.

4. Train, plane, or car?

One of the most common questions is should I take a train, plane, or car? Let’s categorize train and plane in one bucket because these are for longer distances. Cars would be better suited for say a regional road trip through Provence or Tuscany. What should you do for larger distances? Did you know sometimes it’s cheaper to fly than take the train some times?

This summer as I started to do research train itineraries between major itineraries, I was shocked at the prices. They are steeper than ever before. I price compared for instance flying between Paris to Amsterdam vs. taking the direct train high-speed Thalys train. The train was $75 a person and takes about 3hr 20min. The plane was $68 direct on Air France and 1hr 20 min long. When you consider it all together, it’s worth comparing especially when they’re close in price and deciding what is best for you.

When comparing train vs plane I like to consider these factors:

  • Do I have a lot of luggage? This may be easier to check on a plane (though it costs money) rather than lugging it onto a train.
  • Is the train station conveniently located? For instance, I would rather train to Madrid from Barcelona. The reason being the main station in Madrid is near the center and doesn’t require a taxi from the airport.
  • Is the plane faster than taking the train? In Europe you don’t need to show up incredibly early to flights unless it’s the weekend (security lines are typically a breeze in comparison to U.S. airports). So your total time at the airport is perhaps one extra hour or so before a flight. It may be more convenient to fly rather than connecting through several train stations.

Airlines in Europe I prefer for regional flights : Do not shy away from local airlines in Europe even if you haven’t heard of them! There are several good ones and though they may be budget, it’s perfectly suited for a quick and often cheap flight.

My preferred budget airlines are Ryanair and Vueling. EasyJet is my last choice (notorious for delayed flights). I love TAP Air for Portugal-bound flights and Norwegian Airlines for Scandinavian destinations.

Other transportation options in Europe: You may have followed this trip I took through Andalucia that I did completely without a car in 2019. I utilized the local bus system in Spain to go from Malaga to Granada and then on to Cordoba. It was an absolute breeze, the buses were clean and had Wifi. You can easily utilize the local buses in Europe to get around, just know that they may take a bit longer. For buses in Spain, use the site Alsa to book your reservations. For other countries, Omio has options for bookings.

5. Car rentals: Insurance, international license, and more

Should you book a car in Europe? Yes! It is one of the best ways to explore regions like Tuscany or Provence, or islands like Mallorca, Sicily, and more. It is quite easy to drive in Europe and there are a few tips to help out:

  • I nsurance : Did you know major credit card companies like Chase or AMEX offer free international car insurance when you book with their credit card? Many will offer insurance as part of you using your credit card so you can skip the extra insurance there. This will save you a lot of money. Be sure to call your credit card and get firm details on whether or not your credit card provides insurance . We had one incident in Barcelona when we returned our car to Sixt — $600 fine for a small ding. We paid and then our credit card covered the costs as part of our insurance.
  • International License : You technically need one to drive a car in Europe. Do they ever check it? Almost never but you should have it. You can get an international license at a participating AAA location , $20 per adult prior to leaving.
  • Tolls : They’re everywhere in Europe and should be expected. Carry extra cash or a credit card with you to pay. Note: they can be pretty expensive during the summer months.

My number one tip when renting a car in Europe is making sure you have cellular data to use Google Maps and a translating app. You will want the translation app should you need to understand parking signs especially.

6. Picking the right destination for you

Where should you go? It’s the million-dollar question when there are SO many options in Europe. If you need some inspiration, here are 7 blissful coastal escapes , 12 summer destinations to consider , and a guide on European summer spots .

One consideration when picking a destination is how will you get around? Best budget destinations are always cities as you can utilize public transport to explore. It can be pricey to rent a car to explore more countryside regions (though maybe doable by bus). I personally like a combination of a few spots. My ideal trip is 3-4 nights in a major city and then heading out to the coast or an island for 4-5 nights to relax.

My top picks for summer in Europe this year are:

  • an island escape to Mallorca, Spain or Hvar, Croatia
  • a city break in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Andalucia without a car
  • a road trip in Slovenia
  • a seaside stay in Cassis, France
  • a coastal trip to Costa Brava, Spain
  • a city trip to Helsinki, Finland

7. Utilize your international flight to your benefit

One of the best tips of advice I can give is to always price compare when booking a roundtrip ticket vs an open-jaw ticket when visiting multiple spots. An open-jaw ticket is where you would fly from San Francisco to Paris and then back from Barcelona to San Francisco (different entry/exit airports). If you plan to hop around, this can save you a lot of money instead of just booking a roundtrip out of the same airport.

Use this to your benefit by getting to explore more of Europe for less. One itinerary example may be that you want to visit both Paris and Amsterdam. So you fly into CDG (Paris) from SFO and spend time there first. Then take the Thalys train to Amsterdam to explore. After, your return flight home is from AMS (Amsterdam) instead of paying for another train ticket back to Paris to fly back from Paris. You cut the cost of one direction of travel.

I also have this guide for the best connected in Europe to fly into if you’re looking to maximize more.

8. How to beat the summer crowds in Europe

Crowds in Europe are no joke in the summer months. I actually wrote this entire guide on how to manage the crowds — I’m giving out my tips for how to do it well.

9. When to book everything

When you’ve decided, book . Travel is starting to pick up and even after looking at several hotels, quite a few were sold out already for summer weekends. This summer season in Europe is shaping up to be a busy one so I’d expect prices to rise and there to be limited availability.

10. Make restaurant reservations

Once you get more details of your trip finalized, I would start making reservations for at least dinners. This is for those travelers who have specific restaurants you’d like to eat at. Summer is a busy time for restaurants, so get ahead and secure that spot. And remember, dinner is much later in the evening than dinner stateside.

11. Get travel insurance

We don’t leave the country without it. My preference for travel insurance is with World Nomads .

12. Baby Travel Tips for Europe

We will be embarking on our first trip to Europe with our baby in May. So I don’t want to give any concrete personal advice until we’ve done it ourselves. However, I can share the resources we’ve found helpful as well as our decisions for gear while there.

For the international flight : our daughter will be around 7 months old at the time of travel so for our big international tickets I booked reward tickets with United Airlines and then called to have us be put in bulkhead seats with a bassinet request. (no charge, the bassinet is requested not guaranteed). Had we had more points, we would have purchased her a seat for the extra room.

For gear while there : This is where it gets tricky. While we have a “travel system” where our car seat clicks into the stroller and is super easy to use, it’s not just recommended for Europe for several reasons. Babies should be in a proper stroller if possible and our daughter will be at the age (7 months) where a stroller is more appropriate. It’s also piping hot in the summer in Europe and car seats don’t have ventilation as a stroller does (overheating risk). So here is what we’ve decided to bring for gear (this is what is working for our personal trip):

  • Check our own car seat . Yes, technically all US compliant/made carseats are illegal in Europe because of the chest clip and other regulations. Several people I spoke to have always brought their own car seat and I personally would prefer to have safety over the rare occurance of it being an issue. This blog post by Carseat Mama breaks down why you should bring your own and was the determining factor for us given we have nearly 6 weeks of car rentals while there.
  • Purchase a travel stroller . We purchased the Cybex Libelle stroller as it folds up and fits in the overhead compartment. I cross checked it with both of our airlines and it still beats the Babyzen YOYO for size. I’m not sure it’s the most sturdy but given we’re on an island and then just a few weeks in a city, it will do just fine.
  • Check our own travel crib . We love our Lotus travel crib , she actually sleeps in it now at home. Since we plan to hop around a bit, I want to have her bed with us. I think this is us being completely extra, you could totally use hotel cribs and see if your vacaton rental has a crib option.

Getting Around Since we won’t be using our car seat that clicks into a stroller, we will be limited to a few options. We can either use our rental car with our own car seat, use public transportation, or book a private transfer that has a car set up with a car seat. This is why we’ve rented a car for our time in Mallorca and why we chose a city in France that has good public transportation.

Resources : Anna Everywhere had this awesome post on Europe with babies .

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Ps — are you booking a trip soon use my booking checklist.

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you . If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here .

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:

  • World Nomads (best for all-around)
  • Safety Wing (best for frequent travelers)

Xx, Jessica

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IMAGES

  1. 22 Dream Destinations in Europe to visit in 2022

    europe travel ideas 2022

  2. Our 2022 Travel Plans: Europe Travel Itinerary

    europe travel ideas 2022

  3. Explore Europe 2022 Now Released

    europe travel ideas 2022

  4. Best Places to Travel in 2022

    europe travel ideas 2022

  5. 2022 Travel Guide to Europe

    europe travel ideas 2022

  6. Complete Europe Trip Planner 2022

    europe travel ideas 2022

VIDEO

  1. TRAVEL EUROPE PART 3 #travel #top10destinations #europe #topdestinations #ireland #greece #scotland

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  3. 🇧🇪 Belgium Street Performance Rules 🎭

  4. 🔴👉 Lithuania is beautiful. Best destinations to travel in Europe in 2024

  5. Alternatives to Popular Travel Destinations #shorts

COMMENTS

  1. Best Places to Travel in 2022

    7. London, UK. After Brexit, Covid and border closures, it is high time to rediscover London in 2022, one of Europe's most extravagant destinations. Capital of the United Kingdom, London brings together like no other destination, traders, business people, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers and more.

  2. Best Places to Visit in Europe for 2023-2024

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  5. 15 best road trips of Europe for 2022

    The Costa Brava, Spain. Start: Girona. End: Girona. Distance: 118 miles (190km) Mixing Greek and Roman ruins with medieval towns, the eccentricities of Salvador Dalí and a wild and rugged coast, Spain's Costa Brava makes a fascinating, eclectic destination for a road trip. Begin by exploring Girona's hilly medieval core with its web of ...

  6. One Week in Europe: 25 Epic Itineraries

    Florence & Tuscany. Spend one week in the heart of Italy. Florence is the art capital of the world, filled with some of the best art museums in Europe. It's also a beautiful city to wander, with towers to climb, places to go shopping, and lots of gelato to eat. After you had your fill of Florence, journey into Tuscany.

  7. 2022 Travel Guide to Europe

    Best Places for Couples. 7/13. Lovers taking a romantic vacation can enjoy plenty of opportunities for romance in Europe, though some cities shine brighter than others in this category. Prague, Czech Republic, Heidelberg, Germany and Bruges, Belgium consistently top the charts as some of Europe's most romantic cities.

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    Trip Ideas. Weekend Getaways Romantic Trips Family Travel Beach Vacations Like a Local Destination of the Year Travel + Leisure GO View All ... The 20 Best Islands in Europe in 2022.

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  11. 55 Epic Road Trips in Europe (Itinerary Ideas + Tips!)

    Snapped in Matera, Italy on our southern Italy road trip in 2022! Tips for For Planning to Take a Road Trip in Europe. This travel guide to the best European road trips is already giant, so I'll keep these brief, but here are a few essential tips for planning a European road trip! Shop around for your rental car.

  12. The Amazing Europe Bucket List: 50 Places to Get off the Beaten Path

    Add Kayersbag to your list of Europe travel destinations in the coming year! ... For seriously inspired off-the-beaten-path ideas here, get Little Roads Europe's Emilia-Romagna guidebook. Kate | Our Escape Clause . 20. French Riviera…for the Lemon Festival ... 2022 at 10:32 am. That sounds like so much fun, Lisa! Reply. andrei says.

  13. 75+ Essential Europe Travel Tips You Need to Hear

    This fee is set per person, per night, and is usually around 2-4 Euros, though it does vary. So, for example, if you're a couple spending 4 nights in a city with a 2 Euro tourist tax, you would owe 16 Euros: 2 Euros per person (aka 4 Euros per night for you as a couple), for 4 nights. READ NEXT.

  14. 2 Weeks in Europe

    Best 2-week trip itinerary ideas for Europe: Western Europe: London, Paris, Amsterdam · Central Europe: Prague, Vienna, Budapest · ... July 13, 2022 at 2:52 pm. Great guide - but overwhelming!! My wife and I are taking our first trip to Europe next year - a long kid- and COVID- delayed 20th/25th/30th anniversary! - and want to make the ...

  15. 100+ Europe Travel Tips for First Timers & Must-Knows Before You Go

    An important must-know for all first time visitors to Europe is that border-free travel doesn't exist across the continent (as is commonly believed). Rather, border-free travel apples only between countries in the Schengen Area, this group of 27 countries (accurate as of 2023): Austria. Belgium. Croatia.

  16. European Travel in 2022 is Booking Up: How to Plan Your Trip Now

    As international travel continues to rebound, summer dates in 2022 are filling quickly. Our travel specialists report that preferred properties are already at 90% and above for bookings in many regions. Trips postponed in 2020 and 2021 also impact availability with rising rates as itineraries are rebooked for future dates.

  17. 16 Practical Travel Tips for Europe This Summer

    Despite the additional requirements, Europe is accessible to tourists in 2022. Make sure to allow extra time to arrange your documents, and always double-check the latest requirements. ... Travel, Photography Kyle Campbell April 15, 2022 travel, uk, europe travel, europe, travel tips, travel guide, travel photography, photography, photography ...

  18. 30 Days in Europe: Travel Tips & Itinerary Ideas

    Top tips for planning your itinerary. 1. Don't try to see everything. Rome wasn't built in a day. And Europe can't be seen in a month, but you can scratch more than the surface on a 30-day traveling budget. Whether you want to tick off the top sights or spend your time more leisurely and get to know the vibe of a city, research, and ...

  19. Europe Travel Tips: 10 Things You NEED TO KNOW in 2024

    8. Stay Longer in One Place. Staying in one place longer can allow you to experience the city or neighborhood like a local. Making friends with locals, finding local restaurants restaurants and venturing off the beaten path, can make for exciting travel stories and often the most memorable experiences.

  20. European Travel Tips in 2022

    My travel tip for booking a flight for the best price fare is BOOK when you think about it, travel to Europe is on the increase. With consumer confidence prices will start to rise very quickly. PCR/Antigen Testing was required by my airline to fly to Europe as these are required to fly into Germany. I took an antigen test at an urgent care ...

  21. 10 Ultimate Tips to Know for your Europe Travel in 2022

    Resist the temptation to sleep in the day. Stretch your legs in connecting airports and drink lots of water. These will help in reducing muscle cramps and body pain. 3. Money and Banking Tips for your Europe Travel. Only 19 out of 51 European use the Euro.

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    Bavaria, Germany. For a storybook-worthy vacation in Europe, head straight to Bavaria. Book a room at Burg Colmberg, a 14th-century castle rising from a rocky crag above a tiny village. It offers ...

  23. Top Tips for Planning a Summer Trip to Europe 2022

    10. Make restaurant reservations. Once you get more details of your trip finalized, I would start making reservations for at least dinners. This is for those travelers who have specific restaurants you'd like to eat at. Summer is a busy time for restaurants, so get ahead and secure that spot.