18 Best Places To Visit In Europe
As the vibrant Spanish capital, Madrid is one of the most populous and most visited destinations in Europe. A bustling metropolis, Madrid is a landlocked city boasting outstanding beauty, architecture, and culture making it one of the most impressive destinations on the continent for a city break. Enjoy the Mediterranean climate whilst indulging in sangria, admiring the art of Flamenco and exploring the city’s world-class museums, galleries and iconic landmarks. A haven for lovers of history and art, Madrid is bursting with fascination and inspiration, home to captivating heritage sites, immersive museums and a leading destination for European art.
2Lake Como, Italy
Pool Photo: Mandarin Oriental Lago Di Como
One of Europe’s most idyllic corners, Lake Como is the most picturesque area in Northern Italy. Nestled in the foothills of the Italian Alps, Lake Como is renowned for its exquisite natural beauty and abundance of luxurious villas hugging the shoreline. Lake Como promises dramatic mountain, colourful villages, tranquil gardens and of course the glistening lake. Famous for its sense of calm and elegance, Lake Como exudes regal Italian charm. The wishbone-shaped lake is nearly 20 miles long and one of Europe’s deepest, with a bottom more than 200 metres below sea level.
A popular destination for the rich and famous, Lake Como is a destination of elegance and sophistication attracting the likes of Madonna, George Clooney and Sir Richard Branson who regularly return to their Italian holiday homes. An exceptional day trip from Milan, Lake Como is better appreciated over a few days with plenty of opportunity to explore the cobbled streets, visit impressive villas and relax lakeside in the sun. The hotels near the stunning, unspoiled beaches of Lake Como are renowned for their classic grandeur. Experience Lake Como like it is meant to with a stay at one of the luxury hotels on its shores. View the best hotels in Lake Como here.
With a rich history, exciting attractions and breathtaking scenery, London is one of Europe’s most diverse and captivating cities. As the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, London is an eclectic blend of heritage, tradition and a modern culture that is a unique melting pot of nationalities and global influence. Home to the British monarchy, exquisite architecture and one of the world’s most iconic theatre districts, you can encounter some of the most famous landmarks and monuments on the planet including the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.
When not sightseeing, indulge in some of the finest restaurants or a spot of afternoon tea, enjoy spectacular shopping along the world-famous Oxford Street or explore the markets of Camden and maybe catch the latest play or musical to hit the West End stage. The third largest city on the continent, London is a vast wonderland of history, culture and excitement with something to offer every traveller.
Home to more than 160 canals and endless cobbled streets, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most charming cities. Whether exploring the city on foot, by bike or cruising along the city waterways, Amsterdam is arguably one of the world’s most picturesque cities. Renowned for beautiful buildings and fascinating museums, the city is Europe’s most influential cultural hotspot. The Museum District features the outstanding Van Gogh Museum alongside the Rijksmuseum displaying iconic works by Rembrandt and Vermeer amongst others. Amsterdam is also where you can visit the heart wrenching Anne Frank House, a re-telling of The Diaries of Anne Frank within the walls they were written.
Nestled in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region, Florence is not only the capital of this corner of the country but one Europe’s leading honeymoon destinations. Undoubtedly one of the most exquisite Italian cities, Florence is bursting with charm, beauty and romance. Offering unrivalled landscapes with breathtaking architecture, enchanting streets and spectacular sunsets, Florence seems to have popped from the pages of a storybook. Boasting some of the world’s most impressive artistic treasures, Florence inspired the likes of Michaelangelo and the city’s museums, churches and palaces of Florence are some of the most inspirational and historic tourist attractions on the globe.
Photo: Taskonaklar Hotel Cappadocia
Straddling the border of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the world’s most interesting cities in the world with culture and influence from both continents. The vibrant city has a beautifully rich history and timeless charm with architecture and influence from many of the world’s greatest empires. Explore the Grand Bazaar with its diverse range of souks, sip on Turkish coffee whilst admiring views over the Bosphorus Strait and enjoy a slower pace of life to truly soak up the phenomenal city. Whilst in Istanbul, you do not want to miss a visit to one of the city’s most significant religious sites, The Blue Mosque. An iconic historical landmark and one of Turkey’s most important mosques, The Blue Mosque is the best and most beautiful example of Istanbul’s history, culture, tradition and religion.
7Prague, Czech Republic
A land of impressive history and culture, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the most captivating and impressive European cities. Renowned for its breathtaking blend of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, Prague is amongst the most beautiful cities in the world. The former home of Mozart, Prague is a leading destination for culture with a centrally-located castle, a 14th century iconic bridge lined with the statues of Catholic Saints and a 600-year-old mechanical clock with an animated hourly performance. Whilst Prague is a magnificent city to visit year round, it is the annual Christmas Markets that truly makes the city burst into life with yuletide festivities adding extra sparkle to the already magical city.
A hidden gem in the Atlantic Ocean tucked off the Moroccan coastline, the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands features one of Europe’s leading vacation spots. The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands with an impressive location geographically located on the African continent yet owned by Europe. Offering year-round sunshine and a unique natural diversity, Tenerife is peppered with breathtaking beaches, luscious mountains and the Martian landscape of Teide National Park. In Europe, Tenerife is one of the best locations for stargazing, the leading destination for a spot of winter sun and amongst the most vibrant party destinations renowned for its annual Carnaval de Santa Cruz celebrations.
A fairytale destination of French charm, scenic landscapes and a touch of romance, Paris is renowned as the city of love. Home to many of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and many of the greatest works of art in history such as Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, both of which are on permanent display at the world’s most-visited museum, Paris is a sprawling land of history and culture. Enjoy the cafe culture along the river banks, indulge in the most exquisite Parisian cuisine and treat yourself to a spot of boutique and designer shopping along the Champs-Elysee. A city of passion, elegance and good food, Paris is Europe’s most indulgent destination.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will return to Rome and with a city as captivating as the Italian capital, you will want to make sure you have some cents on hand when visiting the world’s most famous fountain. Boasting world-class tourist attractions such as the Colosseum, serving some of the greatest food on the planet, showcasing breathtaking architecture and overflowing with romantic vibes, Rome is certainly a city you will want to visit time and again. Rome is also exceptionally unique as the only city in the world with another country at its centre. Home to the Pope, the iconic Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City sits within the heart of Rome, the Catholic capital of the world which after becoming independent from Italy in 1929, is the smallest country on the planet with a population of just 453 and a land mass of just 44 hectares.
11Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal
If you love adventure, nature and exploring – you will love this destination even more. Made up of 9 islands, the Azores are known as the ‘Hawaii of Europe’. Sao Miguel is the largest of the islands and is perfect for nature lovers and born romantics, with dramatic viewpoints, hot springs, dolphin watching and diving to admire the rich marine life – there is something for everyone. There are numerous quaint little villages and three pretty volcanic crater lakes – Sete Cidades, Furnas and Lagoa do Fogo. Sete Cidades the most dramatic and worth a visit as it is, in fact, twin lakes – one blue in colour and the other green. Best view point: Head to the Miradouro da Boca do Inferno viewpoint for a most impressive view of Sete Cidades and away from the tourist.
As one of the unique places to visit in Europe, the island of Azores has a lot more to offer from waterfalls surrounded by lush landscape, whale watching, beautiful beaches to tea plantations. Ponta Delgada is the island capital but other parts of the island have so much to offer Furnas is popular for its hot springs and live volcanic activity from the ground (geysers). Ribeira grande is great for surfing, beaches and the home to Europe’s only tea plantation. Vila Franca do Campo is a hot spot for whale and dolphins watching.
Lisbon, the coastal capital of Portugal and also the second-oldest capital city in Europe is a wonderful mixture of history, art, and culture and there are just so many places to visit in Lisbon including some really great restaurants and bars. The city is known for its unique blend of old-world charm and modernity. Narrow cobbled streets wind through neighbourhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto. The iconic yellow trams add a touch of nostalgia as they navigate the hilly terrain, offering both locals and tourists an authentic way to explore the city.
Lisbon’s history is evident in its various monuments and landmarks. The city’s waterfront is a hub of activity. The Praça do Comércio, a grand square facing the river, is surrounded by elegant buildings and offers a gateway to the downtown area. Nearby, the LX Factory, a former industrial complex, has transformed into a creative space filled with art studios, shops, and restaurants. If you are planning to visit the city, pack some flat shoes as Lisbon is best to explore on foot at your own pace with the chance to stop when you spot something interesting – and you will!
Situated on Spain’s northeastern coast between the mountains and the blue waters of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is capital of the Catalonia region and one of the top destinations in Spain. Barcelona is full of character with narrow cobbled streets, buzzing food scene, shops and nightlife. Known for its beautiful architecture, the city is rich in art too and intrinsically linked with Coudi, Miró and Picasso. There are so many fun things to do in Barcelona, with something of interest for everyone and is the perfect destination all year round.
Milan is unquestionably one of the most well-known and beautiful Italian towns to visit. It has all that you would expect from a major city but it is relatively small, making it ideal for a visit because you can walk to most of the city’s attractions and museums. To mention a few, there are promenade-style avenues, castles, Duomo di Milano, an amazing Opera House, historic cathedrals, and a wide range of museums and art galleries are among the city’s most attractive attractions. All of this means that there are a plethora of the greatest things to do in Milan after you arrive, and you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to sites to see, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe. If you wish to get away from the bustle of city life, Milan acts as a great base for day trips to northern Italy’s most beautiful sceneries, the Italian lakes.
Iceland is one of those unique destinations in the world that you just have to visit at least once in your lifetime. Iceland is as diverse as you can imagine and plenty of jaw dropping places to visit. It is one of the those where adventure waiting to happen every day. Iceland is definitely an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven, with its wealth of mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, lakes, caverns, and other harsh terrain just begging to be explored. It is one of the best places to visit in Europe, with plethora of thrilling activities on offer, from incredible hikes, whale watching, expeditions into ice caves, exploring the quaint towns to witnessed the dramatic landscapes.
Iceland is Europe’s least densely populated country, with a pristine, unpolluted, and really magnificent scenery. During the summer months, the tempreature is warm with with days stretching until midsummer, when the sun dips beyond the horizon yet never sets and during the winter months. The beautiful, green, blue, yellow, and pink lights of the aurora borealis may be seen in the night sky throughout winter.
Budapest is a city with youthful vibes, alternative nightlife, awe-inspiring architecture, delicious street food, thermal baths and much more. It offers everything you might expect from a city break. Much of the city has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is one of the best places to visit in Europe yet for many Budapest still remains a hidden gem. Budapest is divided into two parts: Buda and Pest, which are separated by the Danube River and were initially linked in the late 1800s by the spectacular Chain Bridge.
From its riverfront Parliament Building to its magnificent basilicas, fashionable ruin bars, peaceful spas, restaurants, and never-ending nightlife which ranges from buzzing ruin bars to crazy hot bath parties after hours. So, whether you’re going for a cultural experience or to gorge yourself on goulash – there is something for everyone in Budapest. We have explored the city and bring you some of the top things to do in Budapest along with Budapest’s must-see attraction.
Bruges (Brugge) is one of Belgium’s most popular and stunning cities. It is known as the ‘Venice of North’ Bruges due to its with its picturesque canals and a maze of canals and countless stone bridges dating back to the Middle Ages. Bruges was one of the wealthiest towns in history. With a rich history and charm Bruges is a great weekend away destination. Explore its charming streets, climb its towers, and dining in one of the many restaurants. Induldge in waffles, chocolate and of course, Belgium beer. Brugge’s historic centre is a cultural landmark recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Belgium.
Bruges is beautiful all year round, late spring and summer (between May and August) is an ideal time to visit. If you’re visiting the city during the winter months, the central square known as The Markt transforms into a winter wonderland with Christmas markets and an ice rink, a fantastic place for Christmas lovers.
Andorra is located between France and Spain, high in the eastern Pyrenees mountains. It is a noticeably small country, with a population of about 85,000 people. This underrated alpine country is all about nature, skiing, hiking and thermal baths. An all-year-round destination Andorra offer a plethora of things to do yet for many Andorra still remains a hidden gem. Day trip operate to Andorra from Barcelona and Toulouse given its proximity to Spain and France, however, it is worth spending a few days in this beautiful country.
The capital, Andorra La Vella, boasts a lively shopping scene and gastronomy culture, as well as Europe’s largest spa complex, while much of the remainder of the country is made up of towns and villages nestled between lofty mountain peaks. During the winters Andorra is a skiing paradise and come summer, Andorra is a great option for mountain holidays, hiking, mountain biking and jaw dropping views.