What are the must-see destinations and the best places to visit in Europe? Do such places exist at all? We have created 21 categories of the best European places to need to travel to. Ready to learn more about top to-go places in Europe?
Let’s face it, there are many great places to visit in Europe! But what is the best place? The one which makes you WOW!
Europe is a stunning and diverse continent so it’s probably not possible to create a list of those few best places. Whether you love beaches, islands or romantic places, there are many beautiful places in every corner of Europe.
So, is your favourite place in Europe amongst our best European categories?
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN EUROPE:
1. Best places to visit in Europe for beaches
Of all of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is perhaps the most popular for tourists to visit. The volcanos of the island certainly give Lanzarote a different kind of feel to the standard paradise that people picture for their holidays.
Papagayo beaches are hugely varied; with some of them hosting golden, silky sands, and others taking on the volcanic attributes that turn the sand black.
Praia do Camilo
Found in Algarve, Praia do Camilo is not only a charming bay with blue-green waters but also one of the best beaches in Algarve. There’s a set of wooden steps that lead down to the beach, and several restaurants are within good distance to the bay (one of which is right next to the entrance).
Tourists can book onto several different experience tours while in the area, including two-hour-long tours of the local beaches and caves with wine tasting.
Learn more about the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
2. Best places in Europe for a springtime trip
The springtime is the best time to visit Crete for a number of activities – especially hiking! Crete is one of the largest islands in Greece, with its own archaeological sites, harbours, nature trails, and more.
Spring brings beauty to the island as all of the gardens across Crete are in full bloom, and the air turns warmer. More tourists tend to appear during the summer months, so there are more perks to visiting earlier in the year, too.
Keukenhof is said to have the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. It’s best to visit during the early morning on a weekday to have a better experience without too many people around. More than seven million flower bulbs are planted in the garden every year.
Guests will experience views of the millions of blooming Dutch tulips in the height of spring while visiting one of the largest flower parks in the world.
Learn more about where to go in Europe in spring.
3. Most romantic places to visit in Europe
One of the Greek islands, Santorini lies in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The island is known for its active volcano and the awe-inspiring sunsets that can be seen on the horizon. For a romantic trip to this island, couples should check out Akrotiri on the southern tip of Santorini.
From there, travellers will have a break-taking view of the island’s volcano, and the hotels around the area are fairly inexpensive when compared to others on the island.
Venice is known as one of the most romantic cities in the world. It’s popular for families, couples on a getaway, and for those going on their honeymoon.
A ride down the Grand Canal on a gondola may seem like a cliché, but there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing the sights of Venice from a boat while you and your other half tour around the city.
If you have the time, swing by Alaska for the best gelato in Venice.
Learn more about the most romantic destination in Europe.
4. Best places in Europe to admire beautiful landscapes
The autonomous region of the Azores is one of only two autonomous regions in Portugal. The other being Madeira. The best time to visit is the period between April and November.
The other months of the year can be somewhat cold and rainy, which aren’t the best for viewing the stunning landscapes of the area. The calm waters of the island’s crater make for perfect pictures that any budding photographer will be able to take.
The dramatic sights of the Austrian Alps aren’t something that you can just take in for a moment or two. No matter where you look, there are valleys, mountains, and huge stretches of land to explore.
In the summer, one of the most beautiful places to stay is Alpbach, a resort of wood and stone that looks like something out of a fairytale.
Learn more about where to find the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.
5. Best winter sun destinations in Europe
Not everyone is a fan of the colder weather during the winter months, so it’s no surprise that travellers start to migrate towards warmer countries. Gran Canaria is a part of the Canary Islands, and is one of the warmest of the islands, next to Tenerife.
While Tenerife is better for tourist destinations, Gran Canaria is better for exploring and hitting the beach for a great afternoon in the sunshine.
The Republic of Malta can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Italy’s Sicily. The island-state consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta is the biggest of the three and is famous for its UNESCO architecture, festivals and diving.
Even during the typical winter months, you can still expect high of around 16 to 17 degrees Celsius – which is certainly warm enough for anyone wanting to give diving a try.
Learn more about the best winter sun places in Europe.
6. Best paradisiacal destinations in Europe
Lofoten is known for its natural attractions. From these stunning islands, you can experience the beauty of the northern lights, as well as the midnight sun that carries the islands through late May to the middle of July every year.
This area is great for fishing, and visitors are also welcomed to kayak between the islands.
With a shoreline that could inspire anyone, Zakynthos is a Greek island that shines amid the blue waves of the ocean. This island is home to rural villages, expansive natural areas, and long beach shores.
One of the most mesmerising things about Zakynthos is the Blue Caves, which are found in the northern part of the island. These caves can be visited by boat or you can book onto an organised tour with ease.
7. Best places to visit in Europe for an autumn trip
If you find yourself in Croatia, there are few locations more beautiful than the city of Dubrovnik. The cable car offers utterly perfect views of the Old Town and runs from the top of the low mountain Srđ to Petra Krešimira IV.
It’s around £6 for an adult to take a round-trip on the cable car. From the upper cable car station on the mountain, you can find the Panorama Restaurant.
Within the Spanish province of Malaga lies Ronda, a small village that is part of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. Some of the top sights that visitors enjoy going to are the three bridges: Puente Romano, Puente Viejo, and Puente Nuevo.
The three bridges run across the canyon, with the tallest of them towering around 120 metres off of the canyon’s floor.
8. Best places in Europe to explore islands
The island of Capri is known for its natural beauty and its superb cuisine – a must-visit in Italy. The Piazzetta is a famous public square found on the island, where the clock tower chimes every 15 minutes throughout the day.
There are several cafés with charming furnishings that add to the atmosphere of the island. There’s also the Faraglioni, a rock formation of considerable size, which is one of the first sights to see as you arrive on the island.
The perfect island getaway, Lanzarote has been a popular tourist destination for many years. Travellers can enjoy the numerous beaches on this island pretty much any time of the year, with the average water temperature being almost 20 degrees Celsius.
Though the beaches in Lanzarote are often raved about by guests, there are plenty of other attractions to keep tourists interested in their visit; including the National Park, the Cactus Garden, and more!
Learn more about the best islands in Europe.
9. Best places in Europe to explore bridges
Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge lies across the river Reuss in central Switzerland. It’s one of Lucerne’s main tourist attractions, and it does have an interesting history. On August 18th 1993, a fire on a boat under the bridge spread to the Chapel Bridge itself.
Reconstruction began immediately and the bridge was restored. Some of the best ways to experience the bridge are to book onto a guided tour that includes the bridge on its itinerary.
London Bridge is one of the most popular destinations in the city of London. The London Bridge that exists today is one of the modern editions.
London Bridge has existed in one way or another for almost 2000 years, and even today’s London Bridge still stands in the same location that every other London Bridge has.
Learn more about the most famous bridges in Europe.
10. Best places in Europe for visiting castles
Located in Pembroke, Wales, Pembroke Castle was once the family seat of the Earldom of Pembroke. At present, it stands as a Grade I building and had major restoration completed in the early 20th century.
Today, this beautiful castle allows visitors to come and reach out to history. Tickets should be purchased from the Gift Shop on the day of visiting, and the castle is dog-friendly!
A castle that everyone seems to know, even if they haven’t had the chance to visit it yet. Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest castle in the world – and it’s one that’s still occupied today!
William the Conqueror originally founded the castle during the 11th century. Since then, 39 monarchs have called Windsor Castle their home.
11. Best places in Europe to see beautiful towns
Thrill-seekers, rejoice! There is a place for you where you can find a number of activities to live your life to its fullest. Interlaken, found in Switzerland, has a range of adrenaline-pumping activities for your enjoyment.
These include river rafting, skydiving, and bungee jumping! Interlaken is among the most popular summer holiday resorts in Switzerland because of its spectacular attractions.
It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you’ll find this destination bustling with tourists.
Found nestled at the bottom of several huge mountains, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is most famous for hosting the Winter Olympics back in 1936, as well as the International Alpine Skiing Championships of 1978 and 2011.
With that in mind, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is perhaps the greatest place in the world for snow sports.
12. Best places in Europe to see Christmas markets
Ah, Vienna. The largest city in Austria, Vienna is famous for its blend of traditional and modern architecture, as well as its cultural events that are spread throughout the year.
The Christmas Markets that run in Vienna are plentiful, and any visiting guest will be sure to find the festival lights of the city to be warm and cheerful. Their Christmas Market traditions date all the way back to the Middle Ages.
On Madeira Island, within the boundaries of beautiful Portugal, you can find Funchal. Funchal is the capital of Maderia and has been said to host the best Christmas Markets in the region.
Thousands of guests flock towards the capital to experience the traditional market that Funchal hosts every year.
13. Best places to visit in Europe for amusement parks
Admission into the Gardens in Copenhagen does not include any of the rides in the theme park. They are, essentially, two separate entities. You can pay for an unlimited ride wristband, which greatly reduces the cost for this fantastic amusement park.
There are plenty of wonderful rides for thrill-seekers or for those who prefer more gentle rides. One of the most popular rides is “The Demon”, which offers three loops on its track.
One of the best waterparks in the world, Siam Park in Tenerife has some of the craziest waterslides that guests will ever experience. Siam Park is also home to the Mai Tai River, which is the longest lazy river in the world and has both a fast and a slow route.
The whole park is extremely accessible and is packed with waterfalls. There’s even an area that’s exclusively for younger guests.
14. Safest places to visit in Europe
As the seventh-largest city within Romania, Brasov provides a wonderous mix of scenery. From mountains to old architecture, and a nearby castle that people across the world know of – the castle of Count Dracula, which is just 30km from the city.
Brasov is one of Romania’s most visited cities and is rated with a fairly low risk for travellers. The crime rate is low, there are no major conflicts, and there are plenty of other tourists.
Malaga is considered to be one of the safest locations in Spain to visit. Like Brasov, the crime rate is low, and numerous travellers have stepped forward to say that they feel perfectly safe walking around Malaga at night.
The Old Town, in particular, has plenty of people partying until around midnight. So, there’s plenty of time for exploring and taking in the local sites.
15. Best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe
Like many major cities, Prague comes alive at the end of the year for a huge party. Whether the guests are locals or tourists, everyone comes together to celebrate the coming of a new year.
Prague is known for its nightlife, its beauty, and its history. Thousands of people from across Europe, and the rest of the world, to visit this golden location.
London has a great nightlife and plenty of hostels and hotels that can play host for guests coming in from around the world. Grab a group of good friends, your significant other, or your family, and come and see London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display. If you only wish to visit London for one day, this ONE day has to be New Year’s Eve!
There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, and cafés that are open on New Year’s Eve, ready and waiting to help you celebrate the New Year with a roaring celebration.
16. Best honeymoon destinations in Europe
A fantastic location for your honeymoon, Lisbon is simply teeming to the brim with architecture, exquisite food, and an atmosphere that will make you and your beloved one want to say “I do” all over again.
Sunset is an especially spectacular time of day and highlights the true beauty of the city. One of the most popular hotels for couples is the Olissippo Lapa Palace, which has its own pool, and fantastic ratings from its guests.
Why wouldn’t you and your other half want to take your honeymoon in Italy? Positano rests on the Amalfi Coast and isn’t as well-known as other popular Italian destinations like Rome and Venice. As such, you should find plenty of time to yourself when visiting.
The charm of this coastal paradise makes for a wonderful break. There are several villas and hotels along the coast that will gladly help you make your honeymoon memorable.
17. Best places to visit in Europe for museums-lovers
Museums are often a staple part of visiting any city for a trip. Tourists flock to them to learn about the history of the place and gaze at all of the wonderful artefacts that have been discovered and displayed over the years.
In London, there are a number of museums, though the most important or most popular ones are the British Museum and the National Gallery. There are plenty of free museums throughout the city, too.
If you’re a museum fanatic, you’ll be happy to know that Amsterdam offers its own kind of museum card for tourists that can be ordered online before or during your visit to the city.
It’s a great purchase, that will save you tonnes of money on entry fees into some of the best museums in the world. Similarly, there’s the Amsterdam Museum Card, which allows guests to enter 400 museums across the Netherlands.
18. Best places in Europe to visit national parks
Triglav National Park
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Slovenia, the Triglav National Park allows guests to do everything from swimming to fishing. Triglav National Park is the only National Park in Slovenia, and it was established back in 1981.
The park is named after Slovenia’s tallest mountain and lies fairly close to the Austrian border. Visitors are welcome to explore the rivers and lakes or hike through the many trails that the park offers.
Hohe Tauern National Park
The Hohe Tauern is more than a park, it’s a National Park with over 10,000 species of animals that call the park home. Hohe Tauren is a sanctuary for animals and people, alike. Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road or visit other stunning places in this part of Austrian Alps.
There’s really plenty to explore here, or guests can have a tour of the National Park that’s guided by one of the park’s own Rangers. Take in the sight of 1,800 different kinds of plant, the rolling hills, the towering trees. Truly, the National Park is full of relaxing scenes.
19. Best places to visit in Europe to remember WWII
The Normandy Invasion, also known as D-Day, is still widely remembered and memorialised. There are several facilities and locations around Normandy, France, where one can learn about D-Day.
Some of the more popular places include the Juno Beach Centre, which was where Canadian soldiers first landed on D-Day, and the World War II Museum.
Located in Poland, the Museum of Coastal Defence is one of the top attractions in Hel. Tour guides are very adept at their jobs, and you’ll leave your tour with a number of informative facts about the history of Hel and the Polish Navy.
The museum was originally founded by the Friends of Hel society and first opened to visitors back in 2006.
20. Best city break destinations in Europe
History lies in the streets of Bratislava. Tradition and culture have seeped into the water that flows gently down the River Danube.
This city is extremely safe for travellers, and the locals are all very friendly, too. Bratislava is a flourishing location, great for short or long breaks.
Travellers who appreciate fashion, culture, and cuisine will quickly fall for the charms of Copenhagen. This Danish capital city is home to one of the most famous restaurants in the world: the Michelin-starred Noma.
That’s not all, though! Copenhagen has plenty of landmarks, like the Tivoli Gardens.
21. Best places in Europe to get retired
When people reach the age of retirement, they often wonder where the best place for them to spend their more relaxing years would be.
People who live in France for a while often find themselves wanting to return, and Brittany has much to offer for retired folks. Having a small, friendly community is great for retirement.
Algarve has great real estate options for anyone wishing to retire in the area. Moving to a new country should be an adventure, and not something stressful, which is why so many people enjoy the vibrant communities of the city, where newcomers are welcomed by the locals with open arms.
With so many great beaches in Algarve, the village of Boliqueime, in particular, is a great place for retirement.
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