With so many great options, choosing the best places to visit in Europe can be difficult, from city breaks filled with fascinating history and culture, to nature vacations in breathtaking landscapes and unique natural parks, or with the whole family.
Venice, Paris and Verona are the best cities for a romantic holiday; Ibiza, Belgrade and Amsterdam promise the best parties and liveliest nightlife, while Riga, Florence and Vienna delight in history and art.
Iceland and the Faroe Islands dazzle outdoor enthusiasts with the most beautiful landscapes, while Croatia and the Greek Islands stand out with their pristine beaches and crystal clear waters.
Manchester and Barcelona are among the best cities in Europe to watch football games, and for those looking to get in, consider winter sports in Andorra, water sports in the Azores and scenic hiking in Norway.
From paella and pasta to Ukrainian borsch, Europe is also a foodie’s paradise, with an extraordinary and varied cuisine.
Ready to start planning your next trip?
1 – Venice, Italy
Venice is definitely one of the best places in Europe for a romantic getaway, with stunning canals, hundreds of bridges and charming alleys, a mix of fascinating history, stunning architecture and a unique way of life.
Discover Piazza San Marco, home to the famous Doge’s Palace, one of Venice’s most popular landmarks and an impressive masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
Next to the palace, stop at one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe and Venice’s most important religious site, St. Mark’s Basilica; for a view of the entire Venetian lagoon, climb up to the observation deck of St. Mark’s Campanile.
Cross the Puglia Bridge and admire the iconic Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge, the oldest and most famous in Venice, with sweeping views of the Grand Canal. Of course, there is also a boat trip or a gondola ride for a unique view of the canal!
Don’t miss the chance to explore the beautiful island of Murano, the perfect place to buy souvenirs or watch a glass-making demonstration; Burano, famous for its colorful houses.
See also: Things to do in Venice, Doge’s Palace tickets, Best boat tours in Venice
2 – Paris, France
When it comes to romantic cities, Paris is a must for every couple. But there’s so much more to do than just take an idyllic Seine cruise or watch the lights of the Eiffel Tower!
From the famous Louvre to the acclaimed Orsay, Paris is full of museums and monuments. The city itself is a work of art, and a free walking tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour is the best way to discover the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Scare Coeur and all that Paris has to offer.
For those looking for something unusual in Paris, the Catacombs are worth a visit, and for football fans, don’t miss the PSG Experience!
There are tons of day trips to choose from, and the hardest part is tasting delicious food in the Champagne region, visiting the beautiful castles of the Loire Valley, or feeling the magic of Disneyland.
When night falls, the city becomes as exciting as it is by day, with a vibrant nightlife and many night tours to explore. Stroll around Montmartre or the Latin Quarter, have a drink at the best bar in town, or catch a show at the Paris Lido or Moulin Rouge!
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3 – Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of the best places in Europe for those looking for good weather, good food and exciting history with a lively nightlife – especially in Bairro Alto.
Get lost in the narrow streets and charming alleys of the city’s oldest district, Alfama, and stop at the Sé Cathedral for a view of the S. Jorge Castle.
For architecture lovers, the Belém district is full of wonders, such as the Tower of Belém or the Jeronimos Monastery, the grandest example of the Manuel style – also known as the Portuguese Late Gothic.
There are incredible day trips from Lisbon, such as the university city of Coimbra; Aveiro, often labelled the Venice of Portugal; or Fatima, a major pilgrimage site.
However, no trip to Lisbon would be complete without a visit to the fairytale city of Sintra. Charming woods and charming medieval villages to explore, and the cherry on top is the colourful Pena Palace, one of Portugal’s most famous tourist attractions.
See Also: Activities in Lisbon, Lisbon Day Trips, Pena Palace Sintra Tickets
4 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Among the best bike-friendly cities in Europe, Amsterdam, the charming capital of the Netherlands, is known for its canals, stunning architectural mix and great coffee shops.
Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture by visiting the Anne Frank House in the Jewish Quarter, and browse the city’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum or Rijksmuseum.
A day trip is always a good idea, especially in a beautiful country like the Netherlands. Visit the medieval city center of Utrecht, the modern metropolis of Rotterdam, or stop by Keukenhof in spring to see the magic of tulip fields.
For a unique experience, take a canal cruise through picturesque canals and marvel at the city’s landmarks.
See also: Things to Do in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Day Trips, Van Gogh Museum Last Minute Tickets, Best Amsterdam Canal Cruises, and Rijksmuseum Tickets
5 – Rome, Italy
Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, has thousands of years of history and culture. It is known for its stunning architecture, with the main attractions being the Colosseum, Trevin Fountain and the Pantheon.
Walking around the Eternal City is like visiting an open-air museum and checking out all the best sights, taking a city tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
But there’s plenty to see indoors, too, like the Borghese Gallery in one of the world’s most prestigious museums. For those looking for something unusual, visit the Roman Catacombs, subterranean galleries that have been used as cemeteries for centuries.
After the sun goes down, Rome is still fun and has an exciting nightlife. Choose from a selection of night tours to explore the main attractions, embrace the culture and meet the locals.
Due to its location, Rome is an ideal city to establish a base and explore the rest of Italy. Before the tour ends, take a day trip to Naples and the sunny Amalfi Coast, marvel at the Florentine Renaissance heritage, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Villa or Villa Este in Tivoli.
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6 – Moscow, Russia
With its rich history and towering skyscrapers, Moscow is one of the most impressive cities in Eastern Europe and offers activities for all types of travelers.
Look for the Kremlin’s main sights, such as the impressive Grand Kremlin and Cathedral Square; and on Red Square, the huge St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Don’t overlook the best of Moscow tours led by a local guide, marvel at the most beautiful metro stations in the world, or delight yourself with Russian food, authentic borsch, dumplings and locally distilled vodka.
In the evenings, many theatre venues and trendy bars provide quality entertainment, while for a unique cultural experience, watch traditional Russian dance performances.
See also: Events in Moscow, Best Tours in Moscow, Kremlin Ticket Prices
7 – Vatican City
The smallest country in the world, Vatican City is located within Rome and is one of the for Catholics or those seeking a religious and cultural experience.
Tour the city’s top sights, such as the Vatican Museums, home to one of the largest art collections in the world, including the Sistine Chapel, to admire Michelangelo’s beautiful frescoes, or St. Peter’s Basilica to discover the most sacred and important One of the places of pilgrimage.
Stroll around St. Peter’s Square, which is popular with tourists, and book a seat at the weekly Pope’s audience, which takes place every Wednesday, as no trip to the Vatican is complete without seeing the Pope.
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8 – Dubrovnik, Croatia
Also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea, sun-drenched Dubrovnik welcomes thousands of tourists every year and marvels with its unique seaside location and pleasant old town.
Wander Cersei’s Path of Shame and Old City Walls on a Game of Thrones tour, taking fans through the many filming locations in Dubrovnik, one of Europe’s best cities for fans of the TV show.
Visit the summit of Srd and enjoy the view from the Dubrovnik Cable Car; party at Banja Beach and enjoy many water activities such as kayaking and snorkeling adventures!
To make the most of this trip, take a day trip to explore paradise islands such as the Elafiti Islands or Hvar, as well as the pristine beaches of Budva or Makara.
See also: Activities in Dubrovnik, Day Trips in Dubrovnik, and Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik
9 – Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa, with 8 unique islands to explore. A true gem for outdoor enthusiasts, with mild temperatures, sunny weather and unspoiled natural attractions.
Tenerife is home to many exciting experiences, the largest island in the archipelago and home to Spain’s highest peak (and one of the highest volcanoes in the world). Go hiking (or take a stargazing tour) in Teide National Park, meet animals at the Parrot Park, and swim with turtles.
Continue on to Fuerteventura, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, highlighting the dazzling landscapes of Timanfaya National Park. Explore volcanic tunnels at James del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, and taste at La Geria’s volcanic vineyards.
Stop in Gran Canarias, stroll through the old town of Begot and relax on the best golden sandy beaches. But other islands are also worth visiting, at least on a day trip – La Gomer, with its unique Garajonay National Park; El Herero, with over 40 dive sites;
Save some time for La Palma and admire the breathtaking La Caldera de Taburiente National Park; Fuerteventura, with its pristine beaches and La Graciosa, with its unique underwater flora and fauna.
See also: Events in Lanzarote, Events in Gran Canarias, and Events in Tenerife
10 – London, UK
London tops most travelers’ bucket lists, and it’s not hard to see why: one of the world’s most acclaimed and cosmopolitan cities, with more than two thousand years of history, it’s rich in art, science, architecture, politics and lively nightlife.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many great things to do in London, make sure to visit the best sights like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, take a free walking tour or take a bus tour.
Relax from the fast pace of the city, stop at Kew Gardens, meet the animals at London Zoo, visit one of the city’s many museums or watch a musical performance.
Also consider day trips to prehistoric Stonehenge, the spa town of Bath or the charming town of Windsor – the main attraction is Windsor Castle.
Of course, one cannot mention London without a Harry Potter tour and the opportunity to experience a magical Harry Potter studio.
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11 – Barcelona, Spain
Art, festivals and fun, Barcelona combines a rich cultural heritage, golden beaches and a vibrant nightlife.
With the Sagrada Familia attracting tourists from all over the world, Park Güell and Casa Batllo are also among the highlights of the city. Still, with so much to discover, it might be worth checking out the Barcelona City Pass to ensure the best price and visit as many monuments as possible.
Walking tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours are one of the best ways to explore Barcelona, but the most important is the helicopter tour for an unforgettable aerial view.
Stop at La Boqueria for some of the best food in Barcelona, and for football fans a visit to the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is a must.
After checking out all the best tours Barcelona has to offer, it’s always a good idea to explore your surroundings on a day trip. Whether snorkeling in the Costa Brava or skiing in Andorra, there is something for every visitor!
See also: Things to do in Barcelona, Tourist Attractions in Barcelona, Day Trips from Barcelona, Sagrada Familia Ticket Prices, Best Free Walking Tours in Barcelona, Best Tours in Barcelona, Hop On Hop Off Barcelona Bus Tour, Barcelona Helicopter Tour, Barcelona Pass Comparison Guide
12 – Munich, Germany
Home to some of the best breweries and beer gardens in Germany, and famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, but also rich in history, architecture and delicious food, Munich is a major European destination.
Have a drink in the English Garden; explore the Old Town, visit Marienplatz or go on a food tour at the Viktualienmarkt; visit Nymphenburg Palace, the largest palace in Bavaria, visit all the museums in the Kunsthal district and visit the Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich come on.