If you still daydream about experiencing something extraordinary and have never visited Europe before, it is time to add the European continent to your travel itinerary.
In many ways, Europe is a fascinating area for tourists, attracted mainly by its history, artistic creation, and cultural monuments.
However, the relaxation factor cannot be overlooked, as the frequent reason to visit Europe from the perspective of tourists is to stay by the sea (central Mediterranean) or in the mountains (Alpine region).
This guide is long because Europe is fantastic and has so many beautiful places to offer. You can skip the intro and go straight to the sections below.
Europe is the most developed of all the continents in the tourism sector - the reason is that it is the most densely populated continent. Also, it is the most economically advanced (especially the western part), attributed to the permanent high living standard of the European population, quality infrastructure, and relatively high security and stability of European countries.
The Americans and the Japanese are among the majority of visitors to Europe. Europeans themselves also travel quite often across Europe, and the Germans, the French, and the British are the most active in tourism.
Europe as a continent is divided into five primary sub-regions (Western, Southern, Central and Eastern, Northern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean including Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey). The essential sub-region is Western Europe, where the material and the technical base is fantastic, here you will not find the best hotels, services, catering, but also a hearty access to the cultural heritage.
Where to stay in Europe at best? By this statistic, the most visited countries are France, Spain, and Italy.
As mentioned above, France is the most visited European country. Next in line are Spain, Italy, but also Greece. Unfortunately, the pollution of the Mediterranean is growing, for example in Croatia, but also the Italian side of the Mediterranean is increasing as well.
Recently, there has also been previously neglected countries like Hungary, Poland, and notably the Czech Republic. The reason is to improve service quality, affordability even in the best hotels, restaurants, and services in general.
There is also increasing interest in Scandinavian countries, which are rated highly for their clean environments.
The United Kingdom, dominated by London and southern England, and Scotland has also seen a rise in tourist interest.
Where to stay in West Europe? As has been said, the most exciting countries are France, Spain, Great Britain, and Italy. What can you expect in these countries as a tourist? Above all else, it's cultural heritage, and insights into some of the most famous painters, sculptors, composers, writers, actors, artists of all kinds and generations, to name but a few.
Most people have heard about Rome at some point in their lives. On the left, is a picture of the famous Di Trevi fountain, which is one of Rome's most sought-after sights - after the Colosseum and Forum Romanum.
Because there is something there for everyone. Italy, it's not just a country, it's a feeling of life. It has an unbelievable culture, picturesque cities, the best beaches in summer, and the finest mountains in the winter.
Italy is the cradle of European civilization, and rulers have done everything they can to leave behind their best artistic and cultural treasures through the ages.
Which cities should you visit on your trip to Italy?
We've put together a selection of the best and set out a little information about each below in no particular order.
This has to be one of the most magnificent open-air museums in the world. But, don't forget to visit sightseeing attractions such as the Colosseum, Basilica of Saint Peter, the Trevi Fountain and the almost completely preserved Pantheon as well. In Rome, there is a separate state known as the Vatican, and where the Pope resides.
Do not forget to enjoy a stroll through the stunning alleyways of Rome and sit in some of the marvelous outdoor cafes, facing the street, and enjoy delicious Italian coffee and wine and watch the rush of the city around you - just like any Italian would do.
A remarkable place on the water (on the sea).
Venice has the highest number of artwork per square kilometer. Piazza San Marco, with its impressive basilica or Ponte dei sospiri, is worth a visit. You can also hire a gondola and enjoy a romantic punt through the waterways of Venice.
Nowadays, residents complain about the excessive number of tourists who visit each year and the lack of privacy it brings with it. So, please respect the residents' wishes, buy luggage without noisy wheels, collect your garbage and throw it away in the appropriate place, and be considerate of such a small place that is so busy with tourists.
Fantastic place and the famous town of the Romeo and Juliet story.
Every romantic soul should come here. There are some astounding sights, such as the remnants of the once beautiful Roman castles. From Verona, it is also only a short walk to the beautiful mountains - the Italian Alps and the stunning Lake Garda.
Do Gucci and Ferragamo ring a bell? Yes, these famous brands were born in this city; a city that not only speaks about fashion but about art as well.
The Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Museo Stefano Bardini, and Palazzo Vecchio are just a few of the favorite places you can visit to adore art.
On the other hand, if you are a nature loving person, the Bardini Gardens will be perfect for you.
“Fiesta” is the Spanish word for Festival. It is said to be one of the most favorite Spanish words as Spain itself is a grand fiesta. From the Flamenco dance to the great Tomato Fight, everyone enjoys the country. However, there’s more to it than just Fiestas tomatoes, and here are a few of the cities which have a lot to offer and will perhaps make you want to visit Spain.
With its breathtaking architecture to some of the city’s famous landmarks like Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Milà; Barcelona is also known to have stunning beaches like Barceloneta, Nova Icaria, and Bogatell Beach.
In contrast, for all fashion lovers out there, the best time to visit this city is during January and February (winter sale) and mid-June to August (summer sale). Make sure you grab those deals as discounts can be as much as 75% off. Passeig de Gracia, Carrer de la Portaferrissa, Carrer de la Boqueria are some of the best shopping areas.
Plaza Mayor should undoubtedly be on the top of tourist spots list in this city. This is the epicenter of Madrid, and a place where you can dine, shop, or even just watch people come and go.
Some controversial events also took place here, like bullfights, ritual condemnations during the Spanish Inquisition, executions, and a massive fire that destroyed the square back then.
Moreover, if you want nightlife, then make sure to visit Gran Via, as they say, it is a “Street that never sleeps.”
You can watch Broadway, dine at the most delightful restaurants and try the local dish "cocidomadrileno", bar hopping, shopping, or go to the cinema.
Loving that party life? Then this place is right for you. From numbers of beaches, bars, and restaurants, one can never get bored during the night hours.
However, the nightlife is not the only exciting thing to enjoy in the city. You can also see some history from the Dalt Vila UNESCO site and Ibiza Cathedral. Relaxation is also one of the best things to do, and there are a wide variety of spas from which to choose.
Having croissants for breakfast, eating crepes at any time of the day, and toasting a glass of champagne with your family and friends, are only a few of the most beautiful things to experience in this stunning country. Check out this excellent online travel guide about France.
From foods, fashion, art, Alpine hiking to architecture - it's no wonder why so many people dream of visiting France. Check out some of the most popular cities in this country:
The dream destination for many, not just those who love fashion, art, or something fancy. It is known to be the city of love with its most iconic Eiffel Tower. Aside from that, don’t forget to visit the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, and of course, the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland Paris.
For mountaineering activities, Mont Blanc, the highest mountain peak in Europe, is one of the best mountains to see. From skiing or to just chilling in a cable car and checking out the panoramic views of the city, this place is definitely one of the best in the country.
Known for its Film Festival, famous movies stars from all over the world have been visiting the place annually. It is a place where you get a sense of the luxurious lifestyle as the city comes with private beaches, yachts, elegant restaurants, and hotels.
Boulevard de la Croisette is just one of the many grand places here. In contrast, there are other places to go see, as well, if you are not into the luxury scene. Budget hotels offer excellent views and access to beach and train stations; Ideal Sejour Hotel, Hotel des Congres et Festivals and Hotel Ibis Cannes Centre (great price for this location) are some of those.
For a more rural feel, this city is the perfect place to go. Its deep blue sea easily attracts swimmers and makes them feel calm and at peace while forgetting the busy city streets.
One can never underestimate what a small country has to offer. The Netherlands may be tiny, but you’ll be captivated by its beauty.
Since it is a flat country, they encourage locals, and tourists alike to explore the cities by bike.
You can enjoy the sights with free transportation.
The city also has some excellent museums, parks, and markets. To give you the odd name or two, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank House.
Furthermore, there are also Splashtours which will take you to landmarks like Erasmus Bridge, Euromast, and cube houses. Lastly, don’t forget to have a tour inside the SS Rotterdam as this is the most significant passenger ship ever built on Dutch soil.
And this is a nice and modern city.
Why go to Utrecht? The heart of Netherlands, which according to BBC travel, is the fourth happiest place the world.
The city has a wharf system in its inner canals, which make it unique among other canal cities around the world.
You can enjoy the city’s intricate architecture, museums, and some great stores for shopping and buying gifts.
A country that has a significant share of the world’s history; from names like Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Beethoven, and the Brothers Grimm, all of them came from Germany. From breathtaking scenery to discovering local delicacies, this country should be on your travel goal list.
The Berlin wall and Holocaust Memorial shows how precious the history of this city is. The Berlin Opera and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are also two of the proudest things that this city has to offer.
Other Berlin tourist attractions here are Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Fernsehturm, and Alexanderplatz. While for animal lovers, you can visit the Berlin Zoological Garden.
Oktoberfest is just one of the grandest events in the city, where people from all around the globe gather to enjoy the most significant beer festival 'Volksfest' and funfair .
Aside from beer party, the city also has a great set of architecture on some of its landmarks, like The Church of St. Peter, Nymphenburg Palace, and Residenz castles.
The city is known to be a commercial center for its role in maritime trade. It has likewise gained popularity in its cultural events such as Freimarkt, Vision Parade, Techno Music Festival, and the International Youth Symphony Orchestra.
“The gateway to the world,” as they say. Hamburg is Germany’s most prominent port. You can feel that you’re near the water just by seeing the city’s architecture, local delicacies, and the cry of gulls.
If you are someone who loves wine, well this country is right for you. Though the state is not that popular when it comes to wine, they happened to receive the most prestigious awards. If you give this country a chance, you might get the best wine at an affordable price.
Saying this makes it clear that the country is underrated. However, there are many reasons why you should include Portugal on your travel lists.
If you love drinking alcohol, then this is the right place. The city has cheap liquors, and you can even experience the Bairro Alto neighborhood where you can drink, have friends, dance all the way on its street.
Lisbon also has some great museums and chapels just like in the other cities across Europe. Some of these are Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, St. George’s Castle, Berardo Museum, and the World’s Most Expensive chapel.
Colorful boats are one of the key characteristics of this city. How can you resist those painted gondola-style boats? Might as well, jump on-board and explore. The boats are not the only colorful element, there are also those cute Art Nouveau houses in pastel shades.
As one of the oldest cities in the country, it also plays a good part in its religious history. Most of the visited tourist attractions in the town are religiously related, such as Bom Jesus de Monte, Bom Jesus de Monte Funicular, Braga Cathedral, and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro.
This part of the world has a lot of stunning beaches that is why it is one of the most visited sites in the country for vacation destinations. From different beach activities such as cave exploration, dolphin watching, a cruise with a BBQ party, jet boat, golf, jet ski, and more; this city has proved to be perfect for family and friends.
The United Kingdom is one of the grandest places you can travel to in Europe. Many people have put this country on their travel goal list, and they made a perfect choice as it has a lot to offer.
It is one of the most influential countries in the world, and unquestionably one of the coolest place to go. See some of its famous cities below:
Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, Hampton Court Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and London Bridge are just some of the many popular attractions in the city, and I bet, at least one or two of them will be familiar to you.
Moreover, if you are a Harry Potter fan, I am sure that you have dreamed of visiting this city. From Platform 9'1/2 to the Official Set Tour, you’ll be undoubtedly thrilled to even think that this might happen.
This city is undoubtedly vibrant when it comes to history. From having history lessons from the city’s famous museums to going to ancient meeting houses, visiting the world’s oldest public library, this region has it all.
Some famous landmarks are the Museum of Science and Industry, John Rylands Library, National Football Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Albert’s Square.
Clifton Suspension Bridge will undeniably be one of the most inspirational bridges you will ever want to visit. It may make you dizzy, but you will admire the magnificent views as well. This city has modern museums as well.
If you are thinking about where to stay in Europe and in the Bristol area - check out these friendly 4-star hotels - more pictures and prices
Art appreciation is also celebrated in this city, from modern art to Hi-tech interactives. Do visit these places if you like this type of art: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum and Gallery of Modern Art.
Where to stay in Glasgow? Check out these interesting hotels in Glasgow
If you want to know more about the UK, read our nice travel guide about the United Kingdom.
If you are into the classics like Mozart, Beethoven, or Strauss, then you should visit this country. Each of these composers was born here, which is reflected in the Baroque architectures and Imperial history. See some cities below to get an idea about the ideal place to stay in Austria. And, of course, the beauty of the Alps.
Not only the capital of the country, but also where Mozart and Beethoven were born. To experience the Baroque impressionism, some places to visit are Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg, and Belverde.
If you are looking where to stay in Europe, try Vienna and these romantic hotels in the city center.
We love Salzburg, which looks very much like Innsbruck (see above picture). A museum displaying Mozart’s childhood instruments can be seen here, as this is his birthplace. However, aside from that, other tourist attractions also include the Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art and Salzburg Zoo. Salzburg is also a very romantic place with a beautiful castle at the foot of the Alps.
The Olympia SkiWorld has a combination of eight ski resorts, so if you are into winter sports then do visit this city. Aside from that, there is also a Bergisel Ski Jump, but this is only for professionals. Innsbruck is also a charming town, with a beautiful historic center overlooking the Hafelekar mountain, where we recommend taking a cable-car in the summer months. Near Innsbruck, you will also find beautiful Lake Achensee which is quite a distance from Innsbruck - approx 40 km (30 miles).
An awe-inspiring city known for its Italian Renaissance and medieval buildings of a bygone era. Popular attractions include The Schlossberg, Armory, Eggenberg Palace, and Kunsthaus Graz. If you plan to go to Croatia (to the sea by car) in the summer months, from Vienna or Prague, where there are large international airports, and you are already full of historical experiences and city corners, you will definitely stop here, in Graz, during your trip.
Known for Renaissance architectures, this multilingual country may be small, but there are a lot of great things inside of it.
Belfry and Halle are indeed among the famous sites in the country. You will be left breathless as you get a taste of the Middle Ages Architecture. Moreover, the Basilica of the Holy Blood is also one of the most important places to visit, as it is said to have a drop of Jesus Christ’s blood. And, of course, the fantastic water canals where you will feel like you are in Venice.
Don’t miss the Manneken Pis, an iconic bronze statue of a naked boy. Meanwhile, the Grand Place is the center of the city, and is surrounded by the city’s Town Hall and a building that contains the Museum of the City.
Like most European countries, this one offers fascinating architecture and worthy history. It is said that the local people here are friendly and hospitable which keeps the tourists coming back year after year. Many tourists also travel here due to the beautiful azure sea!
The capital of the country has everything you'll need for a great vacation. Delicious local foods, beautiful architecture, and an appreciation for the arts and music. The Museum of Broken Relationships is just one of the unique attractions to visit.
The City Walls & Forts should be the first thing you’ll visit here. The damage caused in 1990 is ever-present. Moreover, an actual photo from the war can be seen in the War Photo Limited Museum.
The city has a high culture and architecture which resulted from having many earlier empires and their previous rulings. The town also has incredible foods; you should try checking out some of these: Zrno Soli, Konoba Nikola Stobrec, and Villa Spiza. Moreover, Split has a lovely sandy beach close to the sea, from where the shoulder of the river flows from inland. From documented history, the river is said to have sheltered pirates who came from the sea.
It is said that this country was the world’s thirteenth most visited tourist destination in 2002. Well, it is not that surprising since the state has many attractions to offer to tourists. The country has that rich history and folk traditions. Hungary also offers a different kind of cuisine of which tourists love. And, of course, let's not forget the thermal spas!
Take relaxing to an entirely new level in this city’s most popular bathhouse - complete with a thermal pool, swimming pool and massage area too. For food choices, you can go to the Great Market Hall for a first hand experience in buying local foods. On the other hand, for coffee lovers out there, try the Central Kavehaz, as they say that writers and intellectuals hung out here during World War I. And you simply must try the Hungarian goulash!
Pecs Cathedral is one of the most important places to visit in this city; it bears a history for a hundred of years. You can also see some of the city’s famous museums like the Gallery of Modern Hungarian Art and the Csontvary Museum.
Thermal baths and historic buildings are also famous in this city. Do you love Beatles music? Well, let's be honest who doesn’t? And that is another thing that this town is known for; they have Egri Road Beatles Museum.
The said museum depicts the history of the life and career of the world-class band.
This country is known to have jaw-dropping castles which really depicts its history. Another thing that the Czech Republic is known for is their beer - they have been producing some of the world’s best for many years.
Prague is one of the most popular destinations in Europe having a rich history, and colorful Baroque buildings. Some of the popular tourist attractions in the city are Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Old Town Square. You can read our travel guide about Prague here.
Don’t miss the city’s VIDA! Science Center as this place has excellent science museums and interactive exhibits that people of all ages can enjoy too. On the other hand, Brno Zoo is likewise a fun place to visit, particularly for children.
Since the country is known for its castles, this particular city has one which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, known as the Cesky Krumlov Castle. In addition to castles, perhaps you might like to try the Muzeum Voskovych Figurine and Muzeum Vltavinu.
As you can see, the Czech Republic is small but lovely country. Check out more about it in our online travel guide about the Czech Republic.
If you are someone who still believes in “fairy tales” then it is only right you visit this country and you can freely use this idea in this lovely country.
The sculpture of the Little Mermaid is definitely the first thing you can look forward to seeing in Copenhagen. Moreover, Tivoli Gardens, an Amusement Park, and Copenhagen’s Zoo are also other things you should not miss, especially if you have children traveling with you.
Want to experience the Hans Christian Andersen times? Visit the famous Old Town Open Air Museum, and you’ll be in awe at its buildings and shops. Meanwhile, if you are a happy-go-lucky person, then a colorful world will suit you perfectly, so visit The ARoSARt Museum’s Rainbow where you can view the city panoramically.
Revisit Hans Christian Andersen's life as you stroll through the museum dedicated solely to him. More information on his childhood is present at Hans Christian Andersen’s Childhood Home.
Outdoor activities and historical things are what this country is known for. Other than that, some say, fashion is also right in this lovely country.
Let’s see what these best cities have in store for us:
Being the capital, Stockholm has a lot of islands and bridges. So, what is the best way to roam around the city? - On a boat trip, of course.
Coffee time is also essential to the Swedes, so make sure to grab one. On the other hand, if you have a leaning towards designer items, you should take a trip downtown as they have many designer’s boutiques.
Nightlife is also great at downtown, and there are a great number of bars in this area, so you won't be stuck for choice.
This city has Scandinavia’s largest amusement park, Liseberg Amusement Park, which is perfect for people of all ages. Then again, if you are looking for some nature appreciation, then visit the city’s Botanical Garden.
If you are into the renaissance, you should first visit St. Peter’s church, this is also the oldest building in the city. Moreover, for food and nightlife, Lilla Torg is the place to be as it has plenty of restaurants and bars.
Mountains, music history, arts, and a source of seafood is what the country is known for. Their museums have depicted much of its history, from painting to fishing.
The capital of Norway, this city is known for parks, museums, and sculptures. Check these places as it is some of the most visited in town, Akershus Fortress, Viking Ship Museum, Frogner Park, and Vigeland Sculpture Park.
The city has seven mountains, and if you are adventurous enough, it will be great if you can go to all of them. The town is also known for its fish and seafood, and the best place to buy those is in Bergen Fish Market.
Music and history are two of the unique things in the city, and these museums will prove it: Ringve Museum and Rockheim. Don’t forget to visit the Nidaros Cathedral as well for that medieval feel.
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