Editor’s Note: Travel is complicated right now, but we hope to inspire you for the future with these top destinations in Europe. Enjoy!
With its magnificent squares, historic old towns and medieval fortresses, Europe is home to many top destinations. Pulsing cities with a vibrant nightlife and breathtaking architecture, as well as natural beauty, offer much more than you can imagine.
You’ll discover rich cultural and historical sights in Italy and be enthralled with places like the Louvre in Paris, France. You can cruise through the islands of Croatia or enjoy the nightlife in Madrid.
A trip to Europe is rewarding year-round, with Christmas markets in December and vibrant autumn colors in the fall. You’ll also find great summer destinations in Europe, with amazing beaches like those in Greece and Spain.
So where do you want to go in Europe?
Here’s Our List of Six Top Destinations in Europe
1. Romantic Getaways in Italy
There are only a few countries where you can see as many cultural and historical sights as in Italy. Museums, monuments, squares and buildings that date back to Roman times are trendy tourist destinations.
You can visit beautiful cities in the north such as Verona, Genoa, Bologna, and Lakes Como and Garda. Also, if you like outdoor activities, you will admire the Dolomites and the Alps. There are also excellent ski resorts, such as Val Gardena, Cortina d’Ampezoo, and Sestriere.
Rome is the capital of Italy, known worldwide for the Colosseum, where gladiator fights took place a long time ago. In this city, you can see the incredibly beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica and Trevi Fountain with elegant sculptures. Be sure to visit one of the many museums.
Venice is a unique city, intersected by canals through which many boats navigate, some filled with tourists and some also with locals who use the vessels as the main mode of transportation.
Among the places worth visiting are St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, as well as the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore with churches and monasteries.
Florence is another fantastic place and one of the most famous Italian cultural destinations, with many prominent historical sights. It is known for Florence Cathedral (the Duomo), the old Ponte Vecchio bridge, as well as the Uffizi Gallery, a sprawling art museum that features works by Da Vinci, Titian and Botticelli.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located in the south of Italy. There you can find exciting places like Palermo and Catania.
Sardinia is another Italian Mediterranean island. It is known for its turquoise beaches on the Stintino Peninsula, luxury resorts in Porto Cervo, and numerous boutique hotels. The best way to explore Sardinia is to rent a car.
2. Beautiful Views in Croatia
The Croatian capital Zagreb is known for its incredible Christmas Advent every December, for the Museum of Broken Relationships and St. Mark’s Church. Plitvice Lake, Mljet and Brijuni national parks will dazzle you. But what attracts the most tourists to Croatia is its beautiful Adriatic coast.
You can explore the coastline cities of Split, Zadar, Rijeka and Rovinj, as well as the islands of Hvar, Korcula and Brac. On Brac you can find one of the most photogenic beaches Golden Horn, and in Split you can visit Diocletian’s Palace. On Hvar you will find top restaurants with seafood.
Dubrovnik is one of the best vacation destinations in Europe. The Adriatic town has been featured in scenes from the TV series “Game of Thrones.”
Take a walk through the Stradun pedestrian zone, explore the Old Town and the Lovrijenac Fortress. If you use the Dubrovnik cable car and go to Srd Hill, you will have a breathtaking view of the entire city, the surrounding islands and the Adriatic Sea.
3. Top Destinations in Spain
Spain has a great climate, so if you love the sea and beaches, you will be delighted with this country. Ibiza and Mallorca are undoubtedly the most famous Spanish summer destinations. Tenerife and the Canary Islands, although thousands of miles from mainland Spain, are also worth a visit.
One of the most-visited tourist sites in Spain is the Alhambra Palace. It dates to the 9th century, and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to the limited number of tickets for touring this complex, it would be good idea to buy tickets online before arrival.
After visiting the Alhambra, you can explore Granada. Here you can find excellent tapas, which are cold or hot appetizers in Spanish cuisine.
Spain has several beautiful cities that are worth visiting, like Seville, Bilbao, Valencia and Malaga. But the most-visited Spanish cities are the capital Madrid and fantastic Barcelona.
Madrid is known for its art museums and historical sights, including the Prado museum and the National Archaeological Museum. You can also visit the legendary Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the Royal Palace and the famous square Plaza Mayor. Near Prado museum is Retiro Park, with the oldest tree in Madrid.
Barcelona is one of the must-visit cities in the world. Gaudí’s architecture marked Barcelona, so the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are recognized worldwide. You also should visit one of the largest football stadiums in the world, Camp Nou, the beautiful Park Guell and the Museum of the History of Barcelona.
There are several museums in the Montjuic district, including museums of archeology and ethnology. Also, the Magic Fountain is especially attractive in the evening because of the musical light experience.
Barcelona also has several Michelin-starred restaurants, where you can eat international food. Snack bars are also trendy, so Barcelona will not let you down if you enjoy great food.
4. Vibrant Cities in Portugal
The Portuguese capital Lisbon is a fascinating city, whose trademarks are Belem Tower and St. George’s Castle. Get to know the city better by taking the famous Tram 28 tram line.
Don’t miss the opportunity to walk through the Alfama district, which has a large number of historic buildings and cathedrals. Also, you can visit the Monastery of Jeronimos, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal. In the city center, you can see baroque churches and walls of the medieval town.
The Church of Sao Francisco is the last gothic monument in Porto, and near it is the beautiful Palacio da Bolsa. Visit the Casa de Musica concert hall, the Soares dos Reis National Museum and Matosinhos Beach.
If you enjoy the waves, Ericeira is an excellent place for surfing. On the other hand, the mountainous area of Serra da Estrela is a great place for hiking.
You can also visit Coimbra, a university town with numerous ruins from the Roman era, as well as cities of Braga and Guimaraes. The island of Madeira is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal, although several hundred miles from the mainland.
5. Charming Castles in Germany
Medieval town Rothenburg in Germany’s Bavaria area is one of the most romantic destinations in Europe, and it can be a perfect getaway for couples. This beautiful country also has several excellent places for hiking lovers, like the Black Forest and King’s Lake, as well as the Bavarian Alps.
In the south of the country is Neuschwanstein Castle, which attracts more than a million visitors every year and was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disney theme parks.
German spa Baden-Baden is known worldwide, and gorgeous Cologne Cathedral is another popular tourist spot in Germany. You can explore charming cities around the country, such as Hamburg, Dresden and Bamberg.
Berlin is the capital of Germany. In this vibrant city you can visit world-class museums and galleries, large Christmas markets every winter, and the ruins of the Berlin Wall, a significant symbol from the last century.
For beer lovers, Munich is an excellent place because of Oktoberfest, a two-week beer paradise. Munich is known for the famous car brand BMW and also Bayern, one of the best football (soccer) clubs in Europe.
In this fantastic city, you can visit the main square Marienplatz, St. Peter’s Church from the 14th century, a lovely English garden and Nymphenburg Palace.
6. Spectacular Islands in Greece
Greece hosts some of the best destinations for summer lovers in Europe. Santorini is one of the most famous Greek islands, and also one of the top spots from the luxury travelers’ bucket lists.
There are plenty of great vacation destinations like Mykonos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Corfu and the Halkidiki peninsula. Crete, Naxos and Lemnos are some of the best Greek islands for foodies, where you can taste the best local wines, cheeses and special dishes.
You will be delighted with Meteora monasteries in the spectacular cliffs in central Greece. In Athens, you can explore some of the most famous historical sights, like the Acropolis and Parthenon. Also, don’t forget to feel the vibe of the Athens Riviera.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest Greek city, situated on the coast of the Aegean Sea. There you can find many Roman monuments, and explore the White Tower and Byzantine museum.
You can discover some of Europe’s most beautiful corners by exploring the natural beauties of Iceland with multi-days tours from the capital Reykjavik, or the Alps hiking trails in Switzerland. Ireland and Scotland are exciting destinations with stunning nature and impressive cities like Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
City tours are trendy. Cities like Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and London in the UK are among top-rated European destinations for urban travelers.
However, Europe can offer you much more than well-known destinations. For example, Bruges in Belgium will charm you with its canals and cobblestone streets.
Romania hides Bran Castle, near the city of Brasov, which is considered the home of Bram Stoker’s Count Vlad Dracula. Krakow used to be the royal capital, and today this city in Poland is known for its stunning architecture.
Choose a time and a place, book a plane ticket and explore the bounty of diversity that Europe offers.